EPL Round 27 Saturday recaps: Leicester continues title charge
Leicester City continued its quest for an unexpected EPL title with a dramatic 1-0 win at home against Norwich City in Saturday's action of Round 27.
Chelsea continued its rise up the table after its disastrous start with a 2-1 comeback win over Southampton, while West Ham United kept itself in the conversation for a Europa League place with a 1-0 win over Sunderland.
Read recaps of all Saturday's games below:
Leicester strikes late to defeat Norwich City
LEICESTER, England (AP) — Late substitute Leonardo Ulloa struck an 89th minute winner to give Premier League leader Leicester City a 1-0 victory over struggling Norwich on Saturday.
Ulloa came on in the 78th minute and steered the ball home from close range following a cross by Marc Albrighton.have scored more league goals than the entire Norwich team put together, with 33 to 30. But they were kept in check as Norwich played Leicester at its own game, sitting deep and then looking to hit the opposition on the break.
The strategy worked until the very end of the match at King Power Stadium.
Leicester now tops the standings with 56 points, five more than Arsenal and Tottenham, which play their matches on Sunday.
Chelsea scores two late goals, tops Southampton
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Late goals from Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic saw Chelsea come from behind to beat in-form Southampton 2-1 at St Mary's Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.
Southampton took a first-half lead through Shane Long, but Fabregas drew Chelsea level on 75 minutes, and Ivanovic headed the winner in the 89th. The champions extended their unbeaten league run since interim manager Guus Hiddink was appointed in December to 11 games.
Chelsea moved up to 11th in the standings, 11 points behind fourth-place Manchester City.
Southampton, which had not conceded in six games before Saturday, dropped to seventh place in the table.
West Ham gets 1-0 win over Sunderland
LONDON (AP) — West Ham's chances of hosting European football next season at the Olympic Stadium received a boost on Saturday, after it beat relegation-threatened Sunderland 1-0 at Upton Park to climb to provisional fifth place in the Premier League.
Winger Michail Antonio scored the game's only goal in the 30th minute, cutting in from the right touchline and muscling past three Sunderland defenders to curl the ball past keeper Vito Mannone.
Currently in the Europa League positions, West Ham is now unbeaten in its last 13 home games in all competitions ahead of its move to the Olympic Stadium next season.
Saturday's performance lacked the home side's recent sparkle, but was enough to win a scrappy game.
"We were not flat, but we were not in the red zone," West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said.
"That makes this win even bigger for us. I will never be objective, as I am West Ham manager. But realistically we deserved three points today."
Sunderland remains anchored in the drop zone in 19th place, with manager Sam Allardyce enduring a miserable first return to Upton Park since leaving West Ham last year.
His team created chances, particularly after the break, but paid the price for failing to take them.
"For us it's such a huge disappointment not picking up any points today on those chances created particularly in the second half," Allardyce said.
"We made life extremely difficult for ourselves not converting our chances today. I thought we had done enough to win it, let alone draw. We must hope that if we continue to play like that we will ultimately get the victories that we need very quickly."
Played in a strong swirling wind, chances were far and few between in a first half that lacked zip and quality. Passes were over-hit and under-hit as players on both sides struggled to pick out their teammates.
Tunisian attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri hit struck the top of the goal with a dipping free kick in the 22nd minute for Sunderland, while West Ham captain Mark Noble forced a fingertip save from Mannone that hit the underside of the bar.
Chasing an equalizer, Sunderland came out fighting in the second half, but ultimately squandered all the opportunities.
Khazri guided another free kick into straight into West Ham keeper Adrian's hands, and the Spaniard needed to be alert to make a smart save with his right foot from substitute midfielder Jack Rodwell in the 74th.
Adrian also saved from Dame N'Doye, while former West Ham striker Jermain Defoe also missed the target for Sunderland on several occasions.
For the home side, substitute striker Andy Carroll had its best chance after the break -when he volleyed against the bar - and midfielder Dmitri Payet sent a shot wide.
Arnautovic double leads Stoke City over Aston Villa
STOKE, England (AP) — Bottom side Aston Villa conceded two second-half goals from Marko Arnautovic as Stoke won 2-1 Saturday in the Premier League.
Villa manager Remi Garde made only one change from its 6-0 league defeat to Liverpool but his team was competitive — for the first half at least against mid-table opposition.
Five minutes after the restart at Britannia Stadium, Ashley Westwood caught Phil Bardsley with a high boot and Arnautovic blasted the penalty down the middle.
After 56 minutes it was 2-0. Arnautovic's header looped up in the air but the Austrian reacted quickest to chest the ball over from a yard out.
Leandro Bacuna shot into the far corner of the net with 11 minutes remaining but Villa, which remains eight points from safety, couldn't find an equalizer.
West Brom holds off Crystal Palace for 3-2 win
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — West Bromwich Albion produced a fine first-half performance to defeat a combative Crystal Palace side 3-2 in the English Premier League on Saturday.
West Brom dominated the first half, with Craig Gardner, Craig Dawson and Saido Berahino giving their side a seemingly unassailable lead.
After halftime, however, Crystal Palace improved hugely, with Connor Wickham scoring the first of his two goals just three minutes in. Wickham gave Palace a glimpse at an unlikely draw with a fine finish on 80 minutes, but West Brom was able to hold on for the victory.
West Brom swapped places with Palace in the league standings to be 13th. Palace dropped to 14th on, eight points above the relegation zone.
Watford, Bournemouth battle to scoreless draw
WATFORD, England (AP) — Watford and Bournemouth shared the points Saturday in a 0-0 draw with both teams failing to take their chances to win the Premier League game.
Watford's top scorer Odion Ighalo, with 15 goals this season, headed over from around six yards (meters) out in the 67th minute when Nordin Amrabat dug out a cross from the byline, and he also sliced a shot high and wide with 14 minutes left.
Bournemouth threatened with Harry Arter forcing a fine save from Heurelho Gomes on the hour after a long-range effort but both sides lacked any real potency in the final third of the pitch.
Midtable Watford continues its impressive season, with 37 points from 27 games, while Bournemouth is five points above the relegation zone.