Chelsea look on course to lift their fifth Premier League title following Tottenham Hotspur’s surprise 1-0 loss to West Ham United on Friday night.
The north London club had been hot on the trail of their local rivals after having won their previous nine outings, but it was not meant to be their night against a resilient Hammers defence.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side had built on momentum with a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Arsenal in the derby last weekend, but they appear to have lost their touch at the wrong time as their other London counterparts West Ham sealed the win.
A Manuel Lanzini strike in the 65th minute secured all three points for the Hammers, which may have prolonged Spurs’ wait for a first title since 1961. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic will be much relieved with the positive result as it improves his chances of remaining at the helm beyond the summer.
Despite Spurs’ brilliant progress over the course of the campaign, it appears that they will go trophyless for another season after having shattered their hopes at a similar stage last year.
Chelsea and Eden Hazard ruined Spurs’ title challenge last term, and the Belgian could prove key to the Blues run-in with games against relegation strugglers Middlesbrough and Sunderland coming along.
Spurs currently hold a slightly better goal difference than their west London counterparts, but two wins out of the remaining four games will see the English crown return to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Antonio Conte’s men did have a minor stutter with defeats to Crystal Palace and Manchester United last month, but they have since returned to winning ways with comfortable wins over Southampton and Everton.
Chelsea are currently at the top of the table with 81 points, four adrift of Tottenham Hotspur, who may have to settle for Champions League football as a sign of success.
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