Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City
Liverpool are English league champions for the first time in 30 years thanks to a Chelsea win at home to second-placed Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Kevin De Bruyne hit a stunning free-kick to level after Christian Pulisic had fired the Blues ahead, but then a late Willian penalty gave the hosts all three points. Of course, Premier League: Chelsea vs Manchester City was a huge game for Frank Lampard’s Blues too in their quest to qualify for the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp’s champions did their bit against Crystal Palace last night, beating the Eagles 4-0. Half of Merseyside will have been mesmerised by the Chelsea vs Manchester City updates in the hope the result would go their way. And now their wait is over.
Meanwhile, Manchester United and Wolves both winning last night added a little more pressure to Chelsea, who’s sole aim is to hold on to that priceless fourth place.
Highlights of the game
After opening up their restart with two impressive wins, the Sky Blues began brightly again tonight — dominating the ball and controlling the pace of play with Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling both testing the Chelsea full backs. It was Blues goalkeeper, Kepa, who was sweating the most when he hesitated over a clearance and Bernardo Silva almost made him pay, but the City forward couldn’t stab the ball home before the keeper recovered.
Kepa redeemed himself, on 19 minutes, when Fernandinho met a Riyad Mahrez cross only to see his header expertly tipped over the bar. The first half hour was City’s for sure, but Chelsea had a couple of good chances on 33 minutes. Ross Barkley crossed for Christian Pulisic but City scrambled the ball away, and then Fernandinho blocked a Barkley effort after good work from Mason Mount.
That gave the Blues confidence and Pulisic added real belief on 36 minutes, when he nicked the ball away from Benjamin Mendy on the half way line and sprinted towards goal before beating Ederson in a one-on one with a low shot into the bottom right corner.
City had been so good in the first half, but sloppiness at the back had cost them.
They opened the second half as they had the first when Mendy had two pot shots at goal, and when Mahrez won a free-kick, just about within shooting distance, that meant one thing. De Bruyne stepped up and hit a stunning shot high into the top corner giving Kepa no chance and making it 1-1 with over half an hour remaining.
They almost took the lead two minutes later when De Bruyne put Sterling through on goal and when he chipped the ball over the advancing Kepa, it bounced off the post and away to safety. Guardiola could smell blood and he threw on David Silva and Gabriel Jesus in place of Bernardo and Rodri. De Bruyne almost found Jesus with a deft cross but Chelsea survived.
Mason Mount had a great chance to restore Chelsea’s lead when Ederson made a hash of a clearance, but he rushed his shot and it flew over. At the other end, Sterling had a chance which whistled inches wide, and then Chelsea came so close to scoring. Pulisic beat Ederson again but Kyle Walker made up 20 yards to clear off the line, and Ederson had to react quickly to stop Tammy Abraham’s follow up effort.
Then came the real drama. Abraham seemed to have a shot saved but as the ball bounced around the box, VAR took a look and it became clear as day that Fernandinho was on his way for a deliberate red card.
Willian stepped up and smashed the ball into the top right corner to send half of Merseyside wild, not to mention the Blues fans watching at home.
This game was Chelsea’s biggest test since the return of football with the pre-match
Chelsea vs Manchester City betting odds here at SBOBET backing the Sky Blues at 1.78 and Chelsea out at 4.30.
It was only the third time City have failed to win in their last 21 midweek matches. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard’s win record as Chelsea boss is over 50 per cent, with 16 victories from 31 games.
Chelsea star Pulisic has scored more goals this season, seven, than any other player aged 21 or under as the Blues winning streak increases to four games.
The brilliant Kevin de Bruyne is the first Premier League player to hit double figures in assists and goals this season, with 16 and ten.
Chelsea have an FA Cup quarter-final date with Leicester City this Sunday and that promises to be a great game between the Premier League’s third and fourth-placed teams.
Then it’s back to league matters. The Blues began the game just two points clear of the chasing pack and this result was huge. They have strugglers West Ham, Watford and Norwich City to play over the next couple of weeks. If they play to form, then a Champions League place is theirs.
Manchester City are in the FA Cup too and they have a quarter-final match against Newcastle United to look forward to. Then next Thursday, 2nd July, the Sky Blues meet the 2019/20 champions, Liverpool.
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