Premier League round up, March 6th 2017
Battle for the top 4 intensifies
Relegation battle also heats up
With Chelsea not out until Monday evening, travelling to the London Stadium for the challenge of West Ham, Spurs took the chance to move to within seven points of the summit with an impressive win over Everton at White Hart Lane. In what we had picked out as one of the best games of the weekend, Everton, who went into the day clutching outside hopes of finishing in the top-four, ended with their first defeat in 10.
Spurs edge Everton in thriller
Having caught the eye with recent wins over the likes of Manchester City, Leicester, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Sunderland, all without conceding a goal, The Toffees could’ve moved to within five points of Liverpool and the Champions League places with the right result, and they went mighty close too.
In a five-goal thriller, which included two in stoppage-time, Tottenham squeezed out a 3-2 result, thanks to goals from Alli and a Kane double. The latter has been in stunning form, and football fans knew he would play a major part in the destination of the points on Sunday. It was little surprise to see him break the deadlock on 20-minutes to delight backers. Everton made a game of it, scoring two goals near the end of the match, Lukaku on 81-minutes and Valencia on 93.
Spurs gaffer Mauricio Pochettino called Kane one of the best players in the world after his hat-trick last weekend, and couldn’t give better praise than that this time out. He took pride in the belief shown by his entire team on Sunday, having that as the deciding factor between the two. Opposing manager Ronald Koeman picked up striker Lukaku for special praise, saying the attacker is strong and dangerous if given a sight of goal. Koeman told fans he enjoyed the competition between Kane and Lukaku, and thought there wasn’t a lot between them.
Bookies say that the Champions League battle is still wide open
The result ensures Spurs remain in second on 56 points, with Man City behind on 55. Everton stick to seventh, four points better than West Brom one place lower in the pecking order, but trailing Manchester United, who drew with Bournemouth, by five. Spurs are now no better than 16/1 to win the league with 888Sport, or 7/4 (Bet Victor) to finish second. Everton have drifted to 9/1 (Bet Victor) to finish in the top-six.
Another of Sunday’s matches had a say at both ends of the table when Man City completely wiped the floor with Sunderland, taking the points courtesy of a 2-0 win. That result was achieved thanks to goals from Aguero and Sane, one either side of the half-time break, and was a fair result on the balance of play.
City had to work hard for the win however, as they came up against a stubborn Sunderland defence, one unwilling to give anything away without a fight. David Moyes’ men weren’t too shabby at the other end of the park either, and when watching Sky Sports Super Sunday you do look at The Black Cats sometimes and wonder just how they find themselves in the situation they are in, with relegation looming. With a bit of support Moyes could whip them into shape over the summer.
Sunderland in trouble as City stroll
One group who were far from impressed however was Sunderland fans, who left in their numbers following the opening goal, and there were vast empty spaces in the stands before Sane doubled City’s lead. The Citizens have now won each of their four, and remain in the hunt to finish second.
It was the same old story from Sunderland – an eye-catching effort, but little to show for it and, in the end, another defeat. They may look towards Newcastle for a bit of confidence going forward and think going down and rebuilding that broken morale, could see them come back as a better team. They are not doing an awful lot wrong at the minute, but are now six points from safety, having lost each of their last three. Since beating Crystal Palace 4-0, they have lost to Southampton, Everton and City, creating chances to score in each game, but failing to hit the net.
It’s little surprise to see traders offer no bigger than Betfair’s 1/8 on Sunderland to be relegated, and that shouldn’t attract too much attention. Man City on the other hand, well they are fancied to finish second, with bet365 giving 11/10, while The Citizens to overthrow Chelsea is 9/1 in places.