Arsenal missed the chance to go level on points with Leicester City and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League on Sunday, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Liverpool did manage to surge up the table courtesy of a 1-0 win against Swansea City at Anfield. James Milner netted the only goal of the game from the penalty spot, as the Reds’ resurgence under manager Jurgen Klopp continued.
Sunday’s early kick-off saw Chelsea hold Tottenham Hotspur to a 0-0 stalemate at White Hart Lane, and the spoils were also shared at Upton Park, where West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion played out a 1-1 draw.
Here’s a look at the updated Premier League table, together with a full roundup of Sunday’s action:
|Premier League Table|
|8||West Ham United||14||6||4||4||25||21||4||22|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||14||5||3||6||13||18||-5||18|
Improving Chelsea Keep Spurs at Bay
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea continued on their road to redemption with a solid performance in Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
While Spurs had the better of the play, Chelsea’s former stubborn nature that has evaded them so often this season seemed to return.
And with that in mind, Mourinho told Sky Sports that this performance was the best he’s seen from his side this season—via Adam Smith of MailOnline:
“I think this was the best Chelsea of the season, as a team. I think we deserved more than what we got but I’m really happy with the performance. The team defended like a team, with 11 players. We were comfortable against a side that presses really well and aggressively and it was difficult to play against them.”
Even so, the Blues had just one shot on target all game, and TheSportBible was one of many mocking Mourinho’s words after the match:
Said shot did draw a fine save from Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal from Eden Hazard’s left foot, but that was as good as it got for the visitors going forward.
Tottenham hardly peppered Asmir Begovic’s goal, either, yet they’ll take plenty of encouragement from the match after extending their unbeaten Premier League run to 13 matches.
Chelsea welcome struggling Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge next time around, and they’ll be hoping for three points to propel them back towards the league’s summit.
Wasteful West Ham Held by West Brom
West Ham were left ruing a handful of good first-half chances, as they drew 1-1 with West Brom at Upton Park.
The Hammers went in front on 17 minutes thanks to Mauro Zarate’s exquisite free-kick, yet they could so easily have gone in at half time 3-0 to the good.
Cheikhou Kouyate headed wide from a pinpoint Aaron Cresswell cross, before the lively Manuel Lanzini saw several efforts thwarted by West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill.
West Brom needed something to change at half time, and manager Tony Pulis decided to send on Rickie Lambert, who duly turned the game on its head.
Just five minutes into the second period, the England international caused problems in the West Ham box before his shot was turned in by the hapless Winston Reid.
West Brom could so easily have won the match, too, but Salomon Rondon’s header from just six yards out was brilliantly saved by Adrian.
The striker possibly should have done better, but take nothing away from the West Ham stopper, who made himself big in front of Rondon.
The draw sees West Ham’s winless run extend to four games, and with a trip to Old Trafford to come next week, things could get worse before they get better from Slaven Bilic’s side.
Arsenal Pegged Back by Spirited Canaries
Norwich City fought back from 1-0 down to take a well-deserved point from Sunday’s clash with Arsenal at Carrow Road.
The Gunners started the game very brightly and found themselves in front on the half hour mark through Mesut Ozil, who delicately dinked the ball over the onrushing John Ruddy.
However, the Gunners were pegged back just before half time, when Lewis Grabban pounced from eight yards out to put the hosts back on level terms.
The former Bournemouth striker took his chance well against the run of play, which, incidentally, was the first time he’d found the net in almost nine months according to Sky Sports Statto:
Norwich then emerged from the dressing room looking a totally different side and could easily have won the match were it not for the excellent reflexes of Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal.
Even so, the Gunners will look at Sunday’s draw as two points dropped rather than one gained, and will be desperate to get back to winning ways against the struggling Sunderland next time out.
Liverpool Edge Swansea to go Sixth
Liverpool manager Klopp continued to wave his magic wand over proceedings at Anfield on Sunday, with James Milner’s second-half penalty earning the Reds a hard-fought 1-0 win over Swansea City.
Chances were few and far between in a game that was far from a thriller, with neither side managing a shot on target in the first half.
It was one of those games that was going to be settled by a moment of brilliance or an individual error, and the latter arrived on the hour mark.
Jordan Ibe, who caused nightmares for the Swansea defence all afternoon, saw his cross handled by Neil Taylor to give Milner the chance to steer his side in front.
The Englishman duly took his chance, before saying in a post-match interview that getting across the line was all-important—per BBC Sport:
“It wasn't the prettiest of games. It was important to win. It was tough conditions for the match. I don't think it was ever going to be the best game to watch and it was all about getting the points.”
Liverpool now sit just four points adrift of the top four heading into December, and you’d be brave to bet against them surging towards the top of the Premier League under the miracle-working Klopp.