Chelsea-Watford clash paused after fan emergency, Manchester City and Liverpool record wins

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Chelsea stayed top of the English Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Watford on Wednesday in a match that was halted for 32 minutes in the first half after a spectator suffered cardiac arrest.

Substitute Hakim Ziyech grabbed the winner for the leaders in the 72nd minute, converting a cross from Mason Mount — the England midfielder who had put Chelsea in front in the 29th.

By then, the teams had been taken off by the referee because of the medical emergency in the stands that happened after about 13 minutes.

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The incident happened on the side of the field where Chelsea left back Marcos Alonso was stationed and he appeared to alert the referee and the medical staff on the touchline.

The spectator was stabilized and taken away on a stretcher to applause from the crowd.

Emmanuel Dennis equalized for Watford in the 43rd after Ruben Loftus-Cheek — one of a number of fringe players handed a start by Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel — was dispossessed in the center circle by Moussa Sissoko, who drove forward and set up his teammate to score.

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Chelsea remained a point ahead of Manchester City and two clear of Liverpool on a night when all three teams won.

Liverpool hit four goals for a third consecutive game by beating Everton 4-1 on Wednesday, taking the team’s scoring tally to 43 in 14 games — the most in a major European league so far.

Jürgen Klopp’s 2020 champions remained in third, but with another 24 games to go that’s far from a concern.

The top three pulled away from fourth place after West Ham was held 1-1 by Brighton. Leicester and Southampton also drew 2-2, while the meeting between Wolverhampton and Burnley was goalless.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, club legend and former skipper Steven Gerrard couldn’t do it a favor.

Now manager of Aston Villa, Gerrard saw his team lose 2-1 Wednesday at home to Manchester City, one of the sides challenging Liverpool for the Premier League title.

First-half goals by Portugal internationals Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva — the latter scoring with a sensational volley from Gabriel Jesus’ cross at the end of a break — gave City a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Ollie Watkins reduced the deficit in the 47th with a first-time finish off a corner to the near post but City held on, helped by the second-half introduction of Jack Grealish — the boyhood Villa fan and former club captain who left for a British-record fee of 100 million pounds (then $139 million) in the offseason.

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