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.
who plays? How Liverpool could line up at Leicester with midfielder set for lengthy absence NEW ERA REVEALED How Arsenal could line up in Arteta’s first official game in charge – Ozil return? Fulham have reached an agreement to sign Maxime Le Marchand from Nice.The transfer comes minutes after the announcement of Jean Michael Seri, who also joins from the Ligue 1 side. Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade predicted ALTERED How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Latest Premier League news Maxime Le Marchand in action for Nice last season. possible xi The versatile defender can play at both centre-back and left-back and made 29 starts for the French club last term.Speaking to Fulham‘s official website, he said: “I’m very happy to sign for Fulham, this is a big club that’s very popular.“I’m also happy to have joined up with a good friend, Jean Michaël Seri. I know that there is a lot of hard work ahead and I hope to bring my very best to this team.”Tony Khan added: “I’m very pleased that we’ve agreed to a transfer for defender Maxime Le Marchand from Nice.“Strengthening our squad is always a priority. In that spirit, we’ve done a lot of work on Maxime and believe that his skills and versatility will be valuable assets. Come on Fulham!” 1 gameday Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? smart causal How Man United could line up for Newcastle clash – will Pogba start? possible standings Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won silverware Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes How Chelsea could line up against Southampton – what system will Lampard play?