Sloppy Man Utd rides Pogba penalties past West Ham (video)

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  • Pogba converts two penalties
  • Anderson scores for WHUFC
  • United fifth with 64 points

Paul Pogba converted a pair of penalties as Manchester United doubled up West Ham United 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Felipe Anderson scored West Ham’s goal, as the Irons remain 11th.

United is now fifth, two points back of Chelsea and three behind Spurs.

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The Irons had an early goal pulled back for an infraction, and Manchester United soon helped move a wide-open game forward.

Juan Mata won a penalty atop the 18 when his attempted first touch of an Anthony Martial lay-off was clattered into by Robert Snodgrass. Pogba didn’t need a tip-toe run-up here, blasting a shot past Lukasz Fabianski.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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But wait. West Ham went level in the 49th minute through Anderson, who was on the business end of an awful distribution move from David De Gea.

The keeper collected a low drive from Pablo Zabaleta a few minutes later.

Marcus Rashford subbed into the game and was lively but lacking the finishing touch, forcing into nodding over the goal by a leaping Zabaleta challenge.

Moments after David De Gea made a stunning one-handed stop, Ryan Fredericks chopped down Martial in the box. Pogba laid into his effoert for 2-1.

Hazard wizardry leads Chelsea into third after win over West Ham (video)

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  • Hazard scores 15th and 16th goals of the season
  • Chelsea moves past Spurs into 3rd
  • Blues unbeaten on Monday in PL play since 1994

Eden Hazard may be headed to Real Madrid this summer or he may not, but either way he’s a Chelsea man for now, and the Blues are far better for it.

The Belgian superstar bossed the game at Stamford Bridge, and produced a brace – including a Goal of the Season – as Chelsea topped West Ham United 2-0. The young English duo of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were bright in spots and Gonzalo Higuain provided a constant threat up front, but it was Hazard who unquestionably pulled the strings from start to finish.

[ MORE: Is Hazard’s goal one of the PL’s best ever? ]

Hazard engineered the opener on 24 minutes as all of Stamford Bridge could see what was coming, yet nobody in Claret and Blue could do anything about it. The Belgian magician produced a spectacular run straight down West Ham’s throat, slicing and weaving down the middle, into the box, and having passed by no fewer than four defenders and cutting between the final two, he buried the shot into the back of the net under pressure from the last man Ryan Fredericks.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It was all Chelsea from that point through halftime. The hosts nearly doubled the lead moments later as Gonzalo Higuain’s shot from an incredibly tight angle was saved by Lukasz Fabianski up onto the crossbar. Callum Hudson-Odoi, on his second start in two matches, worked the keeper in the 41st minute with a right-footed blast that forced Fabianski again to full-stretch.

After the break, Chelsea remained the stronger team, but West Ham worked a quality counter-attack in the 54th minute that saw Manuel Lanzini force an acrobatic save from Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Blues came back down the other end and worked a chance for Ruben Loftus-Cheek who got clean through and looked to chip Fabianski but his shot didn’t have the height to trouble the goalkeeper.

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The Hammers had their best chance just past the half-hour mark with Aaron Cresswell firing just inches wide, beating both Kepa and the far post. Still, they couldn’t keep Hazard under wraps. The Belgian had another slaloming run in the 65th minute that nearly produced a chance but he had no support.

With Chelsea unable to put the Hammers away, the finish was tense. Chelsea came close again in the 78th minute as Hazard brought the ball forward and worked it to Hudson-Odoi on the right, and while his cross was scything across the face of goal, it agonizingly eluded both a streaking Ross Barkley and the far post. West Ham had another good chance minutes later as Marko Arnautovic worked an open set-piece header, but his effort was blocked by Emerson.

Finally, Chelsea put the game away in the 90th minute on Hazard’s second of the game and 16th of the season. Ross Barkley delivered a ball into the box for a wide-open Hazard, and he finished from a tight angle through pressure from Felipe Anderson. Maurizio Sarri celebrated enthusiastically, and the Blues confirmed their third-place spot in the Premier League table, passing Tottenham with 66 points on the year. Hazard himself has been directly involved in 28 goals in league play this season, the most in the English top flight.

West Ham, meanwhile, fails to move closer to the top half, sitting in 11th on 42 points, four back of 10th placed Watford and three above Crystal Palace in 12th. The loss is West Ham’s fourth in their last six league matches, a run which has seen them drop out of the top half after sitting ninth in early March.

Eden Hazard stroke of genius has Chelsea in front of West Ham

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Television commentator Martin Tyler called it “astonishing,” “absolutely amazing,” and “a stroke of magic from a genius.”

By halftime, he had seen it enough times to label the goal “one of the great Premier League goals of all-time.”

[ RECAP: Hazard brace tops West Ham ]

“And I’m not exaggerating.” No, no he is not.

Eden Hazard dodged, weaved, slithered, and glided through no fewer than four West Ham defenders and ended between the final two, finishing cooly under pressure from a desperately sliding Ryan Fredericks. As he soared away in celebration, Chelsea found itself with the opening goal, a spot – for the moment – in third place in the Premier League table, and a sparkling memory to savor for a long time.

The Belgian, who is rumored to be off to Real Madrid this offseason, blew by the likes of Fabian Balbuena, Declan Rice, Mark Noble, and Angelo Ogbonna before firing into the back of the net with Fredericks arriving just too late and Aaron Cresswell helpless to watch the brilliance.

Is it one of the best goals in Premier League history?

Crystal Palace, West Ham battle to draw (video)

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  • Eagles equalize through Zaha
  • West Ham opened scoring through Noble
  • Second-straight 1-1 draw for Hammers

Crystal Palace fought back to draw 1-1 at home against West Ham United, with the Eagles almost snatching a win late on.

