Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea: Costa seals comeback win for leaders

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LIVERPOOL — Premier League leaders Chelsea fell behind early on to Liverpool but surged  back to secure an impressive 2-1 win at Anfield on Saturday.

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Liverpool took the lead less than 10 minutes in as Emre Can’s deflected effort found the back of the net. However Chelsea stayed calm and equalized in the first half through Gary Cahill, as his effort was adjudged to have crossed the line by the goal-decision system.

After the break Chelsea dominated the play and took the lead with just over 20 minutes left as Diego Costa bagged the game-winner after good work from Cesar Azpilicueta.

With their victory Chelsea remain top of the PL, unbeaten and on 29 points. Liverpool are on 14 points, as they are now five games without a win in all competitions.

[VIDEO: Premier League highlights]

The home side started brightly and inside the first minute Can broke up the play in midfield and drove forward before hitting a deflected effort which looped just wide.

In the ninth minute Can’s next deflected effort flew in as the German international moved into acres of space and his powerful drive deflected off Gary Cahill and in. Anfield erupted as Liverpool took a deserved 1-0 lead early on.

Chelsea were level after 14 minutes as Cesc Fabregas’s corner was headed towards goal by John Terry and despite Simon Mignolet making a great save, Cahill bundled home the rebound as the goal-decision system was used by referee Anthony Taylor. 1-1.

[RELATED: Latest Premier League standings]

Can gave Liverpool an early lead but they collapsed.

The Blues got plenty of confidence from that equalizer as Eden Hazard surged forward from the right but dragged his effort just wide. Midway through the half Liverpool almost went back ahead as Coutinho raced clear from inside his own half and forced Courtois into a smart stop down low which Branislav Ivanovic hacked clear. Before half time Liverpool were slack in possession on several occasions and Chelsea failed to make them pay as Hazard was twice played in at the back post but saw efforts blocked by Glen Johnson on both occasions, as the score was level at the break.

After the break Chelsea looked the more dangerous team as Hazard clipped a ball in to Costa which the Spanish international acrobatically volleyed over the bar. In the 52nd minute there was a rare break forward for Liverpool as Sterling cut inside but his shot was well-saved by Courtois.

Apart from that Chelsea bossed possession as the game threatened to boil over after several rash challenges. In the 67th minute the Blues went ahead as Azpilicueta surged down the left, withsome debate over whether or not he kept the ball in play, skipped passed Coutinho and his cross was tipped away by Mignolet but the ball deflected off Moreno and straight to Costa who drilled home his 10th PL goal of the season.

Rodgers was lambasted by large sections of the home crowd for taking off Can and Coutinho for the final 20 minutes. Late on the Liverpool pushed for an equalizer but Chelsea’s players chucked themselves in front of everything — including Cahill with what looked like a handball in the box — as Mourinho’s men extended their lead at the top.


Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Lovren Skrtel, Moreno; Gerrard, Can (Allen, 70′), Henderson; Sterling, Coutinho (Borini, 70′), Balotelli (Lambert, 79′)

Goal: Can (9′)

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Ramires (Willian, 54′), Oscar, Hazard (Filipe Luis, 90′); Diego Costa (Drogba, 89′)

Goals: Cahill, (14′), Costa (67′)

Nigel Pearson appointed new Watford manager

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Nigel Pearson has been appointed new manager of Watford and been handed a very straightforward — but tall — task for the remainder of the season: avoid relegation from the Premier League.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

Pearson takes over from Quique Sanchez Flores — who only took over from Javi Gracia in September — who left his post at Vicarage Road with the Hornets sitting 20th out of 20 teams in the PL table, already seven points adrift from safety. Pearson’s contract runs through the end of the season.

The 56-year-old Pearson, who last managed in the PL with Leicester City in 2015, was most recently in charge of Belgian side OH Leuven before he was fired in February.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Pearson won’t take charge of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold). Interim manager Hayden Mullins will see out the week’s preparations and manage the team before handing the reins to Pearson on Sunday.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

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Matchweek 16 is here in the Premier League as things are heating up very nicely ahead of the festive season.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

While you can download the NBC Sports Predictor app (below) and play the Premier League Pick ‘Em game yourself to predict the scores and win the prizes.


With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.


Tottenham 3-0 Burnley – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM] 

West Ham 3-1 Arsenal – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM


Newcastle 1-1 Southampton – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]

Man City 2-2 Man United – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) – [STREAM]

Watford 1-2 Crystal Palace – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM


Everton 2-1 Chelsea – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Aston Villa 2-2 Leicester City – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Brighton 2-1 Wolves – (Sunday 11:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Norwich 2-0 Sheffield United – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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Matchweek 16 of the Premier League season is here, as the busy festive season has well and truly arrived.

Get in there.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

The full TV schedule for the games this weekend are below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today, Sky Sports News, NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” for all the goals as they go in around the grounds. Goal Rush is available via NBC and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days.


7:30 a.m. ET: Everton v. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Bournemouth v. Liverpool – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Tottenham v. Burnley – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Watford v. Crystal Palace – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
12:30 p.m. ET: Man City v. Man United – NBC [STREAM]

9 a.m. ET: Aston Villa v. Leicester City – NBCSN [STREAM]
9 a.m. ET: Newcastle United v. Southampton  – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
11:30 a.m. ET: Brighton v. Wolves – NBCSN [STREAM]
9 a.m. ET: Norwich City v. Sheffield United – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

3 p.m. ET: West Ham v. Arsenal – NBCSN [STREAM]

The 2 Robbies podcast: Analyzing chaos at Everton, Arsenal

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In the latest The 2 Robbies podcast, Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle discuss Everton’s decision to sack Marco Silva after their 5-2 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby (0:50), Arsenal’s shocking defeat at home to Brighton (14:00) and Tottenham’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United in the Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford thanks to a brace from Marcus Rashford (22:25).

Plus, thoughts on Gabriel Jesus‘ long-term role at Manchester City (29:00), Jamie Vardy and Leicester City can’t stop winning (35:10), back to winning ways for Chelsea (39:00) and the Underappreciated Performances of the week (43:40).

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]