With Chelsea traveling to Anfield, Manchester City hoped for the London side to come away with a historic win. Earlier Sunday afternoon, former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling slotted home two chances.
Youngster Gabriel Jesus wrapped up the 3 points with a calmly taken finish into the bottom corner. The win took City top, for the time being, going 1 point above Liverpool after 33 games played.
Manchester City never looked vulnerable, controlling most of the ball and dictating the play to suit their style and comfort. Kevin De Bruyne was back to his best at Selhurst Park.
He was completely inspiring and controlling the midfield and setting the tempo for the showdown. Within the opening minutes of the game, you could tell City were up for it. Precise passing and patient play had Palace pinned into their own third almost immediately. 10 minutes on, David Silva threaded a pass to Sterling. He had a tap in from 6 yards but ultimately fluffed his lines.
Just 5 minutes later, Sterling made amends for his miss. He slotted home a perfect De Bruyne pass for his 20th goal of the season.
Palace held off a couple of chances from Aguero and Sane to keep the scoreline at 1-0 heading into halftime. Palace manager, Roy Hodgson looking for answers.
City came out firing in the second half. Going close on a couple of chances in the first couple minutes of the second half. The game slowly began to open, and Palace began to find space on the counter. City’s defense stood firm and stopped everything in their path. With Kompany, Laporte, and Gundogan solidifying the midfield and defense to control Palace and keep them reserved, City kept adventuring forward. Then, in the 64’, Sterling clinically slotted one into the bottom corner to double City’s lead.
Palace finally got through on the break and won a free kick in a dangerous area. Deep in the City third. Luka Milivojevic stepped over the ball to take the free kick. Then he hit a beautiful strike under the wall. Straight into the bottom corner to get Palace back on track and bring life to Selhurst Park. Even though the goal inspired the players and fans to push on for an equalizer, City stood firm and regained control of the game, killing it off shortly after.
Gabriel Jesus clinically finished a left footed shot to re-establish City’s two-goal lead, and all but confirm the 3 points.
The win took City top, as they sit on 83 points after 33 games.
It’s April 27, 2014, Anfield is rocking and Chelsea manager José Mourinho uses words like “circus” to describe the atmosphere. 7 points from 3 games are what was needed for Liverpool to clinch the Premier League title for the first time, but more importantly to end a 25 year title drought. You all know the story.
Just one day prior to Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea, Chelsea’s club twitter account released the infamous “Gerrard slip” video. As if it weren’t already fresh in the minds of every Liverpool fan, it ignited a fire in every aspect of Liverpool FC.
Emotions were at an all-time high at Anfield on Sunday, as it marked the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster where 96 Liverpool fans went to a football match and never returned home. Amidst the raucous Liverpool crowd and deafening, yet beautiful rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, a minute’s silence was held in memory of the 96.
Liverpool went back to the top of league Sunday, defeating Chelsea 2-0 at the dispense of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
The first half was totally dominated by Liverpool, controlling the play and dictating everything Chelsea tried to do. Salah and Mane both went close early on as Liverpool pressed up and down the pitch in search of an opener. The Chelsea reserve held strong, though, as halftime hit with the score still reading 0-0.
It didn’t take long for Liverpool to find their second-half groove. Whatever message Klopp relayed to the boys at halftime clearly paid off, as Mane opened the scoring, heading a cross at the back post from Jordan Henderson to make it 1-0 in the 51’.
Anfield rose to its feet, raising the sound levels with them. Bedlam ensued throughout the ground as raucous chants of “Allez Allez Allez” roared through the stands at Anfield. Two minutes after Mane’s clinical finish, magic happened.
Mohamed Salah picked up the ball on the right wing, blew right past Emerson and firing a world-class strike into the top corner, out of reach of Chelsea keeper Kepa. Probably contender for goal of the season, the boys celebrated with Mo at the Kop end.
Moments later, Chelsea winger Eden Hazard nearly silenced the noise levels at Anfield when he ran in behind Liverpool’s defense. Fortunately for the Reds, his effort came off the post after beating Allison.
Once more in the second half, Hazard found himself on the receiving end of a peach of a ball from Willian but fluffed his lines as Allison saved and Van Dijk cleared his effort. Chelsea had few more chances, but nothing ever threatening other than routine service from out wide.
Anfield jumped to its feet as Liverpool took home all 3 points, taking them back to the top of the Premier League with 4 games to go. Liverpool sits 2 points above Man City, on 85 points having played 34 games.
This title race is proving to be one to go down to the worse. The resiliency of these two clubs ensures that one of the best teams in the world will receive second this season. Although City has a game in hand, Liverpool cleared two massive hurdles by collecting 6 points from their “most difficult” league games remaining. Defeats of Spurs and Chelsea have the Reds confident they can see this through to the end.
City still have to travel to Spurs and United as part of their remaining 5 league matchups, ensuring their road to be more difficult than Liverpool’s at this stage. One thing is clear, there is no room for mistakes in this title race. Both teams have been near perfect all season. It should make for a historical run in to end the season.