Chelsea edge past Watford


Chelsea remain top of the Premier League after winger Hakim Ziyech scored a second-half winner to help claim a 2-1 victory over Watford on Wednesday despite a lengthy delay following a medical emergency at Vicarage Road.

Boss Thomas Tuchel’s side started slowly before teams both were taken off the field by the referee 13 minutes after play was stopped following an incident in the stands.

The score was 0-0 at the time. The match was resumed around 30 minutes later.

Midfielder Mason Mount kicked the game into action when he opened the scoring on 28 minutes. Teammate Kai Havertz received the ball in the penalty box before he slid a short pass to Mount who side-footed into the bottom corner. Havertz looked to double Chelsea’s lead when he netted himself shortly after, but it was quickly disallowed for offside.

Watford hit back when Emmanuel Dennis equalised on 42 minutes, striking through the legs of defender Antonio Rudiger and finding the bottom corner. He now has four goals in his last five Premier League matches.

Midfielder Moussa Sissoko missed a glorious chance to put Watford ahead on the stroke of half-time when he found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, but he miskicked the ball wide.

Ziyech netted a winner on 72 minutes as he struck home an inviting low cross from Mount.

However, Tuchel didn’t take a great deal of satisfaction from the result – the German not holding back in his assessment.

“We were lucky. We should admit it,” Tuchel said.

“Sometimes you need it. Today we could not reach this level. We were not ready for this game. We are to blame.”

“We never found the right attitude. It was a big exception from the rule. We conceded a lot of chances in the first half and did not create much. We were very lucky to escape with a win.”

Chelsea lead the Premier League standings with 33 points from 14 games, with City on 32 and Liverpool on 31.

Claudio Ranieri’s side will take heart from the way they pushed the league leaders but are just one place and three points above the relegation zone.

Bernardo Silva stunner saves Manchester City

Sublime first-half goals from Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva helped Manchester City to a 2-1 win at Aston Villa in a pulsating Premier League clash on Wednesday.

While the home side pulled one back through Ollie Watkins to make a game of it in the second half, City claimed the win to stay second in the standings on 32 points from 14 games, one behind leaders Chelsea.

Villa stayed 13th on 16 points after their first defeat under new manager Steven Gerrard following two successive wins.

City dominated the opening half and twice went close early on as Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez parried fierce shots by Joao Cancelo and Rodri, with the home side barely able to break out of their own half.

The visitors took a 27th-minute lead through Dias when the Portugal centre-back beat Martinez with a slightly deflected first-time shot from 20 metres after Raheem Sterling’s cutback flashed across the penalty area.

If there was an element of luck involved in the opening goal, the second was sheer class as City broke away under pressure in their own penalty area and struck at the other end in a matter of seconds.

Cancelo threaded a short pass to Riyad Mahrez past two Villa forwards and the Algeria international released Gabriel Jesus on the right flank, with the striker lifting a cross for Silva to crash an unstoppable volley into the roof of the net.

Down but not out, Villa sprung back to life shortly after the break as Watkins found space in a crowded penalty area to drive in a half-volley inside the near post from 10 metres after he met a low Douglas Luiz corner.

The home side missed a gilt-edged chance to salvage a draw in the 75th minute when City keeper Ederson parried a sitter from substitute Carney Chukwuemeka and the visitors held on in the closing stages.

Dias was happy City were able to survive Villa’s late onslaught and described Silva’s goal as a morale-boosting moment.

“Very important win today against a team that are on fire under a new manager,” Dias told Amazon Prime.

“Very important to get the three points. Everyone fight a lot and we are very happy.”

“Bernardo gave us a little bit of extra confidence into the second half. We have to give them credit for a good goal that changed the game. With the crowd, they tried to make things different but our team was always in control.”

Dominant Liverpool

Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool thumped Everton 4-1 in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Wednesday to stay two points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Jurgen Klopp’s side produced another top-class performance with their Egyptian forward Salah taking his tally for the league season to 13 goals in 14 games.

Liverpool are now averaging more than three goals per game having found the net 43 times so far in this campaign – 10 more than the second most prolific side Chelsea.

A beautiful, curling shot from Jordan Henderson put Liverpool ahead in the ninth minute before the midfielder set up Salah with a fine through ball and Salah provided a clinical finish to make it 2-0.

Everton looked to be on the ropes but they found a way back into the game seven minutes before the break, with Demarai Gray, after good work from Brazilian Richarlison.

A beautiful, curling shot from Jordan Henderson put Liverpool ahead in the ninth minute before the midfielder set up Salah with a fine through ball and Salah provided a clinical finish to make it 2-0.

Everton looked to be on the ropes but they found a way back into the game seven minutes before the break, with Demarai Gray, after good work from Brazilian Richarlison.

Leicester City draw

James Maddison scored a second-half equaliser as Leicester City twice came from behind to force a 2-2 Premier League draw with hosts Southampton on Wednesday in a match delayed for 18 minutes by a medical emergency in the crowd.

Jan Bednarek and Che Adams scored first-half goals for the home team on either side of a Jonny Evans strike for the visitors to lead 2-1 at half-time.

A medical emergency in the crowd during the break forced a delay to the second period, but once the action got back underway, it was the visitors who were much the brighter as Maddison soon equalised.

The draw moves Leicester up to 19 points, while Southampton are on 15 points.

The home side was in front inside three minutes when Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel saved brilliantly from Mohamed Salisu’s shot, but Bednarek reacted quickest to turn the ball home.

It was the third time in four games they took the lead inside five minutes.

Leicester, who have not kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on the opening day of the campaign, equalised midway through the first half.

Home goalkeeper Alex McCarthy could only parry Wilfred Ndidi’s shot into the path of Evans, who had a simple finish.

But Leicester-born Adams, a boyhood fan of the Foxes, headed the home side back in front when he connected with Nathan Redmond’s deflected cross to give them a 2-1 halftime lead.

After the 33-minute interval, the visitors were back on level terms early in the second period as Maddison twisted and turned in the box and drilled the ball low past McCarthy at his near post.

Leicester forward Jamie Vardy had an excellent chance to grab the winner when he was one-on-one with McCarthy but produced an uncharacteristically wild finish over the bar.


Courtesy: Reuters and ESPN 

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