Liverpool have been crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years after Manchester City lost 2-1 at Chelsea, meaning the Reds’ 23-point lead at the top of table is now unassailable.
Liverpool’s 4-0 triumph over Crystal Palace last night meant only a City victory could prolong their 30-year wait for the title, but goals from Christian Pulisic and Willian meant City’s title defence officially came to an end at Stamford Bridge.
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With Chelsea having been second-best throughout the first half, the American seized on a defensive mix-up between Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan to race through on goal and slot past Ederson to score in the second game running.
Kevin De Bruyne restored parity after the break, scoring a stunning, swerving free-kick goal, and things could have been very different if Raheem Sterling’s chipped effort hadn’t come back off the post two minutes later.
Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (R) celebrates after scoring the equalising goal with Manchester City's French defender Benjamin Mendy during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City
Image credit: Getty Images
The decisive moments came after Willian burst down the right in the 76th minute and set up Tammy Abraham, who in turn began a goalmouth scramble which ended in Fernandinho clearing the ball off the line with his arm.
After a VAR check, a penalty was given and Fernandinho sent off. His compatriot Willian beat fellow Brazilian from the spot to spark celebrations in Liverpool and secure a vital three points for Chelsea.
Liverpool’s long wait for a Premier League title is over!
This isn’t how Reds fans would have dreamt it happening, but after a 30-year wait for another league title you doubt they will mind too much. Liverpool have been ruthless in the Premier League this season - underlined by the fact they have dropped points only three times - and will go down as one of the division’s all-time greatest sides.
Their superiority is unquestionable and, from the famed front three to Alisson in goal, they have been a brilliant unit operating at a level greater than the sum of their parts.
That’s a credit to Jurgen Klopp and his players, who can finally celebrate what we all knew was going to happen for months. Even a pandemic couldn’t stop them - congratulations to one of the most dominant teams English football has ever seen.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea).
He took his goal brilliantly - especially when you consider how little he had been involved in the game up to that point - and was desperately unlucky not to add another. His pace caused City problems and was crucial, with then visitors dominating possession as they tend to. As the below stat demonstrates, he has quietly had quite an impressive first season in England, despite limited opportunities, and was very dangerous tonight.
36’ - GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Man City (Pulisic). Wow! Mendy and Gundogan have a nightmare and City concede from their own free-kick. After the ball is cleared, both expect the other to take it and that allows Pulisic to steal the ball. Mendy then dives in but misses, leaving him stranded, so Pulisic is through one-on-one and cooly curls the ball past Ederson and into the far corner!
55’ GOAL! Chelsea 1-1 Man City (De Bruyne). What a goal! From the free kick, De Bruyne unleashes a ferocious, dipping effort which arrows into the top corner and leaves Kepa with no chance. Game on!
57’ - OFF THE POST! Sterling hits the post! The visitors break form a Chelsea corner with lightning speed and Sterling is set through by Mahrez. With Kepa rushing out, Sterling dinks the ball over goalie, but sees it bounce back off the post.
62’ - CHANCE! Ederson scuffs a clearance straight to Mount and the Chelsea man has a great chance, carrying the ball into the box, but then shoots wide with team-mates open. Big let-off for Ederson.
67’ - CLOSE! Sterling is inches away from scoring! A loose ball falls to him from a corner and he produces a curling effort which whistles past the top corner, with Kepa a spectator.
71’ - OFF THE LINE! Pulisic has a shot cleared off the line! He gets in behind the City defence again, rounds Ederson and sends a dribbling shot goalwards, but Walker is on hand to make a brilliant block on the line - at full stretch - and Abraham is unable to bundle home the rebound.
76’ - PENALTY AND RED CARD! Chelsea are certain they should have a penalty! Willians runs down the right, his cross leads to a goalmouth scramble and it looks like one of those clearances was made with an arm. VAR is on the case and confirms they are right. Ederson made a good save, Fernandinho followed up with a good block, but he then worked the ball away with his arm as Abraham looked to bundle home. He gets his marching orders.
78’ - GOAL! Chelsea 2-1 Man City (Willian pen). Willian takes and Willian scores, stuttering and then smashing the ball into the top corner.
Chelsea: Kepa 6, Azpilicueta 7, Rudiger 6, Christensen 7, Alonso 6, Kante 6, Mount 5, Barkley 6, Willian 7, Giroud 5, Pulisic 8. Subs: Abraham 7, Kovacic 6, Pedro 6, Gilmour 6.
Manchester City: Ederson 5, Walker 7, Laporte 6, Fernandinho 5, Mendy 5, Gundogan 5, Rodri 6, Mahrez 6, De Bruyne 7, B. Silva 6, Sterling 5. Subs: D. Silva 5, Jesus 5, Zinchenko 5, Otamendi 6.
- Only four of Liverpool’s current squad were born when they last won the title.
- No Premier League team has won the title with seven games to spare before.
- This is Liverpool’s first title in the Premier League era and they are the sixth club to achieve the feat.
- This result means Manchester United remain the only club to win three Premier League titles in a row.
- De Bruyne has 10 goals and 16 assists in the league this season - no other player in the division is in double digits for both.