Chelsea cruise to five-goal win; Pool and United also record victories

Diego Costa took his top-flight tally for the season to 17 as Chelsea extended their Barclays Premier League lead to five points with a crushing 5-0 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

Chelsea cruise to five-goal win; Pool and United also record victories

Diego Costa took his top-flight tally for the season to 17 as Chelsea extended their Barclays Premier League lead to five points with a crushing 5-0 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

Costa and Oscar each helped themselves to a first-half brace as the home side made a shocking start to life without their £25m front man Wilfried Bony.

Jose Mourinho’s men seized control with just 50 seconds on the clock when Oscar robbed Gylfi Sigurdsson and fired home the opener from 25 yards.

Sigurdsson almost atoned for his error immediately when he struck the post from long-range, but that was to prove the home side’s only clear chance of the afternoon as Chelsea ran riot.

Costa made it 2-0 after 20 minutes and a desperate blunder by Federico Fernandez allowed the Spain international to fire home his second just after the half-hour.

Oscar made it four two minutes later in a half in which Willian also hit the woodwork twice – with substitute Andre Schurrle completing the scoring after the break as Chelsea eased to victory.

Louis van Gaal could count himself fortunate after watching Manchester United return to winning ways with a 2-0 win over luckless QPR at Loftus Road.

United had keeper David de Gea to thank for a pair of fine early saves to deny Charlie Austin, before Radamel Falcao was denied by a top-quality stop from Robert Green.

Marouane Fellaini made the breakthrough when he stroked home in the 58th minute before James Wilson completed victory with his first goal of the season in stoppage time.

Jermain Defoe’s return to his former club proved an unhappy one as Christian Eriksen’s late finish gave Tottenham a 2-1 win over Sunderland at White Hart Lane.

New signing Defoe was handed a start by boss Gus Poyet but it was the hosts who made the brightest start with Jan Vertonghen hitting a third-minute opener after a mistake by Santiago Vergini.

Sebastian Larsson equalised with a brilliant free-kick on the half-hour and Sunderland could have grabbed a late lead when Danny Graham scuffed a shot straight at Hugo Lloris.

But the Black Cats were made to pay three minutes from time when Eriksen netted from close range, and Vertonghen had a later effort denied for offside.

Goals from Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert helped Liverpool continue their recent improvement with a 2-0 win at beleaguered Aston Villa.

Borini opened the scoring with a 20th-minute volley and despite a second-half surge from Villa in which Christian Benteke and new boy Carles Gil came close, substitute Lambert wrapped up the points late on.

Dwight Gayle scored twice as Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace surged back from 2-0 down to beat Burnley 3-2 at a snowy Turf Moor.

Goals from Ben Mee and Danny Ings had got the Clarets off to a flying start in the first quarter-hour before Gayle’s 28th-minute effort gave the Eagles hope.

Jason Puncheon stroked home the equaliser three minutes into the second half then Gayle pounced three minutes from time with a superb left-foot finish to claim a valuable win.

A second half goal from Bojan gave Stoke a hard-fought 1-0 victory at bottom club Leicester.

The Potters had the better chances in a dour encounter with Marko Arnautovic firing into the side-netting before Bojan’s brilliant finish earned the win the visitors just about deserved.

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