'A lot of soul searching has gone on': Bournemouth beat Chelsea to end run of five straight defeats
Dan Gosling goal awarded after lengthy VAR check; Sheffield United up to fifth thanks to Fleck brace against Aston Villa
Defiant Bournemouth stole all three points with a late goal from Dan Gosling at Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, ending a five-match losing streak with a 1-0 win.
Gosling looped his shot over goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's head in the 84th minute, and defender Cesar Azpilicueta hooked it out, but after a lengthy wait for a VAR offside check referee Graham Scott awarded the goal.
It was the fourth defeat in five Premier League games for Chelsea, who sit fourth in the table. The victory moved Bournemouth up to 14th on 19 points as the Cherries ended an alarming slump that had seen them lose five league matches on the trot to raise concerns they could be dragged into a relegation battle
"It's been a really difficult run, a lot of soul searching has gone on," manager Eddie Howe told the BBC's Match Of The Day. "We've lost a lot of players to injuries and we had to step up to a really tough test today.
"We had to come up with something slightly different because if you do the same things you get the same result.
"In the second half I thought we were a real threat in the match and we could have scored more. Our goalkeeper at the other end made some big saves."
Charlton, Best, Giggs, Neville, Beckham: A new milestone for the Manchester United academy
Chelsea, who qualified for the Champions League knockout stages with a nervy 2-1 home win against Lille on Tuesday, looked off the pace despite enjoying more than 60 per cent possession on a chilly afternoon in southwest London.
Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale pulled off fine saves in each half from Mason Mount and full-back Emerson to keep the south coast side in the game.
A superb second-half double by midfielder John Fleck sent Sheffield United up to fifth in the Premier League with a 2-0 home win over fellow newcomers Aston Villa, whose captain Jack Grealish missed a second-half penalty.
After a dull first period, the hosts burst into life five minutes into the second half with a brilliantly-worked opener, Chris Basham back-heeling the ball to John Lundstram who fired it across the box for Fleck to lash home from close range.
The build-up play for Fleck's second goal was equally impressive as the Blades worked the ball in from the left before striker David McGoldrick hooked a pass over his shoulder to Fleck, who again finished confidently.
The visitors were thrown a lifeline when the video assistant referee (VAR) called play back to award them a penalty for handball, but Grealish thumped his spot kick off the crossbar and the ball was cleared by Lundstram.
"We just need to keep the run going as much as we can and keep working hard," said Fleck. "We know there will be bumps in the road but we keep going and see where it takes us."
Norwich City boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from after a spirited performance saw them hold high-flying Leicester City to a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium.
The result snapped Leicester's eight-match winning streak, leaving them second in the table on 39 points from 17 games, 10 behind runaway leaders Liverpool who marched on with a 2-0 home win over Watford in the lunchtime kick off.
Teemu Pukki gave Watford a 25th minute lead with a clinical finish before visiting keeper Tim Krul scored an own goal in the 37th, failing to clear a Jamie Vardy header as the league's top scorer got on the end of a James Maddison corner.
Burnley ended a three-match losing streak thanks to a Chris Wood header that gave them a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at Turf Moor.
Updated: December 14, 2019 09:38 PM