Chelsea's Olivier Giroud celebrates the win over Liverpool.
Chelsea's Olivier Giroud celebrates the win over Liverpool.

Chelsea stun Reds to set up amazing finish to PL season

THE Premier League's top-four race will go down to the wire after Chelsea secured a stunning 1-0 victory over Liverpool.

The Blues now sit just two points off fourth-placed Spurs and three points behind the Reds - who have played one more game than them.

Elsewhere, Aaron Mooy's Huddersfield nabbed a point that could prove crucial in helping them avoid relegation, holding champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Arsene Wenger's last home game at the Emirates ended on a high as his Gunners destroyed Burnley 5-0.

Here's a full wrap of the overnight Premier League action...

CHELSEA 1-0 LIVERPOOL

Olivier Giroud boosted Chelsea's bid to snatch a place in the Premier League's top four as the France striker sealed a 1-0 win over Liverpool that brought the Champions League finalists back down to earth on Sunday.

Giroud's first-half header at Stamford Bridge lifted fifth-placed Chelsea to within two points of fourth-placed Tottenham in the race to qualify for next season's Champions League.

A fourth successive victory equalled Chelsea's longest league winning streak this season, keeping them in the hunt for a top four finish while denting third-placed Liverpool's challenge for the same target.

It was a frustrating return to domestic action for Liverpool after their Champions League semi-final success against Roma in midweek.

In a dramatic conclusion to the top four battle, Chelsea, who are three points behind Liverpool, host struggling Huddersfield on Wednesday and Tottenham face Newcastle the same evening.

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal
Chelsea's Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal

On the final day of the season next Sunday, Chelsea head to Newcastle and Tottenham entertain Leicester.

With only one win in their last five league games, Liverpool have made their top four status an unnecessarily tense affair.

Jurgen Klopp's team should still be able to guarantee a Champions League berth if they beat Brighton at Anfield on Sunday.

Even if they don't finish in the top four, Liverpool can return to Europe's elite club competition by defeating Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 26.

Liverpool fans crowded into one corner of the Bridge were still in party mood after their side's Roman conquest and regular renditions of their "Allez, Allez" European anthem served as the soundtrack to a bright opening from the visitors.

Picked out by Trent Alexander-Arnold's pass, Roberto Firmino made an intelligent run down the right-hand side of the penalty area and tested Thibaut Courtois with a dipping half-volley.

Eden Hazard was the victim of a thunderous tackle from James Milner that left the Chelsea playmaker in need of treatment and the Liverpool midfielder fortunate to avoid a booking.

Chelsea (L) and Liverpool players stand to attention
Chelsea (L) and Liverpool players stand to attention

Hazard dusted himself down and was able to play on, moments later teeing up Marcos Alonso for Chelsea's first shot on target.

That was a rare incursion into the Liverpool area from Chelsea as Klopp's men dominated possession early on.

Sadio Mane's 25-yard drive forced a sprawling save from Courtois and from the resulting corner, the Chelsea keeper needed to be alert to stop Virgil van Dijk heading in from close range.

Mane was in a personal duel with Courtois, who kept out another powerful blast from the Senegal winger, then scrambled to his feet to deny him again from the rebound.

But despite their pressure, Liverpool were caught with a sucker punch in the 32nd minute as Giroud justified Conte's decision to select him at the expense of the out of form Alvaro Morata.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, center, gestures during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, center, gestures during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool

Victor Moses teased Andrew Robertson as he worked space to swing over a cross and Giroud, stealing in front of the slow to react Dejan Lovren, glanced a fine header into the far corner of the net.

Giroud celebrated his fifth Chelsea goal since his January move from Arsenal by sprinting over to the bench and clambered up to hug team-mate David Luiz, who wasn't involved in the matchday squad.

Suddenly there was more verve about Chelsea and Cesc Fabregas almost doubled their lead with a low effort that flashed across goal.

Mohamed Salah was anonymous in the first half until the Liverpool star was booked for diving, a decision that drew an angry response from Klopp as he berated the fourth official.

Moses threatened with a stinging strike soon after the interval and Hazard followed suit, bringing Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius into action after a thrusting run.

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte, right, shakes hands with Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp
Chelsea coach Antonio Conte, right, shakes hands with Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp

Egypt star Salah was finding it impossible to escape the close attention of Chelsea defenders.

Liverpool were impotent as a result and Chelsea salted away the points after Liverpool substitute Dominic Solanke headed over.

ARSENAL 5-0 BURNLEY

Arsene Wenger enjoyed a 5-0 thrashing of Burnley in his final home game in charge of Arsenal after 22 years as manager on a day dominated by tributes to the Frenchman.

Both teams formed a guard of honour for Wenger, 68, before kick-off to a chorus of "there's only one Arsene Wenger." All around a full house of 60,000 at the Emirates -- in stark contrast to recent league games when fans have stayed away in protest at a poor season -- fans sported red t-shirts emblazoned with "Merci Arsene" (Thank you Arsene).

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger waves before his lap of honor at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger waves before his lap of honor at the Emirates Stadium

"I expect today will be dominated by sadness," wrote Wenger in his final programme notes.

"It's the end of a long story for me at Arsenal. But I will also feel grateful for having led this club - that I cherish so much - for such a long time." Wenger won three Premier Leagues and a record seven FA Cups. His crowning glory coming in the 2003/04 season when Arsenal won the league without losing a single game.

