X

Premier League Table Week 18: Sunday's 2019 EPL Top Scorers and Results

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Willian of Chelsea scores his sides second goal   during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Willian scored twice to help Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday. His brace has kept the Blues fourth and six points ahead of Spurs.

The game was marred by allegations of racial abuse directed from a member of the home crowd toward Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger. He had been involved in an altercation with Heung-Min Son that ended with the Tottenham striker sent off.

Three separate announcements were made at Tottenham Hotspur stadium calling for an end to racist behaviour following the incident, per BBC Sport.

Neither Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham nor Tottenham frontman Harry Kane were able to close the gap on the division's top scorer, Leicester City's Jamie Vardy.

The day began with Manchester United slipping to a damaging 2-0 defeat to bottom-of-the-table Watford at Vicarage Road. Ismaila Sarr and Troy Deeney got on the scoresheet for the Hornets and dented United's hopes of closing the gap on the top four.

Sunday Scores

  • Watford 2-0 Manchester United
  • Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Chelsea

Standings 

Premier League @premierleague

How the #PL table looks at Christmas 🎄 https://t.co/x7nhd4sB3u

Top Scorers (Player, club and goals)

1. Jamie Vardy, Leicester City: 17

2. Tammy Abraham, Chelsea: 11

2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal: 11

2. Danny Ings, Southampton: 11

5. Marcus Rashford, Manchester United: 10

6. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City: 9

6. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur: 9

6. Sadio Mane, Liverpool: 9

6. Teemu Pukki, Norwich City: 9

6. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool: 9

6. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City: 9

Chelsea were on top early against a Spurs side unable to deal with the Blues' surprise 3-4-3 formation. Willian floated freely behind Abraham and opened the scoring in spectacular fashion on 12 minutes.

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

Willian scores against Tottenham for the 1st time in @premierleague - he previously went... 📊 11 appearances ⏱️ 11 hours, 29 mins 🎯 15 shots 👨‍💼 4 managers ...without scoring against @SpursOfficial in PL #TOTCHE https://t.co/9ogGM5RVOt

It gave Frank Lampard a great start against former manager Jose Mourinho, who looked pensive in the Tottenham dugout. Mourinho was anxious when VAR deemed Paulo Gazzaniga had lunged into Marcos Alonso on the stroke of halftime, despite referee Anthony Taylor initially giving the decision against the Chelsea man.

Willian stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.

Tottenham's attempts to get back into the game stalled following Son's dismissal just after the hour mark. Once again VAR was needed after Taylor initially didn't judge the striker appearing to kick out as worthy of a red card:

B/R Football @brfootball

Heung-min Son is sent off for violent conduct against Antonio Rudiger after a VAR review 😳 https://t.co/6m1VkcbNHF

Son has fallen foul of officials more than once in 2019, and there was little sympathy from BBC Sport's Phil McNulty:

Phil McNulty @philmcnulty

Red card for Son. He can look as astonished and upset as he likes but he raised his boot. Rudiger over-did it in reaction but Son definitely raised his boot into his ribs.

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

Most red cards in @premierleague in 2019: 3⃣ Heung-Min Son 2⃣ Ainsley Maitland-Niles 2⃣ Willy Boly #TOTCHE https://t.co/pAZ4gfqC6k

Chelsea players kept their composure and preserved the lead with steady possession and effective counter-attacking football. Lampard had earned a statement win against one of his mentors.

Earlier, Deeney and Sarr struggled to get on track during what was a scrappy and fairly turgid first half. It was only after the break when the latter sprang into life.

Sarr and Watford's breakthrough came five minutes after the restart, albeit with the aid of some luck. The winger scuffed his effort into the ground and the bounce and spin seemed to deceive David De Gea in the United goal.

De Gea allowed the ball to squirm through his hands to continue a pattern of making costly errors:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

6 - Since the start of last season, no player has made more errors leading to goals in the Premier League than David de Gea (6). Gifts. #WATMUN https://t.co/RIpNYWZYi5

Watford's lead was doubled when the lively Sarr caused more problems and was felled in the box by a clumsy challenge from Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Skipper Deeney duly held his nerve from the spot.

United had the firepower to respond, but the closest 10-goal man Marcus Rashford came to adding to his tally was when he forced Ben Foster into a fine save with his feet. Rashford had been overtaken in the scoring charts by Southampton's Danny Ings, who bagged a brace to help the Saints beat Aston Villa 3-1 on Saturday.

Watford remain at the foot of the table but will take confidence from the way they outfought and out-thought the Red Devils. Meanwhile, United and Spurs need to reset after failing to deliver with precious top-four gains at stake.