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Liverpool and Chelsea win to close the gap on City

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23rd January, 2022
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Liverpool and Chelsea will keep believing they can catch Manchester City after both earned crucial Premier League victories in London.

Once Hakim Ziyech’s curling, dipping strike landed in the Tottenham goal, Chelsea never looked back in their 2-0 win over their old rivals on Sunday.

And across town, Liverpool also narrowed the yawning gap behind City with their 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace.

For Chelsea, it took until two minutes into the second half to break the deadlock, but the space gifted for Thiago Silva’s header in the 55th minute to seal their win was a snapshot of this most lopsided of London rivalries.

Chelsea should never have doubted their four-match winless run in the Premier League would end – not even with their former manager Antonio Conte going nine league matches unbeaten at the start of his Tottenham reign before the visit to Stamford Bridge.

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It’s now 33 wins for Chelsea against Tottenham in the Premier League era – more than against any other opponent.

Not since 2018 has a Tottenham player even scored against Chelsea in the league when the north London side last won this derby.

Tottenham will have complaints that Harry Kane was denied a first-half goal when it was ruled out for what appeared his slight touch on Thiago Silva before racing through on goal to meet Ryan Sessegnon’s cross.

But for all that Kane harangued referee Paul Tierney at halftime, Tottenham crumbling so soon after the break made the win for Chelsea look inevitable.

Victory for Thomas Tuchel’s side shores up a top-four place that was starting to look shaky before winning for the first time since December 26.

Chelsea remain a point behind second-placed Liverpool, whose win at Palace will give them a flicker of hope that Manchester City can still be caught after the champions were held at Southampton on Saturday.

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The advantage of Pep Guardiola’s side has been whittled to now nine points over Liverpool, who still have a game in hand.

While Tottenham are seventh, the coronavirus postponements distort the standings.

They’re 11 points behind Chelsea, but they have four games in hand. Man United are only two points ahead of them in the fourth Champions League place, having played two more games than Tottenham.

What helped Conte slightly was that Arsenal were held 0-0 by Burnley on Sunday.

It did move them above Spurs into sixth place on goal difference but having played an extra game.

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Tottenham couldn’t recreate the drama from Wednesday night when two stoppage-time goals turned around a game at Leicester to win.

Elsewhere in the League on Sunday, Leicester disappointed again, drawing 1-1 with Brighton.

Danny Welbeck grabbed a deserved point for the Seagulls, the substitute levelling with just eight minutes left as the visitors again rescued a game that looked to be slipping away following Patson Daka’s goal soon after halftime.

Graham Potter’s side have scored after the 80th minute in five of their last nine games to snatch points.

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