That "Invincibles" season was his last as a Premier League winner, though, and fans became tired of Arsenal's inability to compete for Premier League and Champions League titles.

However, there was plenty for the supporters to shout about in a fitting farewell for Wenger as Arsenal displayed the attractive brand of attacking football that characterised his most successful sides over the past two decades.

Calum Chambers of Arsenal shakes hands with Petr Cech
Calum Chambers of Arsenal shakes hands with Petr Cech

Defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday means Arsenal missed out on Champions League qualification for the second consecutive season.

But they bounced back in style to secure the small consolation of ensuring they will finish sixth in the Premier League ahead of Burnley.

Wenger will wonder what might have been had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang not been cup-tied for the latter stages of the Europa League as the Gabon striker took his tally to eight goals in 11 Premier League appearances since joining for a club record fee from Borussia Dortmund in January.

Aubameyang opened the scoring when he slid in to meet Alexandre Lacazette's cross to get a party atmosphere started after just 14 minutes.

Burnley have qualified for Europe for the first time in 51 years thanks to finishing seventh.

But it seemed incredible that only three points separated the sides before kick-off as Arsenal cut through the clarets at will going forward.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his sides fifth goal
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his sides fifth goal

Lacazette stroked home Arsenal's second just before half-time before Jack Wilshere teed up Sead Kolasinac for a third nine minutes after the break.

Aubameyang turned provider for Alex Iwobi to smash home the fourth after being given a huge amount of time inside the Burnley box to pick his spot.

And Aubameyang finished as he started by steering home Hector Bellerin's cross to round off a five-star performance by the Gunners to send-off Wenger in style.

Wenger could even afford the luxury of also handing club captain Per Mertesacker an outing from the bench for the closing stages in his final home game before retiring at the end of the season.

And the margin of victory could even have been greater as Aubameyang unselfishly offered up the chance of a hat-trick by trying to square for Danny Welbeck, who just couldn't reach his pass, before Welbeck rattled the crossbar.

MANCHESTER CITY 0-0 HUDDERSFIELD

Pep Guardiola celebrated his first Premier League title, following Manchester City's goalless draw with Huddersfield Town on Sunday, by immediately turning his attention to defending the trophy next season.

The demanding City manager brought seven of his coaching staff onto the podium for his post-match press conference, a symbolic nod towards a close-knit group that has masterminded one of the most dominant league performances in history.

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City is challenged by Aaron Mooy
Raheem Sterling of Manchester City is challenged by Aaron Mooy
Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City is thrown into the air as he and his team celebrate winning the premier league
Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City is thrown into the air as he and his team celebrate winning the premier league

Despite surprisingly failing to defeat struggling visitors Huddersfield, City still have two games left in which they can set new Premier League records for the most wins, points and goals in a single campaign.

That target still inspires Guardiola, but so too does the prospect of trying to win the league title again next season.

"We cannot deny it would be nice to set records but it's nicer when you win the Premier League," said Guardiola.

"We spoke about that, these targets help to be focused, we tried and it's so difficult," he added.

"It looks easy when you have to win games, but next season will be tougher, they'll all want to beat us and we have to be focused. we have to understand how difficult it will be next season."

Guardiola has only one season remaining on the three-year contract he signed at City in the summer of 2016.

Manchester City's English defender Kyle Walker holds the Premier League trophy on the pitch
Manchester City's English defender Kyle Walker holds the Premier League trophy on the pitch

The Catalan said before the Huddersfield game he was in no hurry to sign an extended deal but after leading City to their third title since 2012, Guardiola insisted he is happy in Manchester.

"I feel so comfortable here, we feel we are loved," he said. "It's a club with not a long tradition but in six or seven years, three Premier Leagues is not bad and to win it the way we did it, that's why we are so satisfied." Having been assured of the title three weeks earlier, after West Brom's surprise win at Manchester United, City had to wait until the visit of David Wagner's struggling team to be presented with the trophy.

City laid on pre-match festivities, including survivors from their 1968 championship winning team, before Huddersfield provided dogged opposition and dampened the celebrations somewhat.

Manchester City's English defender Kyle Walker (L) vies with Huddersfield Town's English defender Scott Malone
Manchester City's English defender Kyle Walker (L) vies with Huddersfield Town's English defender Scott Malone

On the final whistle, and after unwanted pitch invaders had been removed, City were finally presented with the trophy along with the usual attendant pyrotechnics, confetti and smoke machines -- all standard stuff but a far cry from the drama of their first Premier League title, won when Sergio Aguero scored with virtually the last kick of the season in 2012.

"Every team who wins the Premier League does it their way and that's what we did too," said Guardiola.

"When you win a final or Aguero in the last minutes it's something special. "Here we've had time to accept it and I was surprised how we maintained our focus." Impressive Huddersfield might even have escaped with a victory in the closing minutes when substitute Scott Malone raced through only to shoot directly at Emerson in the City goal.

The point is a huge boost for Huddersfield, who operate on the Premier League's lowest budget, and their attempts to avoid relegation.

"I congratulated Pep for what he has done in England," said Huddersfield manager Wagner. "Not only that he won the title but how he won it. It has been so impressive.

"I am a big admirer for his style of football. I love to watch his team. This is what I said to him before the game because I thought I may not get time after because the people will come on the pitch."



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