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EPL PHOTOS: Liverpool beat Chelsea; United held by West Ham

Last updated on: July 23, 2020 10:04 IST
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Images from English Premier League matches played on Wednesday.

 Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring their fifth goal with Roberto Firmino

IMAGE: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates with Roberto Firmino after scoring their fifth goal against Chelsea at Anfield. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Reuters

Champions Liverpool geared up to lift the Premier League trophy with a 5-3 win over Chelsea in a goal feast at Anfield on Wednesday to ensure they went an entire league season unbeaten at home.

Naby Keita opened the scoring with a thunderous effort, Trent Alexander-Arnold made it 2-0 with a curling free kick and they added another through Georginio Wijnaldum's half-volley from close range, before Olivier Giroud pulled one back on the stroke of halftime.

 

Roberto Firmino restored the three-goal advantage in the 55th minute but Chelsea scored through Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic to threaten a dramatic comeback before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put the result beyond doubt.

Liverpool won 18 of their 19 home league games in the campaign, the only blemish being the 1-1 draw with Burnley this month. They moved onto 96 points, one shy of the club record they set when finishing runners-up last season.

Defeat left Chelsea with 63 points, needing one more from their final game against Wolverhampton Wanderers to guarantee a place in next season’s Champions League after slipping to fourth earlier on Wednesday when Manchester United drew 1-1 with West Ham United.

"We've waited so long to finally deliver this for the fans. This has been such a special season for us, this is the one everyone wanted," said Alexander-Arnold afterwards as the team lifted the trophy after a 30-year wait.

Liverpool pinned back their visitors for the much of the first half and got their celebrations underway early when Keita stole the ball from Willian to run in on goal and unleash a thunderous shot for a 23rd-minute lead.

A contentious free kick awarded against Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic allowed Alexander-Arnold to enhance his reputation as a set-piece specialist with a curling effort that caught out Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The 38th-minute goal was soon followed by a third as Chelsea failed to clear a corner and Wijnaldum snapped up a loose ball, burying it on the half-volley from close range.

A rare Chelsea foray forward allowed them the last say before the break as Marcos Alonso flicked on for Willian to attempt a snap effort that Liverpool keeper Alisson saved with one hand.

Giroud, however, was quickest to follow up and slide the ball into the net.

Liverpool were quickly back in command after the break as Firmino made it 4-1 by heading in a perfect cross from Alexander-Arnold for his first league goal at Anfield this season.

Substitute Pulisic made an instant impact for Chelsea, however, as his mazy dribbling set up Abraham for the London club’s second in the 61st minute.

The United States international grabbed one of his own 12 minutes later, bringing the ball down on his chest with his back to goal before turning and thumping it home.

Chelsea's hopes effectively ended when Oxlade-Chamberlain scored Liverpool’s fifth in the 84th minute, as he finished off a rapid counter-attack.

United held by West Ham to set up tense finale with Leicester

anchester United's Mason Greenwood in action with West Ham United's Arthur Masuaku

IMAGE: Manchester United's Mason Greenwood and West Ham United's Arthur Masuaku vie for possession during their match at Old Trafford in Manchester. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Pool via Reuters

A weary-looking Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at home to West Ham United on Wednesday, leaving them needing at least a draw from their final match of the Premier League season at Leicester City to guarantee a Champions League spot.

The Hammers took the lead on the stroke of halftime through a Michail Antonio penalty before a fine Mason Greenwood strike in the 51st minute brought Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side level.

The point was enough to secure top-flight survival for West Ham who moved up to 15th place on 38 points -- four points above 18th-placed Watford.

United are in third place on 63 points, Chelsea are fourth, also on 63 points ahead of their game at champions Liverpool later on Wednesday. Leicester are fifth on 62 points.

After the disappointment of their 3-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday, Solskjaer was hoping for a positive reaction from his team but United looked tired and uninspired in what was a poor performance.

David Moyes's side sat deep and crowded the centre of the field and United struggled to create openings from wide and lacked sharpness and creativity.

West Ham got in front when Paul Pogba raised his hands to protect his face from a long-range Declan Rice effort, giving referee Paul Tierney an easy decision to award the spot kick.

United made a bright start after the break and once again it was their 18-year-old talent Greenwood who provided the inspiration, his 17th goal in all competitions coming with a sweet drive after a clever exchange of passes with Anthony Martial.

Solskjaer's goal this season has been to return to the Champions League and while his team are stumbling towards the finish line, they will succeed in that aim if they can avoid defeat on Sunday at Leicester.

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