Sports Desk, Dec 26 (EFE).- Lucas Moura participated in all three of Tottenham’s goals in its 3-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace in Premier League action on Sunday, which is Boxing Day in Britain.
The team coached by Antonio Conte is enjoying its recent vast improvement. With the exception of the draw against Liverpool last week, Tottenham is now heading in the right direction, showing itself to be decidedly superior on Sunday to a rival that had lost its coach, Patrick Vieira, for the match after he tested positive for the coronavirus, with Welshman Osian Roberts filling in for him.
The Spurs first got on the board in the 32nd minute on a pass by Moura that Harry Kane then sent into the net, and two minutes later, it was the Brazilian’s turn to tally on a pass from Emerson Royal.
The scenario got worse for Crystal Palace just before the break when Wilfried Zaha received his second yellow card and was booted, leaving the team a man short.
And the match deteriorated markedly for Crystal Palace in the second half as Tottenham cruised and in the final stretch another assist by Moura was capitalized upon by Heung-Min Son for the 3-0.
Tottenham is now in the No. 5 spot on the Premier League table, six points in back of Arsenal, at No. 4, and in the Champions League qualification zone.
In other Premier League action, Southhampton reacquainted itself with victory, downing rival West Ham on the road 3-2 in London Stadium on Sunday.
Ralph Hasenhutti’s men had gone six straight matches without a win, but they were able to squeeze out three points against an adversary that just didn’t perform up to its previous level.
David Moyes squad, meanwhile, recently has suffered a draw and two losses and is already out of the five top positions in the Premier League’s European zone.
Southhampton went ahead just eight minutes into play on a goal by Mohammed Elyounoussi on a pass from Kyle Walker Peters, but the London squad reacted at the beginning of the second half with Michael Antonio beating Fraser Forster on a corner kick by Craig Dawson.
At the one-hour mark, the visitors gained the advantage on a penalty kick that James Ward Prowse sent into the net, although just five minutes later Mohammed Said Benrahma took a pass from Jarrod Bowen and evened things up once again.
Twenty minutes before the final whistle was the key juncture of the match, with Prowse once again assisting Jan Bednarek, who knocked in the third goal, beating his Polish countryman and West Ham netminder Lukasz Fabianski.
With the win, Southampton moves up to the 14th spot on the table, albeit far below No. 6 West Ham, who falls to sixth and thus out of the European zone.
Also, Romelu Lukaku, returning to Chelsea after being out with Covid, was instrumental in the team’s 3-1 road win over Aston Villa after two consecutive draws that set it back from Man City at the head of the table.
Lukaku was on the bench until after the break, when he replaced Trevoh Chalobah.
Aston Villa was missing manager Steven Gerrard, out with Covid, but managed to get on the board first at the half-hour mark when Reece James diverted a cross from the left wing past Edouard Mendy.
Just six minutes later, however, Chelsea evened things up when Jorginho tallied on a penalty kick.
In the 57th minute, Hudson Odoi sent in a pass from the left that Lukaku headed into the net, beating Aston Villa netminder Emiliano Martinez, and ultimately it was Jorginho again who tallied from th penalty spot after Lukaku darted with the ball past Targett only to be fouled by Ezri Konsa.
The win cements Chelsea in third place, equal in points with Liverpool, although both are six behind leader Man City.
Meanwhile, the Leeds-Liverpool match on Sunday had to be canceled due to a spate of positive Covid tests for Marcelo Bielsa’s squad.