The English Premier League returned on Sunday with a Chelsea victory as they defeated relegation-threatened Aston Villa 2-1 at the Villa Park.
Aston Villa opened the scoring in the 43rd minute after Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa parried a shot with Villa’s Kortney Hause reacting quickest to slam the ball into the net.
To unlock the defensive Villa side, Frank Lampard waited only 10 minutes after the restart to make a double switch – Barkley and Pulisic brought on for Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek.
Pulisic had an instant impact after Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross fell kindly for him and he volleyed home off the underside of the crossbar.
Just two minutes later, the West London side were ahead when Olivier Giroud, on the spin, fired in from near the penalty spot having been found by an Azpilicueta pass.
Chelsea held on for the win to secure their first league win away from home in 2020.
With 51 points, they’re now 3 points away from catching Leicester City in 3rd position and 5 points ahead of Manchester United as the race for the top four hots up.
In another premier league match on Sunday, the 236th Merseyside derby ended goalless at Goodison Park as Everton and Liverpool drew a blank.
Everton held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw, delaying the Reds’ Premier League title celebrations.
Jurgen Klopp’s side went into the game knowing a victory would allow them to secure their first league title in 30 years on Wednesday with a win at home to Crystal Palace.
But in a tight game at Goodison Park, it was Everton who came closest to taking the points.
With 10 minutes remaining, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s flick from a Gylfi Sigurdsson cross was parried by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and Tom Davies’ rebound hit the post.
Liverpool lacked their usual potency in attack with their best opening coming in the 35th minute when Roberto Firmino shot wide from a promising position. Mohamed Salah was left on the bench throughout the match.
At 83 points, Liverpool need five more points to be sure of their first title of the Premier League era, unless Manchester City lose at home to Burnley on Monday.