Chelsea's Premier League Roundup
It was not quite the perfect Chelsea performance that the fans wanted, but it was a win nonetheless as the Blues battled to a 4-2 win over Watford at Stamford Bridge. Pedro had opened the scoring with a stunning strike before Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra put the visitors in front.
Substitute Michy Batshuayi made it 2-2 before Cesar Azpilicueta won the game for the Blues. Batshuayi netted his second to add a gloss to the scoreline, but Antonio Conte will know that his team have to be better defensively if they are to mount a serious defence of their title this season, as they were undone often in the game, with Watford cursing their profligacy which cost them the game.
Elsewhere, Brighton heaped the pressure on West Ham as they smashed three goals past their hosts in an emphatic win. There are a number of managers who are really feeling the pressure in recent weeks, but none more so than Slaven Bilic, with his side once again outclassed on the pitch. Manchester City continued their outstanding run as they thumped Burnley 3-0, with a special mention for Kevin De Bruyne who was once again sublime, while Manchester United were awful as they fell to an uncharacteristically error-strewn 2-1 defeat at the hands of Huddersfield on Saturday.
Newcastle United made sure they sent Crystal Palace back down to earth with a bump following their win over Chelsea last weekend as they stole a 1-0 win to continue their march, while Stoke City fell 2-1 to Bournemouth as the pressure mounted on Mark Hughes. For the Cherries, it was just their second win of the season and means they are now just a point from safety. Swansea were another side that were brought crashing down as they were beaten by Leicester City, who remain without a manager. The game was the perfect chance for the Swans to gather some momentum, but they failed miserably. Southampton were indebted to a fine individual effort from Sofiane Boufal as they downed West Brom 1-0 in what was a drab affair for large parts of the game.
On Sunday, the London teams came out on top in their showdown with Merseyside. Liverpool fell 4-1 to Tottenham as Harry Kane scored a double, with Spurs benefiting from an atrocious performance from defender Dejan Lovren who Jurgen Klopp substituted in the first-half. Arsenal also won handsomely as they thumped Everton 5-2. Wayne Rooney opened the scoring, but the London side were too strong and despite an awful moment from Petr Cech as he gifted the Toffees a second, Arsene Wenger’s side now move onto 16 points while Everton drop into the relegation zone.
For Chelsea, the weekend ended fairly well as United dropped points, meaning the gap between the Blues and Jose Mourinho’s men has been cut. However, Manchester City look unstoppable at the moment and Conte’s men cannot afford any more mistakes if they are are to chase City down.
Next on their travels is Bournemouth. The Cherries will prove a tough opponent, but the Blues simply have to beat the league’s second-bottom side if they are to be taken seriously this campaign. The pressure has been lifted somewhat following their win, but a defeat next Saturday would see Conte buried in an avalanche of discontent.