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Chelsea, Bayern Munich win to keep up title charge

Champions Manchester City's poor run continued when they twice came from behind at QPR to draw 2-2 thanks to two goals from Sergio Aguero who took his league tally to 12 for the season

Champions Manchester City's poor run continued when they twice came from behind at QPR to draw 2-2 thanks to two goals from Sergio Aguero who took his league tally to 12 for the season   | Photo Credit: DYLAN MARTINEZ

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Just three months into the season, it is hard to see how Chelsea can be stopped in its remorseless charge to the English Premier League title.

For many, the biggest question now is whether it can go through the season unbeaten.

Chelsea got past another major obstacle on its way to the league title by winning 2-1 at Liverpool on Saturday. Defending champion Manchester City, probably Chelsea’s biggest rival, is eight points behind in third after 11 games following a 2-2 draw at Queens Park Rangers.

Bayern Munich won to also open up a big lead in Germany while Real Madrid stayed at the top of the Spanish league with a rout of Rayo Vallecano, and Luis Suarez led Barcelona to victory over Almeria with two assists.

Premier League

Chelsea came from behind to beat Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League, with Diego Costa scoring the winner in the 67th minute.

Emre Can put Liverpool ahead in the ninth minute with a long-range strike that deflected off Gary Cahill, before Cahill reacted quickest in a goalmouth scramble to equalise with a 14th-minute goal that needed confirming through goal-line technology.

Asked if his team could go through the season unbeaten, Mourinho said it would be “the impossible job.” Yet Chelsea has played four of its hardest away matches this season — the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Everton — and is even harder to beat at home.

Southampton stayed four points behind in second place thanks to Shane Long’s double in a 2-0 win over Leicester but Man City dropped two more points by drawing at QPR, with Sergio Aguero scoring two equalisers to take his league-high haul to 12 goals.

Manchester United won 1-0 against Crystal Palace thanks to a goal from Juan Mata. Burnley won for first time this season, 1-0 against Hull, and West Ham drew 0-0 with Aston Villa.

La Liga

Suarez set up two late goals to help give Barcelona a 2-1 comeback victory at Almeria in the Spanish league.

With Barcelona trailing 1-0 and facing a third straight loss in the competition, Suarez came on at halftime and orchestrated the visitors’ fight back in his fourth appearance for his new team since completing a four-month biting ban.

The Uruguay forward used a burst of speed to shed his marker before crossing for fellow substitute Neymar to equalise in the 73rd minute. He then picked out Jordi Alba to grab the winner in the 82nd.

Almeria forward Bifouma Thievy had put the hosts ahead in the 22nd on a counterattack after Lionel Messi lost the ball.

Barcelona went top of the table for a couple of hours, and then provisionally went into second place after Real Madrid routed Rayo Vallecano 5-1 to retake first place in La Liga. Cristiano Ronaldo polished off the lopsided win with his league-leading 18th goal and 23rd in all competitions this season.

Valencia and Atletico Madrid can also overtake Barcelona with wins on Sunday.

Bundesliga

Thomas Mueller scored a hat trick as Bayern Munich won 4-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt to increase its overnight lead in the Bundesliga to seven points on Saturday.

Franck Ribery set up Mueller’s first two, crossing for the World Cup winner to open the scoring in the 22nd minute and then again to finish a counterattack in the 64th. Mueller completed his hat trick three minutes later and Xherdan Shaqiri completed the scoring in the 86th.

Bayern is unbeaten, with eight wins from 11 games, 27 goals scored and just three conceded.

The defending champion’s closest rivals, Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach, were both playing their 11th-round games on Sunday.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Schalke disappointed in a 2-0 defeat at Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen was held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by visiting Mainz, Augsburg beat promoted Paderborn 3-0 and Cologne won 4-3 at Hoffenheim. Werder Bremen defeated fellow struggler Stuttgart 2-0.

Serie A

AC Milan’s winless streak stretched to four matches following a 2-2 draw at third-place Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday, although the Rossoneri could at least celebrate promising young forward Stephan El Shaarawy breaking his scoring drought.

El Shaarawy put Milan ahead in the 10th minute with his first goal in two seasons. Stefano Okaka scored for Sampdoria just before halftime and Brazilian forward Eder put the hosts ahead in the 51st. Jeremy Menez equalised for Milan with a penalty in the 65th.

Earlier, Sassuolo stretched its unbeaten streak to five matches by drawing 0-0 with visiting Atalanta in a matchup of two squads in the lower half of the table.

Ligue 1

Bordeaux beat struggling Lens 2-1 to go level on points with second-place Paris Saint-Germain in the French league on Saturday.

Bordeaux midfielder Wahbi Khazri finished off a counterattack to open the scoring in the 24th minute. Mali striker Cheick Diabate doubled the lead by dribbling past goalkeeper Valentin Belon in the 41st for his fifth league goal this season.

After scoring, Diabate rushed toward the touchline to hug Bordeaux coach Willy Sagnol, who could not hold back tears later on the bench. Sagnol apologised on Thursday for making disparaging comments about African players this week.

Before kickoff, Sagnol shook hands with Lens coach Antoine Kombouare, who was born in New Caledonia and said on Thursday he “felt humiliated and hurt” when he heard those comments.

Lens striker Yoann Touzghar scored a consolation goal with a penalty in the 74th.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:50:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/in-school/sports/chelsea-bayern-munich-win-to-keep-up-title-charge/article6580495.ece

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