By inflicting on Liverpool their 5th consecutive defeat at Anfield (1-0), Chelsea climbed back to 4th place in the Premier League on Thursday, as Everton and Tottenham took important points in the Champions League race, in advanced matches of the 29th and 33rd matchday.
- Chelsea in the Top 4, Liverpool are depressed
The victory at Sheffield United (2-0) on Sunday was only a flash in the pan for Liverpool, again beaten at home by a well-organized and realistic Chelsea.
With 47 points, Chelsea take 4th place and the last virtual ticket to the Champions League, one point ahead of Everton and two over West Ham, both of whom are one game short.
For Liverpool, mathematically, nothing is lost, despite the 7th place and the four lengths behind Chelsea.
But in the game the impression left was once again disturbing with few ideas, no sharpness and the feeling that the Reds play intermittently and never all together.
Chelsea did the right thing, pressing high with their 5-2-3 in the defensive phase and not hesitating to fall back very low if the front curtain was crossed.
In attack, Thomas Tuchel had opted for the light cavalry with Timo Werner in tip, framed by Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount, to take advantage of the spaces behind the Reds.
This tactic almost benefited Werner who had preceded Alisson to score in the empty goal before seeing the VAR erase his achievement (27th) for an elbow offside.
But shortly before the break, on a long opening from Ngolo Kanté, it was Mount who transplanted to the center to overwhelm a Fabinho not bright enough and score the decisive goal from the right (1-0, 42nd).
Still undefeated since the arrival of Tuchel, Chelsea can even aim higher for the end of the season and hope for a place on the podium, why not just behind the untouchable City.
- Everton can believe it
Everton have confirmed that they will also have to be reckoned with in the race for the Top 4, with a narrow but deserved victory over West Brom.
Faced with the Baggies who became combative again, the other Liverpool club made the difference in the second half thanks to a header at the near post from Richarlison on a center from Gylfi Sigurdsson returned a few seconds earlier (1-0, 65 ').
Sometimes jostled, Carlo Ancelotti's men can thank their international goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, author of a superb opposite hand parade to release a floating header from Mbaye Diagne from the second minute.
However, they could have taken the advantage earlier, as on this big occasion where Dominic Calvert-Lewin hesitated a little too much before hitting the goalkeeper (42nd).
These three points remain very precious at the end of the season which will look very much like a race of attrition to obtain the desired accessits.
- Tottenham wins
The Spurs have chained a third success in a row, all competitions, in this umpteenth London derby, on the lawn of Fulham, and with 42 points they are not won despite their 8th place.
In the wake of their convincing victory against Burnley (4-0), José Mourinho's men showed an interesting offensive going, with the trio Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min led back in front, supported by Dele Alli.
The only goal of the game was scored against his camp by Tosin Adarabioyo by deflecting a recovery from Alli which was probably not on target (1-0, 18th), after a well-led counter by Kane and Son.
A few seconds earlier, the center-forward and captain of the English selection had shown an unusual clumsiness by sending in the arms of Alphonse Areola a header at six meters (17th).
At the start of the second half, Tottenham seemed to ease off and even came close to the correctional, when the equalizer was denied to Josh Maja because of a hand from Mario Lemina, shortly after the hour mark.
This warning woke up the Spurs who were less passive thereafter and could have doubled the bet by Kane, without a nice reflex from Areola (83rd).
His stats are still 14 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season.
© 2021 AFP