One week after both sides had come out on different ends of the scoreline in 4-3 thrillers, Crystal Palace and Tottenham soured the mood slightly with a drab London derby last weekend, where only a landmark Harry Kane goal could separate the two capital sides.
The England captain headed in his 209th top-flight strike on the stroke of half time to sink Roy Hodgson’s side, who showed a few flickers of life in attack but were otherwise comfortably quelled by the Lilywhites for their third scoreless game in four matches.
However, sitting 10 points clear of the drop zonewith only nine points left to play for, Hodgson has achieved his number one target of confirming Palace’s Premier League survival, sitting pretty on the sought-after 40-point mark in 12th spot and only two points worse off than Chelsea.
Since Hodgson made his return to the Selhurst Park hotseat, the Eagles have taken a respectable seven points from their last three home games and have only been beaten once on their own match in their last eight outings – even then Manchester City could only prevail 1-0.
With mid-table Fulham and relegation-battling Nottingham Forest to come in their final two games, Palace have little to fret about between now and the end of the campaign, and the same can very nearly be said for their upcoming visitors.
Haunting a London club for the second time in the space of a few weeks, Bournemouth left-back Matias Vina scored a peach of an equaliser for the Cherries against Chelsea, having also made the net ripple in their sensational win at Tottenham Hotspur last month.
Vina’s effort came after Conor Gallagher had headed Chelsea in front, but Gary O’Neil’s side were left to rue a late collapse, as Benoit Badiashile restored Chelsea’s lead from a Hakim Ziyech free kick before Joao Felix came off the bench to wrap up Frank qLampard’s first win from his second spell as manager.
While lamenting a spate of defensive errors, a bullish O’Neil insisted that Bournemouth still deserved something out of their defeat to Chelsea, which leaves the Cherries 14th in the table and within just one point of confirming their spot in the big time for 2022-23.
A run of four wins from six has propelled Bournemouth away from the dreaded dotted line, and playing on rival turf has not fazed the South Coast outfit, who have claimed successive victories over Leicester City, Tottenham and Southampton on the road and could now win four consecutive Premier League games away from home for the first time ever.
Jordan Ayew and Eberechi Eze were on target as Palace eased to a 2-0 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium earlier this season, which marked the Eagles’ fourth win on the bounce over the Cherries, who have not kept a clean sheet against their London counterparts since their first Premier League meeting in 2015.