Chelsea beat Manchester City to hand Liverpool title

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Liverpool are top-flight champions for the first time since 1990 thanks to Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds can finally celebrate the Anfield club’s maiden Premier League triumph, after Christian Pulisic and Willian grabbed Chelsea a turbulent victory over City in west London.

Kevin De Bruyne whipped in a wonderful, equalising free-kick for City, but Willian coolly converted a penalty once Fernandinho was sent off for handball on a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check.

Kevin De Bruyne scored a fantastic free-kick for Manchester City
Kevin De Bruyne scored a fantastic free-kick for Manchester City (Julian Finney/NMC Pool)

Now, though, the Merseyside party can start in earnest, after Chelsea played Premier League kingmakers for the second time in four years.

The Blues’ 2-2 draw with Tottenham in west London in 2016 sealed Leicester’s first-ever Premier League crown.

On that simmering Monday night four years ago, Chelsea’s fans hailed former manager Claudio Ranieri steering the Foxes to glory, taunting rivals Spurs with chants of ‘Leicester, Leicester’ and ‘champions, champions’.

Pep Guardiola's men could not make Liverpool wait longer for the title
Pep Guardiola’s men could not make Liverpool wait longer for the title (Paul Childs/NMC Pool)

Chelsea’s victory might have rubber-stamped Liverpool’s title, but this battling Blues performance will also prove a huge boost in the race for Champions League qualification.

Two wins in two after the league’s resumption puts fourth-placed Chelsea five points clear of Manchester United in fifth, and just one behind Leicester in third.

Maybe now Liverpool fans will forgive Chelsea for scuppering their 2014 title bid, with that 2-0 win at Anfield that will be forever remembered for Steven Gerrard’s slip.

Chelsea certainly had to sweat for this result at a boiling Stamford Bridge, with City dominating possession and territory from the off.

Kepa escaped unscathed from a poor clearance then conjured a fine save from Fernandinho’s snap header.

Chelsea grew into the encounter, however, with Ross Barkley, Olivier Giroud and Pulisic all influential.

Barkley saw his low drive cleared off the line from Fernandinho, and that after Ederson palmed away an effort from Mason Mount.

Christian Pulisic opened the scoring for Chelsea
Christian Pulisic opened the scoring for Chelsea (Adrian Dennis/NMC Pool)

Just when Chelsea would have started to fret about turning around without any reward, Mendy lingered too long and Pulisic seized full advantage.

The fit-again USA forward gleefully zipped onto the ball and away from City’s defence, before steadying himself and slotting a fine finish past the helpless Ederson.

Mendy opened the second half so desperate for atonement that one piledriver poleaxed Christensen, while another soared high into the stands.

Benjamin Mendy was at fault for Chelsea's opener
Benjamin Mendy was at fault for Chelsea’s opener (Adrian Dennis/NMC Pool)

As the momentum continued to swing City’s way, Raheem Sterling raced through and lifted the ball over the onrushing Kepa – but onto the post.

Pulisic so nearly doubled his and Chelsea’s tally, rounding Ederson and rolling the ball goalwards. But Kyle Walker produced a fine sliding challenge to clear off the line.

Chelsea pressed again, with Abraham and Pulisic both denied in a lengthy goalmouth scramble.

Fernandinho was sent off for handball
Fernandinho was sent off for handball (Adrian Dennis/NMC Pool)

Willian stepped up, checked his run and buried the spot-kick.

City pressed to the last but Chelsea held out – sealing a big win in the Champions League race, but also that elusive league crown for Liverpool.

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