Matchday 37 EPL Reviews – Liverpool 5, Chelsea 3 & Manchester United 1, West Ham United 1
Liverpool 5, Chelsea 3 – Anfield – 22 July 20
Jurgen Klopp's Reds beat Chelsea before lifting trophy; Chelsea made to wait for Champions League qualification
In a fast-paced encounter at Anfield, champions Liverpool beat Chelsea 5-3 before getting their hands on the Premier League trophy after a thirty-year wait.
In fact it was the visitors who started the proceedings on a lively note with some attacking football but Mason Mount and Willian muffed chances to score.
The hosts opened the scoring with Naby Keita spearing one into the corner from outside the box in the 23rd minute. Trent Alexander-Arnold doubled the champions' lead with a superb dipping free-kick in the 38th minute.
Some callous defending by the Blues allowed Gini Wijnaldum to grab a third off a corner a couple of minutes before halftime with the Dutch midfielder slamming one to the roof of the net from a goal-mouth melee.
Chelsea gave themselves just a glimmer of hope in first-half injury-time when goalkeeper Allison popped up a Willian shot up in the air only to find Olivier Giroud sliding in and bundle the ball into the net.
3-1 to the Reds at half-time.
The hosts fastened their stranglehold of the game when Roberto Firmino leapt above Cesar Azpilicueta to head home an Alexander-Arnold cross ten minutes into the second-half.
Frank Lampard made two substitutions, bringing in Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic in place of Willian and Giroud. Pulisic made his presence felt instantly, foxing two defenders and essaying a perfect cross for Abraham to tap in within two minutes of their introduction.
2-4 to Chelsea in the 61st minute.
Pulisic was at his best again,chesting a ball down and turning to deliver a fierce shot to make it 3-4 for the visitors in the 73rd.
The Blues pressed hard for an equalizer but much against the run of play, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain slammed home Liverpool's fifth from a Andy Robertson's cross with only 6 minutes to go and put the game beyond the visitors' reach.
Despite the 5-3 scoreline there wasn't much to differentiate between the two sides. The ball possession was shared equally and both teams had 10 attempts on goal. This aside, it was time for the Liverpool to celebrate the moment they waited three decades to savour although conducted in the somewhat surreal surroundings of a virtually empty stadium.
In a message to delirious Liverpool fans the world-over, coach Jurgen Klopp said;
“If you cannot see that we do this for you then I cannot help you, really. Five years ago, I asked you to change from doubters to believers. I asked and you did it.”
Fourth-placed Chelsea needing just a point to qualify for Champions League before going into the Anfield game, now have their job cut out as they host a very difficult Wolves side on Sunday in a must-win fixture.
Manchester United 1, West Ham United 1 – Old Trafford – 22 July 2020.
Solskjaer's Red Devils come from behind to clinch a draw – move into Top 4
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils came from behind to draw level with a stubborn West Ham and be in the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Michail Antonio's spot kick put the Hammers ahead in first-half stoppage time after Paul Pogba gave away a penalty when he raised his hands to avert a Declan Rice free-kick.
After some intricate passing work with Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood blasted in the equalizer in 51st minute – this was the eighteen-year old's 17th goal of a stellar first season as a senior player with United.
Both sides had chances to win it in the second-half with under-pressure David de Gea producing a fingertip save to repel a deflected Jarrod Bowen effort and substitute Odion Ighalo turning a near-post effort wide at the other end.
The Red Devils were aware that their endeavours to secure a top-four berth would go down to the last day at Leicester.
However the point earned against the Hammers and Chelsea's defeat at Anfield have helped Solskjaer's side to move back into the top four for the first time since 14 September.
As for David Moyes West Ham, the draw at Old Trafford has pushed them 4 points away from relegation territory and they now seem be safely ensconced in the 15th place.
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