Chelsea win; Liverpool thrash Everton

LONDON, Dec 5 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 12/5/2019 12:20:56 PM IST

Tammy Abraham scored a goal and set up another on his return from injury as Chelsea beat Aston Villa 2-1 on Wednesday to put their Premier League campaign back on track after two straight defeats.

Abraham headed home from close range for his 11th league goal of the season in the 24th minute after a lofted cross by right back Reece James, another of the home-grown players at Chelsea who have flourished under coach Frank Lampard.

Villa equalised with their first real chance in the 41st minute when Egyptian Trezeguet headed a cross from his compatriot Ahmed El Mohamady down on to his own foot and the ball crossed the line.

Chelsea regained the lead in style three minutes into the second half when Abraham - who played for Villa last season on loan - chested a cross by Willian invitingly for fellow academy graduate Mason Mount to volley home.

Chelsea went in search of a third goal and Willian came closest to getting it when the Brazilian’s free kick was touched onto a post by Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton. 

Meanwhile, Liverpool delivered a first-half masterclass to humiliate Everton at Anfield on Wednesday, surging into a 4-2 halftime lead and adding a late fifth to maintain their charge towards a first league title in 30 years.

Rarely in that barren period, or even in the glory years that preceded it, could they have produced a better first half as exquisite passing and deadly finishing brought two goals for Divock Origi and one each for Xherdan Shaqiri and Sadio Mane.

Everton replied through Michael Keane and Richarlison before a much calmer second half that brought only a late goal for Georginio Wijnaldum.

The victory, coach Juergen Klopp’s 100th in the Premier League in the highest-scoring Merseyside derby for 86 years, made it a top-flight club record of 32 league matches unbeaten for Liverpool. It moved the European champions on to 43 points, eight ahead of Leicester City, who beat Watford earlier, and 11 clear of Manchester City.

After six minutes, Origi was the beneficiary of a wonderful pass by Mane, who curved the ball perfectly between the retreating Mason Holgate and advancing goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, allowing the Belgian to take a touch beyond both and knock it into the empty net.

Trent Alexander-Arnold then delivered another stunning pass, drilled 40 yards cross-field into the path of Mane, who nonchalantly controlled it and put it on a plate for Shaqiri.

Everton pulled one back four minutes later through Michael Keane but he and his defensive partners were exposed again soon after when a simple long ball by Dejan Lovren found the unmarked Origi, who cushioned the ball expertly before firing home.

Liverpool then scored yet another brilliant goal, Mane breaking at pace from his own box, moving the ball to Alexander-Arnold, who fed the ball back to the galloping Senegalese striker to clip in a superb low shot from the edge of the box.

Remarkably, there was still time for Richarlison to score via his shoulder to bring a memorable half to an end. After a much calmer second half saw Mane and Everton’s Moise Kean both miss late chances, Wijnaldum completed the rout in the highest-scoring Merseyside derby since Liverpool won 7-4 in 1933.

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