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Chelsea overwhelms Swansea 5-0 as Man United edges QPR 2-0

January 18, 2015

With their biggest win of the Premier League season, Chelsea’s players provided further evidence of their title credentials on Saturday.

A 5-0 victory at Swansea put the London club five points ahead of Manchester City ahead of the champion’s match against Arsenal on Sunday.

Four goals came in the opening 36 minutes — the first after 49 seconds from Oscar’s 20-yard (meter) shot. Cesc Fabregas’ 15th assist of the league season set up Diego Costa’s first goal, and the striker then seized on poor defending to score his 17th of the campaign.

Costa’s cut-back allowed Oscar to net Chelsea’s fourth with ease. The only surprise was it took Chelsea until the 79th to net again, with Andre Schuerrle tapping Branislav Ivanovic’s cross into an empty net.

“The team is playing with high quality and has a clear identity of playing,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. “Sometimes teams are good and play well without the clear identity, but all this season we are going in a certain direction.”

It wasn’t so easy for Manchester United at Queens Park Rangers, although the 20-time champions did beat the spirited hosts 2-0. United’s third away success of the campaign came through a second-half turnaround when substitutes Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson scored.

QPR remains in the relegation zone after a fifth straight winless league match, while United remains fourth, two points behind Southampton. The south-coast team won 2-1 at Newcastle after the first goals from Eljero Elia since joining on loan from Werder Bremen this month.

Tottenham moved up to fifth with a 2-1 victory over Sunderland, Liverpool won 2-0 at Aston Villa, bottom-place Leicester lost 1-0 to Stoke, and Crystal Palace came from two goals down to beat Burnley 3-2.

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FRANCE

Leader Lyon increased the pressure on its title rivals as it beat struggling Lens 2-0. A sixth straight victory was secured by Alexandre Lacazette’s league-leading 20th goal in 21 games from the penalty spot after Jean-Philippe Gbamin’s own goal.

After picking up just three points from its first four matches this season, Hubert Fournier’s team has lost only one game since, and produced sparkling football to climb to the top of the standings last weekend.

Lyon’s fourth away win extended its lead over second-place Marseille to four points. Lens remained second from bottom.

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SPAIN

Alvaro Negredo’s late header gave Valencia a 3-2 victory over Almeria, while regional rival Villarreal also stayed in contention for a top-four finish with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Felipe Caicedo netted in the 89th minute to give Espanyol a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo, while Manucho’s header helped Rayo Vallecano win 1-0 at Real Sociedad.

Leader Real Madrid visits crosstown rival Getafe on Sunday when second-place Barcelona is at Deportivo La Coruna.

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ITALY

Roma was held to 1-1 at Palermo on Saturday in another slip-up in its quest for the Serie A title. Rudi Garcia’s team fell three points behind Juventus after last week’s derby draw against Lazio, and the defending champion can pull further ahead on Sunday when it hosts Hellas Verona.

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