Naby Keita strikes as Liverpool outlast Chelsea in eight-goal thriller

Captain Jordan Henderson lifts the Premier League trophy during a ceremony at Anfield after Liverpool’s 5-3 win against Chelsea on Wednesday. COURTESY: TWITTER/Liverpool F.C.

Liverpool and Chelsea played out an entertaining eight-goal thriller at Anfield on Wednesday with the Premier League champions prevailing 5-3 after which the club finally got to lift the trophy it has coveted for the last 30 years.

Liverpool took the lead midway into the first half through Guinean midfielder Naby Keita who hammered a right-footed shot high into the net past Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arizzabalaga.

Guinean midfielder Naby Keita celebrates with teammates during Liverpool’s Premier league game against Chelsea. COURTESY: TWITTER/Liverpool F.C.

Trent Alexander-Arnold curled in a spectacular free-kick in the 38th minute to make it 2-0. Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah then set up Georginio Wijnaldum to increase Liverpool’s lead five minutes later.

Olivier Giroud pulled a goal back three minutes into injury time bundling in from close range after Alisson saved Willian’s initial effort.

Liverpool restored their three-goal lead in the 55th minute when Roberto Firmino powerfully headed in Alexander-Arnold’s cross. It was Firmino’s first league goal at Anfield this season.

A triple substitution by Frank Lampard four minutes later yielded fruit as Christian Pulisic set up Tammy Abraham to score two minutes after coming on to make it 4-2. Callum Hudson-Odoi then set up Pulisic in the 73rd minute as the American made it 4-3.

However, Liverpool made sure of the points six minutes from time when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turned in Andy Robertson’s cross for a 5-3 victory.

Salah, who is four goals behind Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy (23) in the race for the Golden Boot, was unable to close the gap as he missed a number of chances. His Senegalese teammate Sadio Mane (17) also failed to find the back of the net.

The win meant that Liverpool remained unbeaten at Anfield in three consecutive league seasons for the first time in its history.

Captain Jordan Henderson, who missed the match through injury, was handed the trophy by Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish in the virtually-empty stadium. Dalglish, who also handed out medals during the ceremony, was Liverpool’s manager when the club last won the league in 1990.

The champions will conclude the season away to Newcastle United while Chelsea welcomes Wolves.

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