Chelsea have played title deciders once again with a 2-1 win over Manchester City that takes the crown away from Pep Guardiola’s side and hands it to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Goals from Christian Pulisic and Willian did the job for the Blues and made it mathematically impossible for City to catch Liverpool, despite seven games still left to play.
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This is not the first time that Chelsea have played a huge role in the title race even when it’s not been them themselves taking the trophy, and in the past it’s been at an enormous cost to Liverpool.
Steven Gerrard and co. were chasing the title in 2013/14 when there was that infamous slip against Chelsea at Anfield, with the Blues punishing them on that day and playing a huge role in City eventually finishing as champions that year.
It was also Chelsea who came back to draw 2-2 with Tottenham in 2015/16 and deny them a shot at the title, with the draw confirming Leicester City as champions that day in another memorable title triumph.
Even away from the title race, however, this was a huge result for Chelsea as Frank Lampard takes them a step closer to securing Champions League football for next season.
Manchester United dropped points against Tottenham last week, and Chelsea responded with a win away to Aston Villa, and though the Red Devils got three points against Sheffield United on Wednesday evening, Lampard’s side again responded with a hugely important victory.
Pulisic was impressive with a superb opening goal, and though Kevin De Bruyne stole the show with a screamer of a free-kick to equalise, Fernandinho’s red card gifted the home side a late penalty, with Willian making no mistake.
This keeps Chelsea five points clear of United in fourth and Lampard will be particularly pleased with the manner of the win against such high quality opponents.
City played some typically stylish football at points, but Chelsea held firm and will feel they were good value for the win as they now close in their top target for the season – Champions League qualification.
It’s been a busy start to the summer for the club as they’ve strengthened with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, and it looks increasingly like they can be part of a very promising project at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard has done well to get Chelsea where they are with this youthful squad, and this result shows that their fans can perhaps dream of them playing a more direct role in the title race this time next year.