Southampton shocked Chelsea with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day as two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way in the Premier League.
Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.
Yet the story of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard’s men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.
Spurs are back to within three points of their London rivals and the top four after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a feat repeated in the south of the capital later in the day as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.
Watford’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.
Absolute BEDLAM! pic.twitter.com/NtMNesAk4l
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) December 26, 2019
No sign of home comforts for Lampard
Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.
Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour.
Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time and Chelsea got what they deserved after bearing no more than a passing resemblance to the side that outplayed Tottenham at the weekend.
Spurs were facing a further setback when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross’ free-kick but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.
19y 173d – Aged 19 years and 173 days, Michael Obafemi is the youngest player to score a Premier League goal away at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea since James Vaughan for Everton in May 2007 (18y 303d). Silenced. #CHESOU pic.twitter.com/VDURXua67o
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2019
Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta
Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.
Djibril Sidibe’s searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.
Burnley are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club’s long-standing defensive problems,
Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 26, 2019
Ayew sends Eagles soaring
Ahead of Manchester United’s later kick-off at home to Newcastle United, Palace moved up to eighth despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.
Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.
West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.
Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish’s pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.
Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.
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