Chelsea’s control of the Premier League a title charge continued Saturday after an emphatic win away to Leicester City.
Thomas Tuchel’s side produced a clinical performance against Leicester and had the game all but wrapped up inside the first half hour thanks to goals from Antonio Rudiger and N’Golo Kante.
Former Leicester defender Ben Chilwell had already shot against his old team’s crossbar before Rudiger headed in his 14th minute corner, and Kante, another former Leicester player, doubled Chelsea’s lead in the 28th minute with a powerful left-foot shot.
Christian Pulisic made it 3-0 on 71 minutes, with the only disappointment for Chelsea being an injury to key midfielder Jorginho, who was replaced with 13 minutes left to play.
Liverpool remain three points behind in second place after giving Arsenal a reality check and ending the recovery of Mikel Arteta’s side with a 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal.
Jurgen Klopp’s men dominated virtually from start to finish, with Sadio Mane opening the scoring in the 37th minute after a cross from Trent Alexander Arnold.
Diogo Jota scored an excellent individual goal in the 52nd minute as Liverpool upped the pressure and their dominance led to further goals from Mohamed Salah, after good work from Mane, and Minamino who finished the tout in the 77th minute, just moments after coming on as a substitute.
Things got worse for Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his side were beaten 4-1 away to struggling Watford, to give Claudio Ranieri his second win since taking over at Vicarage Road.
It started to go wrong for Solskjaer before kick-off when Mason Greenwood was ruled out with Covid-19 and they could have been down in the opening minutes only to be saved by David de Gea, who twice blocked Josh King’s twice-taken penalty.
King put Watford ahead from close range in the 28th minute and Sarr doubled Watford’s lead on the stroke of halftime.
Donny Van de Beek pulled a goal back for United in the 50th minute, but Harry Maguire’s sending off made things harder for them and Watford completed Solskjaer’s misery with two goals in injury time from Pedro and Emmanuel Bonaventura to again put Solskjaer on the brink.
Steven Gerrard got off to a winning start at Aston Villa as his side won 2-0 at home to Brighton to end a five-game losing streak.
Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings scored the goals in a much-improved Villa performance, although the fans were made to wait with the goals coming in the 84th and 89th minutes.
Gerrard’s predecessor at Villa Park, Dean Smith also got off to a winning start at bottom of the table Norwich as his new side beat Southampton 2-1.
It was defeat to Southampton a fortnight ago that cost Smith his job at Aston Villa, but goals from Teemu Pukki and Grant Hanley turned the game around for Norwich and gave Smith some revenge after Che Adams had put Southampton ahead.
Raul Jimenez 56th minute goal decided a tight game between Wolves and West Ham United, who pressed hard after falling behind, but failed to create enough clear chances.
Burnley and Crystal Palace shared six goals in a topsy-turvy game at Turf Moor, where the lead swapped hands twice before both sides settled for a point. Christian Benteke netted twice for Palace along with Marc Guehi, while Ben Mee, Chris Wood and the impressive Cornet hitting the target for the home team.
There was no winning start at Newcastle for Eddie Howe, whose side were held to a 3-3 draw by Brentford.
Howe missed his first game in charge after testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday and it was another chaotic and entertaining affair with Jamaal Lascelles putting Newcastle ahead in the 10th minute, only for Ivan Toney to equalize a minute later.
Rico Henry then gave Brentford the lead, only for a rare Joelington strike to bring Newcastle level. An own goal from Lascelles then put Brentford back in front, but Allan Saint Maximin saved a point with 15 minutes left to play, although Newcastle are now bottom and remain without a win all season.