European Leagues Roundup: Chelsea grab a late draw, while City thrash Palace, PSG win while Leicester draw to go top
English Premier League
In the early kickoff, Tottenham’s second half flurry resulted in them defeating Sunderland 4-1 at home. Chelsea and Everton produced an incredible second half as a six goal thriller saw them share the spoils 3-3. Manchester City thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 at the Etihad, to go top, temporarily. Elsewhere, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Southampton all enjoyed home wins over Norwich, West Ham and West Brom respectively. Leicester drew away to Aston Villa 1-1 in the late kickoff to go top of the league, with Arsenal to play tomorrow.
Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Sunderland
Scorers: Eriksen 42’ 67’, Dembele 60’, Kane 79’– Van Aanholt 41’
Tottenham started the brighter of the two sides, with Dele Alli spurning a glorious chance from close range in the 9th minute. The England forward was made to regret his early miss towards the end of the first half, as he was asleep as Patrick van Aanholt ghosted past him on the wing, allowing the left back to gather an Adam Johnson through ball and slot underneath Hugo Lloris at the near post, giving the Black Cats the lead in the 41st minute.
Sunderland’s joy was short-lived however, as Spurs equalized just 90 seconds later – Christian Eriksen found Harry Kane in space on the right, and as Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford charged down Kane’s shot, the ball squirmed through to Eriksen, who fired home the rebound to equalise for Spurs in the 42nd minute, despite Lee Cattermole’s failed attempt to clear off the line, which meant the two sides headed into the break on level terms.
Sunderland had a breakaway a few minutes into the second half, but Johnson and Defoe conspired to pass up the opportunity. It was a pivotal moment, as Spurs completely turned the game around later, as Moussa Dembele gave the North London side the lead on the hour mark, shooting low and hard past Pickford into the bottom corner after cutting inside on his left foot.
Eriksen extended Tottenham’s advantage in the 67th minute, as the Dane’s long range effort took a wicked deflection off Jan Kirchhoff, who Sunderland had signed from Bayern Munich earlier this month, and looped into the top corner. Kirchhoff’s miserable debut continued in the 79th minute, as his rash foul on Danny Rose resulted in a penalty, which Kane calmly slotted into the bottom left corner to give Spurs a 4-1 victory.
Chelsea 3-3 Everton
Scorers: Costa 64’, Fabregas 66’, Terry 90+8’ – Terry OG 50’, Mirallas 56’, Funes Mori 90+1’
Chelsea and Everton opened their game in circumspect fashion, as both sides failed to create any clear cut chances in the opening 10 minutes. Willian had the first shot in anger for Chelsea in the 15th minute, as good interplay from the London Blues set the Brazilian free down the right, and his powerful shot as he bore down on goal was turned away by Tim Howard.
As the half progressed , Everton grew into the game, with Aaron Lennon and Kevin Mirallas drawing saves from Thibaut Courtois. The Blues did not create much of note, while Kurt Zouma was impressive as he contained Everton’s attack, resulting in a goalless first half.
The game burst into life in the second half as Everton took the lead in the 50th minute. Gareth Barry found Ross Barkley in the middle, who set Leighton Baines free down the left. The left-back’s low cross was turned into the net by John Terry with Romelu Lukaku in close attention.
Everton had their tails up and Barkley almost doubled the lead 3 minutes later, but his shot cannoned off the left upright. The Toffees did double their lead in the 56th minute, as good hold up play from Lukaku found Baines on the left again – the left-back’s cross was slightly behind Mirallas, but the Belgian controlled and turned in one movement to hammer the ball home with his left foot.
Chelsea came storming back with a two goal flurry in as many minutes. Fabregas was instrumental for the first as he floated a lovely long ball that Costa and Jagielka competed for, with Howard charging at them. The three came together, but it left Costa with an open goal, as Howard missed the ball with Jagielka wrestled to the ground, allowing the Chelsea striker to score in the 64th minute.
Fabregas equalised for Chelsea two minutes later, as he combined well with Costa on the edge of the box with a quick give-and-go, but Fabregas’ shot took a deflection and evaded Howard’s despairing dive, with the ball nestling in the bottom corner.
Costa and Mirallas spurned gilt-edged chances to give their respective sides the lead, with Costa air-kicking a cross just a few yards from goal, while Mirallas shot straight at Courtois when played through for a one-on-one by Besic.
