Chelsea downs Hull to go 6 points clear
Chelsea downs Hull to go 6 points clear
Eden Hazard's thumping strike gave Chelsea the advantage inside the first two minutes and Diego Costa added a second before Hull responded in blistering fashion to score twice in 74 seconds through Ahmed Elmohamady and Abel Hernandez.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a fantastic treble-save to deny Hull in the second half and substitute Loic Remy restored the visitors' lead with a shot that squirmed under Hull stopper Allan McGregor.
Chelsea, who still boast a game in hand over Manchester City, have 67 points from 29 matches, while Hull are 15th with 28 points from 30 games.
Queens Park Rangers' hopes of Premier League survival were dealt a blow by 13th-placed Everton, who stole a 2-1 win at Loftus Road through on-loan Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Lennon. QPR remain 19th, four points adrift of fourth-bottom Sunderland.
Earlier, Juan Mata struck twice, including a sublime volley, for Manchester United in a 2-1 Premier League victory over Liverpool who had substitute Steven Gerrard sent off for a stamp 38 seconds after the break at Anfield.
Fourth-placed United have 59 points from 30 matches, five more than Liverpool in fifth.
Feyenoord upsets PSV as Ajax closes gap
Anass Achahbar scored two dream goals for Feyenoord as they beat runaway leaders PSV Eindhoven 2-1 on Sunday to delay their opponents' march to the Dutch league title.
PSV's slip enabled champions Ajax Amsterdam to cut Eindhoven's lead at the top to eight points when Davy Klaassen conjured up a late winner in their 1-0 home victory over ADO Den Haag.
The 21-year-old Achahbar, handed a place in the starting line-up for the first time this season after his match-winning performance as a substitute against FC Dordrecht last week, opened the scoring in front of his home fans with a beauty just before the hour mark.
Taking a long ball hit high into the PSV box onto his foot, he swivelled and struck it on the volley into the back of the net.
Achahbar then netted a second with similar aplomb just four minutes later.
In between, Memphis Depay missed a good chance to equalise for PSV but he did reduce the two-goal deficit in the 68th minute.
PSV stay top on 70 points as Ajax moved on to 62 points with their win. "We mustn't suffer any championship stress," warned PSV coach Phillip Cocu after his side's defeat.
"What is now important is that we impose ourselves (in the next game) against Twente. We mustn't panic because we lost a game. It is not dramatic, it is rather something to learn from."
Feyenoord consolidated third place as they advanced to 54 points, eight behind Ajax, who prevailed despite a laboured performance following their Europa League exit on Thursday.
The Dutch international Klaassen eventually earned them the points in the 80th minute when he headed home a free kick.
Earlier on Sunday, PEC Zwolle continued their slide down the table and dropped to seventh as they were held 1-1 at home by Excelsior Rotterdam while Groningen and Twente Enschede drew 2-2.
Saudi football chief quits, eyes Asia’s top job
RIYADH: Saudi Football Federation chief Adel Ezzat resigned on Saturday, expressing his intention to run for the presidency of the Asian Football Confederation.
“I presented to (Saudi sports authority chief) Turki Al-Sheikh... my resignation from my position as of today,” Ezzat told a Saudi sports broadcaster.
“I will begin preparing... for elections of the Asian Football Confederation, which will be held next year.”
Ezzat’s deputy Nawaf Al-Timyat has been named the Saudi federation’s interim chief until fresh elections are held.
Ezzat was last week elected as the first president of the South West Asian Football Federation, a new regional bloc of federations comprising 14 nations.
The kingdom has long been a marginal player in football’s ruling classes, unlike its Gulf rival Qatar — set to host the 2022 World Cup — with which it is embroiled in a year-long diplomatic spat.
But the oil-rich kingdom is in the midst of a major push for global influence in football governance.