Conte’s Chelsea surge clear
Swansea came to town on the back of the best form in the premier league, winning three of their last five since Paul Clement took over the reigns following the sack of Bob Bradley. It took just seventeen minutes for Chelsea to break their resolve and hit them with one that came from sheer hunger and desire to impress; on his 300th league appearance, Cesc Fabregas turned on the style, scoring one and setting up another, man of the match by all standards.
There’s this air of assurance at Stamford Bridge, making whatever the opposition comes up with look very much like a false alarm, after Fernando Llorente headed Swansea level, one that might never have happened had Moses stuck to his man, Chelsea didn’t leave any stone unturned, attack after attack and they were duly rewarded.
Lukas Fabianski would feel he should have done better with a swerving drive from Pedro which took the sails out of the visitors but there’s absolutely nothing he could do with Costa’s near post finish after some neat work from Hazard. There’s nothing stopping this Chelsea team now, 11 clear before Spurs played, that’s daylight.
Ruthless Spurs made a strong statement
When you mean business, it’s hard to give in to any kind of distractions. Tottenham knew what they wanted, they went hard for it and achieved it without mincing feet. Four unreplied goals past Stoke, rampaging, destructive with neat precision.
Didn’t take long for Spurs to establish dominance, by the half hour mark, the Potters already knew who was in charge. Harry Kane has to be the stand out performer of the weekend, scoring three and setting up another, on that sort of form you’ll beat anyone any day.
Christian Eriksen provided two assists, distributed the ball with ease and made the entire Stoke midfield look ordinary; Dele Alli roamed round, wrecked havoc with sleek moves, from Lloris to Kane, to the bench and the manager, Spurs were no doubt a class apart. Ten points off Chelsea, it’s hard to rule Spurs out completely, when you play like that, week in week out, with the best defense in the league and scoring effortlessly, you deserve a mention when the title is the topic. Weldon Spurs.
Who goes down? Thoughts down the ladder
Bournemouth are sliding down, from the top half, the cherries are beginning to look like they’ll be involved in the relegation dogfight. Bournemouth lost to Westbrom, not without a fight, they scored first when Alan Nyom tugged down Frazier, Wilson made no mistake from the spot. Didn’t take long though as the baggies turned it around with 37 year old Macaulay headed in from a corner, the oldest player in the league this season is the highest scoring defender this term.
Hull thought they were heading to a great home win, something that would have helped them out of the drop zone only for Keane to smack one home shortly after Huddlestone’s penalty. That’s only Burnley’s second point on the road all season long, the result leaves the Tigers in 19th, two points from safety.
Sunderland lost at Everton, two goals without reply, helping further pressure on David Moyes, it might have turned out differently had Defoe’s effort that cannoned off the cross bar gone in, it went out of hands after Romelu Lukaku drove in and slotted home the second, Sunderland failed at defending, making it too easy for the Toffees to operate.
Sam Alardyce got something to relish, air of relief as Boro couldn’t find an answer to Patrick Van Aanholt’s belter, Palace are out of the drop zone pending the result at Anfield.
Unlucky Saints on a devilish day
Southampton started out poorly, conceding two first half goals in a cup final. Having dumped Liverpool and Arsenal to earn a right to negotiate Manchester United in the league cup finals, Southampton started off firing but were soon deflated with a terrific Zlatan Ibrahimovic free kick, beautifully floated, with enough curves and pace to beat Forster in the Saints goal.
Southampton should have taken the lead earlier though, Gabbiadini bought he had given the hosts a lead only for the linesman to rule him offside with replays showing it was a wrong decision. Claude Puel’s men went further behind when Jesse Lingard bent another past the keeper when well fed by Martial.
Just before half time, Gabbiadini halved the deficit and completed the comeback just two minutes after the restart, mustering something out of nothing in the Manchester United area.
End to end stuff ignited the half but it was Manchester United that would have the last laugh, great cross from Ander Herrera with three minutes remaining found Zlatan Ibrahimovic unmarked, the self styled god of Manchester headed home to hand Mourinho his first major silverware in his Manchester reigns.