Then the squad come up, one by one, to receive their medals. Alisson. Adrian. Van Dijk. Firmino, with Champions 19/20 shirt on backwards and a pair of Rubber Soul era Beatles sunglasses on. Fabinho. Wijnaldum, who takes a selfie with King Kenny. Mane, striking a pose. Keita throws some shapes. Gomez with a Champions scarf. Origi mooches up quietly. Oxlade-Chamberlain bites his medal. The local hero Alexander-Arnold, already with most of the big medals at the age of 21. Robertson giving Milner a hug. Lallana, who didn’t get on today but doesn’t seem that fussed right now, smiling broadly. Lovren and his best mate Salah, both with red tints to their hair. There’ll be more…
The house lights go down … then red beams glitter in the dark across the Kop. The Premier League trophy, bedecked in red ribbons, is placed on a podium by Sir Kenny Dalglish, the last manager to bring the title to Anfield. The new man, Jurgen Klopp, bounds up the steps, jumping with glee, to receive his medal. Then his backroom staff, followed by the squad members who don’t qualify for a medal: Caoimhin Kelleher, Andy Lonergan and Harvey Elliot, whose time will surely come. Who needs base metal? They’re all delighted!
While we wait for the big presentation … here’s Andy Hunter’s match report.
A quick reminder of the last time Liverpool won the championship …
They’re currently dressing up Anfield for the trophy presentation. A podium has been erected in the middle of the Kop, the beating heart of this famous old stadium. Plenty of project managers doing their thing right now. A lot of busy bustle.
FULL TIME: Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea
A magnificent night’s entertainment comes to an end. Well, not quite. Liverpool will be taking receipt of their shiny new trophy soon. A 30-year wait ends in 20 minutes or so. Chelsea meanwhile stay in fourth, and need a point against Wolves on Sunday to guarantee Champions League football next season.
90 min +4: Some head tennis in the Chelsea half. Everyone’s freewheeling towards the final whistle.
90 min +3: More fireworks.
90 min +2: Robertson curls the free kick across the face of the Chelsea goal. Kepa leaves it to Zouma, who leaves it to Kepa. Van Dijk, ghosting in at the far post, tries to steer home from a tight angle but it’s always sailing over the bar.
90 min +1: Origi dribbles with poise and purpose down the left. He’s clumsily bowled over by James, and this is a free kick just to the left of the Chelsea box. Up come Liverpool’s big lads.
90 min: The free kick is a complete non-event. There will be five added minutes.
89 min: Milner barges Abraham off the ball down the Chelsea right. It looks a decent shoulder challenge, but the referee awards a free kick. Chelsea load the box again.
87 min: Liverpool replace Firmino and Mane with Minamino and Origi. That means we won’t see a sentimental Anfield farewell from Lallana. The way this game has gone, there can be no risk of a grand gesture.
85 min: This should be over now. It’s not, though, is it. Not yet.
GOAL! Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea (Oxlade-Chamberlain 84)
James whips the ball in. Liverpool clear, and break upfield. Mane slips Robertson away down the left. Robertson backs himself in a footrace with Jorginho, smacking the ball up the wing and chasing after it. He looks up and crosses deep. Jones lets the ball sail through to the better-positioned Oxlade-Chamberlain, who roofs home from ten yards.
83 min: Gomez is booked for lunging in on the sensational Pulisic. A free kick out on the left. Chelsea load the box. James will take.
82 min: Oxlade-Chamberlain romps after a loose ball down the right. Kepa comes to the edge of his area to block, then claim. Outside, the fireworks start again. That’ll help settle Liverpool’s nerves, which have been on edge for 20 minutes now.
80 min: Chelsea continue to look for the equaliser. Azpilicueta has a dig from 25 yards but slashes it so wide left the ball flies out for a throw. On the touchline, a huge smile plays across Frank Lampard’s face. He’s having a much better time than Klopp right now.
79 min: Salah, who has burned through a fair number of chances this evening, is replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain.
77 min: Salah forces another corner, but this one floats straight over the box and Chelsea are able to launch a counter. Liverpool regroup, but Chelsea pin them back and probe. The visitors are asking a lot of questions here.
76 min: Robertson crosses long from the left. Rudiger doesn’t know what’s around him, and is forced to sidefoot out for a cheap Liverpool corner. Alexander-Arnold walks across slowly to take. He tries a cute short routine with Milner, but it doesn’t come off. Liverpool have lost all rhythm.
74 min: On the touchline, Klopp wears a wry grin. He quite clearly can’t believe what’s going on here. Hey, it was always going to be a surreal evening, one way or another.
GOAL! Liverpool 4-3 Chelsea (Pulisic 73)
Van Dijk and Gomez crash into each other, allowing Hudson-Odoi to zip down the right. He dinks into the middle. Pulisic brings the ball down with his back to goal, takes his time to turn, and lashes a superb shot into the top right! A great comeback is on!
72 min: Mane should tear clear down the inside-left channel, but loses control of his legs and somehow tackles himself, allowing Zouma to ping clear.
