Jaded Chelsea fall further back
Third consecutive goalless draw for the Blues, who are playing five games in two weeks
Chelsea did little to take the spotlight away from under-fire manager Antonio Conte in a goalless draw with Leicester City on Saturday (Jan 13) while Harry Kane broke another record after a brace in Tottenham’s 4-0 hammering of Everton.
Chelsea were unable to pierce Leicester’s defence and were second-best for long periods at Stamford Bridge, even after visiting left-back Ben Chilwell was sent off for a second bookable offence midway through the second half.
It is their third straight 0-0 draw, following midweek's stalemate against Arsenal in the League Cup semi-final first leg and last Saturday's goalless outing with Norwich City in the FA Cup third round.
The latest stalemate left the third-placed Blues 15 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City, who play Liverpool on Sunday (Jan 14).
“I think we played with a lot of top players against Arsenal (in the goalless League Cup semi-final first leg), and then again today against a very good team,” Conte, who has been rumoured for a move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, told the BBC.
Alan Pardew oversaw his first Premier League victory as West Bromich Albion manager thanks to a 2-0 win over Brighton, while Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle came from behind to draw 1-1 with bottom-of-the-table Swansea City as the battle to avoid relegation intensified.
West Brom, who kicked off level on points with Swansea, needed just four minutes to take the lead at The Hawthorns when Jonny Evans headed in from a corner.
Craig Dawson secured their first league win since Aug 19 with a fine header in the 56th minute.
The Baggies remain in the relegation zone, as do Swansea, who took the lead at Newcastle through Jordan Ayew on the hour when he nodded in a rebound after an initial header was blocked.
Substitute Joselu equalised 10 minutes later for the hosts with virtually his first touch of the game.
James Ward-Prowse scored his first two goals of the Premier League season for Southampton but that wasn’t enough to give the Saints a desperately-needed win as hosts Watford rallied to draw 2-2.
Vicarage Road was even more brightly bedecked in the club’s yellow colours than usual as Hornets fans marked the first anniversary of the passing of their celebrated former manager and ex-England boss Graham Taylor.
But despite the highly-charged atmosphere, it was Southampton who broke the deadlock thanks to Ward-Prowse’s low strike in the 20th minute.
Ward-Prowse, on target in last weekend’s 1-0 win FA Cup victory over Fulham, doubled the Saints’ lead shortly before half-time after he was unselfishly played in by Dusan Tadic.
Watford pulled a goal back through an Andre Gray header and then equalised in controversial fashion right at the finish when Abdoulaye Doucoure turned in a Troy Deeney flick-on.
Doucoure turned the ball in with his hand as he stooped for a header but, with no video assistant referees in the Premier League, the goal stood and denied Southampton a first league win in 10 games.
“I never see this type of mistake in the Premier League before,” said Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino. “To live this injustice is really hard. I think we have to try (VAR).”
Crystal Palace’s Bakary Sako scored the only goal of the game in the 21st minute as Roy Hodgson’s Eagles saw off Burnley 1-0 at Selhurst Park, while West Ham overpowered Huddersfield Town 4-1.
Moyes’s men opened the scoring at Huddersfield in the 25th minute when Town’s Joe Lolley was dispossessed, with Mark Noble advancing into the area before unleashing a powerful shot.
But Lolley atoned five minutes before the break by drawing the visitors level after he curled a shot into the far corner.
West Ham regained soon after the break when Marko Arnautovic, straight from the kick off, hooked the ball past Tommy Smith and shot home.
Manuel Lanzini made it 3-1 before scoring his second and the Hammers’ fourth in the 61st minute. – Reuters