Chelsea dagger: Cole goal lifts Blues to hat-trick, City rally in injury-time thriller at Newcastle


Chelsea have made it three Premier League wins in a row for the first time since October 2022 as Cole Palmer’s penalty guided them to a 1-0 victory over Fulham at Stamford Bridge.

The winning goal came in stoppage time at the end of the first half in Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff (Sunday AEDT), the top scorer for Mauricio Pochettino’s side notching his ninth goal of the season after Raheem Sterling was tripped in the box. 

However, the move had been started by a moment of Palmer genius, spotting a gap and threading a superb ball through the middle that drew defender Issa Diop into a clumsy foul. 

Marco Silva’s visitors never truly looked beaten until the final whistle sounded but Chelsea defended doggedly in the final moments to breath genuine momentum into their season. 

Chelsea’s goal in added time at the end of the half was not deserved on the balance of play, but the pass from Palmer to carve out the chance was sublime. 

Making eyes for a lofted cross, he instead slipped a reverse ball through the middle for Sterling, who in cutting in onto his left was tripped by Diop. Palmer did the rest from the spot. 

Chelsea were seeking a fourth win from five in the league, the kind of points return they had not enjoyed since former boss Graham Potter’s early days in charge more than a year ago. 

Cole Palmer congratulated by his teammates after scoring the opening goal. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Sterling headed against the post from six yards out at the start of the second half after Fernandez’s cross had picked him out. 

Fulham took time to get going in the second half half but finally found some bite after 70 minutes, Raul Jimenez shooting low first-time at goal and drawing a save from Petrovic dropping to his right. 

Conor Gallagher struck the post with a superb curling effort off the outside of his right boot as Chelsea looked to kill the game off, then Willian just cleared the bar from a free-kick as Fulham refused to lie down.

Were Chelsea lucky to avoid a first half red card against Fulham? ????????

Malo Gusto was sent off against Aston Villa for an almost identical incident… ????

Stream LIVE, or on-demand after, here ???? #PL

— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) January 13, 2024

Kevin De Bruyne has marked his Premier League return by coming off the bench to score the equaliser and set up an injury-time winner as Manchester City rallied for a 3-2 win at Newcastle.

Less than five minutes after coming on for his first league appearance since the opening round of the season on Saturday, De Bruyne showed just what Manchester City has been missing in his absence.

The Belgian playmaker collected a pass in midfield and drove forward before calmly slotting a low shot just inside the post with pinpoint perfection to make it 2-2 in the 74th.

With City pressing for a winner, De Bruyne then lifted a perfectly weighted ball into the box for substitute winger Oscar Bobb, who beat goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from close range.

De Bruyne was out for five months after needing surgery on his hamstring, but this 20-minute cameo showed just how instrumental he can still be to City’s title defense.

Kevin De Bruyne returns to the Premier League and just five minutes later scores with a typically perfect finish ????

Manchester City are level and De Bruyne makes it look easy.


— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) January 13, 2024

The win lifted Pep Guardiola’s team into second place in the table, just two points behind Liverpool.

Tenth-placed Newcastle fell to a fourth straight league loss, despite having come from behind to take the lead in a frantic first half that featured three highlight-reel goals in a 12-minute span.

Bernardo Silva put City ahead with crafty backheel flick after meeting a cross from Kyle Walker in the 26th minute but Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon then curled in similar shots within two minutes of each other.

Isak equalised after running onto a long ball over the top, cutting inside Walker and beating substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega with a curling strike that crept inside the far post.

Newcastle score two in two minutes and St James’ Park is ROCKING!

First it was Alexander Isak and then it was Anthony Gordon. Manchester City are stunned.

Listen to that roar!


— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) January 13, 2024

Gordon then nearly replicated that feat minutes later on another quick counter, driving in from the left and also cutting inside Walker before curling the ball past Ortega and inside the same corner.

Ortega had to come on after just eight minutes after Ederson was injured during an eventful start to the game.

Newcastle had a goal disallowed for offside after just two minutes, but that incident proved costly for Man City as Ederson was hurt in a collision with Sean Longstaff as he put the ball in the net.

But De Bruyne’s return proved enough for City to see out a sixth straight win in all competitions.

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