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Chelsea Maintain Premier League Lead While Arsenal Stumble Again

SouthamptonCesc Fabregas scored early in the second half as Chelsea maintained their five-point lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 win away to Crystal Palace. Sergio Aguero scored all four in a 4-1 win for Manchester City over Tottenham in the lunchtime kick-off, while Danny Welbeck netted in injury time to salvage a 2-2 draw for Arsenal at home to Hull.

But the headlines will go to Ronald Koeman’s Southampton, who obliterated Sunderland with five second-half goals on the south coast. A 12th-minute own goal from Santiago Vergini set the tone for an afternoon Black Cats boss Gus Poyet will wish to forget, before Graziano Pelle and Jack Cork put the game out of sight before the break.

Sunderland looked guilty of giving up once Liam Bridcutt fumbled his side’s second own goal in the 63rd minute, with Pelle, Dusan Tadic, Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane piling on the embarrassment. Unlike Southampton, Jose Mourinho’s leaders were pushed to the limit in a fiery London derby at Selhurst Park.

Oscar’s sixth-minute free-kick put the visitors – without the injured Diego Costa – in front before Cesar Azpilicueta was issued a straight red card for a foul on Mile Jedinak five minutes before the break. Palace’s numerical advantage lasted three minutes before Damien Delaney was dismissed for a foul on Loic Remy. Fabregas’ first Premier League goal for his new club put Mourinho’s men back in front before a late strike from Fraizer Campbell left the visitors hanging on for the final whistle.

Aguero proved City’s star in another thriller at the Etihad Stadium, which featured four penalties and the dismissal of Spurs debutant Federico Fazio. Aguero’s 13th-minute opener was immediately cancelled out by Christian Eriksen before Aguero put City back in front from the spot. Aguero missed his second penalty in the 32nd minute and Roberto Soldado wasted his chance to draw Spurs level again on the hour when his spot-kick was saved by Joe Hart.

Fazio was dismissed for fouling Aguero in the box seven minutes later and the striker got up to send his third penalty of the afternoon past Hugo Lloris. The Argentinian then curled home a superb fourth to end the drama.

Welbeck saves point for Gunners
Arsene Wenger breathed a sigh of relief as Welbeck struck in added time to salvage a point against the Tigers.

Alexis Sanchez had given the Gunners a 13th-minute lead but Mohamed Diame hit a controversial equaliser four minutes later despite appearing to foul Mathieu Flamini in the build-up. Despite losing goalkeeper Steve Harper to an arm injury before the break, Hull went ahead through an Abel Hernandez header and looked set to hang on for a famous win before Welbeck struck.

Ross Barkley made his first Everton start of the season as his side shrugged off their disappointing start to the new season with a dominant 3-0 win over Aston Villa. By the time Barkley was substituted in the 66th minute his team-mates had done their bit with Phil Jagielka opening the scoring with a 13th-minute header and Romelu Lukaku squeezing a 66th-minute second under Brad Guzan. Seamus Coleman wrapped up victory 14 minutes from time when he latched onto a cross from the excellent Leighton Baines.

Diafra Sakho maintained his fine scoring form as West Ham won 3-1 at Burnley to rise to the heady heights of fourth place. The Senegalese star made it five wins in five starts when he headed a 49th-minute opener for his side at Turf Moor.

Enner Valencia added a second for the Hammers five minutes later before Burnley rallied with George Boyd reducing the deficit and Danny Ings coming agonisingly close to an equaliser. Carlton Cole’s header in the 70th minute completed another impressive afternoon for the Hammers and gave Sam Allardyce, who turns 60 on Sunday, another cause for celebration.

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