EPL PIX: Chelsea punish Burnley; Zaha inspires Palace

Images from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday

Havertz double as Chelsea punish wasteful Burnley

Kai Havertz scored twice as Chelsea picked up a third straight Premier League win with a 4-0 victory at struggling Burnley on Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel’s side struck three times in an eight-minute spell at the start of the second half as Burnley, who had wasted a series of chances in the first half, fell apart.

Reece James, starting his first game since December, opened the scoring two minutes after the interval, drilling a shot into the far, bottom corner after turning Dwight McNeil inside out.

Havertz then pulled away from his marker Connor Roberts to head home a nicely floated cross from Christian Pulisic to make it 2-0 for the visitors.

The German then had another simple finish, converting a James cross from close range, and Pulisic had the easiest of tasks scoring after Burnley defender James Tarkowski diverted a Saul Niguez cross into his path.

Chelsea are third on 53 points, 13 points behind leaders Manchester City while Burnley stay in 18th place on 21 points.

Coutinho stars as Villa thrash Southampton

Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho scored one and made another to help Aston Villa thrash Southampton 4-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Villa were far superior to Saints in the first half, and could have scored more than two in the opening period, but a fine early finish from Ollie Watkins and a slick team goal just before the break put the hosts in command nonetheless.

There was no letting up after halftime as Coutinho, who delightfully set up Douglas Luiz for Villa’s second, then got in on the act, showing quick feet before finding the net to put the game to bed seven minutes into the second half.

Danny Ings’ side-footed finish two minutes later put the result beyond all doubt, with Villa able to take their foot off the gas for the remainder of the match.

A second successive victory moves Villa up to 11th in the standings, two points behind Southampton in ninth after Ralph Hasenhuettl’s side suffered their first defeat in eight in all competitions.

Newcastle survive late Brighton onslaught to claim crucial win

Newcastle United withstood waves of attacks in an anxious second half to beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday to claim three precious points.

Newcastle took an early lead with a move started and finished by Ryan Fraser. The winger initiated a counter-attack by releasing Jacob Murphy, whose effort came off the post and Fraser was on hand to fire the ball into the bottom corner.

Brighton had barely taken a breath when Fraser created another chance two minutes later from a free kick, delivering a cross into the box for Fabian Schar to rise above the defence and direct his header past keeper Robert Sanchez.

Newcastle threatened on the counter and Brighton also had chances in the first half. But it was the visitors who drew first blood after the restart when an unmarked Lewis Dunk beat goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in the air to head home from a corner kick.

The goal picked Brighton up and their pressure in the second half was relentless as Newcastle clung on to their slender lead.

But Eddie Howe’s men stuck it out to claim victory and move seven points clear of the relegation zone. They now sit five points and one place behind Brighton who are 13th in the table.

Toney hat-trick seals vital Brentford win at Norwich

Brentford dealt a hammer blow to Norwich City’s hopes of escaping relegation from the Premier League as Ivan Toney scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Toney put the visitors ahead from close range before halftime from Christian Eriksen’s corner and then converted two second-half penalties as Brentford emerged from a slump in form.

Norwich had a goal by Milot Rashica ruled out for offside and Teemu Pukki did score a consolation effort in stoppage time but it was too little, too late.

Brentford’s first league win in nine games eased their own relegation fears but Norwich’s outlook is bleak after a desperately disappointing result in a match they would have earmarked as an opportunity to boost their escape bid.

A fourth successive defeat left Dean Smith’s side bottom with 17 points from 27 games, five points from the safety zone.

Brentford, who had lost seven of their last eight games to fall into the relegation mix, are in 15th place with 27 points, six points better off than third-from-bottom Burnley.

Zaha inspires Crystal Palace to victory at Wolves

Wilfried Zaha created the opener and then netted a penalty as Crystal Palace’s excellent first half display saw them claim a deserved 2-0 away victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday.

Zaha set up striker Jean-Philippe Mateta for the first goal on 19 minutes and then dispatched an excellent penalty to double the advantage as the visitors dominated the first half, before having to weather a rally from the home side after the break.

It is a third successive defeat for Wolves, who remain in eighth place on 40 points from 27 games but are seeing their chances of European football next season diminish by the week. Palace climb to 10th with 33 points from 28 matches.

Palace hit the front as Zaha broke free on the right, and his low cross from the byline was met at the near post by Mateta. The striker’s initial effort was blocked, but he reacted quickest to the loose ball to score.

Max Kilman’s blatant foul on Jeffrey Schlupp then handed the visitors a penalty, and Zaha made no mistake from the spot.

Wolves, who next host Watford on Thursday, improved in the second period but could not find a way back into the game. Palace don’t play again until they host Manchester City on March 14.

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