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Premier League

Premier League: five things we learnt from Matchday 22

Diego Costa was back for Chelsea and scoring, as Conte's side beat Hull 2-0, while Arsenal moved up to second and Rooney went top of the charts for Manchester United.

Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Hull City at Stamford Bridge in London on January 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS /

Costa is back for Chelsea

Diego Costa marked his return to Chelsea by scoring in a 2-0 victory over Hull City that saw the Conte's side go eight points clear at the top of the table. Arsenal meanwhile moved into second place after a dramatic victory over Burnley on a weekend which saw one Wayne Rooney became Manchester United's all-time leading goal-scorer.

Diego Costa back and scoring
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Diego Costa back and scoringRichard HeathcoteGetty Images

Chelsea love for Costa

Chelsea's fine season so far looked to be about to suffer a major upset after leading scorer Diego Costa was left out of the side amid reports of an angry training-ground bust up with a fitness coach and an huge money offer from China. But the Brazilian born striker marked his return to the starting XI with the opening goal as Antonio Conte's side beat Hull 2-0 to open up an eight-point lead at the top of the table. Costa's substitution, in the 86th minute, drew chants of "Diego! Diego!" from the Stamford Bridge stands. For now, he is back in the good books.

Manchester City pegged back AGAIN

Guardiola's Manchester City side went into their home game against Tottenham Hotspur on the back of a 4-0 thumping at Everton, but they completely dominated the first half and went 2-0 up with goals from Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne. However they ended up being pegged back for a 2-2 draw, in what has become a recurring theme for Pep's side.

Dejected Pep
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Dejected PepAlex LiveseyGetty Images

They bossed the game at Everton, with 71 percent of possession and registering 13 attempts at goal, but conceded every time their opponents hit the target. Against Spurs, City had 17 shots, seven of which were directly on goal, but the away team only needed to hit the target twice to take a share of the points.

 Record breaking Rooney

At a time when Wayne Rooney has become an increasingly marginalised figure at Manchester United, the striker gave a timely reminder of his enduring class as the England star broke his club's all-time scoring record to rescue a 1-1 draw at Stoke.

Rooney pops it in the corner
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Rooney pops it in the cornerMatthew PetersMan Utd via Getty Images

Rooney was once again in the unwanted position of watching his team from the bench as they fell behind to a Juan Mata own goal at the Britannia Stadium. But United manager Jose Mourinho turned to Rooney midway through the second half. With just seconds left in stoppage-time and previous record-holder Bobby Charlton looking on from the stands, Rooney struck a free-kick into the top corner in a reminder of the days when he was the main man for both club and country. Those days might have gone but, as Mourinho said after the match, Rooney's place alongside United's greats is now established forever.

Alexis at the death for Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger challenged his side in pre-season to improve their performance against middle-ranking sides after repeatedly seeing the Gunners' quest for the Premier League title undone by damaging losses to teams well below the top four. On the evidence of Sunday's thrilling 2-1 win over Burnley at the Emirates Stadium, his side have taken the hint.

After going ahead through Shkodran Mustafi's first goal for the club, Arsenal saw midfielder Granit Xhaka sent off and then conceded a stoppage-time equaliser to Andre Gray. But they refused to surrender and Alexis Sanchez scored from the spot with virtually the last kick of the game to lift the Gunners into second place. Arsenal have already managed 20 points against teams positioned from fifth to 12th in the table, matching their tally against those positions in the whole of last season

Alexis celebrates!
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Alexis celebrates!Shaun BotterillGetty Images

Allardyce record under threat

No team managed by Sam Allardyce has ever been relegated from the Premier League but that record was under threat after a Seamus Coleman goal gave Everton a 1-0 win away that left his Crystal Palace side firmly in the bottom three. He may well be wondering how wise it was to join a Palace side already deep in trouble after incautious remarks to undercover journalists led to his dramatic sacking as England manager. Palace face an ominous run-in, with their last nine league matches of the season including fixtures against the current top five.

Pressure mounting
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Pressure mountingJohn SibleyREUTERS

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