Champions Liverpool geared up to lift the Premier League trophy with a 5-3 win over Chelsea in a goal feast at Anfield on Wednesday to ensure they went an entire league season unbeaten at home.
Naby Keita opened the scoring with a thunderous effort, Trent Alexander-Arnold made it 2-0 with a curling free kick and they added another through Georginio Wijnaldum's half-volley from close range, before Olivier Giroud pulled one back on the stroke of halftime.
Roberto Firmino restored the three-goal advantage in the 55th minute but Chelsea scored through Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic to threaten a dramatic comeback before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put the result beyond doubt.
Liverpool won 18 of their 19 home league games in the campaign, the only blemish being the 1-1 draw with Burnley this month. They moved onto 96 points, one shy of the club record they set when finishing runners-up last season.
Defeat left Chelsea with 63 points, needing one more from their final game against Wolverhampton Wanderers to guarantee a place in next season's Champions League after slipping to fourth earlier on Wednesday when Manchester United drew 1-1 with West Ham United.
"We've waited so long to finally deliver this for the fans. This has been such a special season for us, this is the one everyone wanted," said Alexander-Arnold afterwards as the team lifted the trophy after a 30-year wait.
Liverpool pinned back their visitors for the much of the first half and got their celebrations underway early when Keita stole the ball from Willian to run in on goal and unleash a thunderous shot for a 23rd-minute lead.
A contentious free kick awarded against Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic allowed Alexander-Arnold to enhance his reputation as a set-piece specialist with a curling effort that caught out Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The 38th-minute goal was soon followed by a third as Chelsea failed to clear a corner and Wijnaldum snapped up a loose ball, burying it on the half-volley from close range.
A rare Chelsea foray forward allowed them the last say before the break as Marcos Alonso flicked on for Willian to attempt a snap effort that Liverpool keeper Alisson saved with one hand.
Giroud, however, was quickest to follow up and slide the ball into the net.
Liverpool were quickly back in command after the break as Firmino made it 4-1 by heading in a perfect cross from Alexander-Arnold for his first league goal at Anfield this season.
Substitute Pulisic made an instant impact for Chelsea, however, as his mazy dribbling set up Abraham for the London club's second in the 61st minute.
The United States international grabbed one of his own 12 minutes later, bringing the ball down on his chest with his back to goal before turning and thumping it home.
"I felt like we were then going to get back into the game but it was not to be," said Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.
"There were lot of good things about us with our spirit and resilience."
Chelsea's hopes effectively ended when Oxlade-Chamberlain scored Liverpool's fifth in the 84th minute, as he finished off a rapid counter-attack.
"It's so difficult to win it, but it's been an amazing season. We know how much it means to everybody," said Liverpool's James Milner.
The club's first English title for 30 years had been sealed almost a month ago with seven games remaining, following a three-month stoppage because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kenny Dalglish, the last Liverpool manager to deliver the title, presented the medals wearing a red face mask before handing the trophy to captain Jordan Henderson who raised it to the night sky as fireworks and tickertape filled the air.
Sadly, because of the pandemic that interrupted Liverpool's charge to the title, the fans missed out on what would have been a momentous night at Anfield stadium.
Merseyside police had issued a 48-hour dispersal order to stop fans gathering in large numbers across the city, as they did when the title was won on June 25 when nearest rivals Manchester City were beaten by Chelsea.
Many did gather outside, however, letting off flares and fireworks.
Despite the sanitised ceremony in the 53,000-seater stadium, Liverpool's players did their best to fill the void, belting out a rendition of the club's anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" along with manager Juergen Klopp and his staff.
"If you don't see that we do it for you I can't help you," Klopp said when asked for his message to the fans.
"You made us happy, we all should celebrate at home. Prepare for a party and when this virus has gone we will have a party."
Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore said the players and fans will "come together to celebrate" when the time is right.
"It's been an amazing season," Henderson told former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher at pitchside.
"It's been a journey, a process, and every single player has been part of it."
A trophy presentation without fans was always going to feel a little flat, although the real fireworks have been provided over a sensational season by a superb Liverpool side.
(With inputs from Reuters)