Ramiro Funes Mori added a twist to the tale in the first minute of injury time. A corner from Gerard Deulofeu wasn’t cleared and fell the to Spaniard, who produced a wicked cross that the Argentine acrobatically turned in from close range.
John Terry had the final say of an incredible second half, as he produced a wonderful backheeled flick after his teammates had kept the ball alive, scoring the equaliser with the last kick of the game, thus earning Chelsea a point in his 700th appearance for the club.
Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace
Scorers: Delph 22’, Aguero 41’ 69’, Silva 84’
Crystal Palace started the better of the two sides, as Damien Delaney stung Joe Hart’s palms with a close range header from a corner in the 2nd minute. Delaney was made to regret his miss as Fabian Delph opened the scoring for Manchester City in the 22nd minute. The Englishman’s low, effort from 30 yards out with his left foot was on target, but Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey should have done better as he dived over the ball, resulting in Delph’s effort nestling in the bottom corner.
Sergio Aguero doubled City’s lead late in the second half, as the Argentine profited from a deflection off Scott Dann to score in the 41st minute. Kelechi Iheanacho did well to burst down the left and pass to Aguero, whose effort from range was on target, but Dann’s intervention took the ball away from Hennessey into the top corner, thus resulting in City going into the break two goals up.
City began the second half on control, as Palace struggled to trouble the hosts. Aguero established Manchester City’s dominance in the 69th minute of the match, as he swept home from close range after intelligent passing from Yaya Toure and Kevin de Bruyne gave him a tap in.
The Argentine could have scored his hat-trick in the 84th minute, after he skipped past Delaney on a counter and was one-on-one with Hennessey. However, Aguero altruistically set up David Silva for a tap in into an empty net, and the Spaniard scored the fourth of Manchester City’s unanswered goals, thus taking the Sky Blues to 2nd in the table, with Arsenal to play tomorrow.
Aston Villa 1-1 Leicester
Scorers : Okazaki 29’ – Gestede 75’
Leicester City started their game away to Aston Villa well, and confirmed their superiority on the half-hour mark, with Shinji Okazaki giving Leicester a 29th minute lead. The Japanese striker profited after Jamie Vardy’s brilliant lob was scrambled away by Villa goalkeeper Mark Bunn, allowing Okazaki to ghost past a dawdling Joleon Lescott and tap home.
The Foxes had a wonderful chance to double their lead minutes later as Aly Cissokho handled the ball while charging down a Riyad Mahrez shot that was headed for goal. Mahrez stepped up to take the penalty, but his woeful effort down the middle was easily saved by Bunn, which meant that Villa went into the break only a goal down.
The Villains were much better after the break, and got their just reward from substitude Rudy Gested in the 75th minute. The Benin national was fortunate as he controlled the ball with his hand, but shrugged off Robert Huth’s attentions brilliantly to lash the ball past a flailing Schmeichel and earn Villa a precious point in their battle against relegation, while Leicester go top with 44 points, with Arsenal to play their game in hand against Stoke tomorrow.
Southampton 3-0 West Bromwich Albion
Scorers: Ward-Prouse 5’ 35’, Tadic 72’
Newcastle 2-1 West Ham United
Scorers: Perez 6’, Wijnaldum 15’ – Jelavic 49’
AFC Bournemouth 3-0 Norwich City
Scorers: Gosling 10’, Daniels 54’, Afobe 75’
Toulouse 0-1 Paris St. Germain
Scorers: – Ibrahimovic 73’
Toulouse caused the runaway Ligue 1 leaders plenty of problems in the first half. The hosts were happy to sit back and defend and catch PSG on the counter attack. Wissam Ben Yedder was the bright spot for the hosts, and he was unlucky not to give the hosts the lead in the 35th minute as he waltzed past David Luiz and beat Kevin Trapp with a powerful shot that hit the crossbar.
PSG were much better in the second half, but continued to struggle to break down Toulouse’s stubborn defense, with Lucas Moura going close in the 63rd minute. The breakthrough finally came in the 73rd minute, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic profited from a David Luiz header that fell to him at the back post, allowing the Swede to nod hom from close range, squirming under Lafont and giving PSG the lead.
Ibrahimovic came close to doubling PSG’s lead with a late free kick, but it was palmed away. It did not ultimately matter however, as PSG saw out the victory, thus earning them 3 more points and extending their lead at the top of the table to a staggering 23 points.