EPL: Newcastle United lose again, Leicester City still unbeaten

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Relegation beckons? Odion Ighalo scores against Newcastle.

Odion Ighalo kept Newcastle in the relegation zone as the Nigerian forward’s double inspired Watford’s 2-1 win at St James’ Park. Ighalo gave Watford a 10th minute lead with a low strike and he increased their advantage with his fourth goal in six matches in the 28th minute.

Newcastle ended a nearly 500-minute goal drought when Dutch defender Daryl Janmaat netted in the 62nd minute, but McClaren’s team were unable to avoid their third consecutive loss.

Ten-man Sunderland slipped to the bottom of the table alongside north-east rivals Newcastle after their fourth defeat of the season.

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Bournemouth, in the top tier for the first time, raced into a two-goal lead inside the first nine minutes, with Callum Wilson striking in the fourth minute before Matt Ritchie smashed in a superb volley.

Sunderland’s miserable day was completed when French defender Younes Kaboul was sent off for a second booking in the 74th minute. Saido Berahino came in from the cold to fire West Bromwich Albion to a 1-0 win at local rivals Aston Villa.

Berahino had threatened to go on strike after Albion refused to sell him to Tottenham on transfer deadline day and was dropped for several matches. Leicester staged another impressive fightback to maintain their unbeaten record with a 2-2 draw at Stoke.

Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic put Stoke ahead in the 13th minute and Jon Walters doubled their lead seven minutes later.

But the second-placed Foxes had come from two goals down to beat Aston Villa last week and they reduced the deficit in the 51st minute through Riyad Mahrez’s penalty before Jamie Vardy equalised in the 59th minute.

Everton’s Kevin Mirallas was sent off for a foul on Modou Barrow in the final moments of his side’s 0-0 draw at Swansea.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea restored order with a battling 2-0 win over nine-man Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

The champions won at home for the first time in the Barclays Premier League this season as Kurt Zouma headed in and Eden Hazard’s late shot ricocheted in off Calum Chambers.

On Sunday, Manchester United travel to Southampton, Tottenham host Crystal Palace and Liverpool take on Norwich.

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Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma and Eden Hazard punish nine-man Arsenal

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Feisty: Gabriel (l) and Diego Costa (second right) having a tussle.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea restored order with a battling 2-0 win over nine-man Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

The champions won at home for the first time in the Barclays Premier League this season as Kurt Zouma headed in and Eden Hazard’s late shot ricocheted in off Calum Chambers.

The Blues, now unbeaten in eight league games with the Gunners, benefited from Arsenal indiscipline as Gabriel was sent off after a series of altercations with Diego Costa and Santi Cazorla followed for two bookable offences.

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Chelsea striker Costa might have seen red himself after catching Laurent Koscielny with a flailing arm and chest-butting the Frenchman.

When Gabriel intervened, he became the subject of Costa’s attention and the Gunners defender naively retaliated.

After both men were booked by referee Mike Dean, Gabriel kicked Costa and was shown a straight red card.

Mourinho would argue the Brazilian should have conceded a penalty by then after earlier grappling with Hazard.

It mattered not as Arsene Wenger suffered the familiar feeling of defeat to Mourinho’s Chelsea.

The bitter rivals shook hands in the moments before kick-off in a temporary truce to their feud.

Wenger recorded a first win over his bitter rival at the 14th attempt in August’s Community Shield, but evaded the Portuguese post-match.

Mourinho had been in position to congratulate his rival and he offered his hand this time and it was accepted.

Both sides had plenty to prove; Chelsea that talk of a crisis was wrong and Arsenal that they can contend for the title.

After five rounds of matches, no team had conceded more than Chelsea’s 12 goals and, fearful of Arsenal’s pace, Mourinho left out captain John Terry again.

The pace was furious, but accuracy was lacking and so were opportunities.

Arsenal would not be cowed by Chelsea and the soft underbelly of recent seasons was not in evidence.

Costa was lively and saw one drive held by Petr Cech, who returned to Stamford Bridge as an Arsenal player following 11 years’ distinguished service as a Blue.

Theo Walcott, again chosen to lead the line, saw a tame effort held by Asmir Begovic and next Cech smothered as Pedro tried to control a Cesc Fabregas pass over the top.

Zouma recovered from a slip to block Walcott as he threatened to go through one on one and Aaron Ramsey hesitated when he had a chance to finish an Arsenal counter.

Chelsea’s control on the game grew and Cech punched away a Pedro drive before Costa and Koscielny grappled, with the striker pushing the defender in the face and flinging out his arm.

He went to ground and next barged the Frenchman with his chest on standing up.

Gabriel became involved, needlessly, and saw red.

Zouma headed in Fabregas’ set-piece at the back post to give Chelsea the lead and Hazard stung the hands of Cech soon after.

Alexis Sanchez scuffed a half-chance after Chelsea allowed the ball to bounce in the area.
Walcott fired over and Hazard shot wide across goal when Chelsea responded.

Costa wanted a spot-kick for tussle with Hector Bellerin before Arsenal’s numerical disadvantage was doubled when Cazorla received a second yellow card for tripping Fabregas.

Cech could do nothing about Hazard’s shot, which deflected wickedly off Chambers for Chelsea’s second.

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City boss Pellegrini feels Kompany may always suffer injuries

Andy Hampson 19/09/2015
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Sitting out: Kompany.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini feels it is almost impossible to tone down captain Vincent Kompany’s game to prevent him suffering injuries.

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City’s inspirational skipper will miss the Premier League leaders’ clash with West Ham this evening after suffering a calf injury in the midweek Champions League loss to Juventus.

It is the latest in a long line of leg muscle injuries to have sidelined the Belgium defender during his City career. The continuing trend is a concern but Pellegrini says it would go against the 29-year-old’s nature to curb the way he plays.

Pellegrini said: “It’s difficult. When you have that temperament, it is not easy for him. He has his characteristics and it is not easy for him to change.

“He tries sometimes not to have always 100 per cent intensity, but you cannot change him. Vincent plays with 100 per cent intensity, not just every game but every training session. He is not used to working the whole week, during the season, just to avoid injury.”

Pellegrini does not want to draw too many comparisons with past injuries – Kompany had spells out with calf, hamstring and groin problems last season – and hopes he may just have been unlucky this time.

He added: “It’s not always the same calf. It’s not always the same problem. I think the way to try to have less injuries is to work better and he’s doing very well this season.

“I don’t think this is a serious injury, just a precaution as he’s not feeling 100 per cent to play again. I am sure he is improving and he will not have so many injuries as the past two seasons. I’m not worried about it and I think he will have a decent season.”

Pellegrini is set to turn to big money signing Nicolas Otamendi to fill the void left by Kompany. It will be the first time this season Pellegrini has changed a back four that has so far been near faultless, keeping a clean sheet in each of their opening five Premier League games.

Otamendi, a £32 million (Dh183m) buy from Valencia in the closing days of the summer transfer window, seems the most likely player to step in having come off the bench to replace the influential Kompany against Juve.

Pellegrini said: “I think it is important to carry on playing with the same names but I always say we have a squad.

“It is important for Nicolas Otamendi to have his opportunity to demonstrate why he is here and Martin Demichelis to return to his performance of last season.

“We have a squad and we need to replace the captain. Otamendi is experienced and I hope he will have a good performance.”

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