Eden Hazard was on rampage as Chelsea beat Newcastle United 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, scoring twice and running at defenders at will.
Chelsea’s victory, which keeps them third in the Premier League, ought to have been more emphatic but it briefly looked as if they might not collect the three points at all when Newcastle took a surprise lead in the 12th minute.
Seeking to prevent Jacob Murphy nipping in to round him, Courtois was forced to dive at the Newcastle winger’s feet but succeeded only in pushing the ball back to Gayle, who stroked it into the empty net.
The Chelsea response was immediate. Twice they went close before inevitable equaliser finally arrived after 20 minutes. Alvaro Morata contested a high ball and it bounced off him and dropped towards Hazard, who controlled his half-volley to perfection, driving the ball into the ground and bouncing it into the far corner of the net.
That goal settled any anxiety that had been floating around Stamford Bridge and it came as no surprise when the home side took the lead just after the half-hour.
Matt Ritchie’s clearing header was neither strong, nor decisive and fell straight to Victor Moses who quickly drilled over a cross that Morata merely had to divert home with his head.
Danny Drinkwater, making only his second Chelsea start in the Premier League, was the next to go close with a shot which drifted away from the far post.
The second half began as quietly as the first, with only a deflected Hazard shot raising excitement levels among the crowd above the soporific.
That was until the 56th minute when the Belgian danced through the centre of the Newcastle defence only to stumble just he approached Karl Darlow in the Newcastle goal.
Liverpool didn’t need the in-form Salah to find the net on Saturday, as Firmino did so twice. Philippe Coutinho also scored, all after Emre Can had opened the scoring in the 5-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.
Lewis Dunk put the final score on the board with a late own-goal, as he diverted a shot from Coutinho into his own net. The Brazilian was sensational at the Amex.
Kane had scored in his last three matches across all competitions but couldn’t continue that streak on Saturday, as Spurs were again held to a draw. Christian Kabasele gave Watford a shock lead, and while Son Heung-min bagged an equaliser before half-time, Tottenham could not find a winner after the break. Spurs played out most of the second half after Davinson Sanchez was dismissed for a challenge on Richarlison.
The best was saved for last, as Arsenal and United played out a Match of the Year contender in the late fixture. Lingard scored twice, while Antonio Valencia and Alexandre Lacazette also got on the scoresheet.
The match had a bit of everything, with multiple penalty shouts turned down, costly defensive errors from the hosts and some remarkable heroics from De Gea.
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