Premier League: Rampant Chelsea pile pressure on Man City
Blues go second with win at Burnley as Arsenal draw and Man Utd beat Everton
Burnley 0 Chelsea 4
Chelsea moved above Manchester City into second spot behind Liverpool after crushing Burnley 4-0 at Turf Moor on Sunday. Goals from Alvaro Morata, Ross Barkley, Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek did the job for the Blues as they kept the pressure on the Sky Blues ahead of their clash tonight with Tottenham.
Burnley began brightly but faded rapidly, as Maurizio Sarri reflected in his post-match analysis. “For ten minutes it was very difficult at the beginning,” said the Blues boss. “Then we started to play very well and we managed the match.”
The win - achieved without Eden Hazard, who was nursing a back injury - was a personal milestone for Sarri. The Chelsea manager has now gone ten games unbeaten, the longest such streak by a new gaffer at Stamford Bridge. Declaring himself “very happy” with how things are going, Sarri singled out Barkley for praise. “He’s doing very well,” he said. “He’s a very good player from a technical point of view. He’s improved the defensive phase. Now I think Ross is complete.”
Crystal Palace 2 Arsenal 2
If it was a routine win at Turf Moor, it was all-action at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace ended Arsenal’s 11-match winning streak.
Playing their third game in six days, Arsenal flared into life for only a brief period in the second half when Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in quick succession to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Xhaka’s goal was a sensational free-kick from a tight angle that beat Wayne Hennessey all ends up but Aubameyang’s effort was less clear-cut. It needed goalline technology to determine that the ball had crossed the Palace line - by all of 9mm - but replays showed Alexandre Lacazette had handled the ball in the build-up, although in the Frenchman’s defence his flailing arm was caused by his shirt being tugged.
But if Arsenal got lucky with that goal, so did Palace with their equaliser on 83 minutes when Xhaka was adjudged to have felled Wilfried Zaha. Replays showed minimal contact but Luka Milivojevic kept his nerve to blast the ball past Bernd Leno.
Pair of penalties
That was a repeat of Milivojevic’s first-half penalty – awarded after Shkodran Mustafi brought down Cheikhou Kouyate – which was the first goal Palace have scored at home in the Premier League this season. The result leaves Arsenal fourth, a point behind Manchester City who play Tottenham this evening.
If that wasn’t drama enough, there were also incidents involving Unai Emery and two of his players, Lacazette and Mesut Ozil. The latter clearly didn’t appreciate being substituted after a flat performance, while the French striker felt the sharp end of his manager’s tongue in the second half.
“It’s normal, he was not happy,” said Emery, when asked about Ozil’s strop. “I like players to show us the character when we are not playing well.”
As for the tongue-lashing he gave Lacazette, the Spaniard explained: “We can’t do the mistakes on the pitch. In the second half Lacazette was a bit less in his thinking, I was wanting him to find that.”
The point moves Palace into 14th spot, three points above the relegation zone, but manager Roy Hodgson had mixed emotions at the final whistle. “I’m not even happy to end up with one point especially when you see how clear the handball was,” he said. “I’m very happy with the performance; I’m just a bit sad it didn’t give us the three points.”
Man Utd 2 Everton 1
In Sunday’s third and final game Manchester United moved into eighth after beating Everton 2-1 at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho’s men took the lead from the penalty spot in the first half, although Paul Pogba needed the rebound to get the ball into the net after his initial kick had been saved by Jordan Pickford.
Anthony Martial doubled United’s advantage four minutes after the break with a sweet curling shot, but Everton struck back from the penalty spot on 77 minutes through Gylfi Sigurdsson. That’s how the score stayed, however, as United moved two points clear of Everton. “I am happy with the points which we needed,” said Mourinho. “The last three Premier League matches we have had two victories at home and an undeserved point at Stamford Bridge.”
Premier League results and fixtures
- Burnley 0 Chelsea 4
- Crystal Palace 2 Arsenal 2
- Manchester United 2 Everton 1
- Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
- Fulham 0 Bournemouth 3
- Liverpool 4 Cardiff City 1
- Southampton 0 Newcastle United 0
- Watford 3 Huddersfield Town 0
- Leicester City 1 West Ham United 1
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City (8pm, live on Sky Sports)