London - Glenn Murray's 82nd-minute
goal for Bournemouth condemned Chelsea to their worst defeat of a wretched
season on Saturday, while Riyad Mahrez's hat-trick fired Leicester City top of
the Premier League.
A run of three games without
defeat in all competitions had suggested an upturn in Chelsea's fortunes, only
for Eddie Howe's promoted Bournemouth to condemn the champions to their eighth
defeat of the campaign.
Murray was the match-winner
at Stamford Bridge, scoring 99 seconds after coming on to leave Chelsea just
three points above the relegation zone and turn the spotlight firmly back onto
their manager Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho had again elected to
leave Diego Costa on the bench, only to turn to the Spain striker at half-time
as the home side looked for a breakthrough.
But it was Murray who settled
the game, nodding in from close range after fit-again Chelsea goalkeeper
Thibaut Courtois had come for a corner and missed.
It was Chelsea's fourth home
defeat of a dismal campaign, while Bournemouth were left to celebrate a famous
result that lifted them out of the bottom three.
Mahrez scored three times as
Leicester won 3-0 at Swansea City to recapture the summit from Manchester City,
who crashed to a 2-0 defeat at Stoke City.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy
was bidding to equal Jimmy Dunne's 83-year-old English top-flight record by
scoring for the 12th game running, but it was Mahrez who stole the show.
The Algerian winger took his
tally for the campaign to 10 goals, putting him joint-second behind 14-goal
Vardy in the scoring charts and lifting Claudio Ranieri's men two points clear
at the top of the standings.
"Everyone talks about
Vardy scoring, but now Mahrez has done so," said Ranieri.
"It was so pleasing to
see that when Jamie had a chance to score, he passed to Mahrez so he could have
Arsenal are now Leicester's
nearest rivals after a 3-1 home win over Sunderland, but Manchester United fell
off the pace following a goalless draw with West Ham United.
Manchester City were well
beaten at a windswept Britannia Stadium, where Stoke prevailed courtesy of a
pair of early goals that were each created by Xherdan Shaqiri and finished by
Manuel Pellegrini's side were
left in third place, three points behind Leicester, while Mark Hughes's Stoke
moved up to 10th.
"We are playing in other
competitions with the same 13 or 14 players," said Pellegrini, whose side
have won only once in four league outings.
"Maybe it's the reason
why we didn't play with the energy that we need to win."
Arsenal also exploited City's
misstep at Stoke by beating Sunderland, which took Arsene Wenger's team up to
Missing Alexis Sanchez and
Santi Cazorla through injury, Arsenal took a 33rd-minute lead when Mesut Ozil's
12th assist of the season allowed Joel Campbell to slot the home side in front.
Olivier Giroud's own goal
from Yann M'Vila's free-kick saw Sunderland level, but the Frenchman atoned in
the 63rd minute by heading in a cross from Aaron Ramsey, who also found the net
in stoppage time.
United were unable to follow
Leicester and Arsenal's lead as their goal-scoring problems resurfaced in a 0-0
draw at home to West Ham that left them level on points with City in fourth
Shorn of the injured Wayne
Rooney, it was a frustrating outcome for Louis van Gaal's side, who face
Wolfsburg in Germany on Tuesday needing to win to be certain of progressing in
the Champions League.
But it could have been even
worse, with Winston Reid hitting the post with a header for West Ham and Mauro
Zarate shooting wastefully wide from Andy Carroll's lay-off early in the second
"We have to finish
better than we did today," Van Gaal told MUTV.
"You must score out of
the kind of chances we created. You need to score, otherwise you cannot win,
and it is very frustrating, also for the players because they want to
Fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur
also failed to make ground on the teams above them, drawing 1-1 at West
Bromwich Albion after James McClean cancelled out Dele Alli's volleyed
15th-minute opener for Spurs.
Bottom club Aston Villa
earned a 1-1 draw at Southampton, while Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo struck as
Watford beat Norwich City 2-0.