Liverpool and Manchester City have set the benchmark for the rest of the Premier League to follow, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said after masterminding the 2-1 win over City that handed the Reds their first league title in 30 years on Thursday.
Lampard, who won three Premier League titles as a player at Chelsea, congratulated Liverpool in a news conference and said it was up to other clubs to match them and Pep Guardiola’s City.
“I think for the last three seasons, themselves (Liverpool) and City have been out on their own pretty much, and that’s a lot of work,” he said.
“It’s a gap that we want to try and breach, we want to move up towards – they are two of the best teams in the world. Again, credit to Liverpool for what they’ve done,” Lampard added.
The result failed to tell the story of a fast and incident-filled encounter where City dominated, claiming 65% possession but needed an exquisite free kick from former Chelsea player Kevin De Bruyne to get on the scoresheet.
Chelsea had to defend but took their chances to move five points ahead of Manchester United in the battle for fourth place and a coveted Champions League spot.
The ever-energetic Pulisic, who was rewarded with a start by boss Frank Lampard after coming on as substitute to score against Aston Villa on Sunday, exploited a mix-up between Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Guendogan after a City set piece.
The American ran from the halfway line before confidently slotting the ball past Ederson to open the scoring in the 36th minute.
De Bruyne put City level with his free kick that rose over the wall and dipped into the net 10 minutes into the second half.
It was during a rare foray into the City area that Chelsea earned quick chances for Pulisic and substitute Tammy Abraham before Fernandinho performed a volleyball-like slap off the line and VAR confirmed the penalty.
Fernandinho was sent off and Willian calmly scored from the spot in the 78th minute.
The result leaves City on 63 points with Liverpool on an unassailable 86.