Liverpool lift Premier League trophy after thrilling win over Chelsea
There were fireworks on and off the pitch at Anfield
Liverpool lifted the Premier League trophy on the famous Kop end at Anfield after a thrilling 5-3 win over Chelsea on Wednesday.
Despite pleas for fans to stay away on the night Liverpool finally laid their hands on the trophy, supporters crowded around the outside the stadium before kick-off.
The second half was accompanied by the constant crackling of fireworks lit by fans outside the ground.
Liverpool and Chelsea provided their own explosive moments in an eight-goal thriller.
The victory was a fitting way for Liverpool to sign off from Anfield for the season, with eight players making it on to the score sheet.
Defeat for Chelsea left Frank Lampard’s side still needing a point from Sunday’s final match of the season against Wolverhampton to seal a Champions League place.
Liverpool ensured the end of its 30-year title drought long ago. Only the three-month delay to the season because of the coronavirus pandemic delayed the coronation.
Just like four weeks ago, when Chelsea’s victory over Manchester City clinched the trophy for Liverpool, fans could not resist gathering outside Anfield.
But what a show they missed.
Naby Keita’s thunderbolt of a shot and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s stunning, dipping free kick set Liverpool on its way to an 18th home league win out of 19 games.
Chelsea’s slack defending allowed Gini Wijnaldum to grab a third from a corner before half-time.
Olivier Giroud was able to pull one back before the break after goalkeeper Alisson parried Willian’s shot into the striker’s path.
Just when it looked like Roberto Firmino would complete the season without scoring in the league at Anfield, he finally found the net in the 55th minute.
It was an exquisite cross pinged in by Alexander-Arnold that Firmino headed into the Chelsea goal in front of the Kop, where the podium was set up for the trophy presentation.
The arrival of Christian Pulisic injected a new energy in the Chelsea side in the second half.
And the American cut in from the left before setting up the unmarked Tammy Abraham to walk Chelsea’s second goal over the line.
With the smell of cordite filling the air from the fireworks set off by Liverpool fans, it was Chelsea celebrating again.
Pulisic brought down a cross with his chest and, with his back to goal, swivelled before striking into the net.
But Liverpool had the final say with a goal that showed just why it is champion again, with an 18-point lead heading into the final day.
It came from a counter-attack launched after Chelsea had a free kick near the Liverpool penalty area.
And it was launched by Liverpool-born Curtis Jones, 19, who was brought on to make a fifth league appearance that ensured he would collect a winners’ medal.
Sadio Mane then fed Andy Robertson, who skipped past Jorginho before rampaging down the left flank and feeding Oxlade-Chamberlain at the back post to fire into the net.
Updated: July 23, 2020 09:15 AM