Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Chelsea, United back to form in Premier League

AP, LONDON

Chelsea’s Diego Costa, center, vies for the ball with Aston Villa’s Idrissa Gueye, right, in their English Premier League match at Stamford Bridge in London on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

Chelsea and Manchester United on Saturday bounced back from disappointing losses with impressive wins in the English Premier League.

Diego Costa, returning from a three-match suspension for violent conduct, put the champions ahead against Aston Villa, before defender Alan Hutton scored an own-goal in Chelsea’s 2-0 win.

The victory was welcomed by coach Jose Mourinho, who is under pressure due to his side’s faltering start to the season. Chelsea lost their last match 3-1 at home to Southampton and Mourinho feels his team still has work to do to return to top form.

“Confidence comes with results, and results bring all the good quality that the players have to the fore,” Mourinho said. “At the moment, some of my players have lost confidence, but this was a great team performance.”

United won 3-0 against Everton at Goodison Park, with Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney scoring in an emphatic response to the 3-0 defeat against Arsenal two weeks ago.

“The defeat against Arsenal, two weeks and I cannot approach them [during the international break], then this performance? Fantastic,” United coach Louis van Gaal said.

United are third on 19 points, two behind Manchester City, who routed AFC Bournemouth 5-1. Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick in the first half and Wilfried Bony netted twice, meaning injured striker Sergio Aguero was not missed.

The two Manchester clubs play each other at Old Trafford on Sunday.

“I think it was important for Raheem to score three goals,” City coach Manuel Pellegrini said. “He must improve his finishing — he did that today. I do not think he is a striker like Kun [Aguero] or Bony, but, this year, and I said it when he arrived, I am sure he will score more goals.”

In Saturday’s late game, Arsenal netted three times in 12 second-half minutes to win 3-0 against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Alexis Sanchez begun the scoring in the 62nd minute after Mesut Ozil was tackled in the penalty area, only for the ball to roll free.

Giroud then lashed in Ozil’s cut-back six minutes later before Aaron Ramsey netted his first club goal of the season, receiving a pass from Hector Bellerin before his effort was deflected by Ikechi Anya.

The result means Arsenal stayed second, above United on goal difference.

Elsewhere, Southampton surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Leicester City, Sunderland lost 1-0 at West Bromwich Albion in Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge of the Black Cats, while Crystal Palace were beaten 3-1 by West Ham United.

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