A first-half goal by Olivier Giroud gave Chelsea a 1-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday, endangering their rival’s third-place position in the English Premier League (EPL) football championship.
Giroud connected a Victor Moses’ cross from the right, heading the ball home in the 32nd minute, to lead Chelsea to their fourth win in a row as the last season’s champions remained in the hunt for qualifying for 2018-19 Champions League season.
After 36 rounds of games, the fifth-placed side is two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who are a point ahead of third-placed Liverpool.
In need of securing one of the table’s first four spots, Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp pitted his usual starting line-up against Chelsea, reports Efe.
If Liverpool fail to secure one of the four spots, their appearance in the next season UEFA Champions League would hinge on defeating Real Madrid in the continental tournament final scheduled for May 26 in Kiev.
Liverpool unsuccessfully tried to draw level, threatening Chelsea’s goal, but the home goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois blocked their efforts.
“We are winning and our opponents are dropping points,” Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte was quoted as saying by BBC.
“We had the will to win, to keep the hope alive that we can get a place in the Champions League. Probably one month ago it was impossible to imagine we would arrive at the end of the season fighting for the Champions League,” Conte added.
“I don’t know if this will be enough but we have to try. It’s important to face this situation with a lot of pride and show we are still alive.”