EPL: Blues for Chelsea as Mourinho sees red at West Ham; Arsenal take provisional pole
10-men Chelsea lost to West Ham, Arsenal beat Everton to claim provisional lead in EPL.
New Delhi: Chelsea's nightmarish start to the season got even worse on Saturday with a 1-2 defeat at West Ham United, then the defending Premier League champions witnessed their manager sent off along with Nemanja Matic and coach Silvino Louro.
In an eventful London derby, Mourinho's side found themselves trailing as early as 17th minute to a Mauro Zarate goal. But the Blues managed to keep their cool, only to find themselves deny a contentious Kurt Zouma goal with the ball bouncing off the line in the 36th minute.
Moments later, Matic got his first yellow card for a technical foul, for pulling a break-away Cheikhou Kouyate inside the Chelsea half. Then, the Serbian midfielder received his second yellow, and the subsequent red card minutes before the half-time for a silly looking body check on Diafra Sakho, even as a clueless Mourinho tried to keep his calms on the sidelines. In the ensuing argument, referee Jonathan Moss booked the Spaniards Diego Costa, Cesc Favregas and assistant first team coach Louro for protesting.
During the break, Mourinho was sent off for complaining the officials in the tunnel. But somehow, Gary Cahill levelled the score with a brilliant free kick in the 56th minute, but the Andy Carroll scored the winner in the 79th minutes, 10 minutes after replacing Zarate.
With 11 points, Chelsea are 11th in the table, while Slaven Bilic's Hammers have climbed into second spot with 20.
But Mourinho's bete noire Arsene Wenger enjoyed yet another happy outing with a 2-1 win against Everton to give Arsenal the provisional lead. Two first half goals from Olivier Giroud (36th) and Laurent Koscielny (38th) in two minutes were enough for Wenger's team to take all three points against visiting Everton at Emirates Stadium. Ross Barkley pulled one back just before the half-time from a Barcelona product Gerard Deulofeu. And the score remained 2-1 at the final whistle.
After beating European heavyweights Bayern Munich in theri much win UEFA Champions League mid-week, Arsenal started as the favourites but the initial exchanges only proved otherwise. But once the French forward Giroud break the dead-lock, Gunners started dominating the proceedings, allowing his international team-make to double the lead.
From an sneak attack, Everton scored with Barkely producing a cool finish from outside the box.
Giroud could have increased the lead in the 69th minute, but his long ranger hit the crossbar to the dismay of packed Emirates crowd. And in the 79th minute, Romelu Lukaku almost drew the parity for Roberto Martinez's side but his header could only hit the crossbar.
In the dying minutes, both teams exchanged quick counter attacks and goalkeepers Tim Howard and Petr Cech were forced to produce brilliant saves to deny Mathieu Flamini and Deulofeu respectively for their teams.
Everton midfielder Gareth Barry, who was already in the second half, got his second in the added time.
The win give Wenger some confidence ahead of Arsenal's next three away games at Sheffield Wednesday in League Cup on October 28, then travel to Swansea on October 31 in a league engagement, before the return Munich fixture on November 5.
With the win, Arsenal have taken a one point lead over Manchester City to claim top spot, which host United in their high-stake derby tomorrow. And Everton remained at 10th place, with four teams on same 13 points.
At Britannia Stadium, promoted side Watford ended Stoke City's three-match winning run with a 2-0 win. Troy Deeney (43rd) and Almen Abdi (69th) scored on each to help Flores Quique register only the third win of the season. With the win, Watford have moved to 13th place with 13 points, one ahead of Mark Hughe's side, at 14th
Watford's win was marked by an inspired performances from their captain Deeney, who also scored his first goal of the campaign, and Odion Ighalo. But for the hosts, despite dominating the game, they failed to test rival goal-keeper Heurelho Gomes thanks to a disappointing attacking game, in the 100th game in charge for Hughes.
In another win for an away side, West Bromwich Albion escaped with all three points from Carrow Road . Venezuelan forward Jose Rondon scored the all important lone goal at the start of second half from a James McClean set-up to give his side second successive win. Toni Pulis' side now sits in ninth place with 14 points, while Alex Neil Norwich are in danger of hitting the relegation zone at 16th, with nine points.
Having lost three back-to-back matches and win-less in five outings, including the last week's 6-2 thrashing at the hands of Newcastle United, Canaries stare a certain defeat at Manchester City when the two teams meet in the next match-day.
Elsewhere, Leicester continued their brilliant form with a hard-fought 1-0 win against visiting Crystal Place at King Power Stadium, with a prolific Jamie Vardy hitting his 10th goal of the season. The England forward once again combined with his Algerian partner, Riyiad Mahrez to bail out Claudio Ranieri's outfit.
With the win, Leicester have maintained their top-five position with 19 points, while Alan Pardew's Palace are in sixth with 15 points, and they will visit Manchester United in the next fixture.
At Villa Park, Tim Sherwood faced another huge task to lift his side and also his own chances of staying as the Aston Villa manager, but he ended on the losing side with Ayew brothers stealing the limelight. Aston Villa took the lead in the 62nd minute when Jordan Ayew scored his first goal for the club with a header. But the home side soon lost the lead with Gylfi Sigurdsson equalizing for Swansea within six minutes. Then, the elder Ayew brotther, Andre slotted home the winner for from a Kyle Naughton's delivery in the 87th minute.
With the defeat, Sherwood's side lies in the 19th position with four points, while Garry Monk's Swans have climbed to 11th place with 13 points.
Tomorrow, City travel to United for the much anticipated Manchester derby, while Jurgen Klopp's injury stricken Liverpool host Southampton at Anfield. In other Sunday fixtures, bottom placed Sunderland play host to another relegation zone outfit Newcastle at Stadium of Light. Tottenham Hotspur will look to break their two-match win-less streak at struggling Bournmouth.