Man-U sees title hopes fade in loss to ChelseaA Samuel Eto’o hat trick lifted Chelsea to a 3-1 win over Manchester United on Sunday, which all but ended the champions’ slim hopes of defending their Premier League title.
Tottenham Hotspur secured a fifth successive away league victory and moved up to fifth place after Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice in a 3-1 win at Swansea City.
Two first-half goals and one soon after the restart by Eto’o took Chelsea up to third place with 49 points, two behind leaders Arsenal, and United remained in seventh place, 14 off the lead.
United defender Nemanja Vidic was sent off in stoppage time to complete a miserable day for David Moyes’s team.
“I think it is a big win and deserved, yes,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told Sky Sport.
“The way I was analyzing the game, it was hard for them to be losing 2-0 at halftime. They started better than us, they had a good initiative.
“The second half was different. For 25 to 30 minutes we had very good control until we dropped back and they reacted with pride.
“I think this game was a bit of a contradiction to other games. Normally, we produce and produce and then it is hard for us to score, this time with the first shot we scored. The second goal was the killer in the box I know from many years ago and it looks like Samuel Eto’o is coming back.”
United, and young attacker Adnan Januzaj in particular, started brightly but were undone by two poor pieces of defending that allowed Cameroonian Eto’o to score his first goals against United since the 2009 Champions League final when he was playing for Barcelona.
After United’s Ashley Young had stung the palms of Petr Cech, Eto’o opened the scoring after 17 minutes, when, allowed to shoot by Phil Jones, his deflected shot ballooned off the boot of Michael Carrick into the net.
Eden Hazard and Willian showed glimpses of an attacking threat, but it was United that should have scored next after Januzaj picked out Danny Welbeck in the box, but the England international failed to get a clean shot away under pressure from Cesar Azpilicueta.
Oscar tried his luck with a speculative overhead effort before Eto’o doubled his side’s advantage just before the break.
United failed to clear a corner and defender Gary Cahill picked out Eto’o unmarked in the box.
His shot was close to David de Gea but had too much power for the young Spaniard, and he completed his treble from close range when following up Cahill’s header to secure a fifth successive league victory for Mourinho’s side. Reuters