Liverpool lift Premier League trophy after hitting Chelsea for five

Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson, center, raises the Premier League trophy during the presentation following the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on July 22, 2020. (Pool via AFP)
Short Url
Updated 23 July 2020

Liverpool lift Premier League trophy after hitting Chelsea for five

  • This is Liverpool's first Premier League title in 30 years
  • still needing a point at home to Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to secure a place in the Champions League

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool lifted the Premier League trophy on the famous Kop end at Anfield after a thrilling 5-3 win over Chelsea on Wednesday, that keeps the Blues waiting to seal their place in next season’s Champions League.
Despite pleas for fans to stay away on the night Liverpool finally got their hands on the trophy, supporters crowded around the stadium even prior to kick-off, while the second half was accompanied by the constant crackling of fireworks lit by fans outside the ground.
On the field, Jurgen Klopp’s men ensured a memorable night was accompanied by a positive result after just two wins in five previous games since they clinched a first title in 30 years.
Sweet first half strikes from Naby Keita, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum put the hosts in command and Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck after the break to ensure Chelsea’s comeback fell short.
Defeat sees Chelsea slip to fourth and leaves Frank Lampard’s men still needing a point at home to Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to secure a place in the Champions League.
“It’s huge, we know the situation,” said Lampard.
“It’s in our hands to get a result against a very good Wolves team.”
Chelsea have already bolstered their attacking options for next season with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, while they are reportedly closing in on a deal for the 90-million euro ($103 million, £81 million) rated Kai Havertz of Bayer Leverkusen.
But it is at the other end Lampard clearly has to find solutions as they completed an entire league season with just one clean sheet away from home and have now conceded 54 times in the Premier League this season.
“They’re a fantastic team and we can’t afford to make those mistakes,” added Lampard.
Keita is one of very few big money signings in Klopp’s time in charge not to reach his full potential in two seasons since a move from RB Leipzig, but the Guinean showed what he is capable of by crashing a shot in off the underside of the bar from outside the area.
Chelsea were incensed with the award of a free-kick that led to Liverpool’s second when Mateo Kovacic was penalized for bringing down Sadio Mane.
But there no doubt about the quality of Alexander-Arnold’s strike as he curled home his third free-kick of the season, two of which have come against the Blues.
Wijnaldum then smashed into the roof of the net after Chelsea failed to clear a corner before Olivier Giroud pulled a goal back at the other end by sliding in after Alisson Becker saved Willian’s initial effort.
There were plenty of fireworks on the pitch too after the break as Alexander-Arnold crossed for Firmino to score his first league goal at Anfield all season.
Christian Pulisic was surprisingly left on the bench by Lampard from the start and he changed the came after he was introduced alongside Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The American skipped past four challenges before squaring for Abraham and then fired powerfully into the roof of the net with the Liverpool defense all over the place.
But Chelsea were undone again at the other end as a blistering break from inside their own box saw Liverpool surge forward and Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed home Andy Robertson’s cross at the back post.


Murray to the rescue as Nuggets hold of Lakers

Updated 23 September 2020

Murray to the rescue as Nuggets hold of Lakers

  • The 23-year-old Canadian’s three-pointer from 26 feet gave Denver a seven-point advantage at 106-99

ORLANDO: Jamal Murray scored 28 points as the Denver Nuggets held off a ferocious late fightback from the Los Angeles Lakers to roar back into contention in the Western Conference finals series on Tuesday.

Murray nailed two crucial late three-pointers in the closing minutes as Denver held on for a 114-106 victory in game three to reduce the Lakers’ lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

But the Nuggets — who looked in complete control for long periods of the contest — were given a mighty scare by the Lakers in a thrilling fourth quarter battle.

The Lakers had trailed by 20 points with just over 10 minutes remaining but whittled away the Denver lead to just three points with 3min 53sec left on the clock in Orlando.

But just as it looked as if LeBron James and Anthony Davis were poised to complete a remarkable comeback, Murray regrouped to take the game away from the Lakers.

The 23-year-old Canadian’s three-pointer from 26 feet gave Denver a seven-point advantage at 106-99 and he then provided the assist for Paul Millsap to make it 108-99.

With less than a minute on the clock, Murray struck the dagger blow with a 29-foot three-point jumpshot to make it 111-99 and effectively seal victory.

Denver coach Michael Malone said his team — who had suffered an agonizing buzzer-beater defeat in game two on Sunday — were determined not to go 3-0 down in the series.

The Nuggets have already overturned 3-1 series deficits en route to the Western Conference finals.

“I had no doubt we were going to show up tonight,” Malone said.

“We have won six straight elimination games. Everybody always has us packing our bags and leaving, but we’re not ready to go. They’re a very resilient group and they have proved that time and time again.”

Asked about his late flourish, Murray said he had set out to lead by example.

“That’s my whole energy, my whole approach to the game, not getting down if I miss a couple of shots,” Murray said.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive ... but the most important part is the energy I bring when I’m talking to my team-mates, being a vocal leader, getting up and down and pushing everybody so they tend to follow. I just wanted to see them have a lot of fun today.”

The Lakers, meanwhile, were left reflecting on an uneven display which ultimately left James and Davis with too much to do.

James led the scoring with a triple double comprised of 30 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, with six turnovers. Davis had 27 points, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (12) and Kyle Kuzma (11) the only other Lakers players to crack double figures.

Murray, who also had 12 assists, was backed with 26 points from Jerami Grant while Nikola Jokic weighed in with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

“You put yourself in an 18-point hole, it’s tough to climb out of that,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.

“I thought Denver played with great energy throughout the game. We didn’t match it early, we matched it late. They’re a great basketball team so credit it to them for the win. They played a really good basketball game.

“We were not as sharp as we could have been on both ends of the floor. We were playing at a high level, but were a little bit off in the first half.

“But I liked the spirit that the guys competed with down the stretch to try and make it a game.”