Chelse and Leicester City have opened up the top four race in Premier League to wider interests after losing to West Ham United and Everton respectively on Wednesday. Their defeats mean only three points separate four teams from the third position to the sixth after 32 rounds of matches.
Leicester City with 55 points are at third, Chelsea with 54 are fourth, while Manchester United and Wolves are at fifth and sixth respectively but carry the same 52 points with them.
The first shock of the day came from Goodison Park where Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton handed the 2016 Premier League champions an embarrassing 1-2 defeat after Richarlison scored in the 10th minute and Gylfi Sigurdsson converted a penalty for the Merseyside team six minutes later.
In what has been an awful return, Leicester are yet to register a win since the resumption of top-flight football in England after the COVID-19 hiatus. They have drawn two and lost two, including a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Chelsea last week.
Despite owning lion’s share of possession and creating more chances, the Brendan Rodgers-managed side failed to tame the determined defense of Everton.
A fortunate goal from Kelechi Iheanacho had helped the visitors restore earn a lifeline in the 51st minute. They pressed hard for an equaliser in the remaining minutes of the game but Everton successfully weathered the storm.
Chelsea, on the other hand, repeated what has been their trademark of the season. After an outstanding run of few matches, the Blues put on display a lack of intent and concentration and, thus, lost the chance to topple Leicester and claim the third spot in the points table.
As a relegation-threatened side, West Ham United did what they were meant to against a top-four team. They defended deep and took Chelsea off the guard with their ferocious counter-attack and managed a thrilling 3-2 victory over them.
They bore the first fruit of their efforts in the stoppage time of the opening half when Tomas Souchek headed in the equaliser after Willian had given Chelsea the lead from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute. It could have been West Ham’s second goal had Michail Antonio’s goal was not denied by VAR earlier.
The second half saw West Ham continuing their determined show and scoring the third goal of the night within five minutes after the break. Antonio made no mistake this time as he slid in to convert Jarrod Bowen’s cross.
Desperate for an equaliser, Frank Lampard’s side went all guns blazing and brought parity at the London Stadium in the 72nd minute through Willian’s meticulous free-kick. The ball took an inside edge of the far post and went past West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski.
However, it proved useless as the hosts took back their lead in the 89th minute. After battling a nervous few minutes of Chelsea’s relentless push for a winner, West Ham got the better of them through a counter-attack when substitute Andriy Yarmolenko beat Antonio Rudiger to smash the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga.