Premier League week 30

Chelsea and Liverpool made their return to the pitch over the weekend. Both clubs played away from home and earned different results. The Blues came from behind in a vacant Villa Park to beat the team from Birmingham, 2-1. Aston Villa did not do much in the first half. They defended well and got a reward right before the break by Hause (43′). 

Pulisic makes splash yet again 

Within 10 minutes in the second half, USMNT international Christian Pulisic made his entrance for Chelsea (55′) and automatically gave a significative spark to his team. Pulisic equalized at the 60th minute and just less than 120 second later, Olivier Giroud gave the Blues the lead. Both goals assisted by Spanish international Azpilicueta. 

The victory strengthens Chelsea’s position in the top 4 of the table increasing its lead to 5 points over 5th Manchester United. Third place Leicester is 3rd and sits 3 points ahead of Chelsea and 8 points over Man Utd with 8 more games to play. The race is on!

Reaction post-game from coach Lampard

“We showed great character and quality in the second half to win the game so I’m pleased,’ he said in the aftermath of an historic first-ever competitive contest for the Blues behind closed doors.

I thought we moved the ball pretty well for most of the game and dominated possession clearly. It’s been a little story of some of our games this season – we dominate but we need to be more clinical. I can definitely give the players some leeway for that today because it’s been a long time off.”

On Pulisic’s instant impact:

The way it was going, we needed a bit of inspiration and Christian gave it with his goal. I thought Ross did really well too. I keep saying to the players how important subs could be in this period and they showed that.”

Dull Merseyside derby

Liverpool got back to the field at Goodison Park against their city rivals Everton. The game saw no goals between the two teams and a rusty confrontation. There are no doubts Liverpool will be crowned champions of England, the Reds will have to wait a little bit longer. 

Coach Klopp comments on the draw:

“The point is the one we deserved, even when I have to admit that, of course, Everton had the biggest chance to win the game. That was a little bit our problem, that we didn’t create enough chances with all the possession we had.

I liked the intensity level of the game, I liked the high-press, counter-press, all these kind of things. We had good football moments absolutely, not until the last moment, the decisive moment where you have a free shot of whatever. We didn’t have enough chances for sure, but that’s how it is. When I think about it, I think all the derbies here at Goodison looked pretty similar honestly.

I think the result is similar. At Anfield, the games are most of the time slightly better. Here at Goodison it was always like this – two teams, aggressive, very physical. Everton were well organized, so we had to run a lot, which I like. It looked good, we looked fit, we looked ready. But now in three days we play another game against Crystal Palace and they are obviously in a very good shape and looked good yesterday. So, we have to make sure that we are ready for that.”