Saturday 17 March 2018

Eden Hazard double helps Chelsea to Premier League summit

Chelsea's Eden Hazard was the star of the show as the Blues beat Everton 5-0 to go top of the Premier League
Chelsea's Eden Hazard was the star of the show as the Blues beat Everton 5-0 to go top of the Premier League

An Eden Hazard double inspired Chelsea to the summit of the Premier League following an emphatic 5-0 victory over Everton on Saturday night.

Marcos Alonso, Diego Costa and Pedro were also on the scoresheet in a crushing performance from Antonio Conte's side at Stamford Bridge.

That was enough to take the Blues a point clear at the top - for the first time since they were crowned champions in 2015 - after Manchester City followed their famous Champions League win over Barcelona with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Middlesbrough.

Pep Guardiola's side looked to have scooped maximum points, albeit narrowly, thanks to Sergio Aguero's effort just before half-time - his 150th goal for the club.

But there was a sting in the tail. The game had already ticked into injury-time when Marten de Roon's powerful header defeated Claudio Bravo, punishing City for not extending their lead and opening the door for Arsenal and Liverpool on Sunday.

At the other end of the table there was blessed relief for bottom side Sunderland and their under-fire manager David Moyes at the Vitality Stadium.

After putting together the worst start to a Premier League season, taking two points from their first 10 matches, the Black Cats finally claimed victory at the 11th time of asking in their visit to Bournemouth.

Things were far from straightforward, the Cherries taking an early lead through Dan Gosling and Sunderland's Steven Pienaar was sent off after the scores were tied through Victor Anichebe.

But 10-man Sunderland battled for a result they sorely needed and took the points thanks to Jermain Defoe's penalty in the 74th minute.

At Turf Moor another last-gasp winner handed Burnley three points and a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace.

Sam Vokes netted inside two minutes and the Clarets doubled their lead with less than a quarter-of-an-hour gone, Johann Berg Gudmundsson hitting the target.

Palace fashioned a comeback when Connor Wickham scored with his first touch and Christian Benteke levelled from the penalty spot.

But Ashley Barnes won it for Burnley in added time, lifting his side into the top half and condemning Palace to a fourth successive defeat.

Stoke made it six games unbeaten with a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

The Hammers broke the deadlock in the 65th minute, Glenn Whelan with an own-goal that was initially awarded to Michail Antonio - but Stoke levelled 10 minutes later.

Bojan Krcic was on hand with the finish, his first since August 20.

Press Association

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