Late drama keeps Spurs in touch with Chelsea and Hull on track for survival

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Conte revels in 'great' win over world's 'best coach'

Chelsea's win over Manchester City and Tottenham's triumph at Swansea meant it was 'as you were' at the top of the Premier League - but the story behind the scorelines was one of pulsating drama.

It was a night of fluctuation at either end of the table, with fortunes swinging back and forth as the season enters the finishing straight.

Exhausted Conte reflects on job well done

Italian Antonio Conte has an image as one of the Premier League's most animated managers, stalking the touchline constantly and even swinging from the dug-out in celebration when Gary Cahill scored a late Chelsea winner at Stoke recently.

He was in more subdued mood during and after the 2-1 win that gave them the league double over Pep Guardiola's side and maintained their seven-point advantage over Spurs in second - although he gave his familiar joyous response to all four sides of Stamford Bridge at the final whistle.

Chelsea score
Eden Hazard's double gave Chelsea all three points at Stamford Bridge

Conte admitted: "My look is tired because I feel like I played it with my players tonight. I suffered with them. But we must be pleased because we beat a strong team - the best team in the league.

"I think they have a great coach - the best in the world. To win this type of game at the end of the season is great."

It restored Chelsea's equilibrium after the surprise home loss to Crystal Palace and brought calm back to a tense Stamford Bridge.

But while Conte was able to rest after this crucial win, events elsewhere mean he and his players cannot relax too much, despite that seven-point cushion with only eight games to go.

'Spursy'? Not any longer

Tottenham celebrate
Tottenham were 1-0 down at Swansea with 88 minutes gone - and won 3-1

When Spurs trailed late in the game at Swansea to Wayne Routledge's early goal, while Chelsea led Manchester City, the gap between the top two was a potential 10 points, and the old insults were being prepared for manager Mauricio Pochettino and his players.

'Spursy' is a label that has often been attached to Tottenham's capacity to come up short, never more so than last season when they finished third in what had effectively been a two-horse race to the title with eventual champions Leicester. On the final day, they lost 5-1 at relegated Newcastle, insult added to injury as bitter rivals Arsenal beat Aston Villa to finish second.

Were Spurs going to falter again, pushing the door ajar on Saturday by beating Burnley while Chelsea lost to Palace, only to slam it shut in their own face in south Wales?

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Spurs deserved win after 'crazy finish' - Pochettino

They answered those charges with a brilliant finishing surge at the Liberty Stadium - turning a 1-0 deficit into a stunning triumph with goals from Dele Alli, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen.

Spurs are no longer 'Spursy', irrespective of where they finish this season. This is a side and a squad laced with quality and depth, and made of stern stuff - this was another crucial win secured without injured top-scorer Harry Kane.

Two tough away assignments at Turf Moor and struggling Swansea have yielded six points and the statistics speak to both their ability and their durability.

Top three how it stands
Spurs have a five-point advantage over third-placed Liverpool with a game in hand, and kept alive their outside chance of catching leaders Chelsea

Spurs have won 29 points in 2017 - more than any other Premier League club. They have won nine, drawn two and lost one of their 12 league games.

They have also won 17 points from losing positions, more than any other side, and under Pochettino have won 53 points from losing positions - more than any other side in that time.

Spurs remain outsiders to pip Chelsea but this is a team that will keep Conte and his Blues players just glancing over their shoulder and on their mettle. Pochettino has learned the lesson of last term, when his side ran out of steam. They are looking to last the distance.

Klopp's night of regret

Liverpool's season has been summed up in the past five days. Impressive in beating in-form neighbours Everton 3-1 in the Merseyside derby on Saturday then slipping up against so-called lesser opposition as they conceded a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Bournemouth at Anfield on Wednesday.

Top three how it could have been
Until very late in their respective fixtures, Spurs and Liverpool looked like finishing the night level on points - Liverpool's lapse and Spurs' stunning comeback left a very different picture

Klopp's side have done the double over Arsenal and Everton, drawn twice with Manchester United, and won and drawn against Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs. It is a hugely impressive record.

Set this against their past six defeats, which all came against teams in the bottom half of the table at kick-off. Liverpool have lost to Burnley, Bournemouth, Swansea, Hull and Leicester this season - even doomed Sunderland held them to a 2-2 draw at the Stadium Of Light.

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Klopp takes responsibility for late Liverpool lapse

The loss of top scorer Sadio Mane to injury is also ominous. Liverpool have won only two points in four Premier League games without the Senegal striker this season.

Liverpool remain third but they were victims of their own carelessness and the Spurs' revival at Swansea. If they had held out for another three minutes they would have been only three points behind them - while at one point it looked like results might even have had them level with the second-placed side.

Now their position looks markedly more perilous. They are two points ahead of fourth-placed Manchester City, who have a game in hand, and six points ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United, who both have two games in hand.

Liverpool have two away games coming up at Stoke and West Bromwich Albion - and Klopp has problems to address.

Silva service to bring Tigers' survival?

Marco Silva's appointment was questioned when he succeeded Mike Phelan at Hull City in January. Those doubts seemed a long way away as the Portuguese guided them out of the Premier League's bottom three for the first time since October.

The 4-2 victory over Middlesbrough not only provided the Tigers with another vital three points after the win over West Ham at the weekend, it also inflicted a heavy blow on a relegation rival, leaving the Teessiders seven points behind Silva's side, albeit with a game in hand.

Hull celebrate
Harry Maguire got the fourth of Hull's goals against relegation rivals Middlesbrough

Silva has shown a sure touch at home, with five wins and 16 points out of 18, but also a priceless ability to take misfits and give them back their belief.

Oumar Niasse was a laughing stock at Everton, a striker not even given a first-team locker by manager Ronald Koeman and exiled to the under-23s - where, it should be said, his attitude was widely praised - after a miserable time following his £13.5m move from Lokomotiv Moscow in February.

He did not score a goal for Everton and yet he was on the mark for Hull for the fifth time against Middlesbrough and is displaying glimpses of a quality that were never on show at Goodison Park.

Bottom six how it stands
Victory over Boro lifted Hull out of the relegation zone for the first time since October

And on Wednesday, there was a goal for another on-loan forward, Lazar Markovic, who has been on his travels after struggling at Liverpool following a £20m move from Benfica in 2014.

The Serb had a loan deal with Sporting Lisbon cancelled this season before arriving at Hull and also had an unfulfilling spell at Fenerbahce last season, but Silva has shown faith.

The Portuguese also seems to have built a side with backbone, the Tigers coming from behind twice for the crucial wins against the Hammers and Boro.

The 39-year-old is under contract until the end of the season and his reputation is growing by the week. It will be an impressive addition to his CV if he can navigate a route to safety after taking over when his new charges were propping up the Premier League table.

Bottom six how it could have been
But for Swansea's late capitulation they could have stayed out of the bottom three and well in touch with relegation rivals Palace and West Ham