LONDON (Reuters) – A 91st minute winner from Reuben Loftus-Cheek saved under-fire coach Maurizio Sarri’s blushes as Chelsea were forced to come from behind to win away 2-1 against Cardiff in yesterday’s late game.
A goal down with five minutes remaining, Cesar Azpilicueta pulled a goal back in the 85th minute to set up frantic final minutes of the match.
Victor Camarasa had put Cardiff in front in the 46th minute as Chelsea worked hard to break down the well-marshaled home defence.
On Saturday, Manchester City returned with a swagger from the international break resuming their quest for four trophies with another dominant 2-0 win at Fulham.
On the afternoon that Huddersfield Town were relegated and Manchester United celebrated the full-time managerial appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 2-1 win over Watford, City again demonstrated why they remain the league’s benchmark.
Bernardo Silva scored for the third game in a row and Sergio Aguero extended his league-leading tally to 19 in a dazzling early spell, allowing the champions to ease to a seventh straight league victory while never having to hit the heights.
City, who have won the League Cup and are in the FA Cup semi-finals and Champions League quarter-finals, moved closer to an unprecedented, if still unlikely, ‘quadruple’ with 14 matches left.
Without seemingly having broken stride, their cosmopolitan crew reconvened after the international break and looked as if they had never been apart as soon as Bernardo Silva arrowed in a left-footed strike within five minutes.
For manager Pep Guardiola, the lunchtime stroll at Craven Cottage, featuring the return of key players like Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho after injury, felt like the most perfect resumption with the pressure immediately restored on Liverpool.
“The first 15, 20 minutes was incredible with the way we played,” he told the BBC.
“After the international break, you usually miss a bit with your rhythm. This game was tricky – 12:30 on a Saturday, a sunny day. That is unusual, and that is why I am so satisfied.
“We don’t think too much about what people say about the quadruple. What Liverpool and Manchester City have done in the Premier League both deserve credit. That’s why we are (both) here.”
Manchester United’s Solskjaer got his permanent reign off to a winning start with victory over unfortunate Watford.
Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial secured United’s win, even though this was far from their most convincing performance under the Norwegian as Watford deserved more for their enterprise than a late Abdoulaye Doucoure consolation.
Still, the win lifted United above Arsenal, who host Newcastle United tonight.
Wins for 17th-placed Burnley, 2-0 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, and 16th-placed Southampton, 1-0 at Brighton & Hove Albion, ensured Huddersfield’s relegation fate was sealed as they matched Derby County’s record, set in 2008, for the earliest relegation from the Premier League after 32 games.