Tottenham and Chelsea produce only goalless draw of the weekend
Out-of-form Chelsea held Tottenham to a goalless draw at White Hart Lane, while Norwich fought back for a point at home to Arsenal.
It is fair to say that Sunday’s games had a lot to live up to after Saturday’s goalscoring exploits in the Premier League, with Sunday’s London derby being the only game not to register a goal.
Blues take point at the Lane
Tottenham went into the game as favourites having gone 12 games unbeaten, while Chelsea were languishing on 14 points and well off the Champions League places. However, this game never really came to boiling point, with Heung-Min Son having the best chance for Spurs, when his header was denied by Asmir Begovic.
Eden Hazard, who was selected ahead of Diego Costa, was causing problems for Tottenham while the hosts were wary of Pedro’s pace. Costa appeared less than impressed that he was continually overlooked throughout the 90 minutes, throwing his training bib after his services were not called upon.
It’s a point Jose Mourinho will be happy with, against his club’s fierce rivals, while Mauricio Pochettino will have been glad to keep his side’s unbeaten run going.
Milner spot kick earns Reds win
After Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad last weekend, expectations were high going into their home tie with Swansea at Anfield. However, it took a 62nd-minute penalty from James Milner to secure the three points which moved the Reds within four points of the top four.
Swansea City happily sat back and Liverpool nearly took an early lead when Kyle Bartley’s slide challenge on Jordon Ibe saw the ball rattle the woodwork. However, there were few chances to follow for the home side, until Alberto Moreno’s free-kick in the 41st minute.
The Welsh outfit now find themselves with one win in 11, after Milner converted the spot kick after Neil Taylor handled the ball in the area. It may have not been the most attractive of games this weekend, but were the only side on Sunday took take all the points and continue in search of a return to Champions League football.
Injury-hit Arsenal hold on for point
Arsenal held on for a point in a 1-1 draw at Norwich City, as their injurie woes continue, with Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez forced off.
The Gunners took the lead when Mesut Ozil lifted the ball over goalkeeper John Ruddy and into the corner from 12 yards, before Lewis Grabban equalised shortly before half time. That was the last of the goals, but it could have been much different had Ozil’s first-half effort from ten yards not have been superbly denied by Sebastien Bassong.
Petr Cech proved why he is statistically the best goalkeeper in the Premier League so far this season, much to the regret of Chelsea who let him go in the summer, as his acrobatic save kept Arsenal in the game with 20 minutes remaining following a Wes Hoolahan header.
Arsenal would have felt they should have taken all three points against struggling Norwich, with the Gunners’ title chances fading with their continuing injury problems and now find themselves two points short of league leaders Manchester City.
Baggies hold Hammers to draw
A Winston Reid own goal in the second half earned West Bromwich Albion a point away to West Ham, after a stunning free-kick from Mauro Zarate.
It was a game that provided many chances, with Manuel Lanzini feeding Zarate after 10 minutes, with his tight-angled shot going into the side netting. The Hammers took control of remainder of the first half when Zarate gave the home side the lead after 17 minutes.
However, West Brom arguably had the better of the second half when Tony Pulis brought on Rickie Lambert for West Brom and within four minutes took the lead when Reid diverted Lambert’s ball into the net. Victor Moses volleyed wide for the hosts with a minute of normal time remaining, while James McClean went close when attempting to poke in the winner, having been played in by Lambert.
Pulis was satisfied with a point, although West Ham may feel they should have done better with the numerous chances they created on home turf.