12 Dec 2016

Chelsea go back on top of EPL

8:54 am on 12 December 2016

Diego Costa has made the difference with Chelsea overcoming a defensive West Bromwich Albion 1-0 to return to the top of the Premier League with their ninth victory in a row.

Liverpool drew 2-all with West Ham at Anfield and Manchester United beat Tottenham at Old Trafford.

Chelsea forward Diego Costa.

Chelsea forward Diego Costa. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Spaniard's second-half strike sent Chelsea three points clear of Arsenal, who had taken the overall lead on goals scored yesterday after seeing off Stoke City 3-1 at the Emirates.

With the game heading for a stalemate at Stamford Bridge, Costa seized on a defensive error to break the deadlock with a superb shot into the top left corner in the 76th minute.

It was the league top scorer's 12th goal of the campaign, as many as he scored all last season.

Chelsea, who have now won nine Premier League games in a row for the fifth time in their history, have 37 points to Arsenal's 34 after 15 games.

Struggling West Ham United put on a "massive show of character" to come away from Anfield with a 2-2 draw against high-scoring Liverpool, according to forward Michail Antonio.

The point lifted the Hammers out of the relegation zone to fourth from bottom, a point ahead of Swansea City and Hull City.

"We showed we have determination and grit and what happened in the past doesn't affect us," said Antonio who scored just before halftime to put the visitors 2-1 up.

Third-placed Liverpool have scored the most goals (37) in the league this season but they have also conceded 20.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan's first Premier League goal earned Jose Mourinho's Manchester United a much-needed 1-0 victory over high-flying Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.

The Armenian, who was carried off on a stretcher with 10 minutes remaining after a heavy tackle by Danny Rose left him clutching his ankle, blasted home on 29 minutes after Ander Herrera intercepted a sloppy Harry Kane pass in midfield.

The hosts remained sixth with 24 points, three behind fifth-placed Tottenham who might otherwise have overtaken Manchester City -- beaten 4-2 at champions Leicester City yesterday -- on goal difference.

The victory was United's first at home in the league since September and ended a run of three games without a win in the top flight.

In the day's other game Southampton beat Middlesbrough 1-nil.