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EPL: Chelsea keep title hopes alive; Liverpool edge closer to City

Last updated on: January 24, 2022 08:45 IST
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Images from the English Premier League matches played on Sunday.

IMAGE: Chelsea's players celebrate after Hakim Ziyech scored the first goal against Tottenham Hotspur during the English Premier League match at Stamford Bridge in London, on Sunday. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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 scored one of the best goals of the season in the 47th minute when he received the ball on edge of the box after a surging run by Callum Hudson-Odoi, and the Moroccan's curling, dipping shot dropped into the top corner with Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rooted to the spot.

It was the second goal in two games for Ziyech and earned him the praise of coach Thomas Tuchel who has demanded more from the former Ajax winger.

"I had the feeling it was a bit too high but it dropped at the right second," the German told Sky Sports about the goal. "It was a brilliant goal. His technique was brilliant."

The Blues 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.

"You know very well I don't like to comment on the referees’ decisions but in England it was very strange to disallow this goal," Conte told BBC radio. "But if the referee has seen it in this way, we have to accept."

Tuchel admitted that he had been surprised when the goal was disallowed.

The win - Chelsea' 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 - who have now won only once at Stamford Bridge in 32 league games - are seventh on 36 points although they have played four fewer games than Chelsea.

Liverpool thrash Palace to close gap on Man City

IMAGE: Fabinho of Liverpool celebrates with teammates Jordan Henderson, Takumi Minamino and Roberto Firmino (R) after scoring against Crystal Palace. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Liverpool had to withstand a spirited second-half fightback from Crystal Palace before emerging with a 3-1 win on Sunday to close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City to nine points.

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's 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.

"Alisson has bailed us out a good few times in the past and today he had some moments. We haven't got anyone else we'd want other than him," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Sky Sports.

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.

Liverpool moved on to 48 points, nine behind City, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton on Saturday. Palace are 13th on 24 points.

"I think it was positive, especially the second half. We played well and were more aggressive and we scored," Palace goalscorer Edouard told Sky Sports.

"Yeah I scored but we lose so I can't be happy for this. I think we need to keep working and try to win the next game."

The French forward declined to blame the referee and VAR for the late penalty that derailed the Palace comeback.

"This is the decision of the referee, we can do nothing about this. We have to respect this and that's it," he said.

Late Welbeck goal earns Brighton 1-1 draw at Leicester

IMAGE: Brighton & Hove Albion's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring their first goal. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

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 Premier League draw at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

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.

Brighton had the chance to turn the match around in the final minutes, but Dan Burn's header was cleared off the line by Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans before keeper Kasper Schmeichel saved a stunning effort from Leandro Trossard.

Burnley bag a precious point in goalless draw at Arsenal

IMAGE: Martin Odegaard of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Premier League match against Arsenal. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Burnley earned themselves a precious point in a 0-0 draw away at Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday, with their back line and keeper doing just enough to keep out the misfiring Gunners.

Arsenal dominated possession in the first half and registered 12 attempts on goal to Burnley's five, but the home side were let down by some wayward finishing.

The hosts came to life again halfway through the second half, with Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli creating numerous chances in a breathless period of play. But despite all the pressure they were unable to find the back of the net.

The best chance of the game came when Smith Rowe beat James Tarkowski on the left and whipped the ball to Alexandre Lacazette, only for the Frenchman to stab his shot wide of the post.

The draw lifts Arsenal above Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference to sixth place, ahead of Spurs' late game away at Chelsea.

Burnley stay bottom on 12 points but are now only four points from the safety zone - and with at least two games in hand on the three teams above them.

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Source: REUTERS
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IPL 2022

IPL 2022