Mason Mount put Chelsea back on track with the late strike that sealed a vital 1-0 win at 10-man Fulham, while Sam Allardyce got his first victory as West Bromwich Albion boss in a 3-2 success at Wolves yesterday.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was under pressure after three Premier League games without a win and four defeats in their previous six matches. The Blues were given a boost when Fulham defender Antonee Robinson was sent off just before half-time for a rash challenge of Cesar Azpilicueta.
Lampard’s men laboured to make their numerical advantage count, but England midfielder Mount finally broke the deadlock in the 78th minute when he drilled home from 20 yards. That was enough to seal Chelsea’s first league victory since they beat West Ham just before Christmas. Chelsea climb to seventh place, three points behind fourth placed Leicester, who were hosting Southampton late last night. Fulham remain in the relegation zone after their first defeat in six league games.
Former England manager Allardyce was able to celebrate after a pulsating Black Country derby at Molineux. Allardyce had failed to win any of his first five matches since replacing the sacked Slaven Bilic. Matheus Pereira shot Albion ahead from the spot before goals from Fabio Silva and Willy Boly put Wolves in the driving seat at half-time.
Semi Ajayi equalised after the interval and Pereira’s second penalty sealed West Brom’s first win in eight league games. Albion remain second bottom of the table after their second league victory, but are just three points from safety. “I thought the way the lads carried out their tactics was excellent. It’s the best I have seen us in possession since I have been here,” Allardyce said. “The lads were excellent in the second half, their heads could have gone down with the results we have had recently but they came bouncing back.”
Wolves are winless in six league games and have not beaten the Baggies in 10 years. It was the first time these two local rivals had met since 2012 when West Brom won 5-1 at Molineux and this was an equally memorable success for the visitors.
Wolves fell behind in the eighth minute with a self-inflicted wound. Boly caught Callum Robinson with a rash challenge and, after a VAR review confirmed the foul was just inside the area, Pereira stepped up to convert the penalty.
Silva’s leveller came in the 38th minute when Albion failed to clear a Romain Saiss cross and Boly’s deft backheel found the teenage forward, who slotted home from close-range. Sloppy defending was Albion’s downfall again as Wolves went in front five minutes later.
Joao Moutinho’s corner wasn’t cleared by Jake Livermore and Boly slammed his shot past Button from seven yards. Albion equalised in the 52nd minute when a long throw was flicked on by Kyle Bartley and Ajayi looped his header over Wolves keeper Rui Patricio into the far corner. A dramatic game took another turn when Conor Coady conceded a penalty with a trip on Robinson and Pereira stepped up to score from the spot again.
Brighton boosted their survival bid with a 1-0 win at Leeds. Neal Maupay netted after 17 minutes with a tap-in after Alexis Mac Allister and Leandro Trossard combined to open up the Leeds defence. Graham Potter’s side are five points clear of the relegation zone after ending a nine-match winless run in the league.
West Ham are up to eighth after beating fourth bottom Burnley 1-0 at the London Stadium. The decisive moment came in the ninth minute when Michail Antonio grabbed his first league goal since October from Pablo Fornals’ cross.
Premier League results
Fulham 0 Chelsea 1 (Mount 78); Leeds 0 Brighton 1 (Maupay 17); West Ham 1 (Antonio 9) Burnley 0; Wolves 2 (Silva 38, Boly 43) West Brom 3 (Pereira 8-pen, 56-pen, Ajayi 52)
Playing today: Sheffield United v Tottenham (1400 GMT), Liverpool v Manchester United (1630), Manchester City v Crystal Palace (1915)
Playing tomorrow: Arsenal v Newcastle (2000)
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