14 Feb 2016

Chelsea demolish Newcastle, United lose

8:52 am on 14 February 2016

English football champions Chelsea have thrashed Newcastle United 5-1 in London to climb up to 12th and send the visitors into the Premier League relegation zone.

Chelsea extended their unbeaten run under caretaker manager Guus Hiddink to 12 games in their most convincing display of the season on Sunday.

Newcastle United's English midfielder Jonjo Shelvey reacts after Chelsea scored their fifth goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge in London on February 13, 2016

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is disconsolate after Chelsea's fifth goal Photo: AFP

A masked Diego Costa, who broke his nose in training, slotted Chelsea in front after five minutes and the Blues were three ahead with 17 minutes on the clock after Pedro and Willian punished lackadaisical Newcastle defending.

Newcastle staunched the goal flow until the hour mark when Cesc Fabregas's pass sent Pedro away to make it 4-0 before Bertrand Traore added a fifth.

Andros Townsend grabbed a late consolation for Newcastle, who now find themselves in the drop zone in 18th place on goal difference behind Norwich, who capitulated late on to draw 2-2 with visiting West Ham United, after looking poised for a first league win in six attempts.

Manchester United slip further out of Champions League contention

David de Gea's late own goal earned Sunderland a 2-1 win over Manchester United and a vital three points in their bid for Premier League survival.

Tunisian Wahbi Khazri gave the hosts the lead after three minutes when his wide free kick from 30 metres eluded everyone on its way to the far corner of the net.

Anthony Martial grabbed the equaliser six minutes before halftime, the young French striker dinking the ball in from a tight angle after Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone had saved Juan Mata's firm shot.

De Gea made fine saves to deny Dame N'Doye and Lamine Kone but the Spanish keeper failed to deal with Kone's powerful header eight minutes from time, deflecting the ball over the line to leave United six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.

Lamine Kone of Sunderland scores their second goal during their Premier League win over Manchester United played at Stadium of Light, Sunderland, on February 13, 2016 - Photo Richard Lee / BPI / DPPI

Lamine Kone of Sunderland scores their second goal during their Premier League win over Manchester United Photo: AFP

United manager Louis van Gaal admitted it would be very hard to finish in the top four after his team's insipid loss at Sunderland.

The experienced Dutchman, who is under great pressure to retain his position in the Old Trafford hot seat, cut a disconsolate figure after the game at the Stadium of Light.

"It will be very difficult to make the top four," Van Gaal told BT Sport. "It is too much at this time."

United are six points behind cross-town rivals City with 12 games left and speculation is mounting that former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is poised to replace Van Gaal.

"You have to win these kind of games and we didn't win," Van Gaal said. "We can only blame ourselves. Two set-plays and two goals."

Elsewhere, Swansea City suffered their first loss under new coach Francesco Guidolin to stay mired in relegation trouble after a tepid display in a 1-0 home loss against Southampton.

West Bromwich Albion produced a dogged defensive performance after grabbing an early goal to snatch a 1-0 win at Everton.

Stoke City ended a poor recent run with a clinical 3-1 victory at Bournemouth.

Watford won 2-1 at Crystal Palace.

- Reuters