Chelsea Hold their Nerve to Maintain Lead over Spurs with 7 Games Left

Association football – English EPL
By Allan Jackson
Allan Jackson
Allan Jackson
April 10, 2017 Updated: April 11, 2017

ENGLAND─In Saturday’s games, Spurs took advantage of the early kick off to put Chelsea under pressure in their late game at Bournemouth by temporarily cutting their lead at the top of the Premier League to 4 points, when they beat Watford 4-nil.

After Watford had held out for half an hour, Spurs scored 3 quick goals before half time through Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Son Heung-min to settle the game, with Son Heung-min adding a fourth in the 54th minute for the 4-nil win.

Manchester City won 3-1 at home to Hull City, with an Ahmed Elmohamady own goal, and goals from Sergio Aguero and Fabian Delph later being offset by an Andrea Ranocchia strike, while Liverpool won 2-1 after John Walters opener for Stoke City was overturned by goals from second half substitutes Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.

Chelsea kept their nerve to keep the pace at the head of the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth in Saturday’s late game, with an Adam Smith own goal and a Eden Hazard strike setting them on their way before Joshua King’s reply just before half time reduced the deficit, only for Marcus Alonso to pop up with a third goal to deliver the points to Chelsea.

On Sunday, Manchester United picked up a 3-nil win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light with the goals coming from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mikhitaryan and Marcus Rashford, whilst Everton beat Leicester City 4-2 at Goodison Park ending the latter’s 6 game winning streak under Claudio Ranieri replacement as coach Craig Shakespeare.

Everton took a first minute lead through Tom Davies before Leicester replied with 2 quick goals from Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton, only for Everton to strike back with a brace from leading scorer Romelu Lukaku sandwiching another goal from Phil Jagielka. Everton are 7th, on equal points with Arsenal having played 3 more games, and Arsenal playing the last game of the weekend’s round against Crystal Palace on Monday night.  

Chelsea lead the table with 75 points from 31 matches, with Spurs second with 68 points from the same games, Liverpool third with 63 points from 32 games, Manchester City  fourth with 61 points from 31 games, Manchester United fifth on 57 points from 30 games, and Arsenal sixth with 54 points from from 30 games.

In the other games, some affecting the relegation battle, Burnley drew nil-all with Middlesbrough, whilst Southampton won 1-nil against West Bromwich Albion, courtesy of a goal from Jordy Clasie, and West Ham were 1-nil winners against Swansea at the London Stadium, courtesy of a Cheikhou Kouyate goal.

In Monday night’s game,Crystal Palace won 3-nil against Arsenal with goals from Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and a penalty converted by Luka Milivojevic.

Crystal Palace 15th on 34 points from 31 games, Bournemouth are now 16th with 35 points from 32 matches, with  Hull City 17th on 30 points from 32 games, Swansea 18th with 28 points from 32 matches, Middlesbrough 19th with 24 points, and Sunderland 20th with 20 points both from 31 games.   

Allan Jackson has been involved in soccer for more than 40 years as a player, referee, administrator and freelance writer.