LONDON: Brighton’s charge towards Europe continued with an impressive 2-1 Premier League victory away at bottom-half Chelsea.
Frank Lampard’s third straight defeat since his appointment as interim head coach leaves Chelsea three points off 10th.
Alexis Mac Allister failed to convert a clear opportunity early on and the visitors were punished when Conor Gallagher struck from range.
Even after losing Joel Veltman and Evan Ferguson to injury, the Seagulls continued to battle and deservedly got their goal from Danny Welbeck, who was introduced as Ferguson’s replacement.
For Brighton, the second-half looked like it was following the same pattern as the first.
Julio Enciso struck the post after being introduced from the bench for Veltman. But he made amends shortly after, giving Brighton their deserved second goal with a sensational strike from long distance as the game entered its final 20 minutes.
Brighton fully deserved the win which moved them within seven points of the top-four ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
Manchester City maintained their pursuit of leaders Arsenal with a 3-1 home win over struggling Leicester under new manager Dean Smith.
A thunderbolt from John Stones, combined with a typical Erling Haaland brace – one of which was a penalty – put the champions into a commanding 3-0 lead at the break.
The Foxes struggled to respond, with the home side threatening on every attack as expected. With City’s three coming inside the first 25 minutes, the visitors will have welcomed the half-time scoreline by that stage.
Pep Guardiola made expected changes for the second. Naturally, that interrupted City’s flow, but it did give Kalvin Phillips and Cole Palmer vital minutes.
Leicester had their first effort on target in the 70th minute, and former City man Kelechi Iheanacho tapped in from close range shortly after for a consolation. Iheanacho also hit a post in added time.
Dango Ouattara’s 95th minute strike gave Bournemouth a huge 3-2 victory away at Tottenham.
It had looked as if they were having to settle for a point when substitute Arnaut Danjuma struck in the 88th minute, a goal that appeared as if it was going to deny his former club the win, but late drama saw the Cherries move six points clear of the drop.
Son Heung-min had given Spurs an early lead, but efforts from Matías Viña and Dominic Solanke either side of half-time turned the game around.
Danjuma’s goal would have been met with relief from the home support, but that was short-lived as Ouattara proved the hero.
Solanke’s pressure led to the away side catching Spurs out, and Ouattara converted from close range as his curling effort found the bottom corner.
Aston Villa continued their brilliant run of results with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Newcastle in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Ollie Watkins’s two goals alongside his assist for the opener came with England boss Gareth Southgate in attendance.
Watkins’s remarkable form has seen 11 goals scored across his last 12 league outings.
Villa’s own form has now seen seven wins from their last eight, with the only time they failed to secure maximum points being the 1-1 draw away at West Ham.
When Unai Emery took over, Aston Villa were 16th after 13 games – just one point above the relegation zone.
With 31 played, they are 6th, six points off the top four and enjoying an eight-game unbeaten run – seven of those have been wins.
Everton’s relegation fears grew afer a 3-1 home defeat to Fulham.
The Toffees remarkably had four big chances in the first-half, with Neal Maupay and Demarai Gray failing to convert opportunities, alongside James Tarkowski who had the clearest of all.
Dwight McNeil made no mistake as he struck from outside the area, but that only came after Harrison Reed had given the visitors the lead.
They were punished for that wasteful showing in front of goal, with Wilson stepping up to regain the visitors’ advantage early in the second-half.
Leeds loanee Daniel James helped his parent club out massively as he struck the third, with Everton left to rue those earlier missed chances in a contest that they will point to if they fail to avoid the drop at the end of the season.
Wolves dragged themselves further away from relegation trouble with a 2-0 win over Brentford.
Diego Costa ended his 516-day wait for a goal as he struck from close range inside 30 minutes, before substitute Hwang Hee-chan secured the result with a goal shortly after coming on as a second-half substitute.
The Roy Hodgson revolution continued for Crystal Palace as a 2-0 victory over struggling Southampton made it three wins from three since the managerial switch.
Eberechi Eze followed up his strike against Leeds with both of their efforts in a game that didn’t quite see the attacking chances that Palace have enjoyed in recent weeks. Palace came to life in the second half thanks to Eze’s brace.
The first was the biggest chance of the contest, converting Jordan Ayew’s redirected cross. His second was a clear indicator of a player in great form. Turning his defender to open up a shooting chance, his strike from distance found the bottom corner.