Sunday, July 5, 2020

Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City: Pulisic and Willian goals see Liverpool claim first Premier League crown

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Liverpool have been named as Premier League champions for the first time with Manchester City falling to a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Having blown away Crystal Palace the evening before, the Reds only needed Chelsea to claim at least a point at home to claim their long-awaited crown.

The West-Londoners and indeed Merseyside were celebrating in the 36th minute as Christian Pulisic scored his second goal in as many games by taking advantage of an horrendous mistake in the City backline. Kevin De Bruyne blasted City level though ten minutes after the break as he netted a sumptuous free-kick.

Chelsea and Liverpool ultimately were not to be denied as a handball on the line by Fernandinho saw a penalty and a red card awarded in the 78th minute. Willian dispatched the resultant spot-kick to put the hosts in firm control and hand the Reds the title.

The best and the worst of Kepa

Manchester City settled the better of two teams initially in the stifling heat but it was a mistake that almost saw them take the lead. Kepa’s initial clearance was dreadful and was charged down by Bernardo Silva. The Portuguese could not convert from close range though as the Chelsea stopper recovered to collect the ball.

The Spaniard then pulled off a wonderful stop to tip over Fernandinho’s header as it looked to be burying itself into the top corner from Riyad Mahrez’s excellent deep free kick.

Pulisic gives Chelsea lead on the break

A flurry of chances then came for the hosts. Ross Barkley was twice denied by Fernandinho blocks, with centre-back Andreas Christensen also having a headed effort saved on the line by City goalkeeper Ederson.

That sustained pressure did eventually pay dividends for the Blues as Pulisic gave them the lead. From what was a City free-kick, poor communication from Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan allowed the American to steal the ball, race towards the box and steer it beyond the goalkeeper with a cool finish.

De Bruyne haunts Chelsea again

The Sky Blues were much improved after the break, displaying their intentions to hold onto their crown for just a little while longer. A huge opportunity was given to De Bruyne to equalise as Riyad Mahrez was taken down on the edge of the area by former Leicester City teammate N’Golo Kante. The Belgian took huge advantage by blitzing the ball into the top corner of the Chelsea net.

Pep Guardiola’s men almost completed the turnaround only seconds later as a wicked counter-attack saw substitute Gabriel Jesus play through Raheem Sterling, whose shot struck the base of the post.

Title heads to Merseyside

Pulisic also had another wonderful chance to get both Chelsea and Liverpool fans on their feet as he was released beyond City’s backline once again. He used his pace to power away, skip around Kepa and he looked sure to score but somehow Kyle Walker got back to clear off of the line.

With one goal-line clearance sparing City, the next did nothing but damage. Willian did excellently to race away from De Bruyne and square the ball to substitute Tammy Abraham. He had three bites at the cherry, with his final effort getting palmed away by Fernandinho of all people. Following a brief VAR check, the Brazilian was awarded his marching orders, with Chelsea being given a penalty. Willian was the man to step up and he sent Ederson the wrong way to trigger celebrations on Merseyside.

Final Thoughts

The final thought really does have to go to Merseyside now that Liverpool are confirmed as Premier League champions. The Reds have been by far and away the best of the bunch and are richly deserving of their maiden Premier League crown. Manchester City have not quite been up to their usually high standards, as potentially displayed by their showing at Stamford Bridge.

Match Report

Chelsea: Kepa (6); Alonso (6), Rudiger (6), Christensen (6), Azpilicueta (7); Kante (7), Mount (6) (Pedro (N/A), 90+1′), Barkley (6) (Kovacic (6), 74′); Pulisic (8) (Gilmour (N/A), 90+1′), Giroud (5) (Abraham (7), 62′), Willian (7).

Manchester City: Ederson (7); Mendy (5) (Zinchenko (6), 59′), Laporte (7) (Otamendi (6), 74′), Fernandinho (4), Walker (6); De Bruyne (7), Rodri (5) (D. Silva (7), 55′), Gundogan (5); Sterling (5), B. Silva (5) (Jesus (6), 55′), Mahrez (6).

Goals: Pulisic (36′), De Bruyne (55′), Willian PEN (78′)

Referee: Stuart Atwell

Yellow Cards: Alonso (38′), De Bruyne (76′)

Red Cards: Fernandinho (77′)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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