Chelsea make it 12 in a row to stay atop English Premier League

London, Dec 27 (IANS) English football club Chelsea won a club-record 12th consecutive match to remain atop the English Premier League (EPL) standings.

The Blues showed no signs of weakness in a lop-sided 3-0 contest at Stamford Bridge against Bournemouth on Monday, reports Efe.

The hosts prevailed on tallies by Pedro Rodriguez, Eden Hazard — from the penalty spot — and a Bournemouth own goal in stoppage time.

Chelsea moved up to 46 points from 18 matches, seven more than Manchester City, 3-0 away winners on Monday over bottom-placed Hull City, who held their vastly more talented opponents scoreless until the last 15 minutes of the match.

Sitting two points back of Man City are Arsenal, who struggled on Monday at home against West Bromwich Albion, the surprise team of the season so far.

West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster stymied the Gunners for more than 80 minutes before succumbing to a header by Olivier Giroud that turned out to be the game’s only goal.

Liverpool, who are tied on points with Arsenal at 37 but lead the London side in goal difference, will have the chance to reclaim second place on Tuesday when they host Stoke City at Anfield.

Fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur will travel to Southampton on Wednesday.

Spurs have 33 points, the same as Manchester United after the Red Devils’ 3-1 triumph on Monday against Sunderland.

Daley Blind started the scoring for United in the 39th minute, though the decisive second goal didn’t come until the final 10 minutes, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic capitalised on a midfield takeaway by Paul Pogba.

Ibra then assisted on a goal by late substitute Henrikh Mkhitaryan, while Fabio Borini beat United keeper David De Gea with a spectacular effort in stoppage time to salvage some pride for the visitors.

Defending champions Leicester City fell 2-0 at home to seventh place Everton to extend their winless streak to three matches and leave themselves just three points above the drop zone.

Playing without the suspended Jamie Vardy, Leicester conceded second-half goals to Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku.

Newly promoted Middlesbrough lost 0-1 at home to Burnley, whose goal came in the 81st minute on a header from Andre Gray.

Swansea, meanwhile, were embarrassed 1-4 in front of the home crowd at Liberty Stadium by West Ham United, who posted their third consecutive win, thanks to goals from Andre Ayew, Winston Reid, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll.

The outcome leaves the Welsh side in 19th place. West Ham, who started the season poorly, climbed to 11th.

The traditional Boxing Day football feast began with Watford hosting Crystal Palace, playing their first contest under new coach Sam Allardyce.

Palace took a 1-0 lead in the first 30 minutes on a goal by Yohan Cabaye and had a chance to make it 2-0 before half time, but Christian Benteke failed to convert from the spot.

The visitors flagged late in the second half and Watford’s bid to turn up the pressure paid off in a penalty call. Troy Deeney made no mistake, scoring his 100th goal for the club to secure the 1-1 draw.

–IANS

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