Saturday’s Premier League action saw Stoke City hold Liverpool to a scoreless draw during, while Crystal Palace continued their solid run with a 5-0 thrashing of Leicester City.
West Bromwich Albion and Southampton scored key wins to add some late excitement to the relegation battle, and Everton bagged a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town. Chelsea and Swansea City will meet later on Saturday.
Saturday games review:
The early kick-off between Liverpool and Stoke City turned into something of a drab affair.
The Reds’ focus has been on Europe in the past few weeks, and that much was evident on Saturday. Despite resting remarkably few stars―Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both started―Liverpool lacked their usual focus and drive, while the visitors fought tooth and nail.
Stoke should arguably have been more adventurous, given their desperate need for points, and they were lucky not to concede a penalty for what appeared a clear handball on Erik Pieters. Ryan Shawcross wasted a fantastic opportunity after a mistake from Loris Karius.
Local rivals Everton grabbed another win on Saturday, but once again, fans were not happy with what they saw. The disconnect between how national media seems to perceive Sam Allardyce’s side and what the fans are seeing continued.
Cenk Tosun and Idrissa Gueye took care of the scoring, and the second goal came after a lovely bit of interplay from the team. But the Toffees spent much of the contest inside their own box, playing bad football against an inferior opponent, and the visiting fans expressed their frustrations multiple times.
Things improved after the break, and with another good result, Everton took a strong hold on eighth place.
Their main rivals for eighth place, Leicester, took a heavy defeat against an in-form Crystal Palace side who have quietly enjoyed an excellent run in the second half of the season. The Eagles have now lost just one of their last five matches, putting some distance between themselves and the relegation zone.
Wilfried Zaha and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were both among the scorers. The latter put some extra shine on his bid to be on England’s World Cup squad.
In the late kick-off, Cesc Fabregas scored the only goal in a win for Chelsea. The result moves the Blues within two points of a UEFA Champions League ticket, although Spurs still have a match in hand.
Here are Saturday’s Premier League results:
Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City
Burnley 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Crystal Palace 5-0 Leicester City
Huddersfield Town 0-2 Everton
Newcastle United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
Southampton 2-1 Bournemouth
Swansea 0-1 Chelsea