Chelsea and City lead pursuit of Arsenal
By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea and Manchester City offered compelling evidence that they will lead the pursuit of leaders Arsenal and champions Manchester United lost further ground on a Sunday that brought the third managerial casualty of the Premier League season.
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea recovered from conceding a goal after 13 seconds at home to Southampton, scoring three times in the second half to win 3-1 and close the gap on Arsenal to four points with a third of the season gone.
Free-scoring Man City are third, two points further adrift, after spanking Swansea City 3-0 to take their home goal tally to 16 in their last three games.
Wayne Rooney equalized twice for United in a 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur which left them nine points off the pace and Liverpool, who began the day in second, endured a miserable afternoon, going down 3-1 at Hull City and hearing that striker Daniel Sturridge will be out for around eight weeks.
Struggling Fulham predictably sacked Martin Jol and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, himself in the media spotlight after his team's faltering form, showed the strain with a rant at his post-match news conference.
For the third time this season in the top flight a goal went in after 13 seconds with Jay Rodriguez taking advantage of a Michael Essien error to give Southampton a shock lead at Chelsea.
There was little evidence in the opening half that Chelsea could avoid a first ever home league defeat under Mourinho but they overwhelmed high-flying Southampton after the break.
Defender Gary Cahill equalized on 55 minutes after John Terry's header had been diverted against the post. Continued...