Week 36: Chelsea cruise past Middlesbrough to close in on title, West Ham stun Tottenham

Chelsea made no mistake of taking advantage of Tottenham’s slip-up, as the Blues cruised to a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough to move just one win away from securing the Premier League title.

Diego Costa opened the scoring on 23 minutes as he turned Cesc Fabregas’ cross for his 20th goal of the campaign, and left-back Marcos Alonso’s strike went through the legs of goalkeeper Brad Guzan from a tight angle to double Chelsea’s lead on 34 minutes.

Chelsea relegated Middlesbrough after just one season in the top-flight
image: standardmedia.co.ke

Nemanja Matic completed the misery for Steve Agnew’s side, as he chested down a Fabregas cross and fired home from close range just after the hour mark to condemn Boro back to the Championship after just one season in the Premier League.

That win moves Chelsea just one win away from securing a second Premier League title in three years, after Tottenham’s hopes all but ended after a surprise 1-0 defeat at London rivals West Ham.

Manuel Lanzini scored the only goal of the game on 65 minutes, when he tucked the ball into the far corner from inside the box to end Tottenham’s 13-match winning streak and all but end their title hopes.

Man City boosted their hopes of Champions League qualification, as Pep Guardiola’s side proved too strong for Crystal Palace with a 5-0 thrashing of the Eagles.

David Silva got Man City off to a flyer after just two minutes as his left-footed strike found its way in at the near post, before Vincent Kompany rifled the ball into the back of the net from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross to double their lead just four minutes into the second half.

De Bruyne went from provider to goalscorer for the home side’s third on the hour mark, as he effort beat goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey low at his near post, before Raheem Sterling made it 4-0 on 82 minutes as he smashed home into the bottom corner.

Nicolas Otamendi also got in on the act in injury time to add a fifth for Man City as he headed home from De Bruyne’s free kick to complete the rout and boost their hopes of a top four finish.

Arsenal kept their top four hopes alive, as Arsene Wenger finally celebrated a Premier League win over Jose Mourinho with the Gunners bagging a 2-0 win over Man United.

Granit Xhaka broke the deadlock on 54 minutes when his long-range effort took a big deflection off Ander Herrera and lopped over the head of David De Gea in the Man United goal.

Former Man United striker Danny Welbeck made it 2-0 three minutes later heading in from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross, as Arsenal ended the Red Devils 25 game unbeaten streak in the Premier League.

Arsenal followed up that victory with a 2-0 win over Southampton on Wednesday night, as they leapfrogged the Red Devils into fifth place and moved within three points off fourth placed Man City.

Alexis Sanchez broke the deadlock on the hour mark as he calmly sent a llow left-footed strike into the back of the net, before Olivier Giroud sealed the win for the Gunners on 86 minutes by heading home from Aaron Ramsey’s flick on from a Sanchez cross.

Down the other end of the table, Swansea moved out of the relegation zone as they secured a second win in three games with a 1-0 victory over Everton to put their fate in their own hands with two games remaining.

Fernando Llorente scored the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark, as the Spaniard tucked the ball into the far corner from inside the box to clinch a massive three points for the Welsh side.

Hull’s unbeaten home record came to an end, as the already relegated Sunderland stunned Marco Silva’s side 2-0 as the Tigers fell back into the relegation zone.

David Moyes side were relegated last weekend after a 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth but they took the lead against Hull after 69 minutes, when Billy Jones headed home from John O’Shea’s flick on from a corner kick.

Sunderland sealed a first win in ten games in injury time, as Jermain Defoe ended his goalscoring drought when he turned in from a Sebastian Larsson free-kick to plunge the Tigers into the relegation zone.

Elsewhere, Sam Vokes brace all but sealed Burnley’s place in the Premier League next season with a 2-2 draw against West Brom and Leicester moved up to ninth with a 3-0 thrashing of Watford.

Fernando Llorente headed Swansea out of the relegation zone
image: 90min.com

Friday 5 May

West Ham 1-0 Tottenham (Lanzini 65)

Saturday 6 May

Man City 5-0 Crystal Palace (Silva 2, Kompany 49, De Bruyne 59, Sterling 82, Otamendi 90)
Bournemouth 2-2 Stoke (Stanislas 62, Shawcross o/g 81 | Mousset o/g 33, Diouf 73)
Burnley 2-2 West Brom (Vokes 56, 86 | Rondon 66, Dawson 78)
Hull 0-2 Sunderland (Jones 69, Defoe 90)
Leicester 3-0 Watford (Ndidi 38, Mahrez 58, Albrighton 90)
Swansea 1-0 Everton (Llorente 29)

Sunday 7 May

Liverpool 0-0 Southampton
Arsenal 2-0 Man United (Xhaka 54, Welbeck 57)

Monday 8 May

Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough (Costa 23, Alonso 34, Matic 65)

Wednesday 10 May

Southampton 0-2 Arsenal (Sanchez 60, Giroud 83)

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