West Brom slows down Leicester
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
Leicester's unlikely Premier League title challenge faltered with a 2-2 home draw with West Bromwich Albion yesterday, offering Tottenham the chance to go top in another twist to the most unpredictable race for the championship in years.
Sunderland grabbed a 90th-minute equaliser to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace and provisionally climb out of the bottom three and Bournemouth beat south coast rivals Southampton 2-0 to further ease their relegation concerns.
Moving three points clear of the world's richest league was nothing to celebrate for Leicester's despondent players, who wasted a slew of late chances to put a provisional five-point gap over Spurs.
"Just sometimes you can do everything, but the ball doesn't want to go in," said Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, who has turned a team that narrowly avoided relegation last season into a title contender.
Tottenham are away to West Ham today, while the title hopes of fellow contenders Arsenal and Manchester City third and fourth, respectively were also boosted by Leicester dropping points.
Resurgent Chelsea moved into eighth place and within sight of the European places by beating Norwich 2-1, extending their unbeaten league run since Jose Mourinho was fired before Christmas to 12 games. Young Brazilian left back Kenedy scored after 39 seconds the quickest goal of the season so far to set Chelsea on their way to victory.
At the bottom, Aston Villa's fans staged a mass walkout after the last-place team sunk nearer relegation with a 3-1 home loss to Everton. Villa Park had already started to empty when thousands of fans departed in the 74th minute when Villa were 3-0 down to mark the year the club was founded, 1874.
"The situation is difficult, but we have to fight until the end," said Villa manager Remi Garde, whose team is eight points from safety with 10 games left.
The fourth official for the Bournemouth-Southampton match, Kevin Friend, was taken to hospital after collapsing and hitting his head on a dugout near the end of the first half.