Liverpool stunned by Chelsea to blow title race wide open

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: Liverpool’s hopes of winning their first title in 24 years suffered a huge setback when a 2-0 home defeat by second-placed Chelsea on Sunday blew the Premier League title race wide open. Under-strength Chelsea cut the gap at the top to two points with two games to play in a tactical triumph for their manager Jose Mourinho. The result boosted the title aspirations of third-placed Manchester City, who can close the gap on the leaders to three points if they beat Crystal Palace in Sunday’s late match. City will also have a game in hand and a better goal difference than their rivals. But Mourinho ruled Chelsea out of contention, telling Sky Sports: “The Champions will be City or Liverpool.” Whether or not that is the case, Chelsea will have beaten both of their rivals at home and away. Liverpool lost 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in December and had not been beaten since until Sunday. Chelsea also won at City in February, having beaten them at home four months earlier. Missing five leading players through injury and suspension, Mourinho also chose to rest others ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg at home to Atletico Madrid.
 Manchester City keep up pressure with victory at Palace REUTERS: Manchester City took advantage of Liverpool’s surprise 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea to move within striking distance of them at the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday. Three points behind the leaders, City have a home game in hand and a goal difference that is eight better than Liverpool’s. They are only one point behind second-placed Chelsea, having played a game fewer. City midfielder Yaya Toure, returning from injury, made the first goal for Edin Dzeko and scored the second before halftime. Eleventh-placed Palace had won their previous five games to guarantee another year in the Premier League.