Chelsea had to settle for a 1-1 draw against a much-improved Liverpool at Anfield this evening after Diego Costa’s late penalty was saved by Simon Mignolet – but still extended their lead at top of the Premier League to nine points.
Liverpool keeper Mignolet made amends for his first-half embarrassment when he had been caught off guard by David Luiz’s superb free-kick from 25 yards.
Georginio Wijnaldum’s close-range header 11 minutes after the break gave Liverpool a draw they fully deserved, ending a run of three successive home losses, two of which knocked them out of the EFL Cup and the FA Cup.
However, it could have been much better for Chelsea and worse for Liverpool when Costa went to ground under challenge from Joel Matip 14 minutes from the end. Referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot but Mignolet dived low to his right to save the Spain striker’s spot-kick.
Roberto Firmino wasted Liverpool’s two best chances, shooting high over an open goal and heading straight at Thibaut Courtois in the closing seconds.
Meanwhile Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes suffered a huge blow with a shock 2-1 home defeat against Watford at Emirates Stadium.
Former Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul lashed in the opener within 10 minutes for Watford with a shot from outside the area which deflected off Aaron Ramsey.
Just two minutes and 57 seconds later, the visitors doubled their lead as Troy Deeney tapped in the rebound after Etienne Capoue’s fine run ended with his shot being saved by Petr Cech.
The Arsenal goalkeeper was called into action again as he tipped Sebastian Prodl’s header over the crossbar and pushed away Daryl Janmaat’s curling strike.
The hosts improved significantly in the second half and Alex Iwobi pulled a goal back by steering Alexis Sanchez’s cross home.
Lucas Perez struck the crossbar with a powerful drive, but they could not find the equaliser.
Other scores today: Swansea 2, Southampton 1; Sunderland 0, Tottenham 0; Middlesbrough 1, West Bromwich Albion 1; Burnley 1, Leicester 0; Bournemouth 0, Crystal Palace 2.