Chelsea brushed aside Stoke City 4-0 to win their fifth straight league game. Although the game wasn’t quite as comfortable as the scoreline suggests Chelsea never looked like losing. It took only two minutes for a long ball to beat Stoke’s makeshift defence for Alvaro Morata to coolly finish. Another gift from Stoke’s defence allowed Pedro a clear sight at goal and he finished well. Stoke has chances to get back into the game but Morata won the ball on the halfway line and went on a superb solo run to score his second. He then completed his hat-trick with a tap in to make Chelsea’s day look comfortable. They remain 3rd but keep pace with the Manchester sides above. Stoke drop to 16th, a point clear of relegation.
Manchester City remain top of the league following their 5-0 destruction of bottom side Crystal Palace. Although the game started fairly even with both sides having chances to score and hitting the post each. It was then a moment of magic by City as Leroy Sané scores just before halftime. Sané then turned provider for Sterling to tap in the second. Raheem Sterling could have had a hat-trick of tap-ins but fluffed his lines with his second effort. He did add another goal to his tally this season before Aguero and Delph rounded out the goals. It’s now 16 goals in City’s last three league games whereas Palace are still yet to score.
Manchester United remain level on points with City at the top of the table but, having only beaten Southampton 1-0, lose ground on goal difference. Leading scorer Lukaku scored the only goal of the game, finishing at the second time of asking following a save from his initial shot. Southampton, after few chances in the first half, then started to open up and put United under some pressure. United failed the kill the game off and could have paid the price but Southampton’s scoreless run continues and they slip down the table to 11th.
Liverpool move up to 5th in the table but had a rough ride in their game at the King Power Stadium. After taking an early two-goal lead through Salah and Philippe Coutinho Leicester were allowed a route back into the game in first-half injury time. Jordan Henderson then restored Liverpool’s two-goal cushion following a quick counter-attack. However, with over 20 minutes left Jamie Vardy scored his sixth in four games against Liverpool to make it 3-2. He then won a penalty following a clash with ‘keeper Simon Mignolet but the Belgian came out on top. Vardy hammered his shot down the middle but Mignolet was equal to it. Liverpool hold on to climb the table whereas Leicester fall to 17th and have just one win this season.
Tottenham also move up in the table but had to suffer a similar comeback in their game at West Ham. The home side could have taken the lead but for an excellent last-ditch tackle from Serge Aurier who would feature more later in the game. Harry Kane scored his third and fourth league goals this season, all of which have come away from home. He could have had three but his effort hit the post and it fell to Christian Eriksen to score giving Tottenham a 3-0 lead with half an hour to play. Javier Hernandez then scored soon after to give the hosts some hope but it was the dismissal of Aurier which gave West Ham more impetus. Gaining two bookings for a number of fouls the wing back was off and the game was given a tense end following Kouyate’s thumping header. West Ham couldn’t make their late chances pay and but for a fiery end the away side hung on. Tottenham move to 4th while West Ham drop back into the bottom three on four points.
Everton finally breathed some life back into their season with a 2-1 win at home to Bournemouth, their first since the opening day of the season. Since the August win at home to Stoke, Everton could be forgiven a difficult run of fixtures causing their poor results. They went into the game with Bournemouth needing to show that they had what it takes to move back up the league into a higher position but for over an hour they failed to do that. An elbow to the face of Wayne Rooney was one of the more notable features of a poor first half. The game then came alive when Josh King opened the scoring for the away side. Bournemouth, who are not without their struggles also, then could have doubled their advantage. The introduction of Oumar Niasse then changed the game for the hosts. After scoring on loan at Hull last season Niasse took his chance to score his first Everton league goals. They both came within five minutes of each other but it was his 82nd-minute winner which was squeezed home to give Everton the three points. Everton looked better in the final 15 minutes and move up to 14th. Bournemouth remain second bottom with just the win over Brighton this season.
There was then only four goals scored between the final six sides, three of which came at the Liberty Stadium. The visitors Watford opening the scoring inside the first 15 minutes as Andre Gray finished from close range. Tammy Abraham, who started from the bench then levelled the scores just after halftime. Neither side looked like they would take the win until a sloppy bit of play in the Swansea midfield gifted possession and Richarlison was able to burst through and score in the 90th minute. Watford lie in 6th, level on points with Tottenham while Swansea drop to 15th and are yet to get a point at home this season.
Burnley have so far picked up more points away from home than at Turf Moor and they gained one more in the 0-0 draw against Huddersfield. Neither side really looked like winning the game but Huddersfield had the better chances. The pair remain locked together in the table but Huddersfield are above in 7th thanks to a better goal difference.
Sunday’s game was a repeat of last seasons Championship title fight as Brighton hosted Newcastle. Newcastle won both meetings last season and had won their previous three games going into this one. Brighton had just the one win to their name but came out on top thanks to a 51st minute Tomer Hemed goal. Newcastle had a lot of shots but many were off target and they were unable to find an equaliser. Brighton are now starting to build some momentum after a poor start and move up to 14th. Newcastle, who were 4th heading into the game are now 9th.
Arsenal and West Brom meet tonight in London.
Stoke away will not be Chelsea’s biggest test of the season and if it wasn’t for all the gifts they received the game on Saturday could have been tougher. Getting the win was the crucial part though and with the upcoming game at home to Manchester City they needed to remain close. Chelsea are within three points and a win next week will close the gap.