LONDON: Christian Pulisic rewarded Frank Lampard’s decision to hand him a first league start since August as his first Chelsea goals came in the form of a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.
The £58m United States international staked his claim for a more regular berth as he punished Burnley mistakes in the first half to put the Blues in firm control.
He then made it a perfect hat-trick as he headed in his third when the hosts could only half-clear a corner just before the hour-mark.
Almost immediately after Pulisic’s third, Willian drilled in a fourth Chelsea goal as Burnley’s 200th Premier League game ended in defeat despite late efforts from Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil.
Late on came another sign that the bar for VAR overturning decisions may have been lowered with substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi booked for simulation after Michael Oliver initially awarded a penalty, but it did nothing to change the result.
This was a seventh straight win for Chelsea in all competitions, keeping them fourth in the Premier League table and now five points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, who face Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Pulisic replaced Hudson-Odoi in the only change to the Chelsea side that recorded a notable 1-0 win over Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
Manchester City recovered from a slow start and a late Fernandinho red card to eventually beat Aston Villa 3-0 thanks to three second half goals.
Raheem Sterling, less than a minute into the second period, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan struck to sink Villa in terrible conditions at the Etihad Stadium, to move back to second in the Premier League.
Leicester had knocked City off second thanks fo Friday night’s record breaking 9-0 away victory at Southampton, but despite losing two of their last four home league matches Pep Guardiola’s side were in no mood to slip up again in the wet weather.
They dominated the opening period, but failed to test Tom Heaton in the Villa net, but the visitors were still in the changing rooms at the start of the second half, as Sterling raced on to a Jesus flick on, beating a sleeping Mings to the ball, to open the scoring.
Villa were asleep again from a City short corner routine which allowed De Bruyne all the time in the world to curl the ball into the box. It missed everyone, despite David Silva claiming he touched it, and the ball curled passed Heaton into the far corner. VAR checked that Sterling had not touched the ball on the way through, as the England man somehow twisted his body to avoid contact when in an offside position.
Gundogan completed the second half rout, half volleying in from 10 yards out on 70 minutes as Villa’s defence fell apart again.
Fernandinho’s sending off for two bookable offensives in the final 10 minutes will be the only frustration for Guardiola as his side did what was needed to earn another vital three points and in the end a comfortable victory.
Everton defender Lucas Digne scored a dramatic own goal deep into stoppage time to gift Brighton a 3-2 Premier League win at the Amex Stadium.
Digne slid home a cross from substitute Leandro Trossard in the fourth minute of added time after Albion striker Neal Maupay equalised in contentious fashion with the first Premier League penalty awarded with the use of VAR.
Substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin looked to have earned the Toffees a first away win since March after Adam Webster’s own goal cancelled out Pascal Gross’ free-kick opener.
But the visitors were denied in sensational style as the Seagulls recorded successive home wins with two late strikes which pile pressure back on Everton boss Marco Silva.
Referee Andrew Madley pointed to the spot in the 80th minute following a lengthy consultation with Stockley Park.
Replays showed Toffees defender Michael Keane stood on the foot of Seagulls striker Aaron Connolly inside the box, although far stronger claims for spot-kicks have been waved away in the top flight this season.
Silva was furious with the decision and, after Maupay took full advantage from 12 yards, a miserable afternoon for the Portuguese was compounded by another late twist in rain-soaked Sussex.
Everton had temporarily quelled growing criticism of their manager with a deserved win over West Ham last weekend.
The Toffees were seeking to build on that success with an overdue victory on the road but, despite a positive start, soon fell behind.
Andre Gomes clumsily fouled Connolly just outside the box and Gross stepped forward to lash home the resultant 15th-minute free-kick to claim his first goal for six months.
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was far from convincing as the ball thundered past him and would have been relieved to see the visitors level within five minutes.
Digne delivered an inviting, outswinging corner from the right, allowing the unmarked Richarlison to find space at the near post and glance a header against the unfortunate Webster and into the bottom left corner.
The away side were then dealt a blow when in-form winger Bernard limped off after slipping on the wet surface and suffering what appeared to a
Gross had the ball in the net for a second time in the 65th minute but was ruled offside, a decision verified by a VAR check.
Everton had been beaten on their two previous visits to the Amex Stadium but looked like snapping that run when Calvert-Lewin made an almost immediate impact from the bench.
Just two minutes after replacing Iwobi, the England Under-21 striker latched on to a delightful Gomes through ball to slide it under the onrushing Ryan.
Any hope the visitors had of easing to victory were quickly scuppered after they were penalised in extremely contentious circumstances and Maupay stepped up to slam the ball down the middle and claim his fourth goal of the season.
The Merseyside club would undoubtedly have been frustrated with just a point and things took a turn for the worse deep into stoppage time when Trossard’s teasing ball across goal tempted Digne into a mistake which delighted the home crowd.
Watford and Quique Sánchez Flores are still waiting for their first Premier League win of the season after being held goalless at home by Bournemouth.
The result means the Hornets remain the only side without a victory in the Premier League this season, while the visitors have not secured all three points since September 20.
The home side should have taken the lead after 60 seconds but Abdoulaye Doucoure blazed over from 12 yards.
Gerard Deulofeu hit the post direct from a corner minutes later but afterwards Bournemouth grew into the game and hit the woodwork themselves through Steve Cook’s header.
Ben Foster brilliantly kept Watford level at the end of the first half when he blocked Arnaut Danjuma’s shot after the winger had met Joshua King’s cross unmarked at the back post.
Shortly after half-time Deulofeu had an effort blocked by Cherries goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale but that was one of few chances in the second half until Harry Wilson grazed the post with a free-kick late on.
The goalless draw is Bournemouth’s second in a row and means they have failed to score in their last three games.
Sheffield United made it five points from their last three Premier League matches, while West Ham halted their two match losing run with a 1-1 draw, as Lys Mousset climbed off the bench to preserve United’s unbeaten away record.
The French striker, back among the subs despite his winner against Arsenal on Monday night, grabbed the equaliser five minutes after entering the field.
An improvised far-post volley stretched West Ham’s winless run to five outings as a grudge match 12 years in the making ended all-square.
And on the evidence of this game, and the season so far, both sides should at least be able to avoid a repeat of that bitter relegation battle of 2007.
Chris Wilder’s side arrived at the London Stadium fresh from beating Arsenal, and could have been two ahead before Robert Snodgrass struck for West Ham.
From their first corner in the 28th minute, Jack O’Connell headed the ball down to David McGoldrick, whose flick was kept out at point-blank range by Hammers keeper Roberto.
Callum Robinson then fluffed a glorious chance to open the scoring, Roberto getting the merest of touches onto John Lundstram’s cross which resulted in the striker heading the ball behind him, rather than into an empty net.
It was a costly miss with West Ham taking the lead moments later. The Blades failed to deal with Roberto’s long clearance and Andriy Yarmolenko squared the ball for Snodgrass.
The Scottish midfielder, starting his first Premier League match since August, burst between two defenders and rolled the ball past Dean Henderson for his first goal of 2019.
But United got their equaliser in the 69th minute, Enda Stevens outjumping Mark Noble and heading to Mousset who, from an acute angle, somehow worked a volley across Roberto and into the opposite corner.
Both sides had chances to win it, Henderson saving from Cresswell and Declan Rice before Snodgrass came agonisingly close, sliding in at the far post only to thud a low cross from Pablo Fornals against the upright.