A second half Willian penalty helped earn Chelsea a 2-1 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, a result that confirmed Liverpool’s status as 2019/2020 Premier League champions.
In a pulsating first half, in which both sides had chances, Christian Pulisic opened the scoring just after the half hour mark. Clumsy defending by Benjamin Mendy set the American through one-on-one with Ederson and he made no mistake, slotting the ball calmly home.
Kevin De Bruyne then levelled things up with sumptuous free kick ten minutes after the break, before Raheem Sterling hit the post seconds later.
Mason Mount then spurned a gilt edged chance for the hosts and Pulisic had a shot sprawled off the line in an exciting second half. With just over 10 minutes left to play, Fernandinho was shown a red card for handball in the box and Willian converted the resulting penalty to edge Chelsea in front.
Despite some intense City pressure, the score remained 2-1 at the final whistle with the result enough to ensure Jurgen Klopp’s side were crowned Premier League champions.
Here’s 90min‘s breakdown of a historic night…
Key Talking Point
Chelsea’s Champions League spot had seemed so assured prior to football’s shutdown in March.
However, the ascendency of Manchester United and Wolves in recent weeks will have got Frank Lampard sweating about his side’s ability to hang on to a top five finish.
The Blues boss will be massively encouraged by his side’s performance against City. Their forward line cut through the visitors shaky defence with ease and the scoreline could have easily been more.
The victory gives Chelsea a five point cushion over their European challengers and are just one point adrift of third placed Leicester.
Starting XI: Kepa (5); Azpilicueta (6), Christensen (6), Rudiger (7), Alonso (6); Barkley (7), Kante (5), Mount (6); Willian (7), Giroud (5), Pulisic (8*)
Substitutes: Abraham (7), Kovacic (6), Gilmour (6), Pedro (6)
STAR MAN – Christian Pulisic
Following the high profile acquisitions of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner recently, Christian Pulisic might have been concerned for his place in the Chelsea first team.
The forward reminded Frank Lampard of his talents against City, finishing superbly for his side’s opener and going close to adding another fine goal in the second half.
Key Talking Point
Going into the game, Pep Guardiola’s mission was simple. Stop Liverpool winning the Premier League… for another week at least.
The mission failed, and how fitting that in a season in which the Citizens’ back four has been heavily criticised, it would be a defensive error that gifted Chelsea their opening goal.
Benjamin Mendy’s wild lunge was indicative of the individual errors that have plagued City during the current campaign and tightening up the defence needs to be top of Pep Guardiola’s agenda if he wants to close the gap on Liverpool.
Starting XI: Ederson (5); Walker (6), Fernandinho (5), Laporte (6), Mendy (5); Gundogan (5), Rodri (6), De Bruyne (8*); Mahrez (7), Sterling (6), B Silva (5)
Substitutes: D Silva (6), Zinchenko (6), Otamendi (6), Jesus (5)
STAR MAN – Kevin De Bruyne
Always a fan of sticking it to his former club, Kevin De Bruyne was in typically imperious form on Thursday evening.
The Belgian was the creative hub of his side and scored one of the best free kicks of the season, curling it right in the top corner. Beautiful stuff.
Both sides turn their attention to the FA Cup quarter finals next. Chelsea travel to King Power Stadium to face Leicester, while holders City take on Newcastle.