Chelsea boost top-four hopes as Pulisic and Willian net after Fernandinho sees red in Man City win

Matt Debono

Chelsea boosted their hopes of Champions League qualification with a 2-1 win against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Christian Pulisic put the Blues ahead nine minutes before half-time after a defensive error which saw him curl it into the corner. 

City equalised early in the second-half through former Blue Kevin De Bruyne after he produced a sublime free-kick. 

But Chelsea score the decisive goal from the penalty spot in the 77th minute through Willian after Fernandinho was sent off after being adjudged to handball Tammy Abraham's effort on the line.

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Pulisic and Ross Barkley were rewarded with starts by Frank Lampard following their influences coming off the bench in their win at Aston Villa on Sunday.

City took early control and out the hosts on the back foot and a misplaced pass from Kepa almost saw the visitors take the lead.

The Spaniard was called into action again in the first-half as Fernandinho had a free header inside the box from a free-kick, but the Blues keeper matched it and tipped over the bar.

But Chelsea grew into the game and had quickfire chances through Ross Barkley and Mason Mount but the same old story told for Lampard's side and they were unable to put it into the back of the net.

Andreas Christensen then had his header brilliantly saved by Ederson, but Chelsea finally broke the deadlock on the 36th minute.

Christian Pulisic capitalised on an error from Benjamin Mendy and raced through on goal and cooly curled it round Ederson to hand Chelsea the lead. 

But inside the first ten minutes of the second-half, N'Golo Kante committed a careless foul on Riyad Mahrez on the edge of the area.

Kevin De Bruyne stepped up and curled it beautifully over the wall leaving Kepa with no chance to level the scores up.

City nearly did what Chelsea did to Aston Villa on Sunday three minutes later as they countered from a Blues corner, but Sterling's dink over Kepa was kept out by the post.

Mason Mount was nearly gifted a goal to restore the hosts' lead after Ederson played his pass straight to the 22-year-old but he could only find the side netting.

Christian Pulisic raced through on goal in the 70th minute and rounded Ederson and tapped into what looked like an empty net, but Kyle Walker recovered and astonishingly cleared it off of the line to keep the scores level.

But the game changed on the 77th minute. Chelsea pressed for a goal and after a VAR check, Fernandinho was sent off for 'saving' Tammy Abraham's effort on the goal line and Willian stepped up to convert the penalty to restore the home side's lead.

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Chelsea held on and now move within one point of Leicester City in third place, and extend their gap to five points to Manchester United and Wolves.

As Lampard's side avoid defeat, Liverpool were officially crowned Premier League champions.


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