Burnley: Chelsea grabbed four goals in 22 second-half minutes to help them cruise past Burnley in their first Premier League game since Roman Abramovich said he will sell the club.
Manager Thomas Tuchel admitted news of the Russian billionaire’s decision had been as distraction, but his side did not show it at Turf Moor thanks to two goals from Kai Havertz, sandwiched between Reece James’ opener and Christian Pulisic’s close-range finish.
Meanwhile, Leeds United’s first match of the post-Marcelo Bielsa era began with a 1-0 defeat at Leicester City but new American manager Jesse Marsch saw plenty of encouraging signs from a team that conceded 20 goals last month.
A second half goal from Harvey Barnes moved Leicester up to 10th in the standings while a fifth straight defeat for Leeds leaves them two points above the relegation zone in 16th place - but having played more games than all teams below them.
The match began with end-to-end action and Leicester striker Jamie Vardy tormented Leeds’ high line early on, but the visitors managed to keep a clean sheet in the opening 45 minutes for the first time since January.
Leeds also had their chances and started the second half brightly with Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel keeping them at bay with some fine saves.
“Even going into the match I felt the performance was more important than the points,” Marsch said.
“It’s our first match together, we’ve had four days on the (training) pitch and I’m pleased with how they controlled the match in all phases of the game, including set pieces. They’ve made so much progress in a short space of a time.”
But Leicester finally broke the deadlock against the run of play midway through the second half when Barnes played an intricate one-two pass with Kelechi Iheanacho before sliding the ball past Illan Meslier in Leeds’ goal.
Philippe Coutinho starred as Aston Villa produced a magnificent all-round display against Southampton in a 4-0 win. The Brazilian, who joined Villa on loan from Barcelona in January, played a role in the first two goals, before scoring the third as Villa emphatically ended a four-game winless streak at Villa Park and produced their biggest win under Steven Gerrard.
Ivan Toney scored a hat-trick as Brentford ended an eight-game winless run at the expense of relegation-threatened Norwich City as Wolves’ European hopes suffered a further blow as they slipped to a third successive defeat against an impressive Crystal Palace at Molineux.