Leaders Chelsea took a tumble as they fell at home to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sam Allardyce’s Crystal Palace. It was the early early show at Stamford Bridge as Cesc Fabregas put the league leaders in front with just over 5 minutes on the clock. Zaha put the South London outfit right back into contention when Wilfried Zaha leveled just four minutes later and Benteke made it 2-1 to the Eagles with only 11 minutes on the clock.
As much as they tried The Blues simply couldn’t find the illusive equaliser and Palace picked up a rare away win. It appears Big Sam has them firing at last as this was a stout defensive effort from his warriors and helps Palace immeasurably in their quest for top flight action next season.
Watford condemned Sunderland to another defeat by a goal to nil care of Britos for the Hornet’s. However Sunderland manager David Moyes could be in hot water for remarks made to a female reporter a couple of weeks ago that has just come to light. Sunderland boss David Moyes says he “deeply regrets” telling a BBC reporter she might “get a slap”.
After a draw with Burnley on 18 March, Moyes was asked by Vicki Sparks if the presence of owner Ellis Short put extra pressure on him. He said “no” but, after the interview, added Sparks “might get a slap even though you’re a woman” and told her to be “careful” next time she visited.
“It was in the heat of the moment,” said Moyes. However that kind of behaviour can escalate and might be enough for the Sunderland board to say ‘thank you very much for your time and effort Mr Moyes but you will be required no further.” That really would be a slap in the face.
Did anyone watch Swansea City 0 Middlesbrough 0 on Sunday? If you did, how brave you must have been. 40 winks would have been a better option. There weren’t many incidents although Swansea deserved to shade it and should have had a penalty. Sigurdsson was involved in more set pieces than a chess set but still couldn’t deliver a knock out blow to a Middlesbrough team who can jolly well defend but haven’t scored an away goal since last year! Says it all really. My thoughts are still that the three north east teams will change positions next season with Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the Championship and Newcastle back in the Premier league.
Liverpool are looking good for a Champions League place after stuffing derby rivals Everton in the all Merseyside encounter. Everton’s hopes of breaking into the battle for a Champions League qualification spot were severely damaged by the defeat.
Sadio Mane gave the hosts an early lead when he played a one-two with Roberto Firmino and finished off an angled run with a shot into the far corner.
Everton equalised when Phil Jagielka flicked on a corner at the near post and, after Ashley Williams got a touch, Matthew Pennington arrived to slot in his first Everton goal on his first appearance of the season.
However, three minutes later Coutinho beat two players and curled a shot into the top corner, and he then set up substitute Divock Origi – on for the injured Mane – to power in Liverpool’s third and take the points.
The Spurs express train sees no reason to derail as they won again away on their travels. Tottenham cut the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea to seven points as they overcame a stubborn (aren’t they always) Burnley at Turf Moor.
Saturday 1 April
Liverpool 3-1 Everton
Scorers: Mane 8, Coutinho 31, Origi 60 / Pennington 28
Burnley 0 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers: Dier 66, Son 77
Chelsea 1 – 2 Crystal Palace
Scorers: Fabregas 5 / Zaha 9, Benteke 11
Hull City 2 – 1 West Ham United
Scorers: Robertson 53, Ranocchia 85 / Carroll 18
Leicester City 2 – 0 Stoke City
Scorers: Ndidi 25, Vardy 47
Manchester United 0 – 0 West Bromwich Albion
Watford 1 – 0 Sunderland
Scorers: Britos 59
Southampton 0-0 AFC Bournemouth
Sunday 2 April
Swansea City 0-0 Middlesbrough
Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City
Scorers: Walcott 39′, Mustafi 53′ / Sane 5′, Aguero 41′