Premier League round-up: Costa fires Chelsea back to winning ways as Vardy equals scoring record

first_img1 Leicester striker Jamie Vardy celebrates his record-equalling Premier League goal Chelsea handed under-fire manager Jose Mourinho a lifeline as the Blues ended a run of three consecutive defeats by beating Norwich at Stamford Bridge, but the story of the day belonged to Leicester striker Jamie Vardy as he equalised a Premier League record.There were suggestions failure to beat the stubborn Canaries really would be the final straw for the Blues boss, but below-par striker Diego Costa returned to the scoresheet at the perfect time to seal a 1-0 victory.It seemed it would be another day of frustration for the struggling defending champions as Costa fired what seemed to be a simple sidefooted finish over the bar and then had an effort well saved by John Ruddy.A dominant Chelsea maintained pressure throughout with the likes of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Willian all lively, though the final ball often let them down with countless crosses either miss-hit or easily cleared.But their persistence paid off as Costa finally broke the deadlock on 64 minutes, beating Ruddy with a sweet curling finish into the bottom corner following a neat turn from Fabregas’ clever pass into the box.Late chances came and went, with Kurt Zouma rattling the crossbar with a backheel flick, but the one goal was all Chelsea needed to seal a much needed three points, as they rise above Norwich into 15th place.However, the headlines will rightly be dominated by England international Vardy who scored in his tenth consecutive league game – equalling Ruud van Nistelrooy’s long-standing record in the process – to guide Leicester to a 3-0 victory over Newcastle.There were doubts over the striker’s fitness after Vardy was forced to sit out of England’s double-header against Spain and France, but the 29-year-old showed no lack of sharpness as he put Leicester in front with a routine goal on the stoke of half-time, with second-half goals from Leonardo Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki sealing a comfortable win.Meanwhile, it was a miserable afternoon for Arsenal, whose late penalty miss proved costly as they suffered a shock defeat away to West Brom and also had two more names added to their already lengthy injury list.The game was barely ten minutes old when Francis Coquelin was replaced by Mikel Arteta after picking up an injury, though the away fans’ mood was soon lifted when Olivier Giroud nodded the Gunners in front after 28 minutes from Mesut Ozil’s free-kick.The lead meant Arsenal went top of the as-it-stands Premier League table, but it lasted only a matter of minutes as James Morrison lobbed Petr Cech with a miss-hit volley to level, and it got even worse for Arsene Wenger’s side when an Arteta own-goal handed the Baggies the lead.The Spaniard was later also forced off with injury, with Mathieu Flamini coming on in his place.It was all Arsenal in the second-half, but they were made to play for their wastefulness in front of goal as West Brom escaped with a memorable win.Mesut Ozil hit the post from close-range, while substitute Joel Campbell scuffed his lines to miss with the goal at his mercy, and Santi Cazorla then wasted the chance to claim a point late on when he sent a penalty over the bar – slipping à la John Tery in the Champions League final.Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley scored two goals apiece as Everton thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 at Goodison Park, leaving the Villans rock-bottom of the Premier League, while Stoke star Bojan marked his return from injury with the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Southampton.Finally, Swansea fought back from 2-0 down to rescue a point with a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth and perhaps save Garry Monk from the chop.The manager is reportedly on the berge of the sack following the Jacks’ poor run of form, and it seemed it would continue when goals from Joshua King and Dan Gosling, both the result of poor Swansea defending, put the Cherries ahead at the Liberty Stadium.But, in what was a frantic first-half, Swansea battled back valiantly as Andre Ayew caught Bournemouth unawares with a brilliant backheel to pull one back before Jonjo Shelvey’s thumping penalty sealed a share of the points.last_img read more