Renewed life in the title race
New week, same rampant win for Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs walked all over Bournemouth, thrashing the Cherries 4-0 thanks to a dominant performance from central midfielder Mousa Dembele. The former Fulham man scored the opening goal and completed an astounding 98 percent of his passes. Dembele certainly has a case for being the best central midfielder in England, and deserves much of the same praise that goes to N’Golo Kante.
Yet although Tottenham’s win was expected, Chelsea unexpectedly slipped up for the second time this month against a Manchester United side that rested many of its star players. United outfought and outclassed the Blues, mollifying Eden Hazard and canceling out Diego Costa. Ander Herrera brilliantly man-marked the Belgian out of the match, and also chipped in with a well-taken goal. The pace and liveliness of Marcus Rashford terrorized the Chelsea defense, contributing to the young Englishman’s best performance of the season.
The gap between Tottenham and Chelsea is now at four points, down from a gargantuan 12 just a month ago. Chelsea face a tricky away fixture at Goodison Park and a home match against a dangerous Southampton side; if they falter in those games, the title race could be well and truly on.
Brighton returns to the top flight after 33 years
The Premier League will welcome its newest member next season when Brighton and Hove Albion return to the English top flight after a 33-year absence. The Seagulls defeated Wigan 2-1 on Monday and secured automatic promotion to the Premier League, clinching one of the two automatic promotion spots from the Championship. Brighton will make its debut Premier League season in 2017/18, becoming the 48th club in the league’s history.
Managed by former Newcastle and Norwich manager Chris Hughton, the Seagulls have plenty of Premier League experience. Former Fulham players Steve Sidwell and David Stockdale form the spine of Brighton, while former Palace and Bournemouth striker Glenn Murray bangs home the goals.
Crystal Palace supporters will look forward to renewing their bitter rivalry with the South coast club. The last time the two sides met was when Palace defeated the Seagulls in the Championship play-offs; the bad blood has been festering ever since.