Jose Mour­inho thrashed by fired up Chelsea on re­turn to Stam­ford Bridge

● Manch­ester City held by Southamp­ton

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Manch­ester United have slipped to an em­bar­rass­ing 4-0 de­feat to Chelsea on for­mer man­ager Jose Mour­inho’s re­turn to Stam­ford Bridge.

The Blues scored two in ei­ther half as they cruised to a com­fort­able vic­tory against their old boss - just the sec­ond time the Por­tuguese has wit­nessed his side ship four or more goals in a Premier League game.

That Pe­dro strike summed up United’s prob­lems at the back, with Da­ley Blind los­ing his man and Chris Smalling also switch­ing off just 30 sec­onds in - the quick­est goal of the sea­son so far and just the sixth the vis­i­tors have con­ceded in­side the open­ing minute in their Premier League his­tory.

There was a sec­ond 21 min­utes in, how­ever, when Gary Cahill blasted the ball over the line af­ter it fell nicely into his path from a de­flected cor­ner into the box.

United did have chances of their own, though, with Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic out­jump­ing Ce­sar Azpilicueta only to loop his header over the bar, while An­der Her­rera and Jesse Lin­gard - in for Ash­ley Young in the only change by ei­ther side to­day - were de­nied by Thibaut Cour­tois in quick suc­ces­sion.

Mour­inho in­evitably turned to his bench for the sec­ond half, re­plac­ing the in­ef­fec­tive Fellaini with Juan Mata - an­other player with strong Chelsea links - and pair­ing Mar­cus Rash­ford with Ibrahi­movic in a switch to a more tra­di­tional 4-4-2.

Open­ings were prov­ing to be far harder to come by in the sec­ond pe­riod, but it was Chelsea who scored the killer third goal mo­ments af­ter that Cour­tois save thanks to a slick pass­ing move.

A quick one-two saw Matic slide in Haz­ard, who tucked the ball past De Gea with ease to make cer­tain of the points - the Serbian’s fourth as­sist in nine out­ings al­ready this sea­son, com­pared to two in 33 last term.

There was even bet­ter to come for the Blues, too - N’Golo Kante once again high­light­ing the frag­ile na­ture of the op­po­si­tions’ mid­field by sim­ply waltz­ing through and del­i­cately plac­ing the ball past De Gea to make it four.

Mean­while, Manch­ester City have re­gained top spot in the Premier League ta­ble but only af­ter a 1-1 draw against Southamp­ton.

Nathan Red­mond gave the Saints a first-half lead but de­spite be­ing be­low par through­out the fix­ture at the Eti­had Sta­dium, City were able to earn a share of the spoils thanks to Kelechi Iheana­cho’s equaliser.

Jordy Clasie was the first man to have any kind of open­ing but he blazed high into the stand af­ter be­ing set up by Red­mond, but it was not long be­fore the Saints took the lead through the for­mer Nor­wich City winger.

He latched onto a way­ward back-pass from John Stones be- fore su­perbly tak­ing the ball around Clau­dio Bravo and fir­ing his shot just in­side the near post.

Stones thought he had made amends five min­utes later when con­vert­ing a Kevin de Bruyne free kick at the back post but the goal was con­tro­ver­sially ruled out af­ter Ser­gio Aguero at­tempted to head the ball be­fore it reached his team­mate.

Pep Guardi­ola wasted no time in chang­ing things around at the break and within 10 min­utes of be­ing in­tro­duced, Iheana­cho found an equaliser for the home side.

Af­ter Leroy Sane was found on the left flank, he sent in a low cross for the Nige­rian to con­vert from eight yards af­ter get­ting in front of Vir­gil van Dijk.

How­ever, while Iheana­cho added ex­tra ur­gency in the City at­tack, they still found it dif­fi­cult to cre­ate any­thing sig­nif­i­cant in the fi­nal third and Forster was only called into the ac­tion to save rou­tinely from David Silva.

Up the other end, Southamp­ton were at­tempt­ing to hit City on the break and Char­lie Austin would have hoped to have done bet­ter with an ef­fort from just in­side the area which was saved by Bravo.

Aguero who was quiet on his re­call to the side - fired a shot across goal dur­ing the clos­ing stages but that was as good as it got for City as they failed to win for the fifth game in a row.

Yes­ter­day Manch­ester City-Southamp­ton ....... 1-1 Red­mond 27’ (S), Iheana­cho 55’ (M) Chelsea-Manch­ester United ............ 4-0 Pe­dro 1’, Cahill 21’, Haz­ard 62’, Kante 70’

Stand­ings

Man. City Arse­nal Liver­pool Chelsea Tot­ten­ham Ever­ton Man. United Southamp­ton Wat­ford Bournemouth Crys­tal Palace Le­ices­ter West Brom Burn­ley West Ham Stoke City Mid­dles­brough Hull City Swansea Sun­der­land

Leauge One

To­day Bury-Bolton Pre­mier­ship 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 6 6 6 6 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 2 1 2 1 0 2 2 2 1 4 3 2 4 3 3 2 2 4 1 1 3 4 1 2 2 1 20 9 20 1 19 9 20 1 20 11 20 2 19 9 19 0 13 4 19 2 13 8 15 3 13 12 14 2 11 8 13 3 13 13 12 3 12 12 12 4 12 12 11 4 11 15 11 3 10 10 10 5 813 10 5 10 17 10 4 9 16 9 4 7 11 7 6 8 22 7 6 8 15 5 7 6 16 2

Yes­ter­day St John­stone-Dundee FC ................... 2-1

Pre­mier­ship

Yes­ter­day Rangers-Celtic ................................... 0-1

SCOT­LAND

Chelsea’s Gary Cahill, left, cel­e­brates with Chelsea’s Diego Costa af­ter scor­ing dur­ing yes­ter­day’s match

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