Week 24: Hazard brace helps Chelsea crush Brighton, Aguero nets hat-trick as Man City see off Newcastle

Champions Chelsea secured their first Premier League win of 2018 as two goals in the opening six minutes helped Antonio Conte’s side cruise to a 4-0 victory at struggling Brighton.

Eden Hazard got the Blues up and running after three minutes when he fired home from close range following Victor Moses’ deflected cross, before Willian powerfully struck the ball home from the edge of the area to make it 2-0 after just six minutes.

Eden Hazard early goal helped Chelsea push Brighton further to the relegation zone
image: vtv.vn

Hazard would grab his second of the game on 77 minutes when the Belgian tucked home a neat finish into the bottom corner, before Moses completed the rout on 89 minutes by calmly side-footing home from close range after Charly Musonda’s long-ball.

London rivals Arsenal also picked up their first three points of the New Year, as the Gunners scored three goals inside the opening 13 minutes to help them cruise to a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace.

After falling to a shock defeat at Bournemouth last weekend, Nacho Monreal got the home side off to a flying start when the Spaniard headed home Granit Xhaka’s corner kick after just six minutes.

Monreal set up winger Alex Iwobi to turn in from close range to double their lead four minutes later, after Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s poor clearance and it was 3-0 after just 13 minutes when Laurent Koscielny headed in from another Xhaka corner kick.

Alexandre Lacazette sealed the win for Arsene Wenger’s side after just 22 minutes with a clinical finish into the far corner from Mesut Ozil’s backheel, while Palace did pull one back on 78 minutes when Luka Milivojevic fired home from a corner kick to deny Arsenal a clean sheet.

Sergio Aguero scored the perfect hat-trick on his 200th Man City appearance, as the Premier League leaders bounced back from their first defeat of the season with a 3-1 win over Newcastle.

Argentine striker Aguero broke the deadlock on 34 minutes when he glanced in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross and he would double their lead just after the hour mark from the penalty spot, after Javi Manquillo brought down Raheem Sterling inside the box.

Jacob Murphy’s first Newcastle goal gave the away side a glimmer of hope four minutes later with a neat finish over Ederson on the counter-attack, but Aguero wrapped up his hat-trick to ensure victory for Man City on 88 minutes when he turned home after Leroy Sane’s excellent run.

Man United kept within 12 points off the summit, as Jose Mourinho’s side edged past Burnley 1-0 to leave Sean Dyche’s side with no win seven league games.

Anthony Martial scored the only goal of the game on 55 minutes, as the Frenchman fired home off the crossbar from Romelu Lukaku’s cross to ensure Man United maintained their winning start to 2018.

Leicester also continued their excellent start to 2018 as Claude Puel’s side picked up a well-deserved 2-0 win over Watford, which would mark the end of Marco Silva’s reign of the Hornets.

Jamie Vardy firmly struck his penalty kick into the bottom corner to fire Leicester into a 39th-minute lead, after the England striker was brought down by Molla Wague inside the box.

Riyad Mahrez would seal the for the Foxes in injury time as he side-footed home from a tight angle in at the far post to secure Silva’s fate, after just one win in 11 games for Watford.

Paul Lambert’s celebrated a winning start to his reign as Stoke manager, as the Potters moved out of the relegation zone by beating Huddersfield 2-0 for their first win in five games.

Joe Allen broke the deadlock on 53 minutes as the Welshman collected Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting’s cross to finish home from 20 yards, before Mame Biram Diouf sealed all three points on 69 minutes when he swept the ball in off the post from Xherdan Shaqiri’s clever backheel.

Stoke’s win meant Southampton fell into the relegation zone, as the Saints hard-fought 1-1 draw against Tottenham left Mauricio Pellegrino’s side with no win in their last 11 games.

Davinson Sanchez turned Ryan Bertrand’s cross into his own net to give Southampton a surprise 15th-minute lead, but Harry Kane equalised three minutes later to rescue a point for Spurs when he headed in his 21st goal of the season from Ben Davies’ corner kick.

Swansea picked up a massive three points in their fight against the drop, as Carlos Carvalhal’s side ended Liverpool‘s 14 game unbeaten run with a stunning 1-0 win over Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Federico Fernandez set up Alfie Mawson to finish home into the bottom corner five minutes before half-time after £75m man Virgil van Dijk failed to clear a Sam Clucas corner kick to earn the Swans their second win in their last four games.

After ending their 21-game winless streak, West Brom failed to make it back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time since August as Everton battled back to rescue a 1-1 draw against the Baggies.

Jay Rodriguez chested down Grzegorz Krychowiak’s long-ball and fired home into the bottom corner to give Alan Pardew’s side the lead after just seven minutes, but Everton’s new £20m signing Theo Walcott set up Oumar Niasse to turn in from close range to rescue a point on 70 minutes.

Oumas Niasse rescued a point for Everton against West Brom
image: dailymail.co.uk

However, the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to Republic of Ireland international James McCarthy who suffered a double leg fracture as he attempted to block Salomon Rondon’s shot to leave the Venezuelan striker in tears.

Finally, West Ham extended their unbeaten run to five games, as David Moyes’ side missed the chance to move into the top ten after being held to a 1-1 draw by Bournemouth.

Ryan Fraser’s collected Junior Stanislas’s through ball to fire the Cherries the lead on 71 minutes with a calm left-footed strike, but Javier Hernandez came off the bench to grab the equaliser two minutes later when he bundled home after Marko Arnautovic’s blocked effort.

Saturday 20 Jan

Brighton 0-4 Chelsea (Hazard 3, 77, Willian 6, Moses 89)
Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace (Monreal 6, Iwobi 10, Koscielny 13, Lacazette 22 | Milivojevic 78)
Burnley 0-1 Man United (Martial 55)
Everton 1-1 West Brom (Niasse 70 | Rodriguez 7)
Leicester 2-0 Watford (Vardy pen 39, Mahrez 90)
Stoke 2-0 Huddersfield (Allen 53, Diouf 69)
West Ham 1-1 Bournemouth (Hernandez 73 | Fraser 71)
Man City 3-1 Newcastle (Aguero 34, pen 63, 88 | Murphy 67)

Sunday 21 Jan

Southampton 1-1 Tottenham (Sanchez o/g 15 | Kane 18)

Monday 22 Jan

Swansea 1-0 Liverpool (Mawson 40)

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