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Champions League Race Tightens Up In England

rooney-youngIn a night of drama, the top seven teams in the Premier League that harbor Champions League dreams all won on Wednesday. With only 10 games left in the season, the race for a top four finish will go down to the final week of the season.

One race that will be over before then is the title race as Chelsea kept their advantage at the summit intact by winning 1-0 at West Ham United, while second-place Manchester City, who have played a game more than the leaders, beat Leicester City 2-0.

Player of the Year candidate Eden Hazard claimed the game’s only goal in the 22nd minute with a header from a right-wing cross by Ramires, but West Ham made it a nervous last 30 minutes for Jose Mourinho’s side, but they could not find a way past the impressive Thibaut Courtois in the Chelsea goal.

Meanwhile, Manchester City rebounded from consecutive defeats by Barcelona and Liverpool to beat Leicester. City, who dropped out-of-form captain Vincent Kompany, took the lead in first-half stoppage time when David Silva followed in to score after he and Wilfried Bony had seen shots blocked. James Milner sealed victory two minutes from time by smashing home a cross from Jesus Navas.

Third-place Arsenal beat third from bottom Queens Park Rangers 2-1 at Loftus Road to to remain four points behind City. Olivier Giroud poked home a cross from Kieran Gibbs in the 64th minute and Alexis Sanchez doubled Arsenal’s lead with a solo effort five minutes later, his first goal in eight games, before Charlie Austin gave Gunners fans a scare with a late score.

For 88 minutes Manchester City were unimpressive once again, but a schoolboy mistake by Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul, gifted Ashley Young a goal as Louis van Gaal’s side won 1-0. The unexpected three points enabled United to maintain a two-point advantage over in-form Liverpool.

Liverpool extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches by overcoming second-bottom Burnley 2-0, which took Brendan Rodgers’s side back above Southampton and into fifth place. Jordan Henderson followed up his stunning goal from Sunday’s 2-1 defeat of City with a 29th-minute opener from the edge of the box and then teed up Daniel Sturridge for a 51st-minute header.

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