Sunday Afternoon Reflection: Mahrez and Payet continue their star form

Elsewhere, Spurs blew a great chance to make it a two horse race

Sunday Afternoon Reflection: Mahrez and Payet continue their star form

Tim Ireland / AP/Press Association Images

Are West Ham top four contenders?

West Ham completed a remarkable comeback at Goodison Park as they scored thee goals in the final quarter of the game to snatch victory away from Everton. 

Dimitri Payet's late goal, his eight of the season, moved the Hammers into fifth place and one point behind Man City, but now must surely be taken as serious Champions League place contenders.

In a season where Leicester and Spurs have been the Premier League trailblazers, the notion that West Ham could sneak fourth ahead of the Manchester clubs or Arsenal certainly doesn't seem as far fetched as it once did.

Of course there remains the question of how long can they sustain their incredible recent run, unbeaten in the league in four, but with Payet currently in sparkling form and the unpredictable nature of the season thus far, the impossible seems more probable than ever before.  

The East Londoners challenge could be strengthened without having to kick a ball, as Manchester United travel to the Hawthorns to keep their own Champions League hopes alive. 

Leicester show grit

Its often said that the mark of a champion is knowing how to win ugly, and Leicester seem to be making a habit of that in recent weeks.

At times this season, the Foxes have played some swashbuckling football in their incredible ascent to the summit of the Premier League, but in recent games that flair has somewhat subsided as opposition teams look to tighten up against the title challengers. 

Yesterday was another example of that as a well drilled Watford side made life difficult for Claudio Ranieri's Leicester until Riyad Mahrez's excellently taken goal in the second half.

His winning goal was his 15th of a stunning season, and coupled with 11 assists, he is surely on course to be crowned Player of the Year.

Following on from a frustrating mid-week draw against West Brom and a late show last weekend against Norwich, Leicester are showing true title winning character in their ability snatch results in gritty games, particularly after a crushing last minute loss to fellow challengers Arsenal. 

Spurs lose ground 

Spurs fans were surely left kicking themselves following yesterday's 2-2 draw with arch rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane, as they managed to blow a lead with a man advantage.

Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane quickfire strikes swung the momentum back in favour of the home side following Francis Coquelin's sending off for a rash challenge just prior to the hour mark. 

After Kane's stunning strike on the hour, Arsenal fans feared the worst as Spurs threatened to cut loose and consign the Gooners to a fourth consecutive defeat. 

Source: Streamable

However, a sense of adventure deserted the white side of North London as Mauricio Pochettino aired on the side of caution, replacing Erik Lamela with Ryan Mason. 

The lack of endeavor was duly punished by Arsenal as they began to dictate the flow of the game with Alexis Sanchez popping up to scuff a shot past Hugo Lloris. 

Neither side pushed on for a winner but it will be Spurs who are left more frustrated today, as they missed their opportunity to go temporarily top of the league and now look are now left with a five point gap between themselves and Leicester, with Arsenal a further eight points off the summit.