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EPL week 24 review: Liverpool held at home; Bournemouth batter Chelsea

TAGs: afc bournemouth, English Premier League, liverpool

Week 24 of the English Premier League is over after Leicester held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Anfield, and Bournemouth battered Chelsea in a defeat that saw them fall from the Champions League places.

There’s a common theme you see in a title race. A team loses ground against a weaker team, and the next night, with the opportunity to streak ahead lying legs spread before them, the only side who could benefit from the lapse becomes impotent.

EPL Wk 24 Review: Liverpool held at home; Bournemouth batter ChelseaAnd.

It.

Happened.

Again.

Last.

Night.

Liverpool, who are odds-on to win their first top tier title since 1990, could have taken the elevator seven points clear of Manchester City, after Pep Guardiola’s side lost to Newcastle on Tuesday night.

The Anfield crowd bellowed the name of Rafa Benitez from the stands.

Leicester City stood in their way; a team that had lost their previous three matches, including a FA Cup balloon pop of a game against the minnows of Newport County.

Liverpool had won all seven of their previous home games, with City the only side leaving with a point this season.

As with City, the night prior, the opening was predictable, as Jürgen Klopp’s side slid 30-passes across the frosty turf before Sadio Mané slalomed through the Foxes defence, opening the scoring in the second minute.

A minute later, and it could have been two after Roberto Firmino chested the ball down, applied an excellent first touch, and hit low and hard, only for Kasper Schmeichel to tip it wide of the post.

Despite those two early chances, Leicester reacted well and should have equalised on 25 mins when James Maddison chose to head the ball across the six-yard box when diverting it towards goal was the wiser option.

Then in first-half injury time, Maddison swung in a free kick that the Liverpool backline failed to clear; Ben Chilwell headed it back into the jukebox, and the charging Liverpool line failed to move quicker than Harry Maguire, who made it 1-1 with a neat finish.

Leicester had chances to win the game with Maddison forcing a close-range save from Alisson, and the Brazilian keeper then saved on the line, after Maguire made a nuisance of himself with a cut back from the six-yard box that struck the body of a Liverpool defender, diverting it goalward.

Then we had the contentious moment in the match, after Ricardo Pereira clipped the ankles of Naby Keita, after a neat one-two with Firmino, but the referee failed to point to the spot. Had we had VAR, Liverpool would now be seven points clear with 14 games to go – instead, it’s five.

Bournemouth 4 v 0 Chelsea

Chelsea dropped out of the Champions League positions after a surprising drubbing at the hands of Bournemouth.

Josh King scored twice with David Brooks and Charlie Daniels also on point as the Cherries pulled off one of their most significant victories in the club’s history.

It’s the second Premier League defeat on the bounce after Chelsea lost to Arsenal at the Emirates last week, and with Maurizio Sarri telling the press that if Eden Hazard wants to go “he has to go,” you suspect all is not well at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal took advantage of the defeat, moving into fourth place on goal difference. Manchester United players will be headbutting the wall after dropping two points against Burnley, making them unable to take full advantage of the slip-up.

Results in Full

Arsenal 2 v 1 Cardiff
Fulham 4 v 2 Brighton
Wolves 3 v 0 West Ham
Huddersfield 0 v 1 Everton
Newcastle 2 v 1 Man City
Man Utd 2 v 2 Burnley
Southampton 1 v 1 Crystal Palace
Bournemouth 4 v 0 Chelsea
Liverpool 1 v 1 Leicester
Spurs 2 v 1 Watford

Premier League Table

1. Liverpool – 61 points
2. Man City – 56
3. Spurs – 54
4. Arsenal – 47
5. Chelsea – 47
6. Man Utd – 45
7. Wolves – 35
8. Everton – 33
9. Watford – 33
10. Bournemouth – 33
11. Leicester – 32
12. West Ham – 31
13. Brighton – 26
14. Newcastle – 24
15. Crystal Palace – 23
16. Southampton – 23
17. Burnley – 23
18. Cardiff – 19
19. Fulham – 17
20. Huddersfield – 11

Odds

To Win

Liverpool 4/11
Man City 9/4

Top 4 Finish

Spurs 2/7
Chelsea 2/5
Man Utd 2/1
Arsenal 5/2

Relegated

Huddersfield 1/66
Fulham 1/3
Cardiff 4/11
Burnley 7/4
Newcastle 7/1

Top Scorer

Mohamed Salah 4/6 (16 goals)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 11/4 (15 goals)
Sergio Aguero 6/1 (11 goals)
Harry Kane 14/1 (14 goals)

Next Manager to Leave

Claude Puel 4/9
Marco Silva 6/1
Rafa Benitez 7/1

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