Chelsea still on top after win against Liver­pool

JoongAng Daily - - Front Page - AP

Chelsea passed another ma­jor test of its Premier League ti­tle cre­den­tials on Satur­day, beat­ing Liver­pool 2-1 away to main­tain a fierce pace at the top of the stand­ings that de­fend­ing cham­pion Manch­ester City can­not live with.

City dropped eight points be­hind un­beaten Chelsea by draw­ing 2-2 at lowly Queens Park Rangers thanks to two equal­iz­ers from Ser­gio Aguero, who is the league’s top scorer with 12 goals.

Sur­pris­ingly, it is Southamp­ton that is push­ing Chelsea after 11 games, with a 2-0 win over Le­ices­ter leav­ing the south-coast club in sec­ond place and four points off the lead.

Chelsea, though, looks un­stop­pable.

Diego Costa scored the 67th-minute win­ner at An­field, cap­ping a Chelsea come­back that started in the 14th when Gary Cahill can­celed out a de­flected opener from Emre Can.

“In the sec­ond half, we showed some­thing new, which is to be 1-1 at An­field and not ac­cept the re­sult as a good re­sult and play to win,’’ Chelsea Man­ager Jose Mour­inho said. “I think we were very im­pres­sive.’’

Else­where, Manch­ester United won 1-0 against Crys­tal Palace on Juan Mata’s goal to climb pro­vi­sion­ally to sixth, West Ham drew 0-0 at home to As­ton Villa and Burn­ley recorded its first win in the league this sea­son — 1-0 against Hull.

At An­field, Liver­pool Man­ager Bren­dan Rodgers made seven changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in the Cham­pi­ons League on Tues­day.

His mid­week se­lec­tion was crit­i­cized as he ap­peared to pri­or­i­tize the clash against Chelsea, and the gam­ble looked like it c+ould pay off as Liver­pool took the lead when Can’s lon­grange strike de­flected in off Cahill.

Chelsea equal­ized with a goal that re­quired con­fir­ma­tion from goal-line tech­nol­ogy, with Cahill blast­ing a shot from close range that goal­keeper Si­mon Mig­no­let saved be­fore fall­ing back over the line with the ball in his hands.

Costa’s win­ner came when he pounced on the re­bound after Ce­sar Azpilicueta’s shot was par­ried out by Mig­no­let.

City fell be­hind at Lof­tus Road in the 21st when Charlie Austin con­verted from Mauri­cio Isla’s cross. Austin ear­lier had two goals dis­al­lowed, one for off­side and one after scor­ing di­rectly from a mishit free kick by goal­keeper Joe Hart.

Hart ac­ci­dently kicked the ball twice be­fore Austin found the net, and rules state a player can­not touch the ball twice suc­ces­sively from a free kick.

Aguero equal­ized after bril­liantly con­trol­ling a long pass from Eli­aquim Man­gala, but an own goal from Martin Demiche­lis in the 76th re­stored QPR’s lead.

Ar­gentina striker Aguero scored again seven min­utes later, round­ing Robert Green be­fore beat­ing four play­ers on the line at­tempt­ing to block his shot.

“Aguero had all the QPR de­fense in trou­ble when­ever he had the ball,’’ Pel­le­grini said, while QPR man­ager Harry Red­knapp was left ru­ing his side’s in­abil­ity to hold on for vic­tory.

“I re­ally felt at 2-1 we would go on and win the game,’’ Red­knapp said. “You can’t re­lax when they have got so many qual­ity play­ers in the team.’’

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