Chelsea Maintain 7-points Lead over Spurs by 7 points in EPL Title Race, with 8 Games Left

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ENGLAND—Playing a day ahead of the other top 6 teams on Tuesday, Manchester United again failed to collect the three points from their home game with Everton to put pressure on the teams above them in the race for a Champions League that comes from a top four finish. Everton took a first half lead from a Phil Jagielka flick that went through goalkeeper David De Gea’s legs and looked comfortable restricting Manchester United before an injury time penalty award that saw Ashley Williams sent off  for the handball. Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted the penalty to spare United’s blushes with a 1-all result, but saw them record their 9th home draw of the season.

In other matches, Watford boosted their position away from the relegation battle with a

2-nil home victory over West Bromwich Albion, courtesy of strikes from M’Baye Niang and Troy Deeney, Burnley did likewise with George Boyd’s winner securing their 1-nil home win over Stoke City, their first win in 7 games relieving pressure, and Leicester City securing new manager Craig Shakespeare’s 5th consecutive EPL win, and sixth overall, with their 2-nil triumph over bottom placed Sunderland through goals from Islam Slimani and Jamie Vardy, leaving the latter 8 points adrift of relegation safety.

In Wednesday’s games Chelsea triumphed 2-1 over fourth place Manchester City, a brace from Eden Hazard earning the win after Sergio Aguero had equalised Hazard’s opener, Arsenal overcame West Ham 3-nil, the goals coming from Mezut Ozil, Theo Walcott, and Olivier Giroud, Liverpool drew 2-all with Bournemouth with goals from Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi countering Benfik Afobe’s opener and Joshua King’s late equaliser, and Tottenham Hotspur scored 3 late goals in the last 10 minutes through Dele Alli, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen to win 3-1 at Swansea, whose opener was scored by Wayne Routledge.    

Chelsea lead the table with 72 points from 30 matches, with Spurs second with 65 points from the same games, Liverpool third with 60 points from 31 games, Manchester City  fourth with 58 points from 30 games, Arsenal fifth on 54 points, and Manchester United sixth also on 54 points, both from 29 games.

In the other games affecting the relegation battle, Hull City were 4-2 victors over Middlesbrough, goals from Lazar Markovic, Oumar Niasse, Abel Hernandez and Harry Maguire for Hull City, against Alvaro Negredo and Marten de Roon’s goals for Middlesbrough, whilst Southampton accounted for Crystal Palace 3-1 in the other game affecting the relegation places, with Christian Benteke’s opening goal for Crystal Palace being countered by goals from Nathan Redmond, Maya Yoshida, and James Ward-Prowse for Southampton.   

West Ham are now 15th with 33 points from 31 matches, with Crystal Palace 16th on 31 points from 30 games, Hull City 17th on 30 points from 31 games, Swansea 18th with 28 points from 31 matches, Middlesbrough 19th with 23 points, and Sunderland 20th with 20 points both from 30 games.   

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

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