LONDON: Chelsea opened up a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 7-0 demolition of Norwich on Saturday as Newcastle United’s wait for a Premier League win went on after a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.
Mason Mount scored a hat-trick for the Blues at Stamford Bridge as the European champions coped easily without first-choice strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.
Only Norwich are keeping Newcastle off the foot of the table and already look destined for a swift return to the Championship with only two points and minus-21 goal difference from their opening nine games.
Mount started the rout after just eight minutes and finished it with two more in the closing stages after Ben Gibson had been sent-off for the visitors.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Ben Chilwell were also on target for Thomas Tuchel’s men, while Max Aarons’ own goal summed up a sorry day for the Canaries.
Mount had not scored since May and Tuchel welcomed his return to scoring form with Lukaku and Werner expected to be out for some time.
“No matter how satisfied the coach is, the offensive guys need goals to be fully happy,” said Tuchel.
Newcastle’s new Saudi owners were given another reminder of the investment it will take to make the Magpies a force to be reckoned with at Selhurst Park.
Interim manager Graeme Jones took charge for the first time since Steve Bruce was sacked and needed a moment of brilliance from Callum Wilson just to salvage a point.
Christian Benteke headed the Patrick Vieira’s men in front.
Wilson showed the value of a proven goalscorer with a stunning overhead kick into the top corner 25 minutes from time.
Benteke also hit the woodwork twice and thought he had earned a deserved three points for the Eagles five minutes from time, but his second goal was ruled out after a VAR review for a foul by Marc Guehi.
Newcastle stay second bottom, but are just three points adrift of safety.
Claudio Ranieri got his first win as Watford manager as the Hornets twice came from behind to stun Everton 5-2 at Goodison Park.
Josh King failed to score as an Everton player last season, but hit a hat-trick to help move Watford six points clear of the relegation zone.
Juraj Kucka and Emmanuel Dennis were also on target for the visitors, who scored four times in the final 12 minutes.
Leeds needed a stoppage-time penalty to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves. South Korean international Hwang Hee-chan opened the scoring at Elland Road.
Wolves were set to move up to fifth until Joe Gelhardt was fould inside the area in the 94th minute and Rodrigo slotted home the penalty.
Burnley remain in the bottom three, but Maxwel Cornet is proving himself a shrewd signing for Sean Dyche’s men as the Ivorian scored twice in a 2-2 draw at Southampton.
Saints turned the game around after Cornet opened the scoring to take the lead with goals from Tino Livramento and Armando Broja.
The former Lyon winger then salvaged a point for the Clarets with a thumping finish on the volley from outside the area.
Arsenal, meanwhile, turned on the style with a confident 3-1 home win over Aston Villa on Friday to extend their unbeaten run to six games.
The win moves Mikel Arteta’s side up to ninth spot, level on 14 points with sixth-placed Manchester United.
Thomas Partey headed in a corner to give the Gunners’ a 23rd minute lead and they doubled the advantage before the break with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang driving home after his penalty was saved by Villa’s former Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martnez.
Emile Smith Rowe made it 3-0 in the 56th, finishing a well worked counter-attack by cutting in from the left and seeing his low shot go in off the post after a slight deflection off Tyrone Mings.
Villa had been second best for most of the game but pulled a goal back eight minutes from the end when Jacob Ramsey curled the ball into the top corner after Leon Bailey had burst across the front of the penalty area.
Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2021