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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Liverpool Clinch First Top-Flight Title Since 1990 After Chelsea Stun City

Liverpool EPL Champions, Premier League Recap and Goal Highlights
Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates his thrashing free kick goal, just a day before Man City lost to Chelsea, giving Liverpool the Premier League title. Phil Noble/EPA.

The 30-year wait is over for Liverpool after the Reds clinched the 2019-20 Premier League crown following Chelsea’s 2-1 win over previous champions Manchester City at the end of Week 31+.

Jurgen Klopp’s side romped to a 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace via four different goalscorers, including Mohamed Salah, who made his first appearance in more than three months.

That result gives Liverpool an unassailable 23 points ahead with seven matches to play after Chelsea beat City thanks to goals from Christian Pulisic and Willian.

Anthony Martial bagged his first professional hat-trick en route to leading Manchester United to a 3-0 win in their return to Old Trafford, hammering Sheffield United to hold onto fifth. They remain level on points with sixth-place Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are unbeaten in seven top-flight games after beating Bournemouth 1-0 at Molineux.

Tottenham Hotspur were also strong at home and edged West Ham United 2-0 as Harry Kane got back on the scoresheet, while Arsenal’s wait for an away win came to an end at Southampton.

Everton piled further hurt on Norwich City after scraping a 1-0 result at Carrow Road thanks to Michael Keane’s header. Watford were beaten by the same scoreline in their visit to Burnley, who sit just three points off the top seven.

Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace

Klopp couldn’t have hoped for a much better Anfield return than the one witnessed on Wednesday when his side stood up to the pressure of their impending title triumph in resilient fashion.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, 21, continues to stake his claim as arguably the best right-back on the planet after strutting his set-piece credentials for the opener, a whip arguably made all the crisper by the lack of an audience:

Fabinho starred from a deep midfield role and had a heavy hand in the result, assisting Salah for his 17th Premier League goal of the campaign before lasering his way onto the scoresheet himself:

Palace struggled to get so much as a sight at goal and eventually leaked a fourth to Sadio Mane, who stroked his 15th of the league season into the far corner with seeming ease:

Liverpool ignited at Anfield in a measured display following their goalless draw in the Merseyside derby on Sunday, with a chance to seal the title if they can get a result at the Etihad Stadium next Thursday (July 2).

Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

Frank Lampard’s side gave a masterclass in how to handle City at Stamford Bridge, where the 2019 league champions were restricted in their attacking efforts and hit the target on just two occasions.

United States talisman Pulisic capitalised on a rare lapse in City’s defence—with Fernandinho playing as a makeshift centre-back—and took it upon himself to break the deadlock:

For any criticism aimed at Chelsea stopper Kepa Arrizablaga, even the best of goalkeepers may not have had a chance stopping Kevin De Bruyne’s thunderbolt equaliser after 55 minutes:

Pulisic came close to adding a second but saw his attempt blocked on the line. Fernandinho was shown red shortly after for a hand-ball stopping Tammy Abraham’s shot from going over following a check from the video assistant, and Willian stepped up to tuck away the resulting spot-kick:

Liverpool fans the world over will be thankful to Chelsea for helping deliver their first league trophy in three decades, with Pulisic again impressing for Lampard as his upward trajectory continues.

Manchester United 3-0 Sheffield United

The Red Devils appeared as though they were exorcising a few demons in a home clash with the Blades, who have endured a miserable spell since resuming play and have now failed to score for over 270 minutes.

Martial had two to his name before half-time and scooped in a third with 15 minutes to go, Marcus Rashford assisting the first and last of those contributions:

Chris Wilder’s guests missed Dean Henderson between the posts as the United loanee was again prevented from playing against his former side, with Simon Moore suffering in his stead.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 West Ham United

It took longer than he would have desired since coming back to full fitness, but Kane was relieved to get back among the goals as Spurs drilled two past the Hammers in midweek.

Tomas Soucek’s own-goal eased the tensions for Tottenham after an hour or so, and Heung-min Son set the England striker loose to settle any remaining nerves in the 82nd minute:

The possibility of relegation continues to loom for a West Ham side that’s now lost three in a row, failing to score in each, while Spurs move up to seventh.

Southampton 0-2 Arsenal

Arsenal ended a streak of seven away league fixtures without a win—a run that dated back to December 9—after soundly beating 10-man Southampton on Thursday.

Eddie Nketiah started up front as Alexandre Lacazette moved to the bench, and the academy graduate repaid Mikel Arteta’s good faith with a well-earned opener inside 20 minutes:

Saints defender Jack Stephens saw straight red for a last-man tackle on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the dying minutes, and substitute Joe Willock made it count with a follow-up goal from close range shortly after.

Arsenal climb back to ninth and stay two points behind nemeses Tottenham, while Southampton’s six-month wait for successive league wins lingers on.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Bournemouth

Wolverhampton’s Spanish-speaking connection continues to do the business up top as Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez again combined to steal the spoils against Bournemouth.

In what looked a carbon copy of their assist-and-goal against West Ham four days prior, Traore’s cross found the hungry head of Mexico international Jimenez at the back post:

Nuno Espirito Santo & Co. remain tight on the heels of the top five after getting the better of Bournemouth, who are in desperate need of a win when they host Newcastle on Wednesday.

Burnley 1-0 Watford

Jay Rodriguez had an early header correctly ruled out for offside when Burnley welcomed Watford to Turf Moor, but the hometown hero made a later attempt count for the 1-0 decider.

Dwight McNeil swung in the cross for Rodriguez to divert home the only goal, nudging in front of Ashley Westwood as the club’s top assist-provider this season with six, per Statman Dave:

Newcastle United 1-1 Aston Villa

Seven minutes was all that separated Newcastle from a third consecutive win when they hosted Aston Villa on Wednesday, but substitute Ahmed El Mohamady was on hand to salvage a welcome point for Dean Smith’s side.

The Magpies were on the verge of winning three league games on the trot for the first time since November 2018 following Dwight Gayle’s opener, with both benches contributing to the scoreline.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce saw his side stay in 13th and looking set for survival at the least, though the manager isn’t counting his chickens, via Football Daily:

Villa’s share of the spoils means they’re now one of three teams on 27 points and level with West Ham in 17th.

Norwich City 0-1 Everton

One well-placed header was all Everton needed to stop a run of four matches without a win, edging Norwich and pushing the Canaries one step closer to a seemingly inevitable Championship return.

Keane rose high to score his fourth Everton goal—his first since netting in the 5-2 defeat to Liverpool in December—while Dominic Calvert-Lewin was unfortunate not to add to the tally:

Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees climb to 41 points and look safe from relegation if they weren’t already, with only four points separating them from Spurs in seventh.

Leicester City 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton were made to pay for a first-half penalty miss in their visit to the King Power Stadium, where Neal Maupay failed to capitalise after James Justin fouled Aaron Connolly in the box:

The Foxes hit the target twice in 90 minutes and will rue their missed chance to increase the cushion in third, though Brighton continue to look tough to beat since returning to play.

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