Chelsea drop first points

LUCKY STRIKE: Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) celebrates with Nacho Monreal after scoring against Everton on Sunday. REUTERS

Chelsea lost their 100 percent Premier League record when London rivals West Ham United held them to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.

Needing a two-goal win to depose Liverpool at the top of the table, Chelsea struggled to make clear chances despite having the majority of possession and stayed third behind the Merseysiders and champions Manchester City.

The home side could have punished them but Michail Antonio, who was deputising for the injured Marko Arnautovic, missed two first-half chances and Andriy Yarmolenko headed wastefully wide.

West Ham, with only one win so far from their six matches, remain 17th, one place above the relegation zone.

Despite having barely 30 percent of possession in the first half, West Ham finally came alive after 30 minutes with two good chances for Antonio.

Sent through by record signing Felipe Anderson he shot too high but then forced goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into a good save after being set up by Yarmolenko.

For all their dominance, Chelsea made barely one real opportunity before the interval when N’Golo Kante arrived to head wide from Willian’s smart volleyed cross.

In the second half it was two of Chelsea’s substitutes who went closest. Alvaro Morata’s first attempt hit goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in the face and later Ross Barkley’s curler was also kept out by the home goalkeeper.

Chelsea’s third substitute was experienced defender Gary Cahill, getting a first opportunity under new manager Maurizio Sarri when replacing the injured Antonio Rudiger.

The best chance of the game, however, fell West Ham’s way when Yarmolenko was alone at the far post to meet a perfect cross from Robert Snodgrass, but put his header wide.

After losing their first four games but winning at Everton last weekend, West Ham are showing signs of improvement. Chelsea have another chance to knock Liverpool off the top when they play them at Stamford Bridge on Saturday -- three days after the clubs meet in the League Cup at Anfield.

Arsenal broke down a determined Everton defence to win 2-0, with second-half goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang giving the Gunners their fourth straight Premier League victory.

Everton had created most of the early chances as they looked for their first victory at Arsenal since January 1996.

Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin both fired in a number of shots, the Brazilian in particular leaving Gunners defender Hector Bellerin in his wake repeatedly as he turned and darted towards goal. But both were unable to beat Arsenal keeper Petr Cech, who was determined to register his side’s first clean sheet of the season.

Late in the half, Everton defender Lucas Digne also went close, whipping in a free kick from just outside the area that Cech deftly tipped back over the bar. Arsenal by contrast seemed to lack a finishing touch despite having two-thirds of the possession, with striker Lacazette often failing to control the ball when passed to.

The Frenchman found his feet just short of the hour mark, however, running in from the left before elegantly curling the ball into the far corner just beyond the reach of outstretched England keeper Jordan Pickford.

Gabon international Aubameyang doubled the lead two minutes later from what appeared to be an offside position, sending Pickford the wrong way from close range.

“A big thanks to Petr Cech because he took a lot of balls today and we won our first clean sheet,” Lacazette told Sky Sports.

The win pushes the Gunners up to sixth in the table with 12 points, six points adrift of leaders Liverpool, while the Toffees stay in 12th place with six points.

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Chelsea drop first points

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