There was no change at the top after the latest round of Premier League fixtures, but there was some significant move at the bottom, with both West Ham and Leeds moving out of the bottom four. Meanwhile, another defeat and game without scoring piled more pressure on Chelsea boss Graham Potter.
Arsenal remain top of the table with a 1 – 0 win away at Leicester City. Despite the narrow scoreline, the Gunners dominated possession throughout, without creating too many clear opportunities. They thought they had scored midway through the first half through Leandro Trossard only for it to be ruled out by VAR.
However, just after the restart, Trossard set up Gabriel Martinelli for what proved to be the winner. Leicester finished with an XG of just 0.1, the lowest for a Premier League side since the stats began to be collected.
Manchester City kept pace with the Gunners, with a dominant 4 -1 win away at Bournemouth.
The match was over as a contest by half-time, with Julian Alvárez, Erling Haaland (his 27th Premier League goal of the season) and Phil Foden all finding the net. An own goal after the break made it four, before Bournemouth scored a late consolation effort.
Results elsewhere meant that the South Coast team dropped back into the bottom three.
Tottenham won the London derby against Chelsea on Sunday, with a result that heaps more pressure on Graham Potter, the Chelsea manager.
The first half was full of niggly fouls which boiled over in stoppage time with an incident that saw Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea receive a red card, only for the referee to downgrade it to yellow after consulting VAR.
It was the home side who came storming out after the break, taking the lead when a half-clearance fell to Oliver Skipp to lash in his first-ever goal for the club on his 67th appearance.
Poor marking from a corner allowed Harry Kane to add a second, but, yet again Chelsea rarely looked like scoring. For all the money spent on the team they are now nearer the relegation zone than the Champions League places, and it remains to be seen if Potter can keep his job.
Chelsea have scored just six goals in their last 12 games.
Javi Gracía marked his first game in charge as Leeds United with a win, beating Southampton, who have confirmed interim head coach Ruben Sellés as the manager to lead them for the rest of the season. In the classic relegation six-pointer at Elland Road, it was left-back junior Firpo who proved to be the unlikely hero for the home side, coming up with the winner to settle the nerves of the anxious crowd. That result was enough to lift Leeds to 17th in the table, but Southampton remain rock bottom, three points adrift.
West Ham United
West Ham were another team to clamber their way out of the danger zone, thanks to a dominant second-half performance at the the London Stadium against Nottingham Forest. Their January signing, Danny Ings, on his first start for the club scored twice, whilst Declan Rice curled in a fine third. Substitute Michail Antonio headed in a fourth in injury time, his 100th goal in league football.
The goodwill that followed the appointment of Sean Dyche as Everton manager might be dissipating as his side find themselves back in the bottom three again.
It was a familiar story for the home side at Goodison Park as they created the better chances, but were made to pay for their failure to convert them, when John McGinn was tripped in the penalty box, giving Ollie Watkins the chance to put Villa ahead from the spot.
He duly beat Jordan Pickford to score for the fifth consecutive league game, with Emiliano Buendia adding a second.
It has been a week to forget for Liverpool. Humiliated at home by Real Madrid in the Champions League, they could only manage a goalless draw with Crystal Palace in a match of few chances. That result leaves them six points off the top four, and they have their work cut out if they hope to be involved in the Champions League again next season.
In the one game played on Friday night, Fulham and Wolves drew at Craven Cottage. Pablo Sarabia had put the visitors ahead in the first half, but Fulham rescued a point through Manor Solomon, the Israeli international scoring for a third successive league game.
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