Premier League: Tottenham stumble again as Chelsea, Leicester win
Tottenham narrowly avoided an embarrassing home defeat to bottom club Watford on Saturday as Chelsea and Leicester leapfrogged champions Manchester City in the Premier League.
With leaders Liverpool not in action until Sunday, it was a chance for the chasing pack to press their credentials for top-four spots.
Chelsea’s Marcus Alonso broke the deadlock for Frank Lampard’s side at Stamford Bridge against Newcastle for a 1-0 win while Youri Tielemans sealed a 2-1 victory for Leicester over Burnley at the King Power Stadium.
But Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino saw his side labour to a 1-1 draw at home to Watford, following a 3-0 thrashing at Brighton and a humiliating 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich.
Spurs, who reached the Champions League final in June, have now won just three of their opening 12 games in all competitions and appear unable to find their spark.
Pochettino’s men got off to an awful start as they fell behind in the sixth minute, Abdoulaye Doucoure finishing superbly from Daryl Janmaat’s assist.
But Dele Alli grabbed a late leveller for Spurs with his first goal since January. There was major confusion as it appeared as if VAR had ruled out the effort, but it was allowed to stand.
“We made it difficult for ourselves,” said Alli. “We controlled the game and bossed possession. It was my first start and great to be back in the team but overall a disappointing result.
“We know we have a world-class team so it’s about showing what we can do when things don’t go our way. It’s important we turn it around. We know how good we are, we just have to start showing it on the pitch.”
Leicester held a minute’s silence before kick-off to remember their late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in a helicopter crash at the stadium last October.
Chris Wood put Burnley in front but Leicester’s in-form forward Jamie Vardy headed an equaliser just before half-time and Tielemans completed the turnaround with just over 15 minutes to go.
“We didn’t play as well as we can and we couldn’t get into our rhythm as much as we would have liked,” said Leicester defender Jonny Evans.
“But luckily Youri (Tielemans) got us our goal.”
- Leicester go second -
Ahead of City’s match at Crystal Palace later on Saturday, Leicester were second in the table, seven points behind leaders Liverpool, while Chelsea, also on 17 points, were third.
Matt Targett scored a goal deep into injury time as Aston Villa came back from 1-0 down to beat 10-man Brighton 2-1.
Southampton took the lead against Wolves at Molineux, courtesy of a Danny Ings goal but were pegged back by a Raul Jimenez penalty while Bournemouth drew 0-0 at home to Norwich.
In the early kick-off on Saturday, Everton climbed out of the relegation zone with a well-deserved 2-0 victory against West Ham that eased the pressure on Marco Silva.
A first-half goal from Brazil forward Bernard and a late second from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson gave Everton the three points in a match in which they had 19 shots.
“It was a fantastic performance,” Sigurdsson told BT Sport. “We had a lot of chances, especially in the second half. You never know when it’s 1-0 -- you always want to get more.
“They are dangerous going forward and their goalkeeper made some spectacular saves. I was pleased to come on and give us a bit of comfort. There was a real purpose to our game today.”
Manchester City head to Crystal Palace in the late match on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola left Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez out of his starting line-up but there was a place on the bench for defender John Stones after an injury lay-off.
Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday, chasing a record-equalling 18th consecutive Premier League win while Manchester United are just one point above the relegation zone.
Arsenal face Sheffield United on Monday.