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English Premiership

Chelsea ease pressure on Mourinho, United cruise


Chelsea celebrate Costa’s opener on October 17, 2015.

LONDON, October 17 – Under-fire Chelsea boss Mourinho saw the troubled champions secure only their third league victory this season, while Raheem Sterling’s first-half hat-trick kept Manchester City top of the table with a 5-1 rout of Bournemouth.

In other results, Wayne Rooney ended his 11-month away-day goal drought as Manchester United eased to a 3-0 victory on an emotional day at Goodison Park following the death of former Everton manager Howard Kendall.

Chelsea had made their worst start to a top-flight season since 1978-79, prompting the club to issue a vote of confidence in Mourinho amid reports of a dressing room mutiny.

But they were on course for a first win in four matches in all competitions after a shambolic mix-up between Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Joleon Lescott in the 34th minute allowed Diego Costa to mark his return from a three-game ban with his third goal of the season.

Costa played a signficant role in Chelsea’s second goal as well, this time the Spain striker’s attempted shot took a big deflection off Alan Hutton for an unfortunate own goal by the Villa defender.

“At the moment, some of my players have lost confidence,” Mourinho said.

“But they showed their desire, that they are together and that there were ready to fight for a crucial result.”

– Barren run –

At Eastlands, City took just seven minutes to go in front when Sterling prodded past goalkeeper Adam Federici.

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City struck again four minutes later when Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony tapped in after Federici made a hash of claiming a cross.

Bournemouth’s Glenn Murray scored in the 22nd minute, only for England winger Sterling to add City’s third in the 29th minute.

Sterling completed his treble in first half stoppage-time and Bony struck again in the 89th minute.

Emotions were running high at Goodison following the death of Kendall aged 69 and there was a minute’s silence prior to kick-off, while Everton’s players wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

But third placed United, who remain two points behind City, took the lead through Morgan Schneiderlin’s first goal since his pre-season move from Southampton in the 18th minute.

Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera doubled United’s advantage with a 22nd minute header.

United captain Rooney hadn’t scored an away league goal since November last year, but the former Everton forward ended that 17-match barren run with a clinical near-post finish in the 62nd minute.

Sam Allardyce’s first match as Sunderland manager ended in a 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion

Allardyce was unable to secure Sunderland’s first league win of the season as Saido Berahino netted in the 54th minute.

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West Ham climbed to fourth place after a 3-1 success at 10-man Crystal Palace.

Carl Jenkinson put West Ham ahead in the 22nd minute, only for Palace to equalise through Yohan Cabaye’s penalty.

Palace striker Dwight Gayle was then sent off and Manuel Lanzini struck with two minutes left before Dimitri Payet’s stoppage-time clincher.

Leicester staged another great escape as they came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Southampton.

Jose Fonte and Virgil Van Dijk scored for Saints, but Jamie Vardy netted in the 66th and 90th minutes for Leicester.

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