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Chelsea Maintains Lead, Aguero Nets 4, As Welbeck Rescues Arsenal (EPL Saturday's Results)



Chelsea maintained their five-point advantage at the head of the Premier League after goals from Oscar and Cesc Fabregas secured a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday in a game where both sides were reduced to ten men.
Oscar’s sixth minute free-kick sent Chelsea on their way and Fabregas’s 51st-minute goal ensured they had a cushion to protect them from Palace’s late rally that was capped by a 90th-minute reply from Fraizer Campbell.
Chelsea’s victory was reward for the way they reacted after the dismissal of Cesar Azpilicueta and Palace’s Damien Delaney in the space of three minutes towards the end of the first half.
Azpilicueta was sent off for an ugly lunge on Mile Jedinak in the 39th minute but a second yellow card for Delaney quickly removed the hosts’ one-man advantage.
Up to that point, Palace had looked capable of forcing their way back into the game but Chelsea –- captained by John Terry for the 500th time –- responded well and showed why they have maintained an unbeaten start to their league campaign.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was fiercely critical of his players following the defeat at Selhurst Park in March that contributed to the Blues’ failure to sustain their title challenge.
And he was forced to go into this clash without in-form striker Diego Costa — who scored nine goals in the opening seven league games — after the forward was injured while playing two games on international duty with Spain last week.
With Didier Drogba also short of full fitness, Loic Remy was handed a first league start since his £10.5 million ($17.4 million, 13.3 million euros) deadline day arrival from Queens Park Rangers.
But the change appeared to have little effect on Chelsea, who quickly assumed control of the game through Oscar’s set-piece.
Delaney was guilty of conceding the free-kick close to the edge of the penalty area when he fouled Willian and Oscar took full advantage with a curling short over the defensive wall and beyond the dive of Palace keeper Julian Speroni.
Danny Welbeck earned Arsenal a point in a 2-2 Premier League draw at home to Hull on Saturday as the teams met for the first time last season’s FA Cup final.
At Wembley, Hull took a 2-0 lead before being beaten 3-2 in extra-time and this game saw them almost take all three points at the Emirates Stadium.
But the Tigers could not hold out on this occasion either, with England forward Welbeck netting his eighth goal for club and country since a £16 million ($26.6 million, 20.2 million euros) move from Manchester United on transfer deadline day.
Injuries had hit the home side hard and there was the added complication of Lukas Podolski, the Germany forward, pulling out because of illness.
The Arsenal defence had a makeshift look about it with Nacho Monreal, normally a left-back, in the centre and Hector Bellerin, the 19-year-old Spanish right-back, handed a Premier League debut.
Hull’s preparations were not straightforward either however, with striker Nikica Jelavic hurt in the warm-up and hastily replaced by Abel Hernandez, the Uruguay forward.
Arsenal started strongly with Jack Wilshere heading wide from a cross from Sanchez, who went close himself after Hull goalkeeper Steve Harper could only parry a drive from Welbeck.
However, Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had already made a save himself, getting behind Michael Dawson’s back-post header.
Harper was soon back in action and the 39-year-old, deputising for the injured Allan McGregor, dived to stop Santi Cazorla’s shot from finding the top corner.
Aguero’s four goal haul was not the biggest highlight of the day as the center referee took all the attention for himself, awarding four penalties in one premier league match for the first time since 1978.
Aguero converted two of the three penalties awarded to Manchester City, missing one while Soldado saw his first half strike from the spot saved by Joe Hart. Aguero scored a further two goals from open play to finish the game with four goals against a Tottenham side that had Federico Fazio sent off for pulling back Aguero when the Argentine was in a goal scoring position. There was little or no fight in Spurs despite looking like they were going to put up a fight after Eriksen’s strike.
Manchester City’s win means they have temporarily closed the gap on Chelsea to two points as Chelsea take on Crystal Palace later today. Aguero’s goal scoring form has also seen him become joint top goal scorer with Diego Costa on nine premier league goals

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