Chelsea take advantage of Norwich’s rotten luck

Borini earns point for Sunderland; Everton win amid Villa protests; Bournemouth take south coast derby

Norwich City 1 Chelsea 2

Norwich's luck deserted them once again as Diego Costa scored from an offside position in Chelsea's 2-1 win at Carrow Road.

The Canaries were undone by their own defensive failings – conceding after 39 seconds to Kenedy’s fastest goal of the Premier League season so far – and misfortune, as the victims of an incorrect decision by the match officials.

Costa’s strike before half-time should have been ruled out for offside, but assistant referee Michael McDonough failed to flag and the goal stood, despite protests as Norwich lost for the seventh time in eight Premier League games.


The Canaries ensured Chelsea never truly had a grip on proceedings. Cameron Jerome hit the bar early in the second half and Nathan Redmond pulled a goal back 22 minutes from time.

But Alex Neil’s men dropped into the relegation zone as Chelsea climbed to eighth with a third straight league win.

Guus Hiddink remains unbeaten in domestic competition as Chelsea interim boss and Costa has now scored 10 goals in 14 games under the Dutchman.

Sunderland 2 Crystal Palace 2

Substitute Fabio Borini denied Crystal Palace a first s Premier League victory in 11 attempts after Connor Wickham's double had threatened to dump former club Sunderland deeper into the mire.

The Italian, an 80th-minute replacement for the bloodied Lee Cattermole, lashed home a dramatic last-minute equaliser from an improbable angle to ensure Wickham’s second-half double claimed only a point for the visitors.

A 2-2 draw was of little use to the Black Cats, who looked to be on their way to a precious victory when Dame N'Doye's deflected shot flew in off defender Scott Dann.

But it was more than they looked like getting when Wickham blasted home twice within six minutes to take the visitors to within seconds of a first three-point haul since December.

Aston Villa 1 Everton 3

Aston Villa fans made their feelings about the club’s desperate predicament known with their feet as many staged a walk-out in protest during the 3-1 home defeat to Everton.

Upon their 74th-minute exit, signifying when Villa were founded in 1874, they had endured the best part of an 18th Premier League defeat of the season as goals from Ramiro Funes Mori, Aaron Lennon and Romelu Lukaku had Everton firmly in control.

Some had chosen to leave following Lukaku’s strike on the hour and many of those who remained joined them after 74 minutes, angry at the club’s lack of direction as Villa look certain to drop into the Sky Bet Championship.

They missed substitute Rudy Gestede head a reply shortly afterwards but it was far too little, too late and, with the same protest planned for the home games against Tottenham (March 13th) and Chelsea (April 2nd), Villa, still eight points adrift at the bottom of the table, and their fans could have seen their fate already sealed by the time the reigning champions come to town.

Bournemouth 2 Southampton 0

Fourth official Kevin Friend was rushed to hospital after collapsing and banging his head as Bournemouth saw off Southampton 2-0 in the Premier League.

Steve Cook and Benik Afobe struck as the Cherries claimed their first home league win over south coast rivals Saints since 1958 in a low-quality encounter.

Match official Friend passed out and received immediate treatment as a hush descended across the stadium at the tail end of the first half.

Referee Mike Dean quickly blew for half-time, before Friend was taken off for further treatment at hospital.

Non-league referee Dean Treleaven, in the ground as a spectator, was pressed into service as Friend’s replacement.

On the field Bournemouth secured their first win in five matches in all competitions, Cook and Afobe both profiting from Matt Ritchie free-kicks.

Toothless Southampton had few answers as Bournemouth edged further away from the Premier League drop zone.

Shane Long lasted 70 minutes before going off after receiving a kick on a knee.