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They all fall down: EPL challengers blow golden chance

Soccer

English Premier League leaders Leicester City edged closer to an unlikely title as Tottenham blew the chance to go top with defeat at West Ham – while fellow challengers Arsenal and Manchester City also lost.

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After Leicester were held to a 2-2 home draw by West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, Tottenham could have gone above them on goal difference but were floored by an early headed goal from Michail Antonio at Upton Park to end a six-game winning run for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

“The first half we were poor and the second half we tried to play in the way we play normally,” Pochettino said.

“I think we made some mistakes that we normally don’t make. It was difficult.”

It got even better for Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester as third-placed Arsenal and Manchester City, in fourth, suffered damaging defeats.

Arsenal were booed off after a 2-1 home loss to relegation-threatened Swansea City, for whom Wayne Routledge and Ashley Williams were on target.

Arsenal fans appear dejected in the stands during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.. Picture date: Wednesday March 2, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Arsenal. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Dejected Arsenal fans after the defeat. Photo: Nick Potts, PA Wire.

“I believe we were really unlucky with our finishing and some decisions today,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the BBC.

“They had two shots on target and two goals.

“We stopped playing before the first goal because there was a foul on Mesut Ozil. There were hands around his neck and it should have been a free kick for us.”

Man City’s joy at winning Sunday’s League Cup final proved short-lived as Liverpool gained swift revenge with a 3-0 victory at Anfield.

With 10 matches remaining, Leicester have 57 points, Tottenham 54, Arsenal 51 and City, who have a game in hand, 47, ahead of Manchester United on goal difference after Juan Mata’s late strike earned them a 1-0 win over Watford.

West Ham, on 46 points, are also in the mix for Champions League qualification.

At the other end of the table, Newcastle United’s plight worsened as a 1-0 defeat at Stoke City left them second from bottom with 24 points.

-Reuters/AAP

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