Chelsea crush tame champions Leicester City in dominant Stamford Bridge display
Goals from trio – Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses – ensure Foxes boss Claudio Raineri’s visit to his old club is a far cry from five months ago
Chelsea demolished the team who succeeded them as English Premier League winners when champions Leicester City succumbed tamely 3-0 on Saturday.
Goals from the league’s leading marksman Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses ensured Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri’s visit to his old club was a far cry from five months ago when the Foxes received a guard of honour for their title triumph.
The unmarked Costa’s seventh-minute strike was his seventh goal of the season, before Chelsea’s dominance was further rewarded at Stanford Bridge, following more comedy defending, by Hazard’s expertly taken second.
Moses finished a brilliant one-two 10 minutes from time to leave Leicester as the first English top-flight champions since Blackburn Rovers 21 years ago to lose their opening four away games of the season.
Leicester’s 2015-16 fairy-tale always looked an impossible act to follow, but the tame nature of their fourth defeat in eight games was alarming for their fans who witnessed just three league losses over the whole of last season.
The visitors, who wore black arm bands to mark the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, seemed to have half an eye on Tuesday’s Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen.
Riyad Mahrez was rested and the Foxes were largely outclassed, leaving Ranieri perturbed.
“Yes, I didn’t recognise them [his players] and I must speak to them about why [this happened],” the Italian said.
“Copenhagen is a well-organised team and if we do not react, it will be a very bad match on Tuesday.”
Leicester faltered quickly. A low corner from Hazard was flicked on by Nemanja Matic through to Costa, who had all the time and room in the world to hammer home with his left foot.
After David Luiz hit the post with one of his searing free kick specials, Chelsea’s supremacy was further aided by Robert Huth and Luis Hernandez getting in each other’s way when trying to cut out a Matic pass. The ball bobbled off Hazard’s head and into his predatory path with the Belgian nipping around Kasper Schmeichel before slotting home.
Leicester now possess the worst defensive record away from home in the league.
Double penalty woe for City as 100 per cent home record falls
Manchester City squandered their 100 per cent home record after Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero both had penalties saved by Maarten Stekelenburg in a 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday.
City retained their Premier League lead but now only on goal difference from Arsenal after their dominance – they had 18 shots on goal to Everton’s one – was dented by more problems from the spot as they have now missed half their penalties this season.
After Phil Jagielka had fouled David Silva just before half-time, De Bruyne’s poor penalty was comfortably saved by the Dutchman and Everton cashed in when Romelu Lukaku hit City on the break in the 64th minute with his sixth goal of the season.
Jagielka then fouled substitute Aguero, only for the Argentine to miss his second penalty of the week following his failure for Argentina against Paraguay, but a Nolito header finally broke Everton’s resistance in the 72nd minute.
Walcott brace as 10-man Arsenal hang on to beat Swansea
Theo Walcott scored twice as 10-man Arsenal beat Swansea City 3-2 at the Emirates in Bob Bradley’s first game in charge of the Welsh club.
The in-form England forward struck midway through the first half and added his second from close range when Jack Cork’s defensive header fell conveniently into his path after 33 minutes.
Swansea were offered a lifeline five minutes later when an error by Switzerland international Granit Xhaka gifted possession to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who struck a beautiful curling shot beyond Petr Cech and into the far corner of the net.
Mesut Ozil’s fierce volley from an Alexis Sanchez cross gave Arsenal their third goal, only for Borja Baston to pull one back for Swansea and Xhaka’s afternoon ended early when his foul on Modou Barrow earned him a straight red card.
Stanislas leads Bournemouth rout of Hull City
Bournemouth crushed Hull City 6-1 in the Premier League on Saturday to give Mike Phelan a miserable start in his first game as full-time head coach of the visitors.
Charlie Daniels lashed home Bournemouth’s first goal after five minutes and Steven Cook, Junior Stanislas (two), Callum Wilson and Dan Gosling sealed an emphatic win for Eddie Howe’s side.
Against the run of play, Ryan Mason equalised for Hull after 34 minutes but Cook quickly headed Bournemouth back in front.
Stanislas converted a penalty just before half-time and struck again before Wilson and Gosling completed the rout.
Joe Allen double for Stoke leaves Sunderland stranded
Joe Allen proved Stoke City’s hero with a first-half double setting the Potters on the way to a 2-0 victory over Sunderland in the dogfight between the Premier League’s two bottom clubs.
The Welsh midfielder Allen is in the form of his life, taking his tally of goals to four in his last three games and also having also netted for Wales in the 2-2 draw against Austria.
His heroics enabled Stoke to leap four points clear of their visitors, who lie rooted at the foot of the table on just two points as the pressure mounts on their manager David Moyes.
The diminutive Allen, signed in the close season from Liverpool, equalled his best-ever season’s tally of goals, heading home Marko Arnautovic’s cross in the eighth minute and shooting past the busy Jordan Pickford just before half-time.
Alli strikes late to save Spurs at West Brom
Tottenham Hotspur stretched their unbeaten Premier League start to eight games after England midfielder Dele Alli struck an 89th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
The home side took an 82nd-minute lead through Tottenham’s former forward Nacer Chadli, who blasted a close-range rebound into the roof of the net after keeper Hugo Lloris parried James McClean’s shot.
West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster had produced a string of superb saves to deny Alli, Ben Davies and Christian Eriksen before Chadli, who joined the Brummies from Tottenham during the close season, scored against the run of play.
When it seemed the hosts would get away with a smash-and-grab win at the Hawthorns, Alli salvaged a point for Spurs with a clever finish with the outside of his foot after good work by Eriksen in the penalty area.
Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press