A chink of light in the title race?
Chelsea falter at fortress Burnley
The weekend brought another interesting round of results from the Premier League, not least, Chelsea being held to a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor on Sunday as Burnley’s incredible home run continued.
The result may suggest that The Blues had a bit of an off-day, and there is an argument that the inclusion of a more attack-minded midfielder in Cesc Fabregas would have had an impact, but full credit must go to the locals who fought hard and were, at the end, fully deserving of a share of the spoils with the league leaders.
Victory would have moved the Londoners a dozen points clear at the top of the division, and although they dominated the play, and got themselves ahead after only seven-minutes through a Pedro opener, they found The Clarets a proud, and determined, opponent. Home fans may have feared the worst when watching their side fall behind so early in the afternoon, but record signing Robbie Brady proved his worth when scoring a spectacular free-kick to beat Courtois. Stats fans will be interested to know that is the first time the Chelsea keeper has been beaten by a direct free-kick in the Premier League.
Burnley find the formula for Premier League stability
Burnley manager Sean Dyche spoke to the press at full-time and thought it best to start by praising Chelsea and the way they play football. He called them a fine side, but his boys worked hard to limit their threat, while creating four or five really good opportunities of their own.
Burnley are now 12th in the table, with a recent record of two wins, two defeats and a draw from five, and have ensured their place in the Premier League for another season at least. That would have surely been their number one pre-season aim.
Title heading to the Bridge despite 2 dropped points
Chelsea hold their pole position, and are expected to stay there for the remainder of the season, and have an eight point advantage over nearest rivals Manchester City. The boys from Stamford Bridge are currently no better than 2/11 with bookmakers 888Sport to win the league. That is value however, when placed alongside William Hill’s 1/7.
Top six in tight Champions League qualification battle
Liverpool remain out of the top-four Champions League places, but they caught everyone off-guard on the weekend when beating high-flying Tottenham 2-0 at Anfield on Saturday. Going in on the back of a five-match winless run in the division, Klopp’s side were expected to struggle. The Reds never looked in danger of losing however and claimed the points courtesy of a stunning quick-fire double from Sadio Mane, who rifled home on 16 and 18-minutes to leave Spurs shell-shocked.
Manager Jurgen Klopp told fans after the match that he got the reaction he was desperate for from his players. He labelled it an outstanding offensive performance in the first-half, and an even better defensive one in the second-half. Liverpool are now 8/11 with bet365 to finish in the top-four, if you fancy them strongly enough to invest some of your cash.
Man City second after easy win
On Monday, Manchester City came through a tricky test away to Bournemouth with flying colours. The Citizens got the win needed, courtesy of goals from Sterling and a Mings OG, one either side of half-time, to move up to second in the table. The win did come at a price however as attacker Gabriel Jesus broke down with injury and his time on the park was cut-short at 14-minutes, replaced by Aguero. A metatarsal injury was diagnosed and he looks likely to miss the majority of the remaining season.