Monday 19 March 2018

Chelsea hit back to see off Tottenham and return to top

Fernando Llorente secured a dramatic victory for Swansea
Fernando Llorente secured a dramatic victory for Swansea
Chelsea's Pedro (left) helped his side beat Tottenham 2-1

Chelsea consolidated their position at the top of the table by inflicting a first Premier League defeat of the season on Tottenham with a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

First Manchester City and then Liverpool had taken over first place during Saturday's matches.

However, it was the Blues who finished the evening one point ahead again after coming from behind as Spurs lost in the league for the first time in 13 games.

Christian Eriksen fired Tottenham into a 10th-minute lead with a fierce strike from the edge of the penalty area.

Despite plenty of possession, the visitors could not find a second and Chelsea levelled just before half-time when Pedro cut inside from the left to curl a sublime finish past Hugo Lloris into the far left corner.

Chelsea went ahead early in the second half when, on 51 minutes, Victor Moses knocked the ball home after Diego Costa had pulled it back across the face of goal following a powerful run down the left.

Earlier on Saturday, there was a dramatic finish at the Liberty Stadium where Fernando Llorente struck twice in stoppage time as Swansea completed a remarkable 5-4 win over Crystal Palace to further increase the pressure on Eagles boss Alan Pardew.

Palace, hovering just outside the relegation zone, were in front after 19 minutes through Wilfried Zaha, before Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick made it 1-1 on 36 minutes.

Zaha saw his header come back off the crossbar just before half-time and the Eagles were behind on 66 minutes when Leroy Fer scored.

The Dutchman quickly grabbed a second from close range in the 68th minute as Swansea led 3-1.

However, James Tomkins set up a grandstand finale when he reduced the deficit with 15 minutes left before Zaha's cross looped in off Swansea midfielder Jack Cork to equalise at 3-3 on 82 minutes.

Christian Benteke looked to have given the Eagles all three points when he put them 4-3 up on 84 minutes.

Llorente, though, equalised in stoppage time, before then stabbing the ball home from close range to hand new Swansea manager Bob Bradley a first win and lift his side off the bottom.

Liverpool had to work hard to secure a 2-0 win over Sunderland at Anfield.

The Reds lost Brazilian playmaker Phillippe Coutinho after just 33 minutes to what looked like an ankle injury.

Sunderland's resistance was finally broken with 15 minutes left when his replacement Divock Origi cut inside from the left and curled a low drive into the far corner.

James Milner added a late second from the penalty spot in stoppage time.

In Saturday's lunchtime kick-off, Sergio Aguero scored twice as Manchester City's make-shift side secured a 2-1 win at Burnley.

Dean Marney's first goal in the Premier League for seven years put the Clarets ahead on 14 minutes.

Aguero levelled on 37 minutes, poking the ball in at the far post, and then put the visitors ahead on the hour with a scrappy close-range finish, which was enough to secure victory.

Premier League champions Leicester snatched a 2-2 draw at home to Middlesbrough with a stoppage-time penalty from Islam Slimani.

Boro went ahead on 13 minutes through Alvaro Negredo.

The Foxes, who have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League, levelled in the 31st minute when Riyad Mahrez converted a penalty.

On-loan Valencia forward Negredo struck again on 71 minutes, but the Foxes salvaged an unlikely point in a dramatic finale.

Hull and West Brom drew 1-1.

The Baggies, chasing a third straight Premier League win, took the lead on 34 minutes when Gareth McAuley headed in from a corner.

Hull, though, earned a point through an equaliser from Michael Dawson with 18 minutes left.

Press Association

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