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02 October 2023

City slip lets Chelsea go seven points clear

By Agencies

Manchester City's 1-1 draw at home to Hull City allowed Chelsea to establish a seven-point lead in the Premier League by winning 2-1 at Aston Villa on Saturday.

City had kept Chelsea within their sights by holding Jose Mourinho's side to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last weekend, but after slipping up against Hull, the champions' grip on the title is weakening.

James Milner earned City a share of the points with an injury-time free-kick after David Meyler had put Hull ahead in the first half, but they have now won only once in six league games.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini fielded Edin Dzeko up front alongside Sergio Aguero, but it was Hull, who began the game in the bottom three, who showed the greater enterprise.

Ahmed Elmohamady hit the crossbar with a header from a Robbie Brady cross before Meyler broke the deadlock in the 35th minute, sweeping home after Gaston Ramirez's low shot hit the right-hand post.

After Aguero had hit the bar in the second half, Milner bent in a 25-yard free-kick in the 92nd minute, but Hull held out to condemn City to a fifth game without a win in all competitions.

Chelsea took full advantage as Mourinho claimed his first victory at Villa Park at the sixth attempt.

Eden Hazard broke the deadlock in the eighth minute, finishing from Willian's incisive pass after Oscar had found space on the right.

The unmarked Jores Okore headed in a 48th-minute equaliser -- ending an 11-hour goal drought for Villa - but Branislav Ivanovic restored Chelsea's lead with a powerful left-foot shot in the 66th minute.

Earlier, local favourite Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur leapfrogged Champions League qualification rivals Arsenal by coming from behind to win a pulsating north London derby 2-1.

Spurs briefly crept into the top four, but they slipped to fifth after Southampton claimed a last-gasp 1-0 win at second-bottom Queens Park Rangers, who are without a manager after Harry Redknapp's resignation.

Senegalese forward Sadio Mane struck in the 93rd minute to take Ronald Koeman's side above Manchester United and into third place, ahead of United's trip to West Ham United on Sunday.

Bottom club Leicester City remain three points adrift of safety after losing 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace, who prevailed via a 55th-minute Joe Ledley header.

Meanwhile, Swansea City rescued a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland after Jermain Defoe's first-half opener was cancelled out by a 66th-minute header from Ki Sung-yueng.

English Premier League results on Saturday:

Aston Villa 1 (Okore 48) Chelsea 2 (Hazard 8, Ivanovic 66)
Leicester 0 Crystal Palace 1 (Ledley 55)
Manchester City 1 (Milner 90) Hull 1 (Meyler 35)
QPR 0 Southampton 1 (Mane 90)
Swansea 1 (Ki 66) Sunderland 1 (Defoe 42)
Tottenham 2 (Kane 56, 86) Arsenal 1 (Ozil 11)

Playing Sunday

Burnley v West Brom (1200 GMT), Newcastle v Stoke (1405 GMT), West Ham v Manchester United (1615 GMT)