Leicester back on top, Chelsea’s great escape

Monday, 18 January 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Leicester City returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at bottom club Aston Villa on Saturday while misfiring champions Chelsea pulled off a great escape in a six-goal thriller with Everton.

With Manchester City thrashing Crystal Palace 4-0 to go second on goal difference on the same points as Arsenal, Leicester had a golden opportunity to pull three points clear in the late game but had to settle for one after a missed penalty.

Arsenal, the leaders before the weekend on 43 points, can go back in front after their match at Stoke City on Sunday.

Japan striker Shinji Okazaki put unsung Leicester, who have defied all the odds this season and are on 44 points, ahead in the 28th minute but Rudy Gestede grabbed a 76th-minute equaliser for rejuvenated Villa.

In an astonishing game at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea drew 3-3 after captain John Terry atoned for an own goal with a 98th-minute equaliser that even home manager Guus Hiddink said was offside.

All the goals came in the second half, with Chelsea battling back from 2-0 down before substitute Ramiro Funes Mori put Everton back in front as the game entered stoppage time.

The Argentine striker scored in the 41st minute after Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey had failed to prevent Fabian Delph’s long-range shot squirming into the next in the 22nd.

Aguero doubled his tally in the 68th minute and set up David Silva for a late fourth.

Fifth-placed West Ham United’s push for Europe faltered with a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United.

Newcastle’s victory lifted them out of the bottom three while troubled Swansea City, who entertain Watford on Monday, dropped to 18th, a point ahead of Sunderland.

On a lively winter’s afternoon for south-coast sides, Southampton beat West Bromwich Albion 3-0 to land a third successive home win and Bournemouth overcame Norwich City by the same scoreline.