Claudio Ranieri’s men grabbed three points against Watford at the weekend. Riyad Mahrez scored his 15th goal for the league leaders in the 1 – 0 win away from home. The Foxes are now the only team in the English top flight with an average of 2 points per game.
Tottenham are second in the league table with 55 points from 29 games. Mauricio Pochettino’s men drew 2 – 2 in the North London derby at the weekend. It was one of the most crucial and dramatic derbies in recent years as both the sides did their best to earn a point. Francis Coquelin received his marching orders in the 55th minute, but ten-man Gunners showed great character.
Manchester City picked up three points against Aston Villa at the Etihad. The Citizens won 4 – 0 courtesy of a brace by Aguero and a goal each from Toure and Sterling. The Manchester Blues host their neighbours Manchester United next week. Both the sides are fighting very hard for the top four spot and this derby will certainly be a very crucial point for them.
Manchester United lost their eighth game of the season at West Brom on Sunday. Juan Mata picked up two successive yellow cards and damaged his team’s chances of returning home with an away victory. Rondon netted the winner for Tony Pulis’s men in the 66th minute, taking his side an inch closer to the top half of the table. On the other end, Van Gaal’s team have conceded their fifth spot to Slaven Bilic’s West Ham.
The Hammers snatched an amazing victory at Goodison Park at the weekend. West Ham came back from a 2 – 0 deficit to win 3 – 2. They are now a point behind the fourth-placed Man City, but Pellegrini’s men also have a game in hand.
Chelsea are now in the top half of the table, despite a 1 – 1 stalemate against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge. Guus Hiddink has certainly changed the mood at the club and they seem to be back in contention for the European spots. The Blues also have a crucial Champions League fixture against PSG scheduled for this week.
Liverpool made a comeback to beat Crystal Palace 1 – 2 at Selhurst Park on Sunday. The Merseyside giants were awarded a penalty after Benteke was brought down in the box. The Belgian striker scored the controversial winner in the very last minute of the game to keep the Reds within touching distance of the fourth spot.
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew was unhappy with referee’s decision of awarding Liverpool a penalty. Pardew claimed Benteke’s dive was quite deliberate, and it was mainly to influence the referee.
“That touch doesn’t warrant that dive,” Pardew said. “If that touch warrants a collapse like that, then wow.”
“It’s the dive that makes the linesman’s mind up,” the Eagles boss added. “The linesman assumes that little touch is a penalty.”
“You’ve got to be 100% sure,” the former Newcastle United, West Ham and Southampton manager said. “In super slow motion, the knee touches the foot, and he goes over like he’s been shot.”
He also felt his side would not have been given the penalty had it been a Palace player going down inside the box.
“If it had been us, we would not have got it,” Pardew said.
“He’s certainly made a big meal of it. Damien pulls out; the follow-through of his knee gets it. That’s tough.”