There were contrasting fortunes for two big Premier League teams on Saturday as Chelsea returned to winning ways on the heels of the exit of their erstwhile manager, Jose Mourinho, while Norwich on their part piled more pressure on Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal with a shock win at Old Trafford.
Indeed, there was an improved display from Chelsea players which in a way could give credence to the damning allegation made by Mourinho that his playing staff conspired against him.
Unlike earlier outings, Chelsea were dominant against Sunderlands Saturday from the blast of the whistle and they were two goals up inside 13 minutes.
Branislav Ivanovic netted the opener for the Blues before Pedro doubled the lead five minutes later. A second-half penalty from Oscar put Chelsea in the driver’s seat and literally sealed a vital three points for the struggling champions.
Though Fabio Borini pulled one back for Sunderland, it was inconsequential as the Black Cats remain rooted in the relegation zone.
At the Old Trafford, Norwich striker Cameron Jerome opened the scoring in the 37th minute before the bad situation turned worse for United when the Canaries doubled their advantage on 53 minutes through Alexander Tettey.
Though Anthony Martial grabbed a goal back for Manchester United in the 65th minute, the Red Devils failed to muster the needed comeback thus allowing Norwich have their first win at Old Trafford since 1989.
In other games, surprise table-toppers Leicester consolidated on their position with a 3-2 away win over Everton, Crystal Palace also snatched an away win; beating Stoke City 2-1 at the Britannia stadium.
England – Premier League December 19
Chelsea 3 – 1 Sunderland
Everton 2 – 3 Leicester City
Manchester United 1 – 2 Norwich City
Southampton 0 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City 1 – 2 Crystal Palace