Chelsea's Eden Hazard (right) scores the first goal in the 2-1 win over Manchester City.
Chelsea's Eden Hazard (right) scores the first goal in the 2-1 win over Manchester City. GERRY PENNY

Chelsea win edges Blues closer to EPL crown

FOOTBALL: Chelsea has moved a step closer to a fifth English Premier League title with a 2-1 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

But Spurs' Houdini-like victory has kept the title race alive after scoring three goals from the 88th minute to earn a 3-1 success at relegation-threatened Swansea City.

Chelsea had slipped up with a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace last time out to give the challengers some thoughts of closing the gap.

But goals from Eden Hazard, who scored a deflected shot before poking home a rebound after his penalty was saved, kept the Blues seven points ahead of Tottenham, with Sergio Aguero scoring for City.

Spurs looked to be slipping 10 points behind the leaders when losing 1-0 with only two minutes to go at Swansea.

But Dele Alli equalised Wayne Routledge's first-half goal before stoppage-time efforts from Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen broke Swansea hearts.

Chelsea and Spurs' victories mean the title race looks likely to be between the two, with Tottenham five points clear of Liverpool in third after the Reds' 2-2 draw with Borunemouth.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte described his side's gritty victory as a "big win" but said 90 points may be needed before they can start celebrating.

"The Tottenham result is important but the most important was our result," the Italian said.

"The best thing for us to think is that Tottenham could win eight games, so to win the title we need 18 points."

Liverpool had looked like taking all three points at home to Bournemouth but Joshua King's late leveller denied the Reds.

Goals by Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi either side of half-time had put Liverpool ahead after Benik Afobe struck early for the visitors.

With Manchester United only drawing with Everton the night before, Arsenal moved up to fifth, four points behind City with a game in hand, after a 3-0 home victory over struggling West Ham United.

That defeat brought the Hammers back into the relegation equation which got a bit more complicated after Hull City's 4-2 win over Middlesbrough.

The Tigers' success took them out of the relegation zone where they were replaced by Swansea.

The Swans are two points off safety with Boro second-bottom seven points behind Hull and Sunderland bottom 10 points adrift.

Palace fell back to earth with a bump after the win at Chelsea, losing 3-1 at Southampton to stay in 16th and back in releagtion trouble.

News Corp Australia

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