Sunday, April 21, 2024

City extend lead as Chelsea lose again

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LONDON – Manchester City opened up an 11-point gap over champions Chelsea when they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 with a stoppage-time goal on Saturday after Chelsea crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Everton in the English Premier League football competition.

City looked set to drop their first points of the season until 18-year-old Nigerian teenage substitute Kelechi Iheanacho, whose only other appearance for the club was for a minute against Watford two weeks ago, struck late at Selhurst Park.

Manuel Pellegrini’s team moved to 15 points from five matches having scored 11 goals without conceding any and they top the table from Arsenal, who beat Stoke City 2-0 at the Emirates.

While Iheanacho came off the bench to secure the points for City, Everton’s Scotland striker Steven Naismith did exactly the same in the early match against Chelsea at Goodison Park.

He replaced the injured Mo Besic and within 12 minutes had scored with a header and a left-foot shot to put Everton 2-0 up.

Nemanja Matic pulled Chelsea back into the game with a well-taken 30-metre drive nine minutes before the break, but Chelsea rarely threatened again and look a pale shadow of the team that won the title last season.

Naismith completed his hat-trick with a right-foot shot seven minutes from time.

Arsenal, who grabbed their first home win and goals of the season with a 2-0 victory over Stoke thanks to goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, moved up to ten points.

Palace are third with nine, one ahead of Everton, at least until Manchester United and Liverpool meet in the late match at Old Trafford.

Norwich City beat Bournemouth 3-1 and Watford ended their four-match run without a goal when they beat Swansea City 1-0 thanks to Odio Ighalo’s second-half strike which secured their first win of the season.

Their victory was tarnished, however, when Valon Behrami was sent after appearing to stamp on Andre Ayew.

West Bromwich Albion and Southampton drew 0-0. (Reuters)

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