It was not pretty, but it was efficient when a more intelligent Chelsea beat the hopeful Liverpool at Anfield 2-0 yesterday.
Of all the people Stephen Gerrard may become the most unlikely anti-hero if Liverpool ends up not winning the championship. It was just a little lack of concentration that can happen to anyone, and happens to great players all the time, but this time it proved fatal when Demba Ba was as cool and firm as an iceberg to score after Gerrard's mishap.
Although Willian made it 0-2 at the end of the match, it was Ba's goal that really gave the victory to Chelsea despite Liverpool trying and trying in vain to get through Jose Mourinho's defensive genius.
The Premier League title is now open, with Chelsea nevertheless the most unlikely champion: although they are not unlikely to win their last two matches against Norwich and Cardiff respectively, they have to hope that both Liverpool and Manchester City slip.
Liverpool has two matches left against Crystal Palace away and Newcastle at home. They must win both matches, and if they don't, they have to hope that both Chelsea and Manchester City will slip. But even winning both matches, the title is not guaranteed.
Manchester City is the one that does not immediately depend on any other results: with three matches left they can win the title with three straight victories. However, the task will not immediately be easy; on Saturday they play Everton away. The arch-rivals of Liverpool may be tempted to play softly for the title not to go to the Reds, but the problem is that Everton is also vying for its meager hope of overtaking Arsenal on fourth place to secure a place in next season's Champions League qualifiers.
It will be ironic if Everton ends up giving the title to Liverpool....
In case of victory against Everton, Manchester City will have to defeat Aston Villa and West Ham at home to take the title.
All three of these great sides deserves to win the title (yes, although Jose Mourinho may seem unlikeable to many, he continues to be the world's best manager, and in the unlikely event that his team wins the title, it will be because they deserve it), but two will end in tears. It will be another fantastic and dramatic ending to the Premier League!
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