Higuain, Hazard too much for Huddersfield (video)

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  • Higuain scores his 1st two Chelsea goals
  • Hazard also scores twice
  • Luiz adds deflected marker

Whatever Maurizio Sarri said after Chelsea’s beatdown by Bournemouth, it was the tonic.

Gonzalo Higuain and Eden Hazard both bagged braces as Chelsea hammered Huddersfield Town 5-0 on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea is likely to stay the weekend in fourth with 50 points (unless Arsenal beats Man City by five or more goals on Sunday).

Huddersfield Town is 12 points off safety.

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Both teams tempted the goal early, with Ross Barkley just missing his target with a spinning effort and Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy snapping a shot wide himself.

Higuain put Chelsea ahead from a terrific pass from N'Golo Kante, and the finish was very much as advertised, with touch and power to the short side of Jonas Lossl.

Hazard then took advantage of a chance from the spot produced by a tripping Cesar Azpilicueta and his mark Elias Kachunga. He finished it, then was upset not to win another chance himself in stoppage time.

Town was very unfortunate in the 55th minute, when Andreas Christensen stepped on Kachunga in the box but was not whistled for a penalty.

Hazard turned his mark inside out in the 64th minute, but no one was at the back post for his dangerous cross through the six.

So he did it himself; Hazard ran onto an incisive Barkley pass and broke Lossl’s ankles before slotting inside the near post.

Kante then set up Higuain again, a deflected strike which looked pretty after zipping into the upper 90.

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Chelsea advance to League Cup final past Tottenham on penalty kicks

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Maurizio Sarri‘s team had the perfect response at home after a rough defeat last weekend to Arsenal.

Chelsea overcame Tottenham, 4-2 on penalty kicks in the League Cup semifinal after the tie was locked at 2-2 on aggregate after 180 minutes of action. Eric Dier skied one penalty, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga saved one from Spurs winger Lucas Moura, and David Luiz put the finishing touches to send Chelsea to the League Cup final on February 24 at Wembley Stadium in London. Awaiting Chelsea in the final is Manchester City, who recorded an impressive 10-0 aggregate victory over Burton Albion in the other semifinal.

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Chelsea got off to a quick start on home ground and took the game to Mauricio Pochettino‘s banged up Spurs. In the 27th minute, off a corner kick, Chelsea finally struck gold. A corner kick from Eden Hazard was cleared to the top of the box, where N'Golo Kante rifled a shot home that went through three (3!) pairs of legs before slipping past Paulo Gazzaniga and in for a goal.

Hazard followed that up with a side-footed finish of his own, giving Chelsea the 2-1 lead on aggregate just 40 minutes into the game.

But in the second half, Fernando Llorente connected with a flying header into the box to tie the score on aggregate. Chelsea came close on a few more occasions in the second half, but the score was deadlocked at two each.

The defeat is insult to go with the injury, as two players limped off injured during the match, Ben Davies and Moussa Sissoko, leaving Tottenham with even fewer players available for the next stage of the season. Mauricio Pochettino’s silver lining, if there is any, is now he can focus on the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League, but he’ll rue losing another chance to get an elusive piece of silverware.

Kante pulls Chelsea closer to 2nd

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  • Blues move five clear of fifth place Arsenal
  • Kante scores third of season
  • Palace fails to get shot on target

N'Golo Kante‘s second half goal gave Chelsea some Top Four insurance with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday at Selhurst Park.

The win pulls Chelsea two points back of second place Spurs and five points ahead of Arsenal.

Palace remains 15th with 19 points, one ahead of Newcastle and five clear of 18th place Fulham.

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After a sleepy first half highlighted by Willian seeing a free kick tip over the bar, Chelsea needed little more than five second-half minutes to make it 1-0.

David Luiz spied Kante’s run and chipped a past over the Palace team. Kante chested it down and used his chasing mark to cut a shot across his body, off Wayne Hennessey and into the goal.

Connor Wickham used a rare appearance to nearly draw Palace level, winning an impressive physical battle and chesting a ball into shooting range but getting his angle screwed up in a poke over the goal.

Chelsea outshot Palace 12-3, and held the Eagles without a shot on target.

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PST writers’ Premier League Best XI of the year 2018

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The calendar is turning to 2019, so who have been the best players in the Premier League since New Year’s Day?

[ MORE: Liverpool rips Arsenal | Spurs shocked ]

We asked our staff to search their hearts and search their minds a la Bryan Adams to find their PL Best XI from the second half of the 2017-18 season and the top half of 2018-19.

Here are the results.


Joe Prince-Wright (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld, Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson

Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Christian Eriksen

Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling

David Silva (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Nick Mendola (3-4-3)

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Defenders: Virgil van Dijk, Aymeric Laporte, Marcos Alonso

Midfielders: Fernandinho, N'Golo Kante, David Silva, Christian Eriksen

Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

N’Golo Kante (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Kyle Bonn (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: Ederson

Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson

Midfielders: Fernandinho, Eden Hazard, Raheem Sterling

Forwards: Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah

Kyle Walker, John Stones, and Raheem Sterling(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Dan Karell (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Virgil Van Dijk, Toby Alderweireld, Ben Chilwell

Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, David Silva

Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang  (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Chelsea ends Man City’s unbeaten season

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  • Man City sinks second
  • Chelsea moves third
  • City’s first PL loss in 22 games

Manchester City’s unbeaten Premier League season and 21-match unbeaten league run is over following a 2-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

N'Golo Kante and David Luiz scored goals to move Chelsea third on the table with 34 points.

Liverpool is the new Premier League leader, a point clear of City.

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Man City again rested Sergio Aguero, and his absence along with the lack of Kevin De Bruyne playmaking was evident in the proceedings.

It was Man City counter attacking for a ninth minute opportunity that Raheem Sterling hit to Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizbalaga.

Leroy Sane was particularly dangerous for City, darting in and out of traffic to create chance and force blocks from the Chelsea back line.

But Sane couldn’t keep track of Kante for Chelsea’s opener, with the French midfielder outracing Man City’s German youngster to an Eden Hazard cutback pass in the 45th minute.

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Willian drew a free kick a few yards outside the arc when Fernandinho chopped him down in the 48th minute. Ederson flew left to palm away Willian’s effort on goal.

Willian had another chance, cued up by Kante in the 52nd minute, but Ederson stooped to collect the shot.

Arrizabalaga made a flying stop on a Kyle Walker effort in the 57th as City searched for an equalizer.

But it was Chelsea who’d next score, Luiz out-leaping Fernandinho in the 78th minute.