LONDON: Chelsea tasted defeat in the Premier League for the first time this season, as they were stunned 3-1 by Tottenham at Wembley.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side leapfrog them to go third in the process, with a performance that showcases their own potential to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table.
Goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane put them two up inside 16 minutes and Son Heung-min made it three after the break with a brilliant solo goal.
It was a 10th win from 13 games this season for Mauricio Pochettino’s men and the rampant showings of Kane, Alli, Son and Christian Eriksen will have the Argentinian licking his lips at the prospect of what might be to come.
They could have won by a far bigger margin had it not been for some wayward finishing and some impressive saves from Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Chelsea were a shadow of the side that had not tasted defeat in their opening 12 league games, though did bag a late consolation through Olivier Giroud, and Sarri will now have to contemplate his first loss in the Blues dugout, having only previously lost in the Community Shield against Manchester City.
Tottenham have won three of their last four Premier League games against Chelsea, as many as they had in their previous 20 against them in the competition (W3 D9 L8) and influcted the Blues’ first league defeat since the final day of the 2017-18 campaign (0-3 v Newcastle). This as also the first time Spurs have have won consecutive league games against Chelsea since August 1987.
Since Mauricio Pochettino has been in charge, Tottenham have won more Premier League London derby matches than any other side (22) and Dele Alli has scored more goals against Chelsea in all competitions than he has against any other side (six).
The only statistics mark on Chelsea’s behalf was that Olivier Giroud became only the second player in Premier League history to score 20 goals as a substitute (Jermain Defoe 24).
Elsewhere Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice as Claudio Ranieri won his first match as Fulham boss to pile pressure on Southampton manager Mark Hughes.
Stuart Armstrong netted a brace – his first Saints goals – either side of strikes from Mitrovic and Andre Schurrle for Fulham.
Mitrovic, who rivalled Armstrong as the game’s star performer, restored the hosts’ lead with a crisp volley after 63 minutes and Fulham held on to win 3-2 on Ranieri’s Premier League return.
The Cottagers were facing the prospect of a seven-match losing streak in the league for the first time in 56 years, but instead they won for a second time this season, following the August 26 defeat of Burnley, to move off the foot of the table.
Southampton have not won since September 1 against Crystal Palace and Hughes, who had an 11-month stint at Craven Cottage in 2010-11, has just three wins in 21 league games since his appointment in March.
Manchester City found the London Stadium to their liking again as they thumped West Ham 4-0.
Strikes from David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane’s double took City’s tally to 17 goals in only four visits to Stratford.
An ultimately routine victory made it eight wins from eight in all competitions and strengthened City’s hold on top spot in the Premier League.
Man City have scored four goals in their last three away Premier League games against West Ham – the last team to score 4+ in three consecutive away games against the same opponent were Chelsea against Bolton (October 2009, January 2011 and October 2011).
Roberto Firmino ended his Premier League goal drought as 10-man Liverpool maintained their unbeaten start at Watford.
The striker headed in late on to complete a 3-0 win and score his first top flight goal since September 15.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant free-kick had made it 2-0 after Mohamed Salah opened the scoring after the break.
But Liverpool will be without Jordan Henderson for next weekend’s Merseyside derby with Everton after he was sent off for two bookings.
Hard-working Watford will feel aggrieved after Jon Moss rejected their penalty claims when Andy Robertson tripped Will Hughes in the second half with the score level.
It was far from a vintage Liverpool performance but they remain unbeaten in 13 games and two points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Everton climbed to sixth place in the Premier League table after battling to a 1-0 victory over Cardiff at Goodison Park.
The visitors made life difficult for the Toffees but Marco Silva’s side ultimately deserved the win given to them by Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 59th-minute goal, securing a fourth consecutive home success.
Jamie Vardy came off the bench to rescue a point for 10-man Leicester as they battled back to draw at Brighton.
The forward was only deemed fit enough to be named as a substitute for the Foxes following a groin injury, but he fired home a second-half penalty to cancel out Glenn Murray’s early header and secure a 1-1 draw.
Leicester’s hopes of taking anything away from the Amex Stadium took a hit when James Maddison was sent off inside the opening half-an-hour.
The midfielder was cautioned twice in two minutes, having overcome a knee problem to start for Claude Puel’s side, who have now had four dismissals in the league this season.
Murray’s 15th-minute header was his seventh league goal of the campaign, bringing him level with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling, but the Seagulls created little as they failed to make their numerical advantage pay.
Manchester United stuttered to an uninspiring goalless draw at home to struggling Crystal Palace as Jose Mourinho’s disjointed side fell further behind the leading pack.
Boos greeted the final whistle at Old Trafford, such was the home side’s listless performance against a side without a Premier League win for 10 weeks.
Roy Hodgson’s men threatened to leave United with all three points for the first time since 1989, but Palace had to make do with a 0-0 as the hosts failed to get the win they desperately needed to kick-start their campaign.
Mourinho’s men are now an eye-watering 14 points behind table-topping Manchester City and, more worryingly, let this great chance to reduce the gap to the top four pass.
United were tepid against a Palace side whose performance belied their lowly standing, with Wilfried Zaha tormenting his former club and Cheikhou Kouyate seeing a goal ruled out for offside on an afternoon when Patrick Van Aanholt and Andros Townsend wasted glorious chances.
Chris Smalling missed his own gilt-edged chance and Romelu Lukaku saw a goal disallowed for offside, but it was not a performance that satisfied the Old Trafford faithful. Ineffective Paul Pogba’s substitution was greeted warmly and groans turned to loud jeers at full-time.
United manager Jose Mourinho accused some of Manchester United’s under-performing players of lacking “heart” against Crystal Palace – an attribute the manager believes is the bare minimum for his stuttering side.
United are now 14 points behind table-topping Manchester City – the same gap there is to rock-bottom Huddersfield – and, perhaps more worryingly, let this opportunity to bolster their top-four chances pass them by.
Mourinho had talked up those hopes ahead of the match and did not hold back after this “bad result” against Palace.
He said: “Not enough intensity, not enough desire. So I think we played a game like ‘one more game’ and I don’t think the game is ‘one more game’. I think it is a game we really need to win.
“If we played with the same philosophy against Young Boys (in the Champions League on Tuesday) then we don’t win and then we have to go to Valencia to win the game in Valencia.
“So, there are matches that are special matches and that not just one more – and this one was not just one more.
“It was the first of eight Premier League games until the end of December and was a game we need to win, and my feeling is that there was not enough from the heart. You must play with brain, we must play also with heart and I think (there was) not enough heart.”
It was a maddening return from the international break for Mourinho but the United manager does not believe some of his players will feel that frustration.
“There are people that will have a bad dinner (this evening),” the Portuguese said.
“There is people that will enjoy a nice dinner and there will even be people that maybe will party. I think that’s the way it is.”
Put to Mourinho that it is surely the bare minimum to play with heart, Mourinho said: “I agree, I agree.
“What’s the solution? You cannot change players’ natures dramatically. The solution is that probably I have to make certain choices based on heart, and then probably I will blame myself because I will think heart is not enough and I am missing here some quality.”