Man City’s un­beaten start to ti­tle de­fense ends at Chelsea

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - SPORT -

For 45 min­utes Chelsea was un­der siege, pinned back in its own half by Manch­ester City. With half­time ap­proach­ing, Chelsea fi­nally man­aged a shot from an un­likely source and broke through the im­per­vi­ous cham­pi­ons.

Just when he seemed to be strug­gling to adapt to a more ad­vanced at­tack­ing mid­field role, N'Golo Kante got into space in front of goal to be set up by Eden Haz­ard and sweep the ball into the net.

So waste­ful in the first half, City then al­lowed Chelsea to seize the ini­tia­tive as its un­beaten start to the Premier League ti­tle de­fense came to an end.

"Ev­ery­one wants to beat us," City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola said.

David Luiz made sure of that, head­ing in from Haz­ard's corner in the 78th minute to seal Chelsea's 20 win yes­ter­day.

"It was a great game and we have to be hon­est play­ing against the best team in Europe or the world at the mo­ment," Luiz said. "They have great play­ers, so we had a lot of hu­mil­ity and tried to take our chances to score, so we did our plan well."

Not only did City lose for the first time in the league this sea­son but it also lost top spot to Liver­pool, which moved a point ahead af­ter Mo­hamed Salah's hat trick in­spired a 4-0 vic­tory at Bournemouth.

Chelsea still has a lot of work to do to move back into con­tention. Hav­ing lost two of its last three league games be­fore the visit of City, Mau­r­izio Sarri's side is eight points be­hind Liver­pool. Arse­nal re­mained level on points with Chelsea af­ter beat­ing Hud­der­s­field 1-0.

UNITED RE­BOUNDS

The visit of last-placed Ful­ham al­lowed Manch­ester United to end a four-match win­less run as Jose Mour­inho's side claimed a 41 vic­tory.

Ash­ley Young struck into the top corner to put United ahead in the 13th minute, Juan Mata slot­ted in from Mar­cus Rash­ford's cut­back in the 28th and Romelu Lukaku ended his 997-minute wait for a goal at Old Traf­ford in the 42nd.

Sub­sti­tute Aboubakar Ka­mara's penalty re­duced the deficit from the spot but Ful­ham mid­fielder An­dre-Frank Zambo An­guissa's send­ing off in the 68th was fol­lowed by Mar­cus Rash­ford net­ting for United in the 82nd.

The ti­tle re­mains far from United's thoughts, with Liver­pool 16 points ahead.

SALAH TRE­BLE

For the first time this sea­son, Salah scored more than once in a league game. It's a re­minder of how the for­ward won the Golden Boot last sea­son.

At Bournemouth, Salah broke the dead­lock in the 25th minute when he re­sponded to a par­ried shot. The Egyp­tian stayed on his feet un­der a chal­lenge from Steve Cook be­fore drilling home in style, be­fore net­ting three min­utes into the se­cond half.

Cook some­how back-heeled past his own goal­keeper, As­mir Be­govic, when try­ing to clear Andy Robert­son's cross. A mazy drib­ble pre­ceded Salah com­plet­ing his hat trick in the 77th.

ARSE­NAL AD­VANCES

Lu­cas Tor­reira ac­ro­bat­i­cally volleyed into the bot­tom left corner in the 83rd minute as Arse­nal beat Hud­der­s­field 1-0 to ex­tend its club-record un­beaten run to 21 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions.

LOS­ING START

Ralph Hasen­huettl made his pres­ence felt at Southamp­ton with six changes from the side that lost to Tot­ten­ham on Wed­nes­day.

But it was a fa­mil­iar los­ing story for Mark Hughes' suc­ces­sor.

Hasen­huettl's first game in charge was spoiled by Cal­lum Pater­son pounc­ing on a poor back pass to score in the 74th minute for Cardiff.

WEST HAM FIGHT­BACK

Crys­tal Palace has only one win in 11 league games af­ter con­ced­ing the lead to lose 3-2 to West Ham in a Lon­don derby.

Robert Sn­od­grass, Felipe An­der­son and Javier Her­nan­dez scored for West Ham.

BURN­LEY BOUNCES BACK

Burn­ley reg­is­tered its first win in nine league matches. Jack Cork hit a shot and the ball went in off James Tarkowski's chest to give Burn­ley a 1-0 vic­tory over Brighton.

Blues’ tri­umph at The Bridge

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