The Premier League's ninety-two remaining games, spread across nine rounds of games are set to play out beginning June 17th 2020, with Project Restart's health and safety conditions meaning the remaining games of the season will be played out behind closed doors. We will be providing match reports from these behind closed doors competitive encounters as the league campaign nears its end-game. All aboard.
Match Report (GW31): Chelsea 2-1 Man City
The result of this game has ramifications for when the Premier League title is won, with Liverpool needing City to either draw or lose to guarantee their first league title since 1989/90. Should Man City win, the Reds could win the title at Manchester City’s own Etihad Stadium. Chelsea have their own ambitions in this fixture to secure a Champions League spot for next season.
Both teams started this game lively, Chelsea had the quality to also cause a few escalating heart rates in the City ranks. Early on, the best chance came to Fernandinho who had a header in the 16th minute expertly saved by a restored Kepa in the Blues goal.
The best chance of the match occurred in the 36th minute. Mendy and Gundogan had an absolute mare after a cleared City corner, this mix-up allowed Christian Pulisic, a former Liverpool transfer target, to rob City of the ball and outpace the City players to slot past Ederson to give Chelsea the lead. City had some good chances from range, but the half ended with Pulisic’s goal leading both sides into half time. Liverpool supporters only a half of football left to celebrate their nineteenth league title success, and the first for thirty years.
The second half started with a frantic first ten minutes. Riyad Mahrez was brought down on the outside of the Chelsea box, and Kevin De Bruyne struck a wonderful free kick in the very right-hand corner of the goal to level things at Stamford Bridge. City should have also gone ahead in the match with Raheem Sterling hitting the bar after a threatening counterattack. The quality of the game had improved after the break. As the 70th minute approached, the City central defenders couldn’t live with the pace of Chelsea’s attack. Pulisic went through on goal and rounded Ederson, only for Kyle Walker to make an amazing goal line clearance. The second half had opened up, with Otamendi brought on to replace Laporte who struggled to keep up with Chelsea’s attack.
The drama continued as Willian played in Abraham, and after several attempts to get the ball over the line, Fernandinho used his arm to stop the ball, and after a lengthy VAR check, the Brazilian is sent off. Willian steps up for the penalty, placing it in the top right corner to restore Chelsea’s lead. Down to ten men, Man City face incredible odds to get back in the match. City despite being a man down were consolidating a lot of the possession, but they found it difficult to break down an impressive Chelsea defence.
Chelsea showed immense character against Man City today, and whilst the attention is on Liverpool being declared the Liverpool champions of England, watching this game is showing Frank Lampard to carry on his professionalism and hunger as a player to his managerial career. Lampard has set expectations for his Chelsea squad, and they were deserved winners of this encounter.
Man of the Match: Christian Pulisic (CHE)
Frank Lampard entrusting his faith in Christian Pulisic after an impressive performance against Aston Villa saw the Americans form carry over to this match. Pulisic was hungry, involved in a lot of the Blues build up play. Pulisic made the breakthrough for Chelsea when his own determination robbed City of the ball and placing past Ederson for the lead. Pulisic was also involved in the box that led to Fernandinho being sent off, he was everywhere today for Chelsea and made life hard for Kyle Walker all game.
CHE 2-1 MCI - Insight and Analysis:
Being a Liverpool supporter, I was kicking every ball in this game. Chelsea are a good side, a lot more fluid under Frank Lampard, and a nice breath of fresh air than the same typecast manager normally put in place for the Blues. Manchester City are also a great team, just a shame their legacy will forever be tainted with the literally destruction of all FFP rules.
Chelsea have a habit of deciding the title at Stamford Bridge, it feels like yesterday when Hazard scored the equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Spurs to trigger the Vardy party. And, when that final whistle blew, the emotions poured in for me. I have never seen my club win a league title until today. Albeit at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool won the game in moments like the last minute Mane winner at Villa, the team performance against Man City at Anfield, the surprise Lallana goal at Old Trafford, and grinding together as a team in every fixture.
Seeing Man City completely crumble to lose the title is just a bonus. Liverpool have won the title against the most corrupt team to every exist in English football, without destroying the institution or traditions. Manchester City have killed the FA Cup. They were killing the Premier League…they got nearly 200tpts in two seasons, it was unnatural, ugly, and undeserved. Liverpool did it the right way, with players that were mocked or ridiculed when they were signed, and with most transfer windows seeing players depart and none coming in to replace them. Liverpool end the day as the new Champions of England, the reigning Super Champions of Europe, and the Champions of the World.
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Manager: Frank Lampard
GK: K. Arrizabalaga
DEF: C. Azpilicueta
DEF: A. Christensen
DEF: A. Rüdiger
DEF: M. Alonso
MID: R. Barkley (Kovacic 73')
MID: N. Kanté
MID: M. Mount (Pedro 90+1')
FOR: O. Giroud (Abraham 62')
FOR: C. Pulisic (Gilmour 90+1')
Jorginho, Abraham, Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Caballero, Zouma, Kovacic, James, Gilmour
Manager: Pep Guardiola
DEF: K. Walker
DEF: A. Laporte (Otamendi 74')
DEF: Mendy (Zinchenko 59')
MID: K. De Bruyne
MID: Rodri (Silva 55')
MID: I. Gündogan
FOR: R. Mahrez
FOR: Bernardo Silva (Gabriel Jesus 55')
FOR: R. Sterling
Gabriel Jesus, Zinchenko, Sané, Silva, Otamendi, Carson, Doyle, Harwood-Bellis, Palmer
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