Giroud scores to leave Liverpool, Tottenham with top-four worries
Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the game as Chelsea bolstered its hopes of a Premier League top-four finish by edging to a 1-0 victory over Liverpool.
The Frenchman’s header just after the half hour mark proved decisive as the Blues moved to within two points of fourth-placed Tottenham with two games of the season remaining.
Liverpool, who sealed its place in the Champions League final earlier this week, remain third but need to win its final game of the campaign to guarantee its spot in Europe’s elite club competition next season.
Morata will be worried about his FA Cup final place now. An injury in training yesterday prevented the Spain international from being involved against Liverpool.
The timing of his absence couldn’t be much worse with the FA Cup Final against Manchester United less than a fortnight away.
He was already facing an uphill battle to start ahead of Olivier Giroud, given the France international’s impressive form in recent weeks.
But Giroud got on the score-sheet again here, climbing above Dejan Lovren to head into the top corner.
Just to cement his popularity in the dressing room and the stands even more, he celebrated with David Luizin the home dug-out – a player that has not played for three months due to knee and ankle injuries.
If there was a poll of most disappointing summer signings in the Premier League this term, Bakayoko’s name would have to feature on it.
To say the Frenchman has struggled since joining Chelsea from Monaco for £40m is a bit of an understatement.
His form reached such a nadir at Watford in February that even Chelsea fans jeered him after being sent off.
But this afternoon Bakayoko looked far better. Winning a 50-50 with Trent Alexander-Arnold sent out an early message of intent and he started the move that led to Chelsea’s goal in the first half.
Some new acquisitions can take longer than others to settle in and Chelsea will hope to see more of this from Bakayoko next season.
Chelsea has let a lot of talent leave Stamford Bridge over recent years and Salah is one, along with Kevin de Bruyne, they have come to regret the most.
The Egypt international was given just 10 starts in a blue shirt before leaving on a permanent basis for Roma in 2016.
Liverpool brought him back for around £36m in 2017 and have been richly rewarded with 43 goals so far.
This was an opportunity for Salah to really rub salt into his former club’s wounds on his first return to these parts.
But Chelsea kept the goal-scoring phenomenon fairly subdued. Indeed he resorted to diving over Gary Cahill, an incident he was booked for, in his attempts to make an impact.
There were still a few occasions where a last-ditch tackle was required as the home side tried to hang on to their slender 1-0 advantage.
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