Liverpool miraculous, Chelsea still frustrated

The leader Liverpool made his miracle machine work at Nottingham Forest (1-0) with Darwin Nunez as savior, Saturday during a 27th day where Chelsea fought to avoid defeat at Brentford (2-2).

Aston Villa struggled to defeat relegated Luton (3-2) with a decisive goal from Lucas Digne to consolidate their fourth place, five points ahead of Tottenham, earlier winner of Crystal Palace (3-1).

Newcastle, for its part, gave itself some air in the standings by clearly beating Wolverhampton (3-0), a boost that the “Magpies” needed to stay in the race for European places.

The performance of the day nevertheless remains that of Liverpool. Short of ideas, with only two shots on target to get their teeth into, the Reds snatched victory with a header from Nunez (90th+9), who came on in the second half after missing three matches due to injury.

Chelsea’s English striker Raheem Sterling faces the goalkeeper during the draw against Brentford at the Gtech Community in London on March 2, 2024 / Darren Staples / AFP

Jürgen Klopp’s team, weakened by a slew of injuries, once again showed unwavering determination, if not total control, to consolidate its first place.

“It was very special. You could see how it wasn’t easy for us today,” the coach rejoiced on Sky Sports, recalling that his team, weakened by numerous injuries, played “four matches in eleven days”.

With 63 points, Liverpool keeps runners-up Manchester City (59 pts) at bay, expected at the turn on Sunday (4:30 p.m.) in the derby against Manchester United, then at the leader’s place next weekend at Anfield.

Pochettino heckled

Tottenham Hotspurs’ Argentinian defender Cristian Romero (left) celebrates his goal during his team’s victory against Crystal Palace in the Premier League at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, March 2, 2024 / JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

A week after their defeat against Liverpool in the League Cup final, Chelsea had to settle for a disappointing 2-2 at Brentford.

French defender Axel Disasi, scorer in the 83rd, even avoided an embarrassing defeat for the eleventh-placed “Blues” before the final matches of the 27th day.

At 2-1 for Brentford, Chelsea supporters launched chants to demand the departure of Mauricio Pochettino, the coach who arrived at the start of the season.

“I’m not going to give up, I’m going to fight,” replied the Argentinian, 52, this Saturday, saying however he “understands” the fans’ discontent and their “frustration.”

Chelsea are now just a small point ahead of their west London neighbours, Fulham, who stunned Brighton 3-0.

In the fight for the Top 4, synonymous with the Champions League at the end of the season, Aston Villa (4th, 55 pts) and Tottenham (5th, 50 pts) went blow for blow on Saturday, despite fierce resistance from their opponents respective.

Aston Villa won at the promoted and first relegated Luton (3-2) thanks to its “French Touch”: Moussa Diaby delivered a cross for the head of Lucas Digne in the 89th, ten minutes after entering the play of the French defender.

The Birmingham club opened the way to an easy success with a double from Ollie Watkins (24th, 38th), before seeing its lead melt away under goals from Tahith Chong (66th) and Carlton Morris (72nd).

Tottenham was also pushed to its limits by Crystal Palace (3-1), who led 1-0 before suffering three goals in the last quarter of an hour, including the first from Timo Werner in the Spurs jersey.

The north London team showed “perseverance, quality and conviction” and “the response was remarkable”, said coach Ange Postecoglou.

Further down, Newcastle put on a show against Wolverhampton (3-0), enough to move up to eighth place, two points behind West Ham, winner 3-1 at Everton thanks, in particular, to a penalty saved by Alphonse Areola.

The “Magpies” give their coach Eddie Howe some breathing space with this first victory in three weeks, the first at home since mid-December in the Premier League, all with an impermeable defense, a rarity for them.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.