Football: West Brom hurt Leicester hopes, Chelsea win again

West Brom's Saido Berahino (R) in action with Leicester City's Andy King. Photo: Reuters
West Brom's Saido Berahino (R) in action with Leicester City's Andy King. Photo: Reuters

Leicester City stumbled in their pursuit of the Premier League title when they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by West Bromwich Albion, who secured a share of the points with a stunning free kick from Craig Gardener.

The result lifted Leicester to 57 points from 28 matches, three ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who, thanks to a better goal difference, will go top if they win at West Ham United tomorrow.

Champions Chelsea scored the fastest goal in the Premier League this season when Brazilian Kenedy netted after 39 seconds in their 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Norwich City at Carrow Road.

The victory, secured by a second goal from Diego Costa, lifted Chelsea to eighth and stretched their unbeaten league run since former manager Jose Mourinho left in December to 12 matches.

Everton pushed Aston Villa closer to their almost inevitable relegation when they won 3-1 at Villa Park, where thousands of fans walked out long before a planned protest at the way the club is being run.

The protest was planned for the 74th minute -- in recognition of Villa's founding in 1874 -- but the hosts were already 3-0 down by then and heading for defeat.

Villa are eight points adrift at the bottom of the table behind Newcastle United, Norwich City and Sunderland, who are all on 24 points.

Sunderland moved out of the bottom three after a 90th-minute goal from Fabio Borini gave them a 2-2 home draw with Crystal Palace.

West Brom's Salomon Rondon became the first player to score against Leicester at the King Power Stadium in the league this year after just 11 minutes.

The league leaders struck back, however, with a fortuitous deflected shot from Danny Drinkwater and a brilliantly-executed first league goal of the season for Andy King on the stroke of halftime.

Albion equalised after 50 minutes when Gardner's 25-metre free kick left Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel rooted to the spot.

Leicester struck the woodwork twice with efforts from Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki, while Leonardo Ulloa almost equalised in the final few seconds.

In the night's other match, Bournemouth beat Southampton 2-0 at Dean Court, their first league win over their south coast rivals since 1958.

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