By Niall Clarke
- Five lessons learned from match-week 13 of the Premier League season
- Full weekend results
Chelsea maintained top spot by ending Tottenham’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season, proving they are not invincible.
Tottenham are no longer the ‘Invincibles’
Tottenham’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end at the hands of table toppers Chelsea as they were defeated 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have been perfect since the change in tactics and had gone six games without conceding a goal, however Spurs came out firing. The Blues were pegged back by the high pressure of Tottenham and their clean sheet record was broken inside 11 minutes thanks to Christian Eriksen’s bullet strike. Spurs spent the majority of the first half on top but Pedro’s curling effort brought Chelsea level before half time.
Antonio Conte’s side were much better in the second half largely due to the work from Diego Costa. The striker’s persistence led to the second goal as he stormed into the opposition penalty area before playing a dangerous low cross that was met by Victor Moses who put Chelsea 2-1 ahead.
Chelsea were able to see out the rest of the game without much trouble to maintain top position in the Premier League. Tottenham are now seven points adrift as they bad run of form continues. It was certainly a week to forget for Mauricio Pochettino.
The main title rivals keep up with the leaders
Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal all won over the course of the weekend to keep up the pace with Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola almost suffered a shock when his side went 1-0 down away at Burnley. However a Sergio Aguero double turned the match around and City were able to escape a potential banana skin with a 2-1 victory. It will take a season or two for Guardiola to implement his style to its full potential, but as long as they keep grinding out results such as this, they will be in the title hunt.
It was up to Liverpool to respond to the Citizens earlier victory, and for the better part of 75 minutes they were failing to do so. The Reds were dominant but were struggling to break down the Sunderland defence as the fans got increasingly frustrated. Jurgen Klopp took it upon himself to get them going orchestrating the Liverpool fans to get behind their team and it soon paid off as Divok Origi gave them the lead. James Milner added a second goal from the spot to seal the three points and move back into second place.
Arsenal hosted Bournemouth on Sunday and they too were also able to avoid an upset. Alexis Sanchez gave the Gunners the lead before Callum Wilson’s penalty sent the sides into half time level. Arsenal ramped up the pressure in the second half and found themselves back In front through Theo Walcott. Sanchez added a third in stoppage time to seal the victory for the North London club.
Bob Bradley is up and running as Swansea boss
It was arguably the game of the season thus far at the Liberty Stadium. European football fans would have enjoyed the crazy 8-4 game between Borussia Dortmund and Legia Warsaw in midweek, this was just as barmy.
Palace took the lead inside 20 minutes through Wilfried Zaha, but a goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson and a Leroy Fer brace had Swansea leading 3-1 with a little over 20 minutes to go. It was there when the game turned into a circus. From being behind 3-1 with 20 minutes to go, Palace were leading 4-3 heading into stoppage time. It was an incredible turn around that had Alan Pardew staring in the eyes of victory for the first time in six games, but it was not over yet. Swansea pressed on and in the space of two minutes they had won an incredible game. Fernando Llorente proved to be the stoppage time hero as Bob Bradley enjoyed his first win as Swansea manager.
The victory lifted the Welsh club from the bottom of the table and could give them much needed momentum. As for Palace it is now six straight defeats and now they face the question of whether to stay with Pardew or explore an alternative option.
Leicester could be facing a relegation scrap
It is incredible to think that the defending Champions could find themselves battling for Premier League survival, but in the case of Leicester it might ring true towards the end of the season if they do not sort their current form out.
The Foxes have identified the Champions League as their priority, but that is no excuse for their domestic form. A 2-2 draw at home to a newly promoted Middlesbrough is not good enough, and that result means that Leicester have the same amount of points in the League as they do in Europe.
It could be the underdog tag disappearing that has affected Leicester. In Europe they are still seen as ‘underdogs’ which suits them more than being the team that are hunted. Either way something needs to change and quickly.
What happened elsewhere?
There were promising signs in the Europa League for Manchester United, but their return to domestic action did not go as planned as they were held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho saw red and was sent to the stands in this hotly contested match. Sunday also saw 1-0 wins for Stoke City and Southampton in mid-table clashes with Watford and Everton.
At the bottom of the table, Hull gained a credible 1-1 draw against the in form West Bromwich. Every point is precious when you are fighting for survival in the Premier League.
Full Premier League results
Burnley 1-2 Man City
Hull 1-1 West Brom
Leicester 2-2 Middlesbrough
Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland
Swansea 5-4 Crystal Palace
Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham
Watford 0-1 Stoke
Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth
Man United 1-1 West Ham
Southampton 1-0 Everton
The Premier League returns on the 3rd of December.
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