Premier League roundup: Oscar winning performance puts Chelsea top as Southampton stun Anfield
Chelsea momentarily jumped to the top of the Premier League following a 2-0 victory over local rivals Fulham. Man of the Match Oscar and John Obi Mikel got on the score sheet as the Blues went above Liverpool on goal difference after they lost at home to Southampton.
Liverpool’s 100% record was abruptly ended at Anfield – thanks to a second half goal from defender Dejan Lovren. The Scousers struggled to make chances during the game and were made to pay for their lack of end product.
Simon Mignolet was the busier of the two keepers, keeping the likes of Luke Shaw out with a string of fantastic saves. Liverpool were failing to make anything stick in the final third, with poor decision making from Victor Moses summing up the day for Brendan Rodgers.
It was sloppy play that gifted the Saints the chance to take the lead. In the 54th minute, a well delivered corner from Adam Lallana found the head of Dejan Lovren – with the Liverpool defence unable to clear before it went over the line.
The return of Luis Suarez to first team action seems to have come at the perfect moment for a side who lost for the first team and need to replace the quality left by the injury of wonder kid Coutinho.
The Uruguayan has now completed his lengthy match ban and could return to Premier League action next time out against Sunderland.
The tea time fixture at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Fulham ended as the script would usually suggest. Jose Mourinho’s decision to play Oscar ahead of Juan Mata was vindicated, as the Brazilian scored and picked up the Man of the Match award.
After a bad week for the ‘happy one’, Chelsea’s first half performance didn’t show any signs of improving the mood at Stamford Bridge. Abramovich’s slouched position in the stands summed up what had unfolded in the first 45 minutes.
A lack of cutting edge from Chelsea and a guilt-edge chance from Darren Bent that was saved without strain ensured that it would remain 0-0 at the interval.
It took Chelsea just seven minutes to score after the restart. The impressive Oscar managed to tuck home a rebound after David Stockdale had failed to cope with two efforts.
The game was still shy of an ebb and flow. Fulham lacked any form of serious threat as Chelsea pressed for a second to kill the game off. The killer goal came from an unlikely source in John Obi Mikel.
The Nigerian scored his first Premier League goal in 184 appearances as Chelsea moved to the top of Premier League.
Thomas Bradley, football correspondent
Chelsea 2 Fulham 0
Liverpool 0 Southampton 1
Newcastle 2 Hull 3
Norwich 0 Aston Villa 1
West Brom 3 Sunderland 0
West Ham 2 Everton 3