BURNLEY, England — Chelsea’s expensive off-season overhaul is starting to deliver results.
Two of the club’s six summer signings — Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner — scored in a 3-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, which came three days after a 4-0 victory in the Champions League at Krasnodar.
Perhaps just as pleasingly for visiting manager Frank Lampard, his team’s remodeled defence kept a fourth straight clean sheet in all competitions, highlighting Chelsea’s strength at both ends of the field as it seeks to challenge for the title after spending around $300 million.
Centre back Kurt Zouma was the scorer of the other goal — his third of the season — at Turf Moor as Chelsea climbed into the top four and Burnley slumped to a fifth loss in six games to stay in the bottom three.
Lampard had to reorganize his lineup at the last minute after Christian Pulisic was withdrawn after getting injured during the warmup. The United States international has recently returned to full fitness after a hamstring injury which forced him to miss the opening weeks of the season.
A rejig saw Werner promoted from the bench to play on the left wing but it was on the other flank from where Chelsea took the lead in the 26th minute, with a cross being laid off by Tammy Abraham for Ziyech to shoot home from the edge of the area, wrong-footing Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Ziyech, also recently recovered from injury, has scored in both of his starts for Chelsea, having also netted against Krasnodar.
Zouma again showed his eye for goal by powering in a corner from Mason Mount in the 63rd before Ziyech slipped a pass in for Werner, cutting in from the left, to curl in a fine finish for the third goal.
Walker scores winner as Manchester City beats Sheffield United
SHEFFIELD, England — Kyle Walker consigned boyhood club Sheffield United to another Premier League loss by driving home a long-range shot to earn Manchester City a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
The right back, who has been one of the few City players to be consistently impressive this season, collected a pass from Kevin De Bruyne in a central position, surged forward, and fired in an effort from 30 yards (meters) that found the bottom corner in the 28th minute.
While City slowly climbs the standings after starting the season a week after the majority of teams and following its early loss to Leicester, United stayed in next-to-last place courtesy of this sixth loss in seven games so far.
City dominated possession, especially in the first half, but again lacked a cutting edge without a natural striker. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are out injured, so Ferran Torres — naturally a winger — started as a makeshift centre forward.
It meant United was never fully out of the contest and the home side had two great chances to equalize in the second half, with John Lundstram firing a first-time shot over the crossbar and Rhian Brewster denied by Ederson in a one-on-one situation as he tried to chip the goalkeeper.
Walker, therefore, had the honour of scoring the winning goal against his local club, which he joined as a 7-year-old and where he signed his first professional contract in 2008.
Amid injury problems throughout the City squad, the England defender has been an ever-present in the league this season. He also started both of the team’s Champions League group games and featured for his country in Nations League qualifiers.
City has won three of its six league games at the start of its bid to wrest the title back off Liverpool.