Premier League
ChelseaChelsea2Man CityManchester City1

Chelsea 2-1 Man City: Liverpool win title as Chelsea beat Man City

By Chris BevanBBC Sport
Christian Pulisic scores for Chelsea
Pulisic has scored in both of Chelsea's games since the Premier League restarted and now has eight goals in all competitions this season

Liverpool were crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years after Manchester City lost to Chelsea.

Only a win for City at Stamford Bridge would have allowed them to hold on to the Premier League trophy for a little longer and their two-year reign is now officially over.

Pep Guardiola's side lost a total of six league games in those two seasons combined, but their eighth defeat of this campaign leaves them 23 points behind the leaders, with seven games left.

Kevin de Bruyne's brilliant second-half free-kick cancelled out Christian Pulisic's breakaway goal for the hosts but Liverpool's title was confirmed with 12 minutes left when Fernandinho was sent off for handball on the line and Willian dispatched the resulting penalty.

While City are still in the Champions League and continue their defence of the FA Cup at Newcastle on Sunday, their next act in the league will be as part of Liverpool's coronation when they welcome the Reds to Etihad Stadium next Thursday.

The outcome of this season's title race has been inevitable for many months but Liverpool's long wait to wrap up their 19th triumph, extended by the Premier League's three-month break amid the coronavirus pandemic, is finally over.

Guardiola offers 'big congratulations' to champions Liverpool

City's hopes of delaying them further ended in all-too familiar fashion, with crisp passing and forward moves undermined by fragile defending and lapses in focus.

They had been the better side until they gifted Chelsea the lead courtesy of a terrible mistake by Bernard Mendy after Chelsea had cleared a first-half free-kick.

The France left-back had Ilkay Gundogan in support but was far too casual as he gave Pulisic possession near the halfway line, then compounded his error by diving in and allowing the American to sprint clear and slot home.

De Bruyne's brilliant dipping free-kick arrowed into the top corner to bring City level shortly after the break and they almost took the lead moments later when Raheem Sterling hit the post after a stunning counter-attack.

Chelsea went close at the other end when Fernandinho let Pulisic in and he rounded Ederson, only to be denied by a brilliant goal-line clearance by Kyle Walker.

That was a huge let-off for City but they were not so lucky the next time Chelsea came forward.

Ederson denied substitute Tammy Abraham and then Fernandinho blocked Pulisic's follow-up but the video assistant referee confirmed what everyone watching on TV had already seen - that he had used his hand to clear.

Referee Stuart Attwell showed the Brazilian a red card after pointing to the spot, and Willian planted his spot-kick into the net to ensure the night belonged to Chelsea - and Liverpool of course.

Lampard praises Chelsea work ethic after 'deserved' win

Chelsea boost their top-four hopes

While this was a momentous result at the summit of the table, it was also hugely significant in the race for the top four.

Chelsea have seen Manchester United and Wolves close the gap this week but this was a convincing response, and not just because of a result that moves the Blues five points clear of the teams immediately below them.

They showed impressive resolve and organisation at the back in the spells when City were on top, but also always looked dangerous at the other end.

Pulisic's pace on the break was a big part of that but Chelsea carved out plenty of other chances, with Ederson brilliantly denying Andreas Christensen and Mason Mount wasting a glorious opening from a poor clearance by the City keeper.

City show familiar failings

It is no secret that City have struggled at the back this season, with Vincent Kompany's exit and Aymeric Laporte's long-term injury among the reasons why they have sometimes had a soft centre.

Fernandinho, for so long an imperious presence in front of City's defence, has been far less convincing since he was moved back to become part of it and this game was another example why that department has to be a priority for City when the next transfer window opens.

City still offered much to savour, of course, not least some superb touches from De Bruyne in addition to his free-kick. Bernardo Silva, operating as a 'false nine' in the absence of injured centre-forward Sergio Aguero, also frequently showed his quality.

But, as has happened on too many occasions this season, City still came up short when it mattered. If they are to get closer to Liverpool next time, they have a lot of work to do.

Man of the match - Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)

Chelsea's Christian Pulisic
Injury has interrupted Pulisic's first season at Chelsea but the £58m United States international has shown his quality since the season resumed and put Chelsea ahead with a cool finish after running from the halfway line. Only an incredible clearance by Kyle Walker denied him a second goal.

What next?

Both teams hit the road for the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.

Chelsea travel to Leicester (16:00 BST) and holders City make the trip to Newcastle (18:30) in a tie that you can watch live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website.

Line-ups

Chelsea

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 4Christensen
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 3AlonsoBooked at 38mins
  • 8BarkleySubstituted forKovacicat 73'minutes
  • 7Kanté
  • 19MountSubstituted forPedroat 90+1'minutes
  • 10Willian
  • 18GiroudSubstituted forAbrahamat 62'minutes
  • 22PulisicSubstituted forGilmourat 90+1'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Jorginho
  • 9Abraham
  • 11Pedro
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 13Caballero
  • 15Zouma
  • 17Kovacic
  • 24James
  • 47Gilmour

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 25FernandinhoBooked at 77mins
  • 14LaporteSubstituted forOtamendiat 74'minutes
  • 22MendySubstituted forZinchenkoat 59'minutes
  • 17De BruyneBooked at 76mins
  • 16RodriSubstituted forSilvaat 55'minutes
  • 8Gündogan
  • 26Mahrez
  • 20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 55'minutes
  • 7Sterling

Substitutes

  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 19Sané
  • 21Silva
  • 30Otamendi
  • 33Carson
  • 69Doyle
  • 78Harwood-Bellis
  • 80Palmer
Referee:
Stuart Attwell

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home15
Away11
Shots on Target
Home10
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away3

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Chelsea 2, Manchester City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, Manchester City 1.

  3. Post update

    Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Pedro (Chelsea).

  5. Post update

    Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Billy Gilmour (Chelsea).

  7. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Ederson.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Pedro (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Billy Gilmour.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Billy Gilmour replaces Christian Pulisic.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Pedro replaces Mason Mount.

  11. Post update

    Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea).

  13. Post update

    Offside, Chelsea. César Azpilicueta tries a through ball, but Tammy Abraham is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Tammy Abraham.

  15. Post update

    Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Christian Pulisic (Chelsea).

  17. Post update

    Goal! Chelsea 2, Manchester City 1. Willian (Chelsea) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  18. Dismissal

    Fernandinho (Manchester City) is shown the red card.

  19. Post update

    VAR Decision: Penalty Chelsea.

  20. Booking

    Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool31282170214986
2Man City31203877334463
3Leicester31167859293055
4Chelsea31166955411454
5Man Utd311310848311749
6Wolves311213644341049
7Tottenham31129105041945
8Sheff Utd31111193031-144
9Arsenal31101384341243
10Crystal Palace31119112836-842
11Burnley31126133545-1042
12Everton31118123846-841
13Newcastle31109122942-1339
14Southampton31114163854-1637
15Brighton31712123441-733
16Watford31610152846-1828
17West Ham3176183554-1927
18Bournemouth3176182950-2127
19Aston Villa3176183659-2327
20Norwich3156202556-3121
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