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Manchester City and Arsenal win as Chelsea slump again

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea were deemed to be contenders for the 2016 title but they are just above the relegation zone.
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea were deemed to be contenders for the 2016 title but they are just above the relegation zone. Reuters/Philip Brown

Manchester City and Arsenal maintained their good form in the English Premier League but the fate of the Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho looks precarious after his champions lost for the third time at home.

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Manchester City and Arsenal won on Saturday to maintain the status at the top of the English Premier League while Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho still remains the head honcho at the champions despite another loss.

City needed a late penalty from Cote D’Ivoire skipper Yaya Touré to claim victory against a ruggedly defensive Norwich City side at the Etihad Stadium.

Nicolas Otamendi opened the scoring for the hosts with a header in the 67th minute. It was his first goal since signing from Valencia in August.

But seven minutes from the end, the visitors levelled after a blunder from City goalkeeper Joe Hart. The England international spilled a corner and Cameron Jerome prodded home gratefully.

City had the last word when Norwich defender Russell Martin was sent off for deliberate handball in the penalty area.

Touré’s conversion saved the blushes of Hart whose mistake was overlooked by City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

"Joe Hart is human,” said the 62-year-old Chilean. “Anyone can make a mistake. He made two very good saves during the match as well, because he is a very good goalkeeper.

Pellegrini added: “I think we deserved to win. We have the character, the personality and the trust to win. We are not finished until the last minute."

By contrast Arsenal cruised to their three points at Swansea City. It finished 3-0 to Arsene Wenger’s men and they are behind Manchester City on goal difference.

Eliminated by second division Sheffield Wednesday in midweek in the last 16 of the League Cup, the Gunners took the lead when France international Olivier Giroud headed home in the 49th minute. Giroud’s compatriot, Laurent Koscielny, got the second in the 68th minute and Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell added the gloss in the 73rd minute with his first goal for Arsenal, four years after joining the Gunners.

"They took six points off us last year and that shows we've moved forward. After we scored the first goal it was all us and there was only one winner," Wenger said.

There used to be only one winner at Stamford Bridge, but the days of a home stronghold have long gone.

Chelsea lost for the third time this season in west London: the latest disaster 3-1 to Liverpool. During Jose Mourinho's first stint in charge of Chelsea between 2004 and 2007, the side went unbeaten at home.

But on Saturday afternoon, Liverpool joined Crystal Palace and Southampton in the list of teams to conquer the Blues at home.

While Jurgen Klopp was celebrating the victory – his first in the Premier League since taking over three weeks ago from Brendan Rogers – Mourinho was digesting his sixth defeat in 11 Premier League games.

Before the clash, speculation was rife that the 52-year-old Portuguese would be sacked if his side failed to win.

Mourinho still had a job on Saturday night but his prospects still look bleak.

And it had all started so well. His side took an early lead through Ramires but a brace from Philippe Coutinho put Liverpool in command and Christian Benteke wrapped up the win seven minutes from time.

"The fans are not stupid. They know how much myself and the players are trying," said Mourinho, who has repeatedly denied rumours of a dressing room mutiny. "The fight goes on, but sometimes there are fights very impossible to win. I have some players really sad in the dressing room and I am full of respect for them."

Whether the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovitch has as much patience with the manager will be the main debate before Chelsea’s next match at home on Wednesday night with Dynamo Kiev in the Uefa Champions League.

 

 

 

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