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Jurgen Klopp 'couldn't be more proud' after Reds lift trophy

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Anfield

Liverpool celebrated receiving the league trophy for the first time in 30 years in style as the new champions overcame Chelsea in a thriller at Anfield.

Jordan Henderson - currently out injured - was presented with the trophy by Reds legend Sir Kenny Dalglish on a special podium built on the Kop after Jurgen Klopp's side made it three full unbeaten Premier League seasons at Anfield.

Chelsea, who now need a point from their final game at home to Wolves on Sunday to confirm a place in the top four - and next season's Champions League - started well.

But Liverpool moved through the gears after Naby Keita broke the deadlock with a rising 25-yard drive that thundered in off the bar, and they added further first-half goals - a fine Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick and Georginio Wijnaldum's powerful strike.

Olivier Giroud scrambled in for Chelsea on the stroke of half-time but their hopes of a comeback appeared to be snuffed out 10 minutes after the break, when Roberto Firmino headed in his first league goal of the season at Anfield from Alexander-Arnold's cross.

Substitute Christian Pulisic then had a dramatic impact as he sparked a Chelsea fightback, creating a goal for Tammy Abraham then scoring another himself on the turn as this entertaining game took an unexpected turn.

To the thunderous sound of fireworks being let off outside Anfield by celebrating fans, the champions pressed forward again and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain slammed home the fifth from Andy Robertson's cross with six minutes left.

And then it was time for the ceremony Liverpool have waited three decades to enjoy - albeit conducted in the somewhat surreal surroundings of a virtually empty stadium.

Liverpool irresistible to the end

Liverpool may have secured the title with seven games to go, but there is a relentless quality about the drive and motivation of Klopp's team.

They showed that against opponents who still needed that crucial point to assure a place in next season's Champions League.

Chelsea were the better team early on but the Reds produced one of those irresistible spells after the midway point in the first half.

Liverpool scored three goals and even when Chelsea threatened an unlikely resurgence, they rose to the challenge again to confirm the win through substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Mohamed Salah could have pushed his claims for the Golden Boot but missed several chances, while Keita distinguished himself with a superb strike and excellent performance.

Once again, Liverpool refused to finish second best in a show of character and quality.

It was a fitting way for them to round off another unbeaten league season at Anfield and the perfect set-up for those title presentation celebrations.

Listen: Liverpool lift Premier League trophy

Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea: Henderson on 'amazing feeling' of lifting Premier League trophy
Chelsea pay for defensive lapses
Chelsea are left needing that final point at home to Wolves to guarantee a top-four place as reward for a season of development under manager Frank Lampard.

There were many fine elements to their performance on Wednesday, but frailty at the back is never going to escape punishment against a side of Liverpool's potency.

There was huge cause for optimism with the explosive contribution of Pulisic, who unnerved the hosts' defence with his pace and threat.

Wolves represent dangerous opponents in the season's finale and Lampard will be warning his players that they cannot display the same flaws as they did here.

Man of the match - Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Trent Alexander-Arnold's assist for Roberto Firmino's goal was his 13th in this season's Premier League, breaking his own record for the most by a defender in a season in the competition

'We weren't that far away'
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard to BBC Sport: "Until the first two goals I thought we were comfortable. We reacted and really contributed to the game. At 4-3 we looked like the one to get a goal.

"I thought we could draw the game because if you take out the isolated incidents of the goals, we weren't that far away tonight."

On Christian Pulisic: "He's got huge quality. He couldn't play against United because of his injury. He's getting stronger and he's going to be a huge player for us."

Liverpool equal home points record

Liverpool have taken 55 points from the 57 available to them at Anfield in this season's Premier League (P19 W18 D1 L0), the joint-most any side has earned at home in a campaign in the competition (alongside Chelsea in 2005-06, Manchester United in 2010-11 and Manchester City in 2011-12).
Liverpool have remained unbeaten at Anfield in three consecutive league seasons for the first time.
Only Aston Villa, with zero, have kept fewer clean sheets away from home in the league than Chelsea's one this season.
Only bottom side Norwich City (12) have conceded more Premier League goals from corner situations than Chelsea (10) this season.
This was the first Premier League game at Anfield involving eight goals since Liverpool's 4-4 draw with Arsenal in April 2009.
Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has scored three direct free-kicks in the Premier League; only Jamie Redknapp (four) scored more at the age of 21 or under in the competition.
Mohamed Salah is the only Liverpool player to reach 10-plus goals and 10-plus assists in two separate Premier League seasons (also 2017-18).
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scored his first Premier League goal at Anfield in 20 appearances, ending a run of 1,591 minutes of play and 56 attempted shots without scoring at the ground since he netted 479 days ago against Tottenham in March 2019.
Christian Pulisic's goal for Chelsea on Wednesday was the 1,000th scored in this season's Premier League.

Copyright - BBC

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