Antonio Conte cut an incredibly frustrated figure at the London Stadium on Saturday. Chelsea knew that defeat against West Ham in the London derby would all but end their chances of defending the Premier League title and yet Conte watched in disbelief as his players turned in an insipid performance against the Irons. As well as landing a major to blow to Chelsea, West Ham’s 1-0 win over the Blues put the cat amongst the pigeons at the bottom of the table. Thankfully for David Wagner, his Huddersfield players rose to the challenge and secured three points of their own with a 2-0 victory against Brighton to give them a five point gap from the relegation zone. That win snapped a run of four straight defeats for the Terriers so they’ll be feeling a lot more confident about their chances when Chelsea visit the John Smith’s Stadium on Tuesday night.
Aintree Racecourse is known the world over as the host of the Grand National. There is no other race that matches the history or legend of the Grand National but in terms of the elements of the race itself, the Becher Chase comes pretty close. Often used by trainers to assess their horses’ chances in the National, the Becher Chase is run over the same course and uses the same fences. The distance is considerably shorter at 3m2f but make no mistake, this is still a stamina sapping handicap that challenges horses’ jumping technique and their heart.
The 55,000 or so Arsenal fans who were at the Emirates for last weekend’s defeat against Manchester United left the ground in a strange mood. Yes, they were disappointed to lose the game to Jose Mourinho’s men but there was also a sense of pride about the performance. It’s almost as if the Gunners’ faithful were accepting of a defeat in the circumstances. Arsenal were more than a match for United in a genuine Premier League classic. How they managed to find a way past the inspired David De Gea nobody will ever know but the damage was done in the first 11 minutes when defensive mistakes all but gifted Man Utd two goals.
There are certain games in the Premier League season that you just can’t miss. Sunday’s early evening encounter between the two Manchester clubs is one such fixture. Man City have had to rely on some late winners of late but they’ve been able to maintain their incredible pace at the top of the table with 14 wins from their 15 matches. Man Utd are trailing their neighbours by eight points but buoyed by their 3-1 victory over Arsenal last weekend, Jose Mourinho’s men are confident of a huge win at Old Trafford.
Sam Allardyce got his time in charge of Everton off to a winning start last week. The 2-0 win over Huddersfield wasn’t pretty at times but it’s the points that matter right now as the Toffees try to navigate a route away from the relegation zone.