Conte "not worried" about job in top four failure and will "continue to give everything" despite "inexperienced" signings
Antonio Conte “is not worried” about his future at Chelsea Football Club and will “continue to give everything” despite being the first manager to lose at home to Tottenham Hotspur since February 1990. Conte came into the clash, vital for Chelsea’s hopes of finishing in the top four, with plenty of ‘reasons’ why Spurs could win – namely the “inexperienced” signings the club had made to replace the outgoing Chelsea players over the summer. Forgetting that Olivier Giroud has nearly a decade of Premier League experience, Danny Drinkwater won the title at Leicester City and Ross Barkley had been at Everton under David Moyes, Conte chose to focus on Tiemoue Bakayoko and Andreas Christensen’s relative Premier League greenness as a reason why Chelsea have dismally defended their title.
Chelsea led against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge following another head from Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard now has 11 Premier League goals and 7 have come with his head. However, Willy Caballero was deceived by Christian Eriksen’s massively dipping strike from distance on the stroke of half-time and the teams went in level. Dele Alli, who is thought to be out of form currently, made the difference in the second half scoring the two goals that meant the gap between Chelsea and 4th place is now 8 points. Chelsea are, of course, still capable of winning the FA Cup.
Arsene Wenger came into the match with Stoke City without a voice which cynics could suggest was the catalyst for Arsenal’s 3-0 win over the relegation certainties. That could be a little harsh as Arsenal were ponderous and unimaginative in the first half and came out looking like an entirely different side in the second period. Two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, one from the spot, and a second penalty from Alexandre Lacazette, surprisingly handed over to him by the Gabon international on a hat-trick saw the Gunners take all three points and keep them in 6th place.
Manchester City got the win at Goodison Park that sets up next Saturday’s Manchester Derby as their potential coronation. Everton set up with the obvious plan of letting City have the ball but their plan to keep them at arm’s length was scuppered as early as the 4th minute when Leroy Sane opened the scoring. Gabriel Jesus got the Easter goal everyone was hoping for as City ran out 3-1 winners, taking 81% of the possession home with them.
Manchester United will come into the Derby fresh, mainly due to the fact they did not need to over-exert themselves against Swansea City in their 2-0 and the fact they do not have Champions League football this week. United’s solid, unspectacular win keeps them in 2nd place.
Liverpool are still hoping to catch United in 2nd and their win at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace will give them confidence. Palace led 1-0 through yet another penalty, but two errors from Mamadou Sakho allowed his former employers to escape with the points. The winning goal was scored by Mohamed Salah, naturally.
At the other end of the table West Ham all but confirmed another season in the top flight, seeing off a hapless Southampton playing their first league match under Mark Hughes. The game was finished in the first half with all three goals being scored before the break. Southampton are looking likely to go down unless Hughes can come up with a miracle cure quickly.
Although it has been said for weeks, another defeat for West Bromwich Albion pushes them one step closer to the mathematical certainty of relegation. Burnley left the Hawthorns 2-1 winners and enjoyed a wonderful scissors kick goal from Ashley Barnes.
Brighton had a wonderful opportunity to pick up a vital 3 points when Glenn Murray placed the ball on the penalty spot with 12 minutes remaining of their match against Leicester City. Murray missed and in the next 12 minutes, Leicester City scored twice. This could well be a defining moment in Brighton’s run-in.
Newcastle United took another step to safety and dropped their opponents further into the mire stealing a late 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
In a rare game where nothing was really riding on the outcome, Jermain Defoe came off the bench to score a late equaliser for Bournemouth at Watford in their 2-2 draw.