TGT Columnists

Gunners top-four hopes dented; Chelsea 13 clear

  • Arsenal well beaten at West Brom
  • Chelsea leave it late at Stoke
  • Palace beat Watford
  • Everton into fifth after Hull collapse
  • Sunderland held at home
  • Leicester's brilliant run continues

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis - RealTIme Images

Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish suffered a major blow as they were beaten 3-1 at West Bromwich Albion.

It was a fourth defeat in five games for The Gunners, and the pressure is now mounting on Arsene Wenger – who is yet to decide whether to remain as manager – but there was clear signs of discontent amongst the visiting fans at The Hawthorns.

Craig Dawson opened the scoring for West Brom after 12-minutes when headed home but the lead lasted just a matter of minutes as Alexis Sanchez levelled from close-range for his 18th goal of the season.

Into the second-half and West Brom re-took the lead, which they would not relinquish as substitute Hal Robson-Kanu grabbed the second.

Dawson then headed home his second to complete the win as Arsenal showed little fighting spirit in the second-half as Tony Pulis’s side claimed a deserved win.

Arsenal are now some five points behind Liverpool in fourth, albeit with a game-in-hand – but they are in real danger of not finishing in the top-four for the first time since 1996. They are now rated as high as 2/1 to finish in the top-four.

Leaders Chelsea’s charge to the title continued with a hard fought 2-1 win at Stoke City.

Willian gave Chelsea the lead 13-minutes in but Jonathan Walters levelled from the penalty spot just before half-time. But with Stoke looking destined to claim a very good point, Gary Cahill fired home with three minutes left.

Stoke’s day was also compounded by the late dismissal of Phil Bardsley.

Chelsea’s lead is now 13-points with second placed Tottenham not playing until Sunday.

Everton have climbed into sixth, above Manchester United who like Spurs are not in action for 24-hours, after a comprehensive 4-0 win over relegation threatened Hull City at Goodison Park.

Daniel Calvert-Lewin opened the scoring with his first goal for Everton just eight-minute in. Hull were holding their own until Tom Huddlestone was dismissed on 73-minutes.

Against ten-men the floodgates opened with Enner Valencia scoring before Romelu Lukaku added an injury time double which means he is the first-man to hit 20 goals in the Premier League this season.

Hull’s day was made worse by the fact they are now three-points adrift of safety after Crystal Palace bolstered their survival hopes with a 1-0 win over Watford at Selhurst Park which came courtesy of a Troy Deeney own goal as he headed a Palace free-kick into his own net.

Palace moved above Swansea into 16th, four points clear of the drop-zone.

Leicester City’s thoughts of relegation have all but gone as their resurgence under Craig Shakespeare continued with a 3-2 win at West Ham United.

Riyad Mahrez and Robert Huth put Leicester 2-0 up within the opening seven minutes before Manuel Lanzini pulled one back on 20-minutes.

Jamie Vardy restored Leicester’s two-goal advantage just before half-time. Andre Ayew pulled one back for West Ham just after the hour mark but Leicester held on for the win.

Sunderland remain bottom-of-the-table following a 0-0 draw with Burnley at the Stadium of Light.

The final game of the day saw Bournemouth claim a 2-0 win over Swansea thanks to an Alfie Mawson own goal and a strike from Benik Afobe. The win takes The Cherries up to 11th in the table.

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