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Last Updated Monday May 01 2017 05:55 AM IST

Arsenal lose to West Brom, Chelsea march on

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Arsenal lose to West Brom, Chelsea march on West Bromwich Albion's Craig Dawson scores their third goal against Arsenal during the Premier League match on Saturday. Reuters

London: Two headers by Craig Dawson and a Hal Robson-Kanu strike lifted West Bromwich Albion to a 3-1 win over Arsenal and piled more misery on their manager Arsene Wenger after a pulsating Premier League clash on Saturday.

The result left Arsenal in fifth place with 50 points from 27 matches, five behind fourth-placed Liverpool who are at home to Manchester City on Sunday. West Brom stayed eighth on 43 points from 29 games.

Still reeling from a 10-2 aggregate defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16 earlier this month, the under-fire Wenger could only watch in dismay as a banner saying 'NO CONTRACT #WENGEROUT' was flown by a plane above the Hawthorns.

Chelsea edge past Stoke

Chelsea continued their seemingly irresistible surge towards regaining the Premier League title as a late Gary Cahill goal saw them eke out a 2-1 win at Stoke City and move 13 points clear of their pursuers on Saturday.

Chelsea edge past Stoke Chelsea's Gary Cahill celebrates with Marcos Alonso after scoring their second goal against Stoke City on Saturday. Reuters

The latest triumph for Antonio Conte's unstoppable charges came after London rivals Arsenal's season continued to unravel with a third straight 3-1 away league defeat.

Conte had been without the in-form Eden Hazard through injury for what always promised to be an awkward fixture for Chelsea at Stoke and, just as they had recently held Manchester City at home, the Potters again made life difficult.

Willian put the leaders ahead after 13 minutes thanks to a blunder by Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant but Jon Walters equalised with a penalty before halftime after being fouled by Cahill.

The England defender made amends in the 87th minute with a deserved winner and, after Phil Bardsley had been sent off for Stoke in added time, Conte celebrated with his staff on the touchline as Chelsea moved on to 69 points, leaving all the pressure on their nearest pursuers who play on Sunday.

Second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who host Southampton, and third-placed Manchester City, who welcome fourth-placed Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium, now both have to win to get back within 10 points of the leaders.

Wenger protests

Arsenal's defeat came amid more protests from some of the more vociferous of the Gunners' faithful about Wenger as the manager acknowledged that his side were in the middle of "a unique bad patch" in his two-decade managerial reign.

West Brom win over Arsenal Arsenal fans with a 'Wenger Out' banner during the team's match against West Bromwich on Saturday. Reuters

After dismal defending saw West Brom's Craig Dawson head home twice from corners in a convincing win for Tony Pulis's men, Wenger told reporters: "We lose game after game at the moment and that for me is much more important than my future."

Yet as the debates about his prospects became ever louder -- one airplane trailed a banner over the ground that declared "Wenger Out" while another trumpeted "In Arsene We Trust" -- the Frenchman said he would clarify his future soon.

His team, though, now look in serious jeopardy of not enjoying a 20th successive season of Champions League football in 2017-18 -- and if Manchester United win at Middlesbrough on Sunday, Arsenal, currently fifth on 50 points, will drop to sixth, two points behind Jose Mourinho's men.

Basement club Sunderland were held 0-0 at home to poor travelers Burnley, while third-bottom Hull City were trounced 4-0 by Everton, for whom league-leading scorer Romelu Lukaku scored twice in added time, taking his season's tally to 21.

The Belgian became the first Toffees' striker to hit 20 league goals in a season, since Gary Lineker 31 years ago, though his goals were bitter-sweet for Everton fans who know he could leave after this week rejecting a new contract offer.

Leicester City's remarkable resurgence under new manager Craig Shakespeare continued with a fourth successive win under his stewardship since Claudio Ranieri's sacking.

The champions won 3-2 at West Ham United with first-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy for their first league success away from home all season.

Like Leicester, Crystal Palace eased their worries with a third straight win, 1-0 at home to Watford thanks to Troy Deeney's own goal, suggesting master escapologist Sam Allardyce can maintain his record of never suffering a Premier League relegation.

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The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.