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Chelsea 2-1 Man City: Pulisic and Willian seal key win for Lampard to hand Liverpool Premier League title

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 25/06/2020 JOE KRISHNAN
Christian Pulisic, Willian are posing for a picture © Provided by Evening Standard

Liverpool have won the Premier League title after Willian's late penalty handed Chelsea a crucial 2-1 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Pep Guardiola had suggested he had "one eye" on their FA Cup quarter-final tie with Newcastle and would therefore seek to rotate his squad.

But even with six changes from the 5-0 thrashing of Burnley, the Catalan's 'second-string' still saw Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling feature from the start.

Frank Lampard handed a start to Christian Pulisic after his goal from the bench against Aston Villa, while Ross Barkley replaced Mateo Kovacic in the starting line-up.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - June 25, 2020 Chelsea's Willian celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details. © Reuters Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - June 25, 2020 Chelsea's Willian celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details. City had held the Premier League title in their hands for the last two years but anything other than a win would see the crown head to Liverpool.

The visitors began with purpose, dominating possession without doing too much to break down Chelsea, although Fernandinho's header from a De Bruyne free-kick required a decent stop from Kepa Arrizabalaga.

A shocking error from Benjamin Mendy resulted in the opener and it was Pulisic who put City to the sword. Mendy's horrible mix-up with Ilkay Gundogan allowed the American to race clear and he finished superbly past Ederson.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - June 25, 2020 Chelsea's Christian Pulisic scores their first goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Julian Finney/Pool via REUTERS  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details. © Reuters Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - June 25, 2020 Chelsea's Christian Pulisic scores their first goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Julian Finney/Pool via REUTERS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

After the break, City looked fired up - almost as if they weren't aware in the first half that their title was on the line. And their new-found urgency paid off.

Kante fouled Mahrez some 25 yards out and De Bruyne hit the free-kick from some 25 yards out, whipping it over the wall and into the top corner with a stunning strike.

The goal seemed to rejuventate City and they began to pile the pressure on Chelsea. Just two minutes later, an incisive breakaway that began with Ederson ended up with Sterling one-on-one with Kepa. He lifted it over the Spaniard only to see it bounce back off the woodwork.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - June 25, 2020 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne scores their first goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS / Paul Childs / Pool  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details. © Reuters Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - June 25, 2020 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne scores their first goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS / Paul Childs / Pool EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

It felt like a pivotal moment in the title permutations and it woke up Chelsea, with Mason Mount striking against the side netting after a rare error from Ederson.

Kyle Walker came to the Brazilian's rescue shortly after when Pulisic broke through on goal and rounded Ederson, only to see his effort somehow hacked off the line by the England full-back. City were still alive.

But any hope of delaying Liverpool's title celebrations soon evaporated after an incredible passage of play. Willian crossed to Tammy Abraham, who saw his effort blocked by Ederson. Pulisic followed up on the rebound, but Fernandinho was in the way. When it fell to Abraham against, the veteran clearly used his hand to block it.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - June 25, 2020 Manchester City's Fernandinho is shown a red card by referee Stuart Attwell, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details. © Reuters Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - June 25, 2020 Manchester City's Fernandinho is shown a red card by referee Stuart Attwell, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

VAR was put to use to investigate and Fernandinho knew what was coming: a red card and penalty. Willian took the ball and struck it firmly into the top corner, sparking celebrations all around Liverpool with the knowledge that finally, after 30 long years, the title would be heading to Anfield.

But for Chelsea, it was a hugely important victory. Five points clear of Manchester United with seven games to go and proof that Frank Lampard can cut it with the best coaches in the world.


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