Chelsea City stalemate Sturridge strikes on Reds return

Premier League leaders Chelsea remained five points clear of second-placed Manchester City after drawing 1-1 with the defending champions on Saturday.

Loic Remy gave Chelsea a 41st-minute lead at Stamford Bridge only for David Silva to equalise four minutes later.

Remy, given a starting spot by Jose Mourinho in place of the suspended Diego Costa, turned in a low cross from Eden Hazard.

But City were level before half-time when Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’s weak punch saw the ball fall to Sergio Aguero whose shot was diverted into the net by Silva.

“We had three good chances in the first half, they scored with their only chance in the 90 minutes — they did not even have a shot in the second half,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini Pellegrini told the BBC.

“You may say it is a good point at Stamford Bridge but for me it is not because we were better than Chelsea.”

Chelsea boss Mourinho, having cancelled his pre-match press conference on Friday, again refused to speak to broadcasters or journalists on Saturday.

His boycott is thought to be a protest against the coverage of Costa’s conduct against Liverpool in the League Cup in midweek.

The in-form striker has been banned for three matches for stamping on Emre Can in the semi-final victory.

Mourinho believes excessive media scrutiny played a key role in the Spain international’s suspension.

Daniel Sturridge put nearly five months of injury frustration behind him by coming off the bench to score in Liverpool’s 2-0 win at home to West Ham.

The 25-year-old striker had been sidelined with thigh and calf injuries since September.

Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock in the 51st minute at Anfield before Sturridge, a second-half replacement for Lazar Markovic, marked just his fourth Liverpool appearance of the season by scoring in the 80th minute.

“It’s a team game and I am happy the team won,” Sturridge told the BBC. “It’s just good to be back.”

Manchester United climbed into third place with a 3-1 win over basement club Leicester at Old Trafford as they gained revenge for a shock 5-3 defeat by the Foxes in September

Louis van Gaal’s men went 3-0 up before half-time through Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and an own-goal by Wes Morgan before Marcin Wasilewski pulled one back 10 minutes from time.

– Blind faith –

Afterwards Daley Blind said United’s players were adapting to their manager’s demands.

“We come closer every week to the way Louis van Gaal wants us to play,” he explained. “We are on the right track and we are happy.”

United will only be in the top three briefly if Southampton regain third place by avoiding defeat at home to Swansea on Sunday when Arsenal, also vying for a top-four finish, face Aston Villa at the Emirates.

Tottenham Hotspur completed a fine week with a 3-0 win away to West Bromwich Albion where Harry Kane scored twice to take his tally for the season to an impressive 20 goals.

Christian Eriksen scored his third goal in two matches to give Spurs the lead at the Hawthorns.

Eriksen, who scored twice in the midweek League Cup semi-final draw at Sheffield United that gave Spurs a 3-2 aggregate victory, has become renowned as a late-goal specialist.

But the Denmark midfielder needed just six minutes to put Spurs in front on Saturday with a trademark free-kick.

Kane doubled Spurs’ lead in the 15th minute before beating Baggies’ goalkeeper Ben Foster from the penalty spot midway through the second half.

Crystal Palace saw a run of four successive wins in all competitions since manager Alan Pardew arrived from Newcastle end with a 1-0 home loss to Everton as Romelu Lukaku scored in just the second minute at Selhurst Park.

Second-from-bottom Queens Park Rangers’ dreadful away record continued as they suffered a 3-1 defeat to former manager Mark Hughes’s Stoke City.

Stoke forward Jonathan Walters scored his first top-flight hat-trick as QPR recorded an 11th straight league defeat on the road, with their previous 10 reverses already a Premier League record.

Jermain Defoe grabbed his first goal since returning to English football from Toronto as he netted Sunderland’s second in a 2-0 win at home to Burnley after Connor Wickham put the Black Cats ahead.

John Carver enjoyed his first win as Newcastle boss after a 3-0 success away to Hull ended a run of four games without a victory since Pardew’s exit.

Remy Cabella, Sammy Ameobi and substitute Yoan Gouffran were all on target for the Magpies.


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