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Chelsea’s poor start worsens


Jose Mourinho refused to condemn his Chelsea flops after their Premier League title defence was plunged into turmoil as Steven Naismith’s hat-trick gave Everton a 3-1 win on Saturday.

Mourinho’s side made a miserable start at Goodison Park as Scotland forward Naismith came off the bench to score twice in the space of five minutes mid-way through the first half.

Nemanja Matic pulled one back for Chelsea before the interval, but Naismith completed his treble in the closing stages to condemn the Blues — with three defeats and only four points from their five matches — to their worst start to a season since 1988.

It left Chelsea 11 points below leaders Manchester City, who snatched a late 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, but Mourinho claimed he had no complaints about his team’s performance and blamed bad luck for their recent woes.

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott celebrates scoring against Stoke City during their EPL match at  the Emirates Stadium which the Gunners won 2-0. AFP PHOTO
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott celebrates scoring against Stoke City during their EPL match at
the Emirates Stadium which the Gunners won 2-0. AFP PHOTO

“I am a champion, the players are the champions, the way they are playing is not as bad as the results, but in every single game things are going against us,” Mourinho told BT Sport.

“We have to cope with it. Football is about results. It’s easy to say and I agree completely, but results are too bad.”

PERFECT RECORD

Mourinho’s mood will have worsened after early-season pace-setters City won 1-0 at Palace courtesy of a last-minute goal by substitute Kelechi Iheanacho.

City had earlier lost Sergio Aguero through injury, but prevailed when 18-year-old Nigerian striker Iheanacho poked in the rebound from a Samir Nasri shot to preserve the visitors’ 100 percent record.

Aguero was forced off in the 24th minute after a heavy challenge by Scott Dann, which saw Kevin De Bruyne come on for his City debut following his £54 million from Wolfsburg.

The result left Alan Pardew’s Palace third, six points below City and a point behind Arsenal, who won 2-0 at home to Stoke City.

After Alexis Sanchez had twice hit the post, Theo Walcott put Arsenal ahead from Mesut Ozil’s pass in the 31st minute and Olivier Giroud sealed victory with a header five minutes from time.

Later, in the day’s most eagerly anticipated match, Manchester United beat bitter rivals Liverpool 3-1 at Old Trafford.

EPL Results:

Arsenal 2 Stoke 0

Crystal Palace 0 Man City 1

Everton 3 Chelsea 1

Man United 3 Liverpool 1

Norwich 3 Bournemouth 1

Watford 1 Swansea 0

West Brom 0 Southampton 0