Chelsea Need to Win Last Two Games for EPL Title

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ENGLAND—Friday night’s game (May 5) at the London Stadium dealt a massive blow to Spurs’ title aspirations, where Manuel Lanzini’s late goal for West Ham’s 1-nil win left Chelsea requiring 6 points from their last four games. Chelsea have a good chance of finalising matters with their next two games. They play Middlesbrough at home on Monday night, and on Friday they play away to West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, where they could claim their second Premiership in 3 years.    

Saturday saw Manchester City temporarily leap Liverpool into third place on goal difference, after a 5-nil thrashing of Crystal Palace, courtesy of an early opener from David Silva, with added second half goals from Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicholas Ottamendi.

Bournemouth twice came from behind to draw with Stoke City to ensure their stay in the Premier League, with goals from Junior Stanislas and a Ryan Shawcross own goal cancelling out a Lys Mousset own goal, and a second from Mame Biram Diouf for Stoke.

Burnley also secured their survival in the Premier League with a 2-all draw with West Bromwich Albion when Sam Vokes’ brace of the opener and late equaliser sandwiched goals from Salomon Rondon and Craig Dawson.

Hull City’s recent good home form at the Kcom Stadium came to an untimely end with a 2-nil defeat by already relegated Sunderland, whose goals came from Billy Jones and Jermain Defoe.

Leicester City won 3-nil at home to Watford, goals from Wilfred Ndidi, Riyad Mahrez, and Marc Albrighton securing the victory.

In the late game, Swansea claimed a vital 1-nil victory over 7th placed Everton thanks to a goal from Fernando Llorente.

In Sunday’s games, Liverpool and Southampton fought out a dull nil-all draw, with the best chance falling to Liverpool’s James Milner who saw his penalty saved by Saints’ goalkeeper Fraser Forster, whilst Arsenal accounted for Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium with a 2-nil victory, courtesy of early second half goals from Granit Xhaka and Danny Wellbeck.

Chelsea lead the table with 81 points from 34 matches, with Spurs second with 77 points from 35 games, Liverpool third with 70 points from 36 games, Manchester City fourth with 69 points, and Manchester United fifth on 65 points, both from 35 games, Arsenal sixth with 63 points from 34 games, and Everton seventh with 58 points from from 36 games.

In the relegation battle, Crystal Palace are 16th with 38 points from 36 games, Swansea 17th on 35 points, Hull City 18th with 34 points, both from 36 games, Middlesbrough 19th with 28 points from 35 games, and Sunderland 20th  and relegated, with 24 points from 35 games. Next week sees a vital game between Crystal Palace and Hull City, where Crystal Palace will secure their Premier League survival if they avoid defeat.

Newcastle United and Brighton are promoted from the Championship to the Premier League, Newcastle as champions, to be joined by the play off winners.

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

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