Premier League roundup: Chelsea top; Saints, Manchester United, Burnley win (video)

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Tight games were the order of the day in the Premier League across Saturday’s six games.

[RELATED: Watch full match replays]

Chelsea fought back to beat Liverpool, Southampton won again, Burnley bagged a first victory of the season, while West Ham were held by Aston Villa. Manchester United secured a narrow win over Crystal Palace.

In case you missed any of the action, here’s a brief recap, some reaction, videos and analysis from Saturday. No, no… save your thanks. It’s our pleasure to deliver this package.

[VIDEO: PL highlights | standings | stats]

Burnley 1-0 Hull CityRECAP

They’ve done it! Fair play to the Clarets, who won their first PL game of the season at the 11th attempt. At a noisy Turf Moor the home side took the lead through Ashley Barnes and they fully deserved all three points against the Tigers. Sean Dyche will be a happy man, while Steve Bruce will be worried by his teams sudden lack of goals.

Liverpool 1-2 ChelseaRECAP

The Blues fell behind early to Emre Can’s deflected effort from outside the box, but Jose Mourinho’s men roared back and equalized soon after through Gary Cahill’s close range effort which took the goal-decision system (GDS) to determine it was in. In the second half Chelsea surged forward and Diego Costa scored the game-winner in the 67th minute. A well-deserved victory, as Liverpool’s woe continues. Chelsea the runaway leaders in the PL and they’re unbeaten in 11. Imperious.

Manchester United 1-0 Crystal Palace – RECAP

United completed dominated Palace but Juan Mata’s second half strike was the only goal of the game. The Spanish international jumped off the bench to net the game-winner, as Louis van Gaal’s side are in sixth with 16 points from 11 games. Palace are dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Queens Park Rangers 2-2 Manchester CityRECAP

QPR took a shock lead at Loftus Road as Charlie Austin drilled home to put the R’s 1-0 up. City looked rattled early on but that man Sergio Aguero equalized in the first half but to QPR’s credit they battled hard and went ahead on a Martin Demichelis own goal (from an Austin cross). Aguero netted his 12th of the season to seize a point for the third-place Citizens, now four back of Southampton and eight back of Chelsea.

Southampton 2-0 Leicester CityRECAP

The Saints are absolutely flying. Ronald Koeman’s men recorded a fourth-straight defeat at home to the Foxes, their 11th win in their  last 12 in all competitions, as Shane Long played the hero. The Republic of Ireland international jumped off the bench to score twice in the final 15 minutes against a stubborn Leicester outfit. Saints are second after their best-ever start to a top-flight campaign. They are on 25 points, four behind Chelsea, while Leicester have now lost five of their last six and are in the bottom three.

West Ham United 0-0 Aston Villa – RECAP

The Hammers were denied a last-gasp win as USMNT ‘keeper Brad Guzan made a stunning save from Andy Carroll in stoppage time. Villa hung on despite heavy pressure from the Hammers who will be frustrated with a second-straight draw. It’s not all doom and gloom though, Sam Allardyce’s side are fourth. As for Villa, they’re pleased to stop the rot as they ended a run of six-straight defeats.

Watch Live: Leicester City v. Man City

Leicester City v. Man City stream link
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Manchester City can put Leicester City deep in its rearview mirror when the two sides meet at the King Power Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Leicester opens the day four points back of the second-place visitors. The Foxes also saw Chelsea move four points back with a win over Spurs.

[ STREAM: Leicester City v. Man City ]

Aymeric Laporte again pairs with Fernandinho in Man City’s back line, keeping John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi on the bench.

Harvey Barnes and Ayoze Perez start on the bench for Brendan Rodgers‘ Foxes.

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Leicester City

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VIDEO: Messi scores first half hat trick for Barcelona

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Lionel Messi scored a first half hat trick for Barcelona against Eibar on Saturday.

Messi, 33, is warming up quite well for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg as he tore Eibar’s defense to shreds to put them 3-0 up at the break.

In a week where Messi and Barcelona have been in the news amid an emergency signing of Martin Braithwaite, a social media spying scandal and plenty of criticism of sporting director Eric Abidal, the Argentine ace got back to doing what he does best.

Barcelona sat in second place in the La Liga table heading into this weekend, one point behind Real Madrid.

Giroud vows “start of a good run” for Chelsea ahead of UCL

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OIivier Giroud knows he’s given Frank Lampard food for thought as Chelsea improved its top four stock with a 2-1 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Giroud scored the first goal in making just his third Premier League start and eighth league appearance under Lampard, and now has two goals in 375 minutes this season. The other came against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The Frenchman now has 79 Premier League goals, and the ex-Arsenal man will be doubly thrilled to that four of them have now come against Spurs.

“I was lucky the ball came back after hitting the post and I tried to finish,” Giroud said, via the BBC. “It was a good feeling for me, a good moment and I’m so happy for the team to win today. It’s been three months I didn’t start, it’s been a special day for me and all of us.”

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts ]

Giroud said that this was bigger for Chelsea than it was for him, though.

“It was a very important game for us today. I want to talk about the team spirit. We’ve shown great character today. We knew it was maybe a kind of turning point. We lost a bit of confidence. It was nice to bounce back and get this win, a hard win against a rival, so I feel relieved today.

“Tottenham is obviously a rival for the Champions League race, so we are pleased to put them four points behind us. This is the start of a good run, I hope, now we need to focus on the Champions League. This game would be nice for the confidence and for the changing room.”

Chelsea meets Bayern Munich on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge before a trip to Bournemouth on Feb. 29. The breathing room on fifth place is welcome.

Jose Mourinho defends players “trying to do miracles,” explains Dele move

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Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho says he can have no complaints with his shorthanded men following a 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho pointed to the absence of strikers Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane as well as a Champions League match in midweek.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

“Look at Chelsea they played a World Cup-winning striker up front, England’s second striker on the bench, and Belgium’s second striker in the stands,” he said, via Football.London. “We had no strikers on the pitch, no strikers on the bench and two in the hospital.”

Chelsea were the much better side on the day, with Olivier Giroud making a statement to Frank Lampard about his ability as a center forward.

And Mourinho felt sufficiently shorthanded on the day, especially given the exhausting 1-0 loss to RB Leipzig at midweek.

“Lucas, Lo Celso, Bergwijn,” he said. “These boys that are playing every minute and trying to do miracles in positions that are not their positions. I cannot complain.”

Mourinho also defended keeping Dele Alli on the bench for the first time in his tenure as Spurs boss.

“We had strange game plans but we needed to have them. Like Lamela who played well, people think I’m stupid that I don’t play him, but he’s constantly communicating with me in the warm-up, can I play or not. He was telling me his feelings.”

Spurs will finish the weekend four points back of the top four and as many as two back of fifth. They have eight days until another big match, March 1 versus Wolves.