Mark Noble put West Ham 1-0 up early on from the penalty spot, but Palace improved drastically in the second half and Wilfried Zaha returned from his ban to score his second goal in as many games.

With the draw Palace are in 13th place on 27 points, while West Ham are in 10th on 33 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The first big chance of the game saw Ryan Fredericks played in by Michail Antonio but Vicente Guaita made a fine low stop.

Despite Palace having more of the ball, West Ham had the better chances as Guaita then denied Robert Snodgrass.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Javier Hernandez’s shot was then deflected wide as the Hammers continued to threaten. Michail Antonio then won a penalty kick as Declan Rice‘s wonderful pass found the winger and Vicente Guaita clattered into Antonio. Noble sent Guaita the wrong way with his penalty kick to give West Ham the lead.

Palace should have been level before the break as Christian Benteke was played in but Lukasz Fabianski made a fine stop to his right.

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The home side started the second half well, as Wilfried Zaha fired the ball across goal then James McArthur somehow missed a glorious chance as he was put clean through. The Palace midfielder took an age to sort his feet out but then sent his effort against the post.

Palace sent Michy Batshuayi on to try and drag themselves back into the game. And he should have made it 1-1.

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Patrick Van Aanholt‘s cross found Batshuayi and he somehow missed. Palace’s equalizer did arrived as Zaha smashed home at the near post. 1-1.

Zaha almost won it late on as he linked up with Max Meyer and curled a shot towards the far post which Fabianski saved.

Three things we learned: West Ham v. Liverpool

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LONDON — Liverpool dropped two more points in the Premier League title race, as they drew 1-1 at West Ham United.

Pressure does strange things to teams at this part of the season.

Monday’s trip to the London Stadium offered Jurgen Klopp‘s men the chance to open up a five-point gap atop the table, but a spirited Hammers side cancelled out Sadio Mane‘s controversial opener as Michail Antonio grabbed them a well-earned point. And West Ham could’ve easily won the game had they taken their chances.

With Liverpool now drawing to both Leicester and West Ham in their last two games, Manchester City can jump top of the table with a win at Everton on Wednesday and put the pressure back on the Reds.

Here’s a look at what we learned from the London Stadium, as the title race is well and truly on.


LIVERPOOL SHOULD BE HAPPY WITH A DRAW

In the first half West Ham should have been at least 3-0 up. Liverpool were all over the place from defensive set piece situations, holding a high line for no apparent reason. Antonio scored from one situation. Declan Rice somehow nodded wide from another and both Aaron Cresswell and Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez drilled just wide from counters which stretched Liverpool’s defense easily. It was as if Liverpool’s defenders were keen to keep their high-line no matter what, and in the second half they were lucky both Felipe Anderson and Mark Noble lost their cool in the penalty box when big chances arrived. Liverpool had chances themselves, as they always do, but this was far from a game where they played well and had to settle for a draw against a stubborn West Ham side. Klopp’s men got away with one by not losing at West Ham and now they are just three points ahead of Man City atop the Premier League table, and must expect City to beat Everton on Wednesday and slip to second place, albeit with a game in hand. Injuries are impacting Liverpool, but Klopp’s men are showing signs that they are cracking under the pressure. The nervous tension emanating from Liverpool’s fanbase is seeping into the previously carefree players. The 29-year wait for a league title is weighing heavy on everyone connected with Liverpool right now.


WEST HAM COUNTER TO PERFECTION

Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea and now Liverpool have all failed to win at the London Stadium and for Pellegrini this was a perfect response after three-straight defeats for the Hammers in embarrassing fashion. Like Leicester City, the Hammers are one of those teams outside of the top six who frighten the life out of the big boys. When they aren’t forced to possess the ball, create chances and take the games to opponents, that is when they are at their best. Sure, Manuel Pellegrini has brought a certain panache and control to their game since arriving in the summer, but the fact that both Marko Arnautovic and Samir Nasri were missing through injury did them a favor. Anderson, Antonio and Chicharito pounced when they could on the counter and the pace of full backs Cresswell and Ryan Fredericks was helpful in supporting attacks and stopping Mane and Salah from running riot. In truth, West Ham’s wasteful finishing let Liverpool off the hook. Yes, West Ham’s fans want them to be more attractive to watch but when they counter this well, it’s hard to see them not deploying these kind of tactics on a regular basis against the big boys. They lost their impetus when Andy Carroll came on late in the game and that proved what direction the Hammers must move in going forward. They have the squad to hurt teams on the counter and must realize, and play to, their strengths.


INJURIES MOUNT UP FOR KLOPP

The news that Joe Gomez now requires surgery on a fractured leg was bad enough for Liverpool fans to wake up to Monday, but when Jordan Henderson, Dejan Lovren and particularly Georginio Wijnaldum missed the game at West Ham due to injury, the alarm bells were ringing. A midfield trio of Naby Keita, Fabinho and Adam Lallana should have had enough quality to wrestle control of this game but Mark Noble, Robert Snodgrass and Declan Rice won that battle rather easily. Joel Matip appears to frighten the life out of his fellow defenders when he plays and even the usually placid Virgil Van Dijk was caught out as Liverpool’s undoubted defensive leader failed to settle things down. James Milner, playing at right back, was targeted throughout and both Snodgrass and Anderson had a field day drifting out to his flank. Liverpool’s squad is not quite large enough to deal with injuries to five key players, as Milner and Henderson at right back in recent games has shown. Letting Nathaniel Clyne leave on loan in the January window and not adding another defender as back up could be the difference for them in this title race.