Chelsea Clear Favourites For Title As Relegation Battle Heats Up
Chelsea remain clear favourites to win the Premier League after their 2-1 win against West Ham United in match week 27.
Goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa were enough to keep the Blues ten points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur with eleven games to go. Spurs’ valiant attempt to catch the leaders continued as they beat Everton 3-2. Harry Kane’s brace was followed by a tidy finish from Dele Alli, although the Lilywhites endured a difficult ending, conceding goals from Romelu Lukaku and Enner Valencia.
Manchester City have a game in hand over Tottenham and ensured they remained just a point behind thanks to a 2-0 win against Sunderland. The Citizens are finally blossoming under Pep Guardiola and goals from Sergio Aguero and the impressive Leroy Sane keep them in the race for the Premier League title. On the other hand, Sunderland remain bottom of the table with just 19 points, six points from safety.
Liverpool’s 3-1 victory against Arsenal keeps them in the title race, but the Gunners’ woes continue as they drop to fifth as a result of the defeat. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum condemned Arsene Wenger’s side, who scored through Danny Welbeck.
Manchester United stumbled at home to Bournemouth, dropping points once again in a 1-1 draw. Marcos Rojo and Josh King scored for their respective sides, although the game was overshadowed by separate incidents involving Zlatan Ibrahimović and Tyrone Mings. The Cherries defender appeared to stamp on the head of the Sweden international before Ibrahimović intentionally elbowed Mings as they challenged for a header moments later. Both players were later charged with violent conduct.
The division’s highest-scoring game came at Vicarage Road where Southampton won 4-3 against Watford. Dusan Tadic and Nathan Redmond cancelled out an early Troy Deeney goal, before Stafano Okaka equalised for the hosts. Manolo Gabbiadini scored a third for the Saints before Redmond netted his second of the game with four minutes remaining. Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a late consolation for the Hornets who are without a win in three league games.
Swansea City continued their improvement under new head coach, Paul Clement, as they won a five-goal thriller against Burnley. Andre Gray’s double was not enough for the Clarets as they were condemned to defeat by a Fernando Llorente brace and a Martin Olsson goal.
Likewise, Leicester City edged further away from the relegation zone thanks to a 3-1 win against Hull City. The Foxes were given an early scare when Sam Clucas opened the scoring for Hull, but goals from Christian Fuchs and Riyad Mahrez turned the game around. The three points were clinched when a corner ricocheted off the head of Tigers midfielder, Tom Huddlestone.
Crystal Palace moved out of the bottom three after an excellent 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion. Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend sealed the impressive win with second half goals against the Baggies, who were unbeaten at home since the turn of the year.
The Eagles’ victory means Middlesbrough dropped into the relegation zone after their 2-0 defeat at Stoke City. Marko Arnautovic struck twice as the Potters remain in ninth place.