three minutes before halftime to equalise LONDON (AP): Defending champions Chelsea fell to their fourth loss of the Premier League season on Saturday, leaving Jose Mourinho talking about the possibility of being fired. In what appeared to be a pre-emptive move after yesterday’s 3-1 home loss to Southampton, Mourinho reminded owner Roman Abramovich that the club has an unwelcome reputation for discarding managers. In the six years before Mourinho returned to the Chelsea dugout in 2013 – after previously coaching the team from 2004 to 2007 – Abramovich went through seven managers. “If the club wants to sack me, they have to sack me because I’m not running away from my responsibility, my team,” Mourinho told Sky Sports television. If losing four games out of eight so far in the league was not bad enough, Chelsea also lost at Mourinho’s former team, FC Porto, in the Champions League on Tuesday. “If the club sacks me, they sack the best manager this club has had,” Mourinho said. “And the message is again that … bad results, the manager is guilty. That is the message the players have had for a decade.” Willian had curled in a free kick after 10 minutes to put the champions in front, but Steven Davis levelled before halftime. Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle netted in the second half to give Southampton its first win at Chelsea since 2002. Chelsea are only four points above the relegation zone and 10 points behind fledgling leaders Manchester City. Their latest setback overshadowed Sergio Aguero’s five-goal performance as City trashed Newcastle 6-1. City’s dominant performance in the second half against Newcastle provided a reminder of the team’s title credentials after back-to-back Premier League losses and a Champions League setback. Aleksandar Mitrovic headed Newcastle in front in the 18th minute and it took Aguero until three minutes before half-time to equalise. But in a 13-minute spell at the start of the second half, Aguero added another four goals, while Kevin de Bruyne also got in on the scoring act for the leaders. Aguero had only scored three goals in the first two months of the season before yesterday and his tally might have been greater had he not been taken off with around 25 minutes remaining. “In other games, he was maybe having a lot of chances but not scoring,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini told the BBC. “But today, he returned to his normal amount of chances he creates, but this time he scored. “He was not upset about going off. He was having treatment at half-time and it was a risk for him to finish the whole game.” Newcastle are last in the standings, still without a win after eight games. Northeast rivals Sunderland moved ahead on goal difference with a 2-2 draw against West Ham. Sunderland threw away a 2-0 lead to leave Dick Advocaat still searching for his first victory over the campaign. It’s similarly bleak for Aston Villa, who are a point further ahead with just one win to their name so far. Marko Arnautovic gave Stoke a 1-0 victory at Villa Park. There were victories for two of the surprise packages of the early season: Crystal Palace and Leicester. Leicester quickly bounced back from their first loss of the season last weekend by winning 2-1 at Norwich. Yohan Cabaye set up Yannick Bolasie’s header and then scored from the penalty spot as Palace beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 to move ahead of Leicester into third place on goal difference. A meeting between promoted clubs Bournemouth and Watford ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Here’s the top transfer-related stories in Thursday’s newspapers…Inter Milan central defender Nemanja Vidic, 33, is on the verge of making a shock return to Manchester United. (Daily Star) Roma’s Champions League exit could also clear the way for United to snap up long-term target Kevin Strootman, the 24-year-old Netherlands midfielder. (Independent) Sunderland and Leicester are interested in signing Hull City defender Curtis Davies, 29. (Daily Mail) Chelsea winger Thorgan Hazard, 21 is open to a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge after impressing during his loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach. (Evening Standard) Chelsea are monitoring the progress of AFC Wimbledon’s prolific 17-year-old striker Daniel Agyei. (Daily Mirror)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Exclusive – Liverpool legend blasts ‘rudderless’ Reds and claims Rodgers is heading for the sackExclusive – Blame Brendan! Rodgers blundered against Basel, claims ex-Reds bossDamning Liverpool verdict: ‘Under pressure Rodgers doesn’t know what he’s doing’Exclusive – Summer spending has wrecked Liverpool’s season, claims McAteerLiverpool face transfer blow as Brazilian stopper set to snub Anfield switchBarcelona hand teen ace new deal to ward off Arsenal interestMan United and Real Madrid to battle for German World Cup starValdes to snub Man United? Former Barcelona star lined up for Mexico moveTottenham considering January move for £3m Croatian defenderGalatasaray star offered lucrative deal in China as Premier League trio face missing outMartinez: Everton in ‘no danger whatsoever’ of losing MirallasEverton transfer news: Martinez working on loan deal for Barcelona defenderReports: Roma plotting shock swoop for Stoke starItalian giants join Premier League duo in race for Villa starDavies heading for Hull exit? Sunderland and Leicester eye Tigers defender