(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)
Published: Mon 24 Jan 2022, 12:02 AM
Chelsea kept alive their remote Premier League title chances with a 2-0 win over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, set on their way by an exquisite strike from Hakim Ziyech which was quickly followed up by a Thiago Silva header.
Ziyech broke the deadlock in the 47th minute when he received the ball on edge of the box after Callum Hudson-Odoi surged forward and the Moroccan curled his shot into the top corner with Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rooted to the spot.
Thomas Tuchel's men sealed their first league win of 2022 eight minutes later when Silva, despite being sandwiched between two Spurs defenders, headed home a free kick floated into the box by Mason Mount.
Spurs, previously unbeaten in nine league games under former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte, thought they had taken the lead in the first half when Harry Kane put the ball in the net, but referee Paul Tierney ruled the England striker pushed Silva off the ball before turning and firing it past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The win — Chelsea' fourth this season over Spurs, including a two-legged league cup semifinal this month — left the Blues in third place on 47 points, 10 points behind leaders Manchester City who have played a game fewer, and one point behind second-placed Liverpool who have two games in hand over the Blues.
Meanwhile, Liverpool also kept hope of a Premier League title race alive as a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace cut the gap on leaders Manchester City to nine points, while Arsenal missed the chance to move into the top four after being held 0-0 by Burnley.
Virgil van Dijk's towering header from Andy Robertson's corner opened the scoring just eight minutes in.
Robertson was the creator again when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled Liverpool's lead with a calm finish.
However, Palace served warning of what was to come in the second half before the break as Alisson Becker had to make fine saves from Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta to keep the Eagles at bay.
The Brazilian spread himself brilliantly to deny Odsonne Edouard's backheel, while Conor Gallagher somehow failed to turn in Olise's dangerous cross in a blistering start to the second period from the hosts.
Palace finally got their reward with a brilliant move as Jeffrey Schlupp and Mateta teed up Edouard for a tap-in.
Alisson was needed once again to keep his side in the lead and turn Olise's inventive lob behind.
But Liverpool's two-goal cushion was restored in controversial circumstances a minute from time when a penalty was given after a lengthy VAR intervention for Vicente Guaita's block on Diogo Jota.
Fabinho sent Guaita the wrong way from the spot to seal the points.
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