Tuesday , December 12 2017

Chelsea storm to summit, City held – Blues destroy Everton

Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard (left), vies with Everton’s English midfielder Ross Barkley during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge in London on Nov 5. (AFP)
Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard (left), vies with Everton’s English midfielder Ross Barkley during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge in London on Nov 5. (AFP)

LONDON, Nov 5, (AFP): Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea exploited a slip-up by Manchester City to claim top spot in the Premier League by clinically crushing Everton 5-0 on Saturday.

Marten de Roon’s stoppage-time equaliser earned Middlesbrough a 1-1 draw at City and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea took advantage to move a point clear of Pep Guardiola’s side at the summit.

Arsenal and Liverpool could also surpass City before the weekend is out, the former tackling Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s North London derby and the latter entertaining Watford.

Elsewhere, bottom club Sunderland ended their wait for a first win of the season at the 11th attempt by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Bournemouth despite having Steven Pienaar sent off.

At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea produced one of their most scintillating performances in recent memory as the 2014-15 champions made it five straight wins without conceding a goal.

Hazard opened the scoring in the 19th minute, drifting in from the left to drill a shot into the bottom-right corner, and a minute later Pedro Rodriguez teed up Marcos Alonso for the hosts’ second.

Diego Costa made it 3-0 three minutes before half-time, slamming home at the back post after Nemanja Matic flicked on Hazard’s corner to bring up his ninth goal of the campaign.

Chelsea’s fourth goal was a jewel, Pedro returning Hazard’s pass with a sweet back-heel and the Belgian dancing into the box from the right before lashing home with his left foot.

Pedro volleyed in the fifth, in the 65th minute, after Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg parried a shot from Hazard.

Marten De Roon’s dramatic stoppage-time header cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s first-half goal and earned Middlesbrough a point with a 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Saturday.

Aguero touched in his 150th City goal from Kevin De Bruyne’s low cross to cap a dominant first-half performance from Pep Guardiola’s side.

But they could not match it in the second, despite creating several good chances, and were caught late on as Dutch midfielder De Roon powered in George Friend’s cross for his first goal since joining Boro from Atalanta for £12m (14m euros, $15.5m) in the summer.

The point was enough for City to go a point clear of Arsenal and Liverpool, who both play on Sunday, whilst Chelsea could go top late Saturday if they beat Everton.

It secured a terrific result for Aitor Karanka’s side, but was desperately disappointing for Guardiola, four days after his side had produced an outstanding performance to defeat Barcelona in the Champions League.

Guardiola decided to give centre-back Nicolas Otamendi and winger Raheem Sterling a rest after a hectic recent schedule, while Claudio Bravo returned in goal, having been suspended for the midweek win over Barcelona.

There was no place in the squad, though, for Yaya Toure, despite his apology for criticism aimed at the manager by his agent Dimitri Seluk.

City dominated the opening half, but had to be patient in the face of some resolute defending and inspired goalkeeping by Victor Valdes.

The former Manchester United keeper, returning to the city for the first time since leaving Old Trafford, made a series of excellent stops.

Having held a fierce rising 20-yard effort from Aleksandar Kolarov, he then dived to his right to beat the ball away moments later as Aguero danced through the visitors’ defence.

Valdes reacted brilliantly after that when David Silva turned Jesus Navas’ low deflected cross towards goal at the near post, and was off his line bravely to smother – taking a bang to the thigh in the process – as the former Sevilla winger tried to connect with Fernandinho’s diagonal through ball.

Amid those saves, Valdes saw De Bruyne roll a shot just beyond his far post, and Aguero narrowly fail to connect with a John Stones flick from a Silva corner.  But he could do nothing two minutes before half-time as Aguero nipped in between two defenders for the opening goal. Navas nearly added a second with the last kick of the half, as his rising drive hit the outside of the near post.

Middlesbrough, who lacked any kind of attacking intent in the first half, began the second more positively.

Their former City striker Alvaro Negredo almost equalised with an outrageous lob from the halfway line, but the ball was tipped over by a backpedalling Bravo, who then dashed from his line moments later to block at the feet of Adam Forshaw.

Guardiola’s team battled to reassert themselves, without regaining their first-half levels of superiority.

The impressive Ilkay Gundogan bounced a shot wide from the edge of the penalty area after a De Bruyne ball from the left had bobbled into his path, while Aguero headed over from the Belgian’s cross. There were still nervous moments for Guardiola, as Stewart Downing drove a shot wide from out on the left after Fernandinho had lost the ball in midfield to allow a Middlesbrough break.

City could have made sure of victory, with Aguero missing a good chance to make certain of victory has he floated a shot wide from a Navas pull-back, and De Bruyne blazing over after Valdes had failed to gather a long cross on the edge of his penalty area.

British Soccer Results/Standings

LONDON, Nov 5, (Agencies): Collated British Soccer results on Saturday.

