“Can’t wait till Aaron Ramsey is back playing again! We need him fit again.”
Chelsea lead the Premier League by four points after a 3-1 win at Fulham. André Schürrle scored a fantastic hat-trick for The Blues. Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0 as Luis Suárez, Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard scored a goal each.
Jonathan Walters scored the only goal as Arsenal suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Stoke City. The postponement of the Manchester derby saw United have a rest.
Manchester City defeated Sunderland 3-1 in the League Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
Fulham 1 Chelsea 3 – 3pm KO, Saturday
In the West London derby, Shahid Khan’s Fulham hosted Chelsea at Craven Cottage.
A second half hat-trick by André Schürrle eased the Chelsea nerves after being held 0-0 at half time. Boss José Mourinho confessed to giving his team the silent treatment during the break.
Mourinho’s strategy seemed to have worked as Chelsea came out a rejuvenated side and stamped their authority on the game.
The contest was virtually over when Schürrle completed his hat-trick in the 68th minute. Johnny Heitinga’s consolation in the 74th minute spoiled Petr ?ech’s clean sheet on the day.
Chelsea now hold a four point lead over Liverpool in the Premier League table. Manchester City are seven points behind Chelsea, but have two games in hand.
Fulham boss Felix Magath said: “Chelsea were too good for us. They played very well, wanted to win and were the better team.”
A delighted Chelsea fan on Facebook also noted: “Eden Hazard was the first player to complete 100 dribbles in the Premier League this season.”
Stoke City 1 Arsenal 0 – 3pm KO, Saturday
This is usually the kind of fixture where champions in waiting usually need to grind out a positive result, but Arsenal fell short on this occasion.
Jonathan Walters penalty fourteen minutes from time gave Stoke City three points against Arsenal in what was an all too familiar bruising encounter.
The visitors always knew what kind of afternoon they were in for at The Britannia Stadium, but still could not muster enough to grab a point at least.
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud appeared to be singled out for some rough treatment, but credit to him for carrying on like a true professional.
Arsenal gave away a penalty when defender Laurent Koscielny handled in the area. Despite missing four of his six previous penalties, Walters stepped up to the mark and crucially converted.
There was no coming back from that for the visitors, as Stoke recorded yet another win versus the Gunners. Arsenal have now lost seven of their last eight games at The Britannia Stadium.
Stoke claimed yet another top scalp after beating Manchester United and Chelsea earlier in the season.
A frustrated Arsenal fan from India tweeted: “Can’t wait till Aaron Ramsey is back playing again! We need him fit again.”
Southampton 0 Liverpool 3 – 5.30pm KO, Saturday
With Arsenal losing earlier in the day, Liverpool took the opportunity to move ahead of their title rivals.
After a six game drought, Luis Suárez celebrated his 100th Premier League appearance with a clinical goal in the 16th minute. The Saints came close to an equaliser as Adam Lallana’s shot struck the post.
With a 1-0 lead at the break, Liverpool had pretty much control of the match. The home side did try hard in the second half, but could not find the net. An inspired substitution by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers saw Raheem Sterling enter the arena and immediately double Liverpool’s lead.
An injury time foul on Luis Suárez in the penalty area saw captain Steven Gerrard slot home to seal an emphatic win for the visitors.
At the end of the match, Gerrard said: “As captain, it’s my job to help keep the team calm, but we’ve certainly got a chance of competing for the title. You’ve got to believe and have confidence.”
Liverpool remain unbeaten in 2014, with seven wins in nine games.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Cardiff City 0 – 4.30pm KO, Sunday
Tottenham Hotspur kept in touch with the top four in the league, still aiming to clinch a Champions League spot with an assured home win against Cardiff City.
Although starting well enough to frustrate the home side, Cardiff City saw themselves go one down from a neat counter attack by Spurs. A 28th minute effort by Spaniard Roberto Soldado was enough to wrap up a much needed win.
Bluebirds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær needs to turn things around quickly as Cardiff City lie in a precariously dangerous position at the bottom of the table.
Spurs interim manager, Tim Sherwood admitted his side “won ugly.” If that’s what it takes to get into Europe, then other teams may need to take note.
Elsewhere, Everton’s home win over West Ham kept them in the hunt for a place in Europe, as Romelu Lukaku found the net once again. Newcastle Untied thumped Hull City 4-1 away from home. Aston Villa also registered a 4-1 win at home to Norwich City.