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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL: Chelsea 13 points clear; Arsenal stunned

EPL: Chelsea 13 points clear; Arsenal stunned

March 19, 2017 00:37 IST

Images from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday 

Chelsea 13 points clear after late Cahill winner at Stoke

Chelsea

IMAGE: Chelsea players celebrate. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea continued their relentless progress, moving 13 points clear at the top of the table as Gary Cahill scored a late winner in a hard-earned 2-1 win at Stoke City on Saturday.

Even without the injured Eden Hazard, Antonio Conte's men, who have lost just one game in 2017, triumphed again when Cahill struck three minutes from time to make amends for giving away a first-half penalty.

Chelsea had looked set for a comfortable afternoon when Willian scored a 13th-minute free kick, his shot squeezing into the net after a blunder from Stoke keeper Lee Grant, who could only fumble the ball over his own line.

Yet Stoke hit back when Jon Walters, having been fouled by Cahill, picked himself up to score from the penalty spot seven minutes before the break.

After Cahill had given Chelsea deserved lead, ultimately sealing their 19th win in their last 22 league games, Stoke's misery was completed when Phil Bardsley received his marching orders in the dying seconds after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Cesc Fabregas.

Dawson double gives West Brom 3-1 win over Arsenal

Craig Dawson

IMAGE: Craig Dawson of West Bromwich Albion,left, scores during the Premier League match against Arsenal. Photograph: Alex Morton/Getty Images

Two headers by Craig Dawson and a Hal Robson-Kanu strike lifted West Bromwich Albion to a 3-1 win over Arsenal and piled more misery on their manager Arsene Wenger after a pulsating Premier League clash on Saturday.

The result left Arsenal in fifth place with 50 points from 27 matches, five behind fourth-placed Liverpool who are at home to Manchester City on Sunday. West Brom stayed eighth on 43 points from 29 games.

Still reeling from a 10-2 aggregate defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16 earlier this month, the under-fire Wenger could only watch in dismay as a banner saying 'NO CONTRACT #WENGEROUT' was flown by a plane above the Hawthorns.

He was just as helpless in watching another dismal performance from his side, who conceded two goals from set pieces as sloppy defending cost them a chance to close in on the top four.

Dawson fired the home side ahead in the 12th minute after a Nacer Chadli corner before Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal a ray of hope three minutes later with a composed finish from a superbly weighed pass by midfielder Granit Xhaka.

The opening half produced relentless pace and a string of chances at either end, as both goalkeepers were called into action several times.

Arsenal's Peter Cech limped off with a muscle injury in the closing stages of the first half and that proved costly as his replacement David Ospina was at fault for West Brom's second goal.

Robson-Kanu pounced on a mix-up between Ospina and an Arsenal defender 75 seconds after coming on as a substitute for Salomon Rondon to poke the ball into an empty net in the 55th minute.

Desperate defending then denied Robson-Kanu and Chadli as Arsenal looked all at sea whenever the home side came forward, while Danny Welbeck saw his header cannon off the crossbar at the other end.

More poor marking, with Arsenal players positioned like statues for a James McLean corner, allowed the towering Dawson to seal West Brom's win with a thumping close-range header in the 75th minute.

Sunderland in deep trouble after home draw with Burnley

Billy Jones of Sunderland

IMAGE: Billy Jones of Sunderland gets a hand full of the shirt of Jeff Hendrick of Burnley. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Sunderland's hopes of avoiding relegation suffered another blow in a goalless stalemate with Burnley, who picked up only their third away point in the Premier League this season.

A poor game was short on chances for either side although Sunderland will rue missing the best two.

Sebastian Larsson blazed over with the Burnley goal gaping just after halftime and Fabio Borini was then denied in stoppage time by a great save from Tom Heaton.

Burnley held on for a point and remain in 12th spot, while bottom club Sunderland are now seven points from the safety zone having not won at home since December.

Source:
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