LONDON: Tottenham and Chelsea slipped up in the Premier League’s top-four race on Wednesday as David Moyes made an immediate impact on his return to West Ham during a busy program of New Year’s Day football.
Chelsea remain in pole position to secure the fourth Champions League qualification place but manager Frank Lampard will rue conceding a spectacular late equalizer in the 1-1 draw at Brighton.
Those dropped points gave Jose Mourinho’s Spurs the chance to crank up the pressure on Chelsea and Manchester United but they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Southampton and England captain Harry Kane limped off with a hamstring injury.
Elsewhere near the top of the table, second-placed Leicester cruised to a 3-0 win at Newcastle and Manchester City beat Everton 2-1 to hand Carlo Ancelotti his first defeat since taking over as manager.
West Ham made a flying start under Moyes, returning to the London Stadium for a second stint as manager, hammering hapless Bournemouth 4-0 and lifting themselves out of the relegation zone.
Earlier, Cesar Azpilicueta gave Chelsea the lead on England’s south coast, tapping in from close range in the 10th minute.
The visitors missed chances to increase their lead and were indebted to goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for producing a series of sharp saves at the other end.
Brighton scored the goal their persistence deserved in the 84th minute when Iranian substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh acrobatically found the bottom-left corner with an overhead kick to give his team a share of the points.
“It was frustrating for different reasons,” Lampard told BT Sport. “In the first half, the game was there to be won. We weren’t ruthless enough. We got the goal and we had the possession. But we just didn’t kill the game off.
“We allowed them to stay in the game. In the end it was a wonder goal but we were lucky not to lose the game.”
Tottenham traveled to in-form Southampton with the chance to overtake Manchester United and move three points behind Chelsea but they fell behind to a 17th-minute Danny Ings goal.
Mourinho’s men were labored in attack. Kane injured himself as he converted Christian Eriksen’s free-kick in the second half but was flagged offside before hobbling down the tunnel.
Mourinho’s frustration boiled over as he was shown a yellow card after an altercation with the Southampton bench.
“I was rude,” the Spurs boss told the BBC. “I clearly deserved the yellow card. I had bad words.”
“The work is not about buying, it is about working with the players on the pitch,” he added. “It is something that is very difficult for us because we have no time to do it.”
Leicester appear to have put a mini-slump behind them, beating Newcastle 3-0 courtesy of goals from Ayoze Perez, James Maddison and Hamza Choudhury.
Newcastle were forced to play almost the entire second half with just 10 men after Fabian Schaer was injured following all three substitutions.
Brendan Rodgers made six changes for the trip to the northeast and the win left his side 10 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool, having played two games more.
“It’s not our concern to catch Liverpool,” said the Leicester boss. “We get asked all the time but we are about developing the squad and the team.”
City remain in third after their home win against Everton, a single point behind Leicester.
Gabriel Jesus scored twice in the second half before Richarlison pulled a goal back for Everton but City held on despite some nervy moments.
Watford continued their impressive run under new manager Nigel Pearson, holding on to beat seventh-placed Wolves 2-1 with goals from Gerard Deulofeu and a Abdoulaye Doucoure despite later being reduced to 10 men.
Villa beat Burnley 2-1 with first-half goals from Wesley and Jack Grealish while Norwich drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace.