By Steve Tongue
LONDON (Reuters) – Chelsea’s emphatic 4-0 win at Burnley on Sunday maintained their unbeaten start to the season and took them up to second in the Premier League as London rivals Arsenal paid the penalty for defensive carelessness in a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.
Manchester United also conceded a late penalty but held on to beat Everton 2-1 and move up to eighth place.
Chelsea are two points behind leaders Liverpool, who won on Saturday, and one point ahead of champions Manchester City, who play fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Monday.
Maurizio Sarri’s side barely noticed the absence of injured midfielder Eden Hazard as Willian, starting in the Belgian’s normal position on the left, scored and hit a post.
Spanish striker Alvaro Morata gave Chelsea the lead midway through a first half in which he might have netted three times.
England midfielder Ross Barkley set him up for that goal and added the second from outside the penalty area after 57 minutes.
Brazilian Willian curled the third goal past Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart five minutes later and substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek completed the scoring in stoppage time.
“For 10 minutes it was difficult at the beginning but then we played very well,” said Sarri, who became the first Chelsea manager to go unbeaten in his first 10 league games in charge.
Burnley’s manager Sean Dyche was left ruing another tough assignment against quality opposition following last week’s 5-0 drubbing at Manchester City.
“We started very well and then we give away a poor goal from our point of view,” he said. “It was a top side doing what top sides do, they finish clinically.”
The goals by Barkley and Willian were particularly well taken as Chelsea clocked up 24 from their 10 games. Only City have scored more in the top flight this season.
Arsenal started the day level on points with Sarri’s team but lost ground by conceding two penalties in an eventful draw at Selhurst Park that ended their run of 11 successive victories in all competitions.
Palace captain Luka Milivojevic, who missed a spot kick at Everton last week, converted twice as his team led 1-0 before the interval then slipped 2-1 behind to a fierce Granit Xhaka free kick and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s controversial goal.
The home team’s manager Roy Hodgson was among those convinced that Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette handled before Aubameyang jabbed the ball over the line.
“I’m not happy to end up with one point especially when you see how clear the handball was,” he said. “Over 90 minutes I really believe we could have won the game.”
Milivojevic’s second penalty six minutes from time earned Palace a point to move them above Burnley into 14th, but they now face successive games against Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United.
United shook off the home Champions League group stage defeat by Juventus in midweek with goals in each half from Frenchmen Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial to earn a narrow win over Everton and jump above them to eighth in the table.
There were two penalties at Old Trafford as well.
In the 27th minute referee Jonathan Moss ruled that Idrissa Gueye had brought down Martial in the box, and although Pogba’s kick was superbly saved by Jordan Pickford, the Frenchman slotted home the rebound.
Four minutes after halftime United doubled their advantage when Pogba set up Martial, who beat Pickford with a superb low curling shot into the far corner.
Pogba was then at fault in giving the ball away in midfield as Everton got back into the game with a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty.
The result left Jose Mourinho’s side five points outside the top four and nine behind leaders Liverpool, who beat Cardiff City 4-1 at Anfield on Saturday.
(Reporting by Steve Tongue; Editing by Ken Ferris)