71 min: Hudson-Odoi scampers into space down the right. Alonso is completely free in the middle, but Alexander-Arnold reads the cross that’s intended for him and whacks clear. Chelsea are pushing for a third, and if they get it, this could get extremely interesting.
68 min: Pulisic – a player Klopp wanted to sign – skates down the left again and sends a rising shot towards the top left. It’s a wee bit too high, and Alisson had it covered anyway. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is drinks.
67 min: Liverpool make a double change. Keita and Wijnaldum off, Milner and Jones on. That’s a fifth appearance of the season for Jones, who now qualifies for a Premier League winner’s medal.
65 min: Outside the stadium, a spectacular firework display begins. Time for another reminder that this particular match isn’t over yet.
64 min: Pulisic should have another. He’s sent clear down the middle, James finding him with a curler from the right, Gomez playing him onside. But he snatches at his shot and the ball dribbles harmlessly wide left.
63 min: Hudson-Odoi, not wanting to be left out, shrugs Keita off in the middle of the park and sets Chelsea on the attack again. Nothing comes of this particular move, but this is quite the first impression by the three substitutes.
GOAL! Liverpool 4-2 Chelsea (Abraham 61)
Pulisic sashays down the inside-left channel, beating three men in the old-fashioned winger style. He breaks into the box and tees up Abraham, who slides home from six yards. What a run by the young American … and what an instant impact by the subs!
60 min: Pulisic is quickly into the game, taking down a long ball brilliantly. He’s forced to check back this time, but he quickly comes again, and …
58 min: The corner’s taken. Then ball hits the ref, so play is stopped. Before it can start again, Chelsea make a triple sub, replacing their entire front line. Giroud, Mount and Willian make way for Abraham, Hudson-Odoi and Pulisic.
57 min: Wijnaldum strips the ball from a dithering Alonso. Salah takes over and drives towards goal. He’s one on one with Kepa, but hesitates, allowing Zouma to block his eventual shot. The ball balloons out for a corner.
56 min: Rudiger quarterbacks from deep and tries to release Willian, but there’s too much juice on the pass and it sails straight through to Alisson.
GOAL! Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea (Firmino 54)
Liverpool continue to probe patiently. Then suddenly they spring to life, Gomes slipping a pass down the right for Alexander-Arnold, who delivers a can’t miss cross onto the head of Firmino. He makes no mistake. Bang, into the top left from close range. In the final home match of the season, Firmino gets his first league goal of the season at Anfield. His first here since March 2019.
52 min: Some pinball in the Chelsea box. The ball falls to Robertson on the left. He creams a low cross towards Firmino, who is waiting to tap in. Rudiger scoops away for a corner, a goal-saving intervention. The corner’s cut back to Salah, who whistles a shot straight at Kepa.
51 min: Salah is sent clear down the middle, Rudiger left in the dust. He draws Kepa but then attempts a strange curler with the outside of his left boot, and sends the ball miles wide left. It was so far off target it nearly found Mane, rushing in from the wing. Goal kick.
49 min: Liverpool knock it around the middle for a while. No rush. Peter Oh has a question about Jordan Henderson’s technique: “Do you think he will lift the Premier League trophy in the same unorthodox base-forward way he did the Champions League trophy last year? Or will he adopt a more traditional straight-up hoist this time around?” Providing his knee is up to it, expect to see his fast tippy-toe jig again, which in an ideal world would be soundtracked by a Looney Tunes xylophone trill.
47 min: James curls one in from the right. He had space and time, but the cross is no good, and Van Dijk intercepts.
Half-time entertainment from the Guardian archive.
HALF TIME: Liverpool 3-1 Chelsea
Well, that took over 20 minutes to get going. But when it finally did, it really really did. It’s all set up for an entertaining second half. Classic, please!
GOAL! Liverpool 3-1 Chelsea (Giroud 45+3)
Mount dinks a cross from the left. It pings off Alexander-Arnold and falls to Willian, who shoots hard at goal from ten yards. Alisson pulls off a fine reaction save, but the ball drops to Giroud, who forces the ball over the line from close range. This isn’t over yet!
45 min +2: Firmino robs a dawdling Kovacic, who is very fortunate that the Brazilian scuffs a pass intended to release Keita down the middle.
45 min: That’s the tenth goal Chelsea have conceded from a corner this season. Only Norwich City (12) have a worse record.
GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Chelsea (Wijnaldum 43)
Alexander-Arnold, deep on the right, swings a spectacular ball towards Salah, rushing into the area from the left. He traps and wins a corner off Rudiger. Robertson lashes the set piece towards the near post. It hits the swinging arm of Kovacic. Chelsea stop, waiting for the inevitable award of a penalty. Liverpool don’t stop. Wijnaldum skelps the loose ball into the top left. Chelsea are undone at a corner yet again.
42 min: Willian slips Mount into space down the left. Giroud is free in the middle, but Mount’s cross is woefully overhit. Goal kick.
40 min: James swings one in from the right. Giroud knocks a gentle header into the arms of Alisson.
Beer buff. Tv trailblazer. Alcoholaholic. General zombie evangelist. Total travel scholar.