A stalemate for Conte’s champions-elect, the current champions lose again, plus everything else from a pulsating weekend of football
1 – It’s Tough at Turf Moor
Burnley once again proved they are formidable opposition on their home soil of Turf Moor this season by holding league leaders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw. The Clarets, who had won their last five league games at home while conceding just once, put on a well-drilled defensive display that restricted their visitors to just two shots on target all game. Chelsea dominated in possession and went 1-0 up early on courtesy of Pedro, but new signing Robert Brady proved he’ll fit in nicely with Burnley’s reliance on set-pieces, by equalising with an impressive free kick. Burnley are currently a comfortable 12th in Premier League, 10 points off the relegation zone.
2 – No League Goals for Leicester
Leicester’s 3-1 win over Derby in the FA Cup last Wednesday was supposed to be a turning point for the Foxes. It was their first win in five matches and manager Ranieri went with a rotated squad to rest players ahead of an important fixture against Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday. It didn’t pay off. Jamie Vardy barely touched the ball, Danny Drinkwater looked lost and Leicester remains the only team in the top four English divisions without a league goal in 2017. The Swans went 2-0 up before half-time and held it for a win that has moved them 4 points above the relegation zone, while Leicester are 1 point above it in 17th.
3 – Liverpool win a game
Liverpool finally chalked up another win in 2017 by beating Tottenham 2-0 at Anfield on Saturday. The Reds’ only other victory in ten matches this year was against League Two side Plymouth in the FA Cup. A contributing factor to that poor run was a lack of Sadio Mane, who had been away on international duty for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations. He seems to have adjusted back to life in the Premier League after scoring two in just two minutes in the first half of the match against Spurs.
4 – Leeds lose back to back matches
5th placed Leeds’ promotion ambitions took a hit after losing 2-0 to 14th placed Cardiff at Elland Road on Saturday. While there’s certainly no need to hit panic button, this is the fourth defeat in six games for the Whites and the first time they’ve lost back to back matches since September. A 2-1 loss to 3rd placed Huddersfield last weekend also helped dent their promotion chances though they remain in 5th place they are 11 points off league leaders Newcastle.
5 – Crewe crush Grimsby 5-0
After eleven league games without a win, Crewe broke their bad run in style with a 5-0 hammering of Grimsby at the weekend. George Cooper got the first of a brace just 2 minutes into the game; his second goal along with two from Chris Dagnall made it 4-0 before the first half. Insult was added to injury for Grimsby, as if losing to a team who hadn’t won in 11 eleven matches by 5-0 wasn’t bad enough, Crewe had actually been the lowest scoring team in League Two before the match. Grimsby are now three games without a win and the nature of the defeat caused manager Marcus Bignot to personally apologise to the 720 Grimsby fans who had travelled for the match.