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Chelsea stun United in goalfest, Liverpool set new League record

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London side, Chelsea Football Club returned to winning ways on Thursday night after recent weeks’ disappointments in the league by defeating Manchester United 4:3 at Stamford Bridge.

Prolific attacker, Cole Palmer bagged a sensational hat-trick as Chelsea struck twice in the final minutes of stoppage time to secure the hard-fought victory.

United were 3-2 up and seemingly coasting to victory when Noni Madueke of Chelsea was felled by Diogo Dalot in the seventh minute of added time.

Palmer scored from the penalty spot to equalize for Chelsea.

The former Manchester City player was given space inside the box and lashed it beyond Andre Onana with virtually the final kick, with the aid of a slight deflection off United’s Scott McTominay.

The Blues had looked like running away with the Premier League contest in the first period, Conor Gallagher and Palmer from the penalty spot putting them into a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes.

But a horrendous error from Moises Caicedo gifted United a way back, Alejandro Garnacho netting his first before Bruno Fernandes nodded unmarked past Djordje Petrovic to level before the break.

A breathless second half could have seen either side win it, and Garnacho looked to have done it for United when he headed in a brilliant cross from Antony midway through the half.

Then came scarcely believable drama at the end, with Palmer’s double sparking joyous scenes among home supporters.

Chelsea had looked irresistible for much of the first half and raced into a deserved lead.

First, Enzo Fernandez scooped a delicious ball into the right channel for the overlapping Malo Gusto.

His low cutback pinged off the heel of Raphael Varane, spinning favourably into the path of Gallagher whose first-time drive slithered beneath Onana’s outstretched hand and into the net.

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The second goal came from a similarly neat move down the other flank, this time Marc Cucurella feeding Mykhailo Mudryk who bolted onto it and flicked the ball back inside to Cucurella.

Across to challenge came Antony, felling the Chelsea defender with an artless trip. Palmer dinked his penalty into the bottom corner with consummate ease.

United struggled with the pace and directness of Chelsea’s transitions but the hosts’ control of the game was punctured on 34 minutes.

Caicedo sensed Antony lurking on his shoulder and played a hurried, careless ball square that sold Benoit Badiashile short. Garnacho was onto it like a flash, tearing clear of the hapless Chelsea pair and slotting past Petrovic.

Onana pushed out Fernandez’s low hit and had to be bailed out by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who shovelled the rebound away from Mykhailo Mudryk as Chelsea quickly resumed their assault.

But the goal had swung the game towards United and they were soon level.

Antony swept the ball wide to Garnacho, who stood up Cucurella and knocked it back for Diogo Dalot. His cross whizzed across the box to Fernandes, arriving unmarked at the far post, to wipe out Chelsea’s lead.

Gallagher rattled the post when set up by Palmer late in the half, though they were clearly stunned by United’s rapid double and looked grateful to go in level at the break.

The second half was a gung-ho battle between defence and attack. At times, the midfield simply vanished as both sides ripped into each other, and by the hour mark either could have led, Fernandes and Palmer with the clearest chances lashed over as the game hummed with energy, coaxing a winner.

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It looked to have arrived from Garnacho.

Antony’s cross, whipped with the outside of his left boot, was elegant and pinpoint.

Chelsea had two defenders back but neither tracked the run of Garnacho, who stooped bravely to reach the ball before Petrovic and guide it into the corner.

It looked like staying that way until the final minute of stoppage time, when Palmer’s dramatic double sealed an astonishing turnaround.

On Thursday night’s other encounter,
Alexis Mac Allister’s stunner helped Liverpool return to the top of the Premier League.

Liverpool players celebrate

Liverpool players celebrate

Jurgen Klopp’s side bagged a first half lead after United goalkeeper Ivo Grbic hit Darwin Nunez with an attempted clearance and watched the ball rebound into the net.

Sheffield United equalised against the run of play after half-time through a Gustavo Hamer header which deflected off Conor Bradley and crept past Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher.

But the hosts were not to be denied a 21st league win of the season and clinched the three points thanks to Alexis Mac Allister’s 20-yard screamer and Cody Gakpo’s late header.

The victory at Anfield sends Jurgen Klopp’s side back to the top of the Premier League – two points ahead of Arsenal and three in front of Manchester City with eight games remaining.

Such was Liverpool’s dominance against Sheffield United, the 83.1% possession they enjoyed was the most by any club in the Premier League since Opta began recording this possession data.

Klopp, entering the final two months of his long and successful Liverpool reign, was understandably pleased with the outcome and described MacAllister’s goal as ‘absolutely insane’.

Klopp

Klopp

‘We had to dig very deep, but that is normal,’ he said. ‘Our attitude was good, the football was not great in a lot of moments.

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‘They could have scored after 20 seconds, Caoimhin makes a great save. Sheffield United played how they wanted for 90 minutes. It is difficult, but we could do better, and we did to get the win.

‘Alexis is a really good player, in the first half he was playing six but we knew we could move him slightly higher.

‘Then he scores this kind of goal, the two biggest screamers of the season have come from him. Then the free-kick directly after – absolutely insane, what a player.’

Diaspora Digital Media reports that Liverpool’s title rivals are both in action on Saturday, with Arsenal travelling to Brighton and Man City visiting Crystal Palace.

‘I am happy we play on Sunday, we cannot change that,’ Klopp added. ‘I don’t see the problem.

‘The game we played tonight was nothing to do with yesterday, and Sunday will be nothing to do with the other results.’


For Diaspora Digital Media Updates click on Whatsapp, or Telegram. For eyewitness accounts/ reports/ articles, write to: citizenreports@diasporadigitalmedia.com. Follow us on X (Fomerly Twitter) or Facebook

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