Toronto Star

Day of draws leaves Chelsea three points up on Man City


LONDON— Chelsea kept its threepoint lead at the midpoint of the Premier League season Sunday despite a 1-1 draw at fourth-place Southampto­n.

Chelsea benefitted from a collapse by defending champion Manchester City, which squandered a 2-0 lead at home to draw 2-2 with 19th-place Burnley.

Chelsea yielded a goal in the 17th minute as Sadio Mane raced on to a pass from Dusan Tadic and lifted the ball over goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Eden Hazard struck for Chelsea just before halftime, running on to a pass from Cesc Fabregas.

“Southampto­n defended with everything and they defended a lot,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. “We tried everything and we dominated. We created a lot.”

Eighteen of the league’s 20 teams were in action less than 48 hours after playing Friday in this traditiona­lly packed Christmas schedule. The top four all drew.

Manchester United also missed a chance to gain ground, remaining seven points behind City in third place after being held to a 0-0 tie at Tottenham.

Arsenal dislodged West Ham from fifth place by defeating its London rival 2-1. This was Arsenal’s second 2-1 victory in three days.

At the other end of the standings, Leicester remains last but raised its hopes of avoiding relegation by beating Hull 1-0 for its first victory since September.

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