Chelsea beat Newcastle United 2-0 for a 10th successive Premier League home win at their Stamford Bridge stronghold on Saturday to reassert themselves...
Chelsea beat Newcastle United 2-0 for a 10th successive Premier League home win at their Stamford Bridge stronghold on Saturday to reassert themselves as Premier League leaders while champions Manchester City drew at Everton.
Jose Mourinho’s team had relinquished control in the title race in recent weeks with City roaring back to close an eight point deficit and draw level but goals from Oscar and Diego Costa edged them two points clear.
City, who had collected 25 points from the last 27 on offer, took the lead late on at Goodison Park through Fernandinho but Steven Naismith grabbed a point for the hosts to leave City manager Manuel Pellegrini frustrated.
“It’s so important in first 25 minutes because if you score then it is a different game. We didn’t and Everton grew in the second half and it was a very close game in the last 35 minutes,” he told Sky Sports.
“We had a lot of chances but were maybe missing the last pass.”
Chelsea, who were second best during the first half before Oscar’s well-worked 43rd minute opener, have 49 points from 21 games with City on 47. A clash between the two title favourites looms later this month.
Eighth-placed Liverpool edged nearer the top four with a 1-0 victory at Sunderland, Lazar Markovic’s first Premier League goal deciding the contest at a blustery Stadium of Light.
They are now four points behind fourth-placed Southampton (36) who play third-placed Manchester United (37) on Sunday.
“It was an outstanding team performance today. We had great control of the game but I suppose the only disappointment is we did not have more goals,” manager Brendan Rodgers, who was without the rested Raheem Sterling, told BT Sport.
Queens Park Rangers fell into the relegation zone after a 2-1 loss at Burnley, in the process becoming the first Premier League side to lose their first 10 away games of the season. Danny Ings scored Burnley’s winner.
Both sides ended with 10 men at Leicester City where the hosts stayed bottom despite beating Aston Villa 1-0 while West Bromwich Albion’s new manager Tony Pulis enjoyed a winning league start with the 1-0 defeat of Hull City.
Former England defender Paul Konchesky scored for Leicester in first-half stoppage time to earn the Foxes their first league win since beating Manchester United in September.
Villa’s Ciaran Clark and Leicester’s Matty James both received red cards for a late spat.
Swansea City and West Ham United drew 1-1.
Later in London, Tottenham Hotspur can move into fourth position with victory at Crystal Palace who find themselves joint bottom in Alan Pardew’s first league game in charge.
Chelsea were far from convincing against a Newcastle side who beat them in December to end their unbeaten start and could have fallen behind when Moussa Sissoko hit the post.
Remy Cabella was also denied by keeper Petr Cech, restored to the starting line-up because of an injury to Thibaut Courtois.
However, once a quickly-taken free kick allowed Oscar to pounce, Chelsea took command with Costa’s clinching goal the end product of a flowing move and a dazzling flick by Oscar.
Mourinho, who has found himself in trouble with the FA after some of his recent comments about a so-called “anti-Chelsea” conspiracy, declined to talk to reporters after the match, sending assistant Steve Holland out instead.
“It is important that when you don’t play as well as you’d like to still get the result,” he said.