De­fend­ing champs con­tinue shock­ing start, sink close to rel­e­ga­tion zone with home loss


The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS -

Chelsea’s trou­bled sea­son took another bad turn Satur­day when Southamp­ton won at Stam­ford Bridge, 3-1, deal­ing the hosts their fourth loss in eight games to start their Premier League ti­tle de­fense.

The Blues dropped to just four points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone and 10 points be­hind early leader Manch­ester City, which got five goals from Ser­gio Aguero in a 6-1 thrash­ing of New castle.

“If the club wants to sack me, they have to sack me be­cause I’m not run­ning away,” Chelsea Man­ager Jose Mour­inho said. “If the club sacks me, they sack the best man­ager that this club has had.”

Mour­inho, who pre­vi­ously man­aged the Lon­don club from 2004 to 2007, was brought back in 2013 and de­liv­ered last sea­son’s ti­tle by eight points.

But the team has rarely looked like a cham­pion this sea­son, re­gard­less of lo­ca­tion: Two of Chelsea’s losses so far have come at home, where Mour­inho had only been beaten once in the league be­fore this sea­son across his two spells as man­ager.

On Satur­day, as Southamp­ton won at Stam­ford Bridge for the first time in al­most 14 years, Chelsea was booed off the pitch.

SPAIN: With key midfielder An­dres Ini­esta hav­ing joined Lionel Messi on the in­jured list in mid­week, Barcelona lost, 2-1, at strug­gling Sevilla.

Striker Michael Krohn-Dehli scored in the 52nd minute and set up Vi­cente Iborra’s goal in the 58th to give Sevilla its first home win over Barcelona in eight years.

Ney­mar scored Barcelona’s lone goal by con­vert­ing a 74thminute penalty kick. The Cata­lan club struck the post five times and was stopped by an out­stand­ing per­for­mance by Sevilla goal­keeper Ser­gio Rico.

OLYMPIC QUAL­I­FY­ING: The United States romped to a 6-1 vic­tory over a de­pleted Cuba in Kansas City, Kan., to guar­an­tee it­self a semi­fi­nal spot in CONCACAF Olympic qual­i­fy­ing.

Cameron Carter-Vick­ers, Matt Mi­azga and Jerome Kieswet­ter net­ted in the first half for the U.S., which beat Canada on Thurs­day night to open the eight-team tour­na­ment. Kieswet­ter added his sec­ond goal early in the sec­ond half, and Emer­son Hyn­d­man and Alonso Her­nan­dez also scored.

Daniel Luis got a con­so­la­tion goal in sec­ond-half stop­page time for Cuba.

The Amer­i­cans play their fi­nal group-stage match against Panama on Tues­day night in Colorado.

De­fend­ing Olympic cham­pion Mexico, mean­while, got two goals from Marco Bueno and romped to a 4-0 win over Costa Rica.

MLS: Se­bas­tian Giovinco and Jozy Alti­dore scored, and host Toronto FC beat the Philadelphia Union, 3-1, to close in on the first play­off berth in fran­chise history.

Philadelphia was elim­i­nated from post­sea­son con­tention.

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the go-ahead goal in the first half, and the host New York Red Bulls held on to beat the Colum­bus Crew, 2-1, and take a three-point lead over D.C. United.

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