Alexandre Pato off the mark as Chelsea push Aston Villa closer to trapdoor
Published 02/04/2016 | 17:11
Managerless Aston Villa slumped to another humiliating defeat as their slide towards relegation from the Barclays Premier League continued with a 4-0 home thrashing by Chelsea.
The latest miserable chapter in Villa's season - in which they also had Alan Hutton sent off for two bookable offences - began as Ruben Loftus-Cheek hit much-changed Chelsea's opener with a deflected shot.
The almost forgotten Alexandre Pato marked his Blues debut with his side's second from the penalty spot before the interval and Pedro added two more in the second half.
Martin Olsson hit a dramatic late winner as Norwich snatched a dramatic 3-2 win in their relegation battle with Newcastle at Carrow Road.
Rafael Benitez's side looked to have grabbed at least a point - and were pressing for a winner themselves - after Aleksandar Mitrovic struck his second of the game from the penalty spot after 86 minutes.
But Olsson had the final say moments after John Ruddy had produced a fine save to deny Papiss Cisse - who also missed a sitter - at the other end.
Norwich's earlier goals came from Timm Klose and Dieumerci Mbokani either side of Mitrovic's first equaliser.
The other side involved in the relegation fight, Sunderland, drew 0-0 with West Brom at the Stadium of Light.
At the opposite end of the table, third-placed Arsenal eased to a comfortable 4-0 over Watford at the Emirates Stadium. Alexis Sanchez set them on the way by turning the ball home on four minutes after his initial header had been kept out by Heurelho Gomes.
Alex Iwobi scored for a second game in succession when he doubled the lead from a Sanchez pull-back and Hector Bellerin made the result safe after 48 minutes. Iwobi almost struck a second when he hit the woodwork but Theo Walcott grabbed a late fourth.
Kevin De Bruyne made a goalscoring return from injury as fourth-placed Manchester City arrested their recent slump with a comprehensive 4-0 win at Bournemouth.
City struck through Fernando after just seven minutes and soon doubled the lead as De Bruyne, returning to action after a two-month lay-off, finished after good work from Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
Aguero made it 3-0 after just 19 minutes and Fernandinho hit the bar soon after, but the fourth did not come until Aleksandar Kolarov found the net in stoppage time.
West Ham had Cheikhou Kouyate controversially sent off as their top-four challenge was dented by a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at Upton Park.
The Hammers had fought back to lead by responding to Damien Delaney's header with a Manuel Lanzini equaliser and another sublime free-kick from Dimitri Payet.
But the course of the game changed as a Kouyate challenge on Dwight Gayle was deemed worthy of a red card. Gayle later pounced on a poor West Ham clearance to snaffle an equaliser.
Swansea fought back from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw at Stoke.
The Potters had seemed comfortable after Ibrhaim Afellay headed an early opener and Bojan doubled the lead with a fine strike that went in off the post.
But Gylfi Sigurdsson pulled one back after 68 minutes and substitute Alberto Paloschi levelled 11 minutes from time.