Football Liverpool lift EPL trophy in style

Liverpool lift EPL trophy in style

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There were fireworks on and off the field at Anfield.

As the fans shut out of the stadium lit the sky with pyrotechnics, Liverpool and Chelsea provided their own explosive moments in an eight-goal thriller.

A 5-3 victory before receiving the Premier League trophy in front of the Kop was an entertaining way for Liverpool to sign off from Anfield for the season on Wednesday with eight different scorers.

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.

Earlier, Manchester United moved to third after a 1-1 draw with West Ham United at home.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are now level on 63 points with Chelsea, with a superior goal difference.

United now require a draw only against Leicester City, who need to win that final match, to secure a Champions League spot for next season.

But the evening belonged to Liverpool who ensured the end of their 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 couldn’t resist gathering outside Anfield. There was no chance of them entering the stadium due to pandemic restrictions.

What a show they missed.

Naby Keita’s thunderbolt of a shot and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s stunning dipping free kick set Liverpool on their way to an 18th home league win out of 19 games.

Chelsea’s slack defending then allowed Gini Wijnaldum to grab a third from a corner.

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 did in the 55th when he headed in an exquisite cross pinged in by Alexander-Arnold.

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 cordite filling the air from the pyrotechnics 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 they are champions again with an 18-point lead heading into the final day.

It came from a counterattack launched by 19-year-old Liverpool-born Curtis Jones.

Sadio Mane then fed Andy Robertson who skipped past Jorginho before rampaging down the left flank and feeding Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the back post to fire into the net.

At Old Trafford, The Red Devils were 1-0 down on the stroke of half-time when Paul Pogba conceded a penalty with his hands.

It was an unfortunate reflex reaction as the Frenchman was protecting his face from a powerful long range shot by Declan Rice.

West Ham striker Michail Antonio calmly converted the penalty to put the Hammers ahead with his eighth goal since the coronavirus-disrupted season restarted in June.

The lead was erased five minutes into the second half when Mason Greenwood scored with a forceful finish from inside the West Ham area.