Game Week 21 in the Premier League saw Chelsea strengthen their position at the top of the table, while the wheels fell off for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.
Chelsea surge past defending champions Leicester City to tighten grip on top spot
No Diego Costa; no problem for Chelsea. With the Spaniard, scorer of 14 Premier League goals this season, in a fall-out with the club, one wondered whether it might destabilise the team away at Leicester.
Not a bit of it. Two goals from Chelsea wing back Marcus Alonso made certain of that.
The first curled in after pinball in the Leicester penalty box, the second driven through with the help of a slight deflection.
And it was nearly three as a beautiful volley flashed inches past a post. Alonso has pedigree.
His grandfather, Marcos Alonso Imaz, played eight years with Real Madrid’s first team. His father, Marcos Alonso Peña, was several seasons in Spain’s top flight, most notably with Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, and both represented Spain at senior level.
No international cap yet for Marcos Alonso Mendoza but on this form it must surely come. Pedro, another wonderful Spanish star, finished it off for magnificent Chelsea, a credit to their Italian coach Antonio Conte.
Leicester very defensive and very poor – arguably Conte’s fellow Italian Claudio Ranieri got the tactics wrong and the selection wrong.
Final score 0-3.
Man City hammered by Everton as Premier League title hopes fade at Goodison Park
In contrast Manchester City got a 4-0 pasting against Everton at Goodison Park.
It emphasised just how badly talismanic, trophy-strewn manager Pep Guardiola is struggling in English football. As usual City had all the possession, some 71 per cent, but the Merseysiders had all the goals.
Romelu Lukaku side-footed in a Kevin Mirallas cut-back for the first and the Belgium internationals combined again after the break, Mirallas driving Lukaku’s through-ball across the keeper.
Tom Davies, in just his second league start, lifted a third over Claudio Bravo and £11 million debutant Ademola Lookman, signed from Charlton, beat the keeper again in injury time – what a catastrophic decision dumping Joe Hart is proving to be.
It was Guardiola’s heaviest ever league defeat as a manager.
And Everton secured the victory with something of a new team – Davies, Lookman, Morgan Schneiderlin signed for £24 million from Manchester United, and 20-year-old defender Mason Holgate.
Late Ibrahimovic goal rescues point for Manchester United at Old Trafford
United scrambled a point in the Old Trafford clash against Liverpool.
The 1-1 final score kept the visitors hard on the heels of Chelsea but left United trailing the leaders by ten points.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late equaliser, heading in after Marouane Fellaini had struck a post.
Liverpool had taken the lead in the first half when James Milner converted a first-half penalty following Paul Pogba’s handball.
Spurs continue fine form with fabulous win thanks to Harry Kane hat-trick – while Arsenal thrash Swansea
West Brom had been on a good run but Tottenham are equally motoring.
And they battered the Baggies at White Hart Lane, emphasising their league ambitions after coming so close last season.
Harry Kane struck a hat-trick to celebrate the birth of his first child, while a Christian Eriksen shot went in off visitors’ defender Gareth McAuley.
Swansea went down 0-4 to a rampant Arsenal.
Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock, two Alex Iwobi strikes produced own goals from Jack Cork and Kyle Naughton, and Alexis Sanchez completed the rout.
A dreadful start for Swansea’s new manager Paul Clement, the third to take the hot seat this season. A huge task to turn it round. But good stuff from the Gunners who don’t always fancy the rainy, cold days of winter.
Premier League Continues – Buy Official Corporate Hospitality Packages
For more information please see our Premier League hospitality packages page for full details of all our official packages.