Chelsea stay top with draw as rivals stumble


AP

Chelsea could afford to miss a late penalty in a 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Tuesday, as Antonio Conte’s side extended its lead at the top of the Premier League and its rivals sabotaged their own title bids.

Fourth-place Liverpool started well at Anfield, only for Chelsea to take the lead through center half David Luiz’s free kick in the first half.

Netherlands midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum equalized in the second half for Liverpool, which then had goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to thank for saving Chelsea striker Diego Costa’s spot-kick.

The draw set the stage perfectly for Arsenal to keep the pressure up in the title race with a routine home win against a Watford side well out of form.

The opposite happened, with the visitors scoring early goals and holding on for a 2-1 win that severely dents Arsenal’s hopes of catching the leaders. Arsenal are now nine points behind Chelsea and surely has no choice but to beat the leaders at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Worse still for Arsenal, they dropped to third place on goal difference behind bitter north London rivals Tottenham, which drew 0-0 away to Sunderland.

Chelsea 1, Liverpool 1 Having dropped goalkeeper Simon Mignolet earlier this season, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp watched him save Diego Costa’s late penalty to earn his side a draw.

The result spared Klopp the ignominy of a fourth straight defeat for the first time since 1923, but that will feel anecdotal when Klopp looks at the current situation.

Arsenal 1, Watford 2 Early strikes from center half Younes Kaboul and striker Troy Deeney gave Watford a deserved 2-0 halftime lead before winger Alex Iwobi pulled a goal back for Arsenal after the break.

Substitute Lucas Perez hit the crossbar late on for Arsenal as Watford held on for its first victory in eight Premier League games.

Sunderland 0, Tottenham 0 Tottenham leapfrogged Arsenal to move into second place but missed the opportunity to put some pressure on league leader Chelsea.

On a frustrating night for Tottenham, forward Son Heung-min struck an effort just clear of the crossbar in the second half.

The result was somewhat better for Sunderland, which managed to move off the bottom.

Elsewhere, it was Burnley 1, Leicester 0; Swansea 2, Southampton 1; Bournemouth 0, Crystal Palace 2; and Middlesbrough 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.