Premier League: Ziyech & Silva sink Tottenham
Chelsea kept alive their remote Premier League title chances with a 2-0 win over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, set on their way by an exquisite strike from Hakim Ziyech which was quickly followed up by a Thiago Silva header.
Ziyech broke the deadlock in the 47th minute when he received the ball on edge of the box after Callum Hudson-Odoi surged forward and the Moroccan curled his shot into the top corner with Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rooted to the spot.
Thomas Tuchel’s men sealed their first league win of 2022 eight minutes later when Silva, despite being sandwiched between two Spurs defenders, headed home a free-kick floated into the box by Mason Mount.
Spurs, previously unbeaten in nine league games under former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte, thought they had taken the lead in the first half when Harry Kane put the ball in the net, but referee Paul Tierney ruled the England striker pushed Silva off the ball before turning and firing it past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The win — Chelsea’s fourth this season over Spurs, including a two-legged league cup semi-final this month — left the Blues in third place on 47 points, 10 points behind leaders Manchester City who have played a game fewer, and one point behind second-placed Liverpool who have two games in hand over the Blues.
Spurs are seventh on 36 points although they have played four fewer games than Chelsea.
Reds subdue Palace
Liverpool had to withstand a second-half fightback from Crystal Palace before emerging with a 3-1 win. The visitors started brightly with Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson missing great chances before an unmarked Virgil Van Dijk gave Liverpool the lead with a thumping header from a corner.
The Reds made it two before the break with an incisive passing move that ended with a superb cross-field ball from Robertson to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which he controlled before firing home.
Palace came out a different side in the second half, tearing into Liverpool as Conor Gallagher flashed an early header across the goal and Odsonne Edouard had a clever backheel smothered on the line by keeper Alisson Becker.
They pulled one back 10 minutes into the second half when Jeffrey Schlupp’s pass to Jean-Philippe Mateta sliced open the Liverpool defence, and he squared the ball for Edouard to fire into an empty net.
Winger Michael Oliseh almost levelled for the Eagles when he sneaked in behind the Liverpool backline in the 83rd minute before unleashing a left-footed lob, but Alisson scrambled back to swat the ball clear for a corner.
Palace continued to pour forward looking for an equaliser, but the game was decided when Liverpool were awarded a penalty for a foul on Diogo Jota by Palace keeper Vicente Guaita after a lengthy VAR review, and Fabinho fired home the spot-kick.
Burnley earned themselves a precious point in a 0-0 draw away at Arsenal with their back line and keeper doing just enough to keep out the misfiring Gunners.
In another match, Brighton & Hove Albion striker Danny Welbeck netted a late header to cancel out Leicester City forward Patson Daka;s opener as the teams played out a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium.
Substitute Welbeck rose above Leicester’s James Justin at the back post and connected with Neal Maupay’s deep cross, sending his header into the bottom corner to grab the equaliser in the 82nd minute.
Daka had put Leicester in the lead in the 46th minute when he scored on the rebound after Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez kept out a shot from Harvey Barnes.
Pep Guardiola watched his Manchester City side’s long winning run halted by Southampton in a 1-1 draw on Saturday but described his side’s performance as one of the best of the season.
“We played better than in the Arsenal game, when we won, and today we drew. Sometimes you deserve it and you don’t win, but the way we played here was excellent,” Guardiola said.