Chelsea win dents Liverpool title hopes

Chelsea stun Liverpool, while Man City capitalise on the slip-up and Sunderland beat Cardiff to move out of relegation.

     Demba Ba seized on Steven Gerrard's slip in first-half stoppage time to score the opener at Anfield [Getty Images]
    Demba Ba seized on Steven Gerrard's slip in first-half stoppage time to score the opener at Anfield [Getty Images]

    Chelsea halted Liverpool's Premier League title charge and maintained its own pursuit of the trophy with a 2-0 victory against the leaders.

    A resilient Chelsea successfully nullified a team on an 11-game winning streak, and Demba Ba seized on Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's slip in first-half stoppage time to score the opener at Anfield.

    Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge gave the ball away in the 90th minute to allow Chelsea to launch a rapid counterattack that Willian completed to inflict the Reds' first loss since their encounter at Chelsea four months ago.

    Chelsea are two points behind Liverpool with two games remaining.

    City now favourites

    Manchester City took charge of the Premier League title race after Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure scored first-half goals to secure a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace.

    A couple of hours after leader Liverpool lost 2-0 against Chelsea at home, City cut the deficit to the Reds to three points, with one game in hand.

    If they win their three remaining matches and keep their superior goal difference, City's players will be crowned champions.

    Having recovered from a thigh problem, Toure made a spectacular return to competition, setting up Dzeko's opener in the fourth minute with a precise cross that the striker headed home.

    The powerful midfielder then started and concluded a superb collective move two minutes before halftime with a curling effort.

    Sunderland dispatch Cardiff

    Sunderland moved out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 4-0 win over fellow strugglers Cardiff City, who replaced them at the bottom.

    Connor Wickham gave Sunderland the lead after 25 minutes and Fabio Borini scored from a controversial penalty in added time at the end of the first half.

    Wickham was held back by Spanish defender Juan Cala and referee Phil Dowd allowed play to continue until his shot was blocked before awarding the penalty and sending Cala off.

    Substitute Emanuele Giaccherini added the third goal after 75 minutes and Wickham scored the fourth 10 minutes later.

    Norwich City, beaten 4-0 by Manchester United, have now dropped into the bottom three with two matches left.

    SOURCE: AP


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