Premier League

Bournemouth                        1         Sunderland                        2

Burnley                                3         Crystal Palace                   2

Chelsea                               5         Everton                             0

Man City                              1         Middlesbrough                   1

West Ham                            1         Stoke                               1

Championship

Aston Villa                            2         Blackburn                          1

Bristol City                           0         Brighton                            2

Burton                                  0         Barnsley                           0

Huddersfield                         1         Birmingham                       1

Newcastle                            2         Cardiff                              1

Norwich                               2         Leeds                               3

Notti Forest                          1         QPR                                 1

Rotherham                           1         Preston                             3

Sheff Wed                            1         Ipswich                             2

Wigan                                  0         Reading                            3

Wolves                                2         Derby                               3

FA Cup Results

1st round

Bolton                                  1         Grimsby                            0

Bradford                               1         Accrington                         2

Braintree                              7         Eastbourne                        0

Bury                                    2         AFC Wimbledon                 2

Cambridge                            1         Dover                               1

Charlton                               3         Scunthorpe                        1

Cheltenham                          1         Crewe                              1

Colchester                            1         Chesterfield                       2

Crawley                               1         Bristol Rovers                    1

Dagenham                            0         Halifax                              0

Dartford                               3         Sutton                              6

Exeter                                  1         Luton                                3

Gillingham                            2         Brackley                           2

Lincoln                                 2         Altrincham                         1

Mansfield                             1         Plymouth                          2

Merstham                             0         Oxford                              5

Milton Keynes Dons               3         Spennymoor                      2

Northampton                         6         Harrow                             0

Oldham                                2         Doncaster                         1

Peterborough                        2         Chesham                          1

Portsmouth                           1         Wycombe                         2

Port Vale                              1         Stevenage                         0

Shrewsbury                          3         Barnet                              0

Stockport                             2         Woking                             4

Walsall                                 0         Macclesfield                      1

Westfields                            1         Curzon Ashton                   1

Whitehawk                           1         Stourbridge                        1

Yeovil                                  2         Solihull Moors                    2

Played Friday

Eastleigh                              1         Swindon                            1

Millwall                                 1         Southend                          0

Scottish Premiership Results

Celtic                                   3         Inverness CT                     0

Dundee                                2         Motherwell                        0

Hearts                                 2         St Johnstone                     2

Kilmarnock                           0         Hamilton                           0

Played Friday

Partick                                 1         Aberdeen                          2

English Soccer Standings

Premier League

                                  P       W       D       L     GF      GA     Pts

Chelsea                      11         8        1        2      26         9       25

Man City                    11         7        3        1      25       10       24

Arsenal                       10         7        2        1      23       10       23

Liverpool                     10         7        2        1      24       13       23

Tottenham                  10         5        5        0      14         5       20

Everton                      11         5        3        3      15       13       18

Watford                      10         4        3        3      14       13       15

Man Utd                     10         4        3        3      13       12       15

Burnley                       11         4        2        5      11       15       14

Southampton               10         3        4        3      11       10       13

Stoke                         11         3        4        4      13       18       13

Bournemouth               11         3        3        5      13       16       12

Leicester                    10         3        3        4      12       16       12

Middlesbrough             11         2        5        4      10       12       11

Crystal Palace             11         3        2        6      16       19       11

West Ham                  11         3        2        6      11       20       11

West Brom                 10         2        4        4      10       14       10

Hull                            10         2        1        7        8       23        7

Swansea                    10         1        2        7        9       18        5

Sunderland                  11         1        2        8        9       21        5

Championship

                                  P       W       D       L     GF      GA     Pts

Newcastle                  16       12        1        3      34       13       37

Brighton                      16       10        4        2      25         9       34

Huddersfield                16         9        2        5      17       18       29

Reading                      16         8        4        4      20       18       28

Norwich                      16         8        3        5      28       27       27

Leeds                         16         8        2        6      19       17       26

Birmingham                 16         6        7        3      21       18       25

Fulham                       16         6        6        4      23       18       24

Bristol City                  16         7        3        6      23       19       24

Sheff Wed                  16         7        3        6      17       19       24

Preston                      16         7        2        7      22       20       23

Brentford                    16         6        4        6      21       16       22

Barnsley                     16         6        3        7      27       24       21

Aston Villa                  16         4        9        3      17       16       21

Ipswich                      16         5        6        5      14       15       21

Derby                         16         5        5        6      12       13       20

QPR                          16         5        5        6      17       22       20

Burton                        16         4        6        6      18       20       18

Wolves                       16         4        5        7      19       21       17

Notti Forest                16         4        4        8      25       30       16

Cardiff                        16         4        3        9      14       25       15

Wigan                        16         3        5        8      14       19       14

Blackburn                   16         3        4        9      16       25       13

Rotherham                  16         1        4      11      17       38        7

Scottish Premiership Standings

                                  P       W       D       L     GF      GA     Pts

Celtic                         11       10        1        0      34         8       31

Aberdeen                    12         6        3        3      19       11       21

Hearts                        12         5        4        3      21       14       19

Rangers                     11         5        4        2      15       12       19

St Johnstone               13         5        4        4      17       15       19

Inverness CT              13         3        5        5      19       24       14

Kilmarnock                  13         3        5        5      12       23       14

Partick                       12         3        4        5      15       17       13

Hamilton                     12         2        6        4      12       16       12

Motherwell                  12         3        3        6      15       20       12

Dundee                      13         3        3        7      12       18       12

Ross County               12         2        4        6        9       22       10

Note: played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against and points.

 

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