Barcelona lost to a resilient Real Sociedad side to throw the Spanish La Liga title race wide open , as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in 3rd and 2nd place respectively won their games.
A goal from Mikel Oiarzabal in the 5th minute was enough to keep Barca at bay as the Spanish la liga table toppers were toothless and couldn’t get past the defence of the home team. Team star Lionel Messi with this match has now played for 6 hours without scoring a goal. The Real Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli denied Messi, Iniesta and Neymar
After a painful defeat by Real Madrid and a draw with Villarreal, Barcelona’s margin for error in their bid to defend the Spanish title is shrinking rapidly and coach Luis Enrique is seriously watching over his shoulder as the likes of Atletico and Real Madrid march on full throttle.
Arsenal’s match which ended 3-3 with London neighbors West Ham was more about Andy Caroll scoring a hat trick for the home team and staking a place for England’s Euro 2016 squad than Arsenal dropping out of the EPL title race.
Goals from Mesut Özil in the 18th minute, Alexis Sánchez in the 35th minute and Laurent Koscielny in the 70th minute was not enough for Arsene Wenger’s side as a reinvigorated Caroll terrorized Arsenal’s defence and struck twice in two minutes just before half-time and again seven minutes into the second half to turn the game on it’s head making mockery of Arsene Wenger’s decision to start Ospina in goal.
Nigerian youngster Alex Iwobi constantly looked to take responsibility and make things happen and with each match seems to be growing in confidence by the game, but this sincerely wasn’t Arsenal’s day and Wenger will be ruing a missed opportunity to close on Leicester City and Tottenham in 1st and 2nd position.
Arsenal are now 10 points behind Leicester with six games each to play.
Gylfi Sigurdsson volley on the 25th minute was enough to give Swansea victory as Guus Hiddink suffered his first league defeat since assuming coaching duties at Chelsea.
The victory now means Swansea are now safe from relegation as they reached the ‘safe’ 40-point mark as they extended their unbeaten run to three games.
Asmir Begovic was surprisingly handed a starting spot instead of first choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and the Chelsea defence was so poor in the first half that one would wonder if they forgot their football brain outside the pitch.
Sigurdsson took advantage of a poor headed clearance from Matt Miazga which he didn’t waste time to strike at goal making it his 9th goal of the season.
Hiddink, whose side had been unbeaten in 15 prior to this trip, said: ‘We expected a tough game – they needed three points and we were safe. We had a soft target (to beat relegation) we had already achieved, so we expected a lot of opposition. We created some chances in the first 20 minutes but we were sloppy in taking those options.
‘If you do not take those chances you get into trouble and we got into trouble. It is disappointing, it is not about me (and his unbeaten record) but the objective is to win games. We gave some younger players the opportunity to play and it means there is a risk to lose games. I prefer to have this risk.’
Asked if Conte’s confirmation as manager may have had a negative effect on the performance, Hiddink said: ‘It is not just about a new manager -,you have to show at a club like this what you are capable of. The players have to be internally motivated, that is a key condition to being at a club like Chelsea.’
Other Results across Europe-
West Ham United 3 – 3 Arsenal
Aston Villa 1 – 2 AFC Bournemouth
Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Norwich City
Southampton 3 – 1 Newcastle United
Swansea City 1 – 0 Chelsea
Watford 1 – 1 Everton
Manchester City 2 – 1 West Bromwich Albion
Frosinone 0 – 1 Inter
ChievoVerona 1 – 0 Carpi
Sassuolo 0 – 1 Genoa
AC Milan 1 – 2 Juventus
Real Madrid 4 – 0 Eibar
Espanyol 1 – 3 Atletico Madrid
Real Sociedad 1 – 0 Barcelona
Real Betis 1 – 0 Levante
Eintracht Frankfurt 0 – 2 Hoffenheim
Hamburger SV 1 – 2 Darmstadt
Ingolstadt 1 – 0 Borussia Moenchengladbach
VfB Stuttgart 1 – 3 Bayern Munich
Werder Bremen 1 – 2 Augsburg
Wolfsburg 1 – 1 Mainz 05