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Chelsea 29 points from glory and more Premier League talking points

Plus, Romelu Lukaku has tied Everton’s all-time Premier League scoring record with his 60th strike for the club.

Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game.
Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game.
Image: Dominic Lipinski

Updated at 20.46

1. Chelsea 29 points from glory

ANTONIO CONTE REFUSED to be drawn on talk that it is Chelsea’s title to lose after their 3-1 Premier League win over Swansea City and says that he is focused on the points they need to be mathematically sure of becoming champions.

With Manchester City now 11 points behind Chelsea with a game in hand, the Blues require a maximum of 29 points from their final 12 games, and Conte does not believe a title triumph is a foregone conclusion.

“It’s not a true 11 points, the other teams have to play, I like to tell this that they need another 29 points to win the league and if we are able from now at the end to take 29 points for sure we win the title,” Conte said.

“29 points are a lot. There are 12 games to the end but I repeat it’s important to continue to work in this way and have this commitment from my players. My players are deserving of this.”

2. Landmark goal for Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has tied Everton’s all-time Premier League scoring record with his 60th strike for the club.

Lukaku netted in the second half of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Sunderland at Goodison Park, moving him level with club legend Duncan Ferguson.

The Belgium international reached the mark much quicker than Ferguson, however.

Lukaku needed just 129 Premier League games to score 60 times, whereas Ferguson reached his mark in 239 matches.

3. Marco Silva laments relegation-threatened Hull’s lack of focus 

Hull City v Burnley - Premier League - KCOM Stadium Hull City manager Marco Silva during the Premier League match at the KCOM Stadium. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Hull City head coach Marco Silva has lamented a loss of focus from his side, after they missed the opportunity to move out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Michael Keane netted just moments after conceding the penalty that allowed Tom Huddlestone to put Hull ahead at the KCOM Stadium, with Burnley — who had Ashley Barnes sent off late on — holding firm to secure a 1-1 draw.

It is the first time in five home matches across all competitions as Hull boss that Silva has failed to win, and the result represents a blow to the Tigers’ bid to avoid the drop, with a huge clash away to fellow relegation candidates Leicester City next up.

“Of course it is frustrating, it was a tough, tough game,” Silva told BBC Sport. “It is not easy to play against Burnley, it was a balanced game, we had good chances and when you score it is impossible to suffer a goal like we conceded from a set-piece.

“It is important to be focused, and we lost our focus from a set-piece and they scored. At this level it is impossible to give the opposition something.

“We need to continue to do our work and keep our organisation, today it is one point more.”

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4. Zarate injury overshadows Watford stalemate

Watford forward Mauro Zarate was taken to hospital for scans on a serious knee injury suffered during his side’s 1-1 draw with 10-man West Ham on Saturday.

Zarate had won the penalty that Troy Deeney converted to give Watford an early lead at Vicarage Road, but the former West Ham star’s evening turned sour just before half-time.

After crumpling in a heap when he twisted awkwardly during a West Ham attack, Zarate needed lengthy treatment before being stretchered off with an oxygen mask over his face and his right leg in a heavy strapping as all four sides of the stadium rose to applaud him.

The 29-year-old Argentine was sent to hospital to check the severity of the problem and Watford were unable to hold onto the lead without him.

5. Allardyce hails Van Aanholt and Sakho

Match-winner Patrick van Aanholt and debutant Mamadou Sakho came in for special praise from Sam Allardyce as Crystal Palace earned a vital 1-0 win over fellow Premier League strugglers Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Van Aanholt and Sakho, who both joined the Eagles in the January window - the former from Sunderland and the latter on a loan deal from Liverpool – were instrumental in the victory which moved Allardyce’s men out of the bottom three.

The Netherlands international netted the only goal in the first half and Sakho played a starring role to repel the Teessiders’ late attacking onslaught.

Allardyce said: “The performance in the first half warranted our victory today with an excellent goal from Patrick who has a very good habit of scoring goals as a full-back.

“I was really pleased with the quality of the finish — it was a half-chance at best from where he was, but when you get that sort of quality in the game it can turn it and it did today.

“It was a nice performance [from Sakho]. It was his first Premier League game this season, so we spent a good bit of time on his fitness and he’s accepted that he had to put that extra work in.

“His experience and composure made him look very commanding. I wasn’t sure if he’d last the whole game but he did and we needed him because he set so many attacks up for us, particularly in the first half when instead of clearing it he gave it to the midfield lads.”

Additional reporting by AFP

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