LONDON: West Ham beat leaders Chelsea 3-2 courtesy of Arthur Masuaku’s bizarre late goal on yesterday as Liverpool climbed to the top of the Premier League with a last-gasp winner against Wolves. On a day when all the contenders in the top flight are in action, champions Manchester City can claim top spot they win the late match against struggling Watford.
Elsewhere, Newcastle won for the first time this season to clamber off the bottom of the table and give new manager Eddie Howe hope they can survive. Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea had lost just once in the Premier League before yesterday’s match at the London Stadium and had conceded only six goals in 14 matches. But Masuaku’s fortuitous late winner ended the European champions’ eight-match unbeaten run in the league.
Chelsea led twice, through a Thiago Silva header and Mason Mount’s spectacular volley, but they were pegged back both times by a penalty from Manuel Lanzini and Jarrod Bowen’s strike. And with three minutes remaining substitute defender Masuaku, lurking out on the left wing, swung a speculative effort towards the Chelsea goal, deceiving Edouard Mendy as it arched past the stunned goalkeeper. “So, was it a cross or was it shot,” Masuaku asked on Twitter. “(Hint: I was as surprised as you).”
Tuchel bemoaned Chelsea’s individual errors and the “freak goal” that led to their defeat. “The schedule we play and effort we play, sometimes you feel tired, but you just need to accept it and control our risk management,” he told the BBC. “We hate to lose, we have to digest it now. It is not a performance to be mad about, but in detail we need to be better again. “If we won the game nobody would have given us the title and if we lose it I don’t think anybody else gets it this weekend.”
West Ham, who had already ended Liverpool’s long unbeaten run this season, as well as knocking Manchester City and Manchester United out of the League Cup, consolidated their place in the top four. But manager David Moyes urged his side to be more consistent. “I don’t see it as a statement, I want us to play these teams and give them a game-this week alone we have had the Champions League finalists (Manchester City, against whom West Ham lost 2-1) and Champions League winners. It is a good return from the two games.”
Liverpool left it until the dying seconds to see off tenacious Wolves 1-0, with substitute Divock Origi firing home Mohamed Salah’s pass in the 94th minute to take the visitors one point clear of Chelsea at the top of the table. The visitors dominated possession at Molineux and had 17 shots on goal but Wolves battled hard to keep them at bay before Origi’s late intervention. Newcastle scrambled a vital 1-0 win against fellow strugglers Burnley to move within three points of safety.
The decisive moment came late in the first half when goalkeeper Nick Pope spilled Joe Willock’s cross as he came through a crowd of players. Callum Wilson steadied himself before firing into the roof of the unguarded net and his strike survived a VAR check. Brighton’s Neal Maupay scored in the 98th minute to earn his side a 1-1 draw against Southampton, who had taken the lead through Armando Broja in the first half. – AFP