|West Ham||2-2||Crystal Palace|
Premier League Matchday 32: Arsenal 4-0 Watford highlights
Week 32 of the English Premier League came off its hiatus with idle PL leaders – Leicester City – holding on to a 4point gap at the top with the chance of extending it to seven on Sunday as their closest competition, Tottenham Spurs, faltered on the road Saturday, settling for a one all tie with Liverpool.
Cellar dwellers, Aston Villa, continued their slide towards relegation, courtesy of 4-0 hammering at the hands of reigning PL Champions – Chelsea – with interim manager Eric Black taking a big hit in his first game, Arsenal kept the pressure on Leicester and Tottenham in the title race with a 4-0 win over Watford with young Alex Iwobi scoring for the second time in as many outings and Kevin de Bruyne starred on his return after two months out as Manchester City reinvigorated their top-four hopes with a 4-0 thumping of Bournemouth.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Martin Olsson’s stoppage-time winner gave Norwich a 3-2 win over Newcastle and a 4point cushion from the relegation zone, Swansea stunned Stoke City with a second half comeback to earn a point, Stoke threw a wrench into Sunderland’s PL survival hopes as they held the latter to a draw at the Stadium of Light and West Ham’s Champions League hopes were dented as they could only manage a point against Crystal Palace.
On Sunday, Leicester City continued their probable run for the EPL title, opening a huge 7point gap against closest contenders Tottenham Hotspurs following their lone goal victory over visiting Southampton and Anthony Marshall scored the winner as Manchester United beat Everton 1-0 at Old Trafford to keep their top four hopes alive.
Aston villa 0-4 Chelsea
In a game, that looked more like a preseason affair for the visiting Blues, interim Chelsea boss, Guus Hiddink, handed Matt Miazga his debut and his side broke the deadlock in the 26th minute with Ruben Loftus-Cheek firing home Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross to score his first PL goal before substitute Alexandre Pato precise kick from the spot gave them a healthy half-time lead.
Pedro scored twice; the first coming in shortly after recess as he finished off an excellent passing move before making it a double at the 59th minute mark to round off the scoring and hand A. Villa their 7thstraight PL defeat as the inevitability of their relegation draws nigh on them.
The win gave Chelsea sole possession of the middle of the table on 44points, 1 and 3points respectively behind Liverpool (9th), Stoke and Southampton.
Arsenal 4-0 Watford
Alexis Sanchez put the Gunners ahead after four minutes at the Emirates, before Alex Iwobi forced Heurelho Gomes into a stunning save and soon doubled their advantage by sweeping in from 12 yards to finish off a superb team move.
A deflected strike from Hector Bellerin made it three just after the break, and substitute Theo Walcott added a fourth with a close-range finish in stoppage time to complete the route.
Arsene Wenger’s third placed side still need an unlikely collapse from both the Foxes and second-placed Tottenham to have any hope of securing the league title, while tough trips to West Ham and Manchester City await in their remaining seven games. Watford has the 14th spot on 37points.
Bournemouth 0-4 Manchester City
Manchester City maintained their hold on the fourth spot in the PL with a comfortable 4-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday.
City scored three goals in the first 18 minutes, with Fernando opening the scoring from a Jesus Navas corner before De Bruyne made it 2-0 when he volleyed home David Silva’s flick and Sergio Aguero headed a third soon after.
Bournemouth had no response and Aleksandar Kolarov blasted in City’s fourth with the last kick of the game.
City are 12 points behind idle PL leaders Leicester with seven games remaining but it is important for them to fight off fifth placed West Ham.
The Cherries remain two points off the 40-point mark, but their 11-point cushion above the bottom three looks fairly healthy.
Norwich 3-2 Newcastle
Premier League Matchday 32: Norwich City 3-2 Newcastle highlights
Martin Olsson fired in a stoppage-time winner as Norwich dealt a huge blow to Newcastle’s hopes of survival.
Timm Klose gave Norwich the lead with a first-half header before Aleksandar Mitrovic nodded in after 71 minutes.
Mitrovic levelled again, this time from the spot, after Dieumerci Mbokani’s superb strike had made it 2-1, before Olsson rifled in a low, angled winner.
The win moves the 17th-placed Canaries six points clear of the Magpies who are 19th but have played one game fewer.
Stoke 2-2 Swansea
Swansea City eased their relegation fears as they fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
Ibrahim Afellay marked his 30th birthday by giving Mark Hughes’ side a half-time lead as he headed in Marko Arnautovic’s cross. Bojan Krkic doubled the lead early in the second half with a fine solo goal.
But Sigurdsson pulled one back with a shot on the turn that wrong-footed keeper Jakob Haugaard, and Paloschi’s deflected strike earned Swansea a point.
The point moved Swansea 10 points clear of the relegation zone with just six games of the season to play while Stoke has the 8th spot on 47 points.
Sunderland 0-0 West Bromwich Albion
Sunderland remain in the relegation zone after they failed to turn their dominance into goals against West Brom.
Despite a first clean sheet in 17 league games, the Black Cats took only a point, wasting two excellent chances to win the game in the closing minutes.
First, Fabio Borini forced a sprawling save from Ben Foster, before the keeper denied Jermain Defoe from five yards.
Then the hosts had a goal disallowed in injury time when Dame N’Doye netted, but was correctly adjudged offside.
It could be a significant missed opportunity for Sunderland, who are now four points from safety after Norwich beat Newcastle.
West Brom remain 11th on 40points.
West Ham 2-2 Crystal Palace
A controversial red card for Cheikhou Kouyate proved costly for West Ham as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Crystal Palace at Upton Park.
The Hammers led 2-1 at the break thanks to Dimitri Payet’s stunning free-kick at the end of the half, after Manuel Lanzini had cancelled out Damien Delaney’s opening goal.
But Palace grew into the game in the second half and were aided when Kouyate was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Dwight Gayle.
Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham Spurs
Tottenham missed the chance to put pressure on Premier League leaders Leicester after being held to a 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday Night Football.
With the Foxes not in action until Sunday, Spurs could have closed the gap at the top of the table to two points.
But they fell behind in the 51st minute at Anfield when Philippe Coutinho finished from Daniel Sturridge’s pass.
Harry Kane equalized in the 63rd minute with a fine finish but Spurs could not grab a winner and will now wait anxiously to see how the Foxes fare against Southampton.
Leicester City 1-0 Southampton
Leicester moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with six games remaining after Wes Morgan’s header saw off Southampton.
The Foxes skipper connected with Christian Fuchs’ first-half cross to score his first goal of the season.
Southampton came closest when Sadio Mane rounded Kasper Schmeichel, but his goal bound shot was superbly blocked by Danny Simpson.
Southampton has the 7th spot on 47points.
Leicester will win the title if they win four of their remaining games.
Manchester United 1-0 Everton
Anthony Martial scored the winner as Manchester United beat Everton 1-0 at Old Trafford to keep their top four hopes alive.
The striker netted United’s 1,000th home Premier League goal in the second half to lift his side up to fifth in the table – just a point behind rivals Manchester City in fourth.
It means Louis van Gaal’s side are left with a real opportunity to qualify for next season’s Champions League, with seven games left to play.
Everton, however, are left languishing in 12th in the Premier League after suffering their 10th defeat of a hugely frustrating campaign.
compiled with match results from BBC, skysports and eurospors