Leicester City bounced back from their humbling defeat to Liverpool by claiming a 2-1 win at West Ham despite ringing the changes, while Tottenham rescued a 2-2 at rock-bottom Norwich City with a late equaliser on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers' men were thumped 4-0 by runaway leaders Liverpool on Boxing Day after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.

But the Foxes returned to winning ways to strengthen their position in second even though Rodgers made nine changes – leading scorer Jamie Vardy absent after his wife gave birth.

Jose Mourinho's Spurs needed Harry Kane's 83rd-minute penalty to salvage a point at Carrow Road.

In the day's earlier matches, Watford's mini-resurgence under Nigel Pearson continued and Carlo Ancelotti made it two wins from as many matches in charge of Everton.

Brighton and Hove Albion were 2-0 winners over Bournemouth, while Southampton and Crystal Palace drew 1-1.

 

Gray makes amends as Leicester get back on track

Losses to City and Liverpool left doubts over Leicester's ability to challenge near the top of the table for the rest of the season, but they showed their squad depth and resilience at West Ham.

Demarai Gray, given a rare start, was presented with a fine chance to open the scoring when Lukasz Fabianski fouled Kelechi Iheanacho, but the goalkeeper saved the resulting penalty on his return from injury.

Iheanacho opened the scoring just before half-time, heading in from close range after Ayoze Perez knocked a delivery back across goal – but Pablo Fornals restored parity a few minutes later, finishing off a lovely move following great work from Felipe Anderson.

Gray made up for his miss from the spot early in the second half, confidently slotting past Fabianski after being released by Perez and West Ham rarely threatened thereafter.

 

VAR to the fore as Spurs make fortunate escape

Norwich might have been two to the good at half-time were it not for the most marginal of offside calls as Spurs were let off the hook.

Teemu Pukki slotted home on the break, only for VAR to rule him offside seemingly by his armpit after Mario Vrancic had capitalised on a series of defensive lapses to open the scoring in the 18th minute.

Spurs levelled with a free-kick effort from Christian Eriksen just after the break, but Norwich were back in front again by the 61st minute – Toby Alderweireld knocking the ball on to Serge Aurier when tackling Pukki and watching on as it found the back of the net.

But Kane rescued Spurs, as he often does. A clumsy sliding tackle from Christoph Zimmermann on the England striker resulted in a penalty and he swept home from 12 yards.

Spurs are up to fifth ahead of Wolves, who have a game in hand.

 

 

New managers having desired effect

A tense first half between Watford and Aston Villa at Vicarage Road remained goalless until just before the interval, when Ezri Konsa's error allowed

Abdoulaye Doucoure to get a shot away and Troy Deeney converted on the rebound.

Villa were given a boost just before the hour when Adrian Mariappa was shown a second yellow card for appearing to catch Henri Lansbury late, though replays suggested contact was minimal.

But Watford got a second goal in the 67th minute – Deeney smashing in a penalty after he had been barged over by Douglas Luiz, and Ismaila Sarr finished Villa off 19 minutes from time.

Ancelotti is overseeing an improvement at Everton, who beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St James' Park.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin grabbed a brace either side of Fabian Schar's strike, allowing the Toffees to move above their hosts in the table and up to 10th.

 

Seagulls pick off Cherries to arrest slump

Brighton hosted Bournemouth having not won any of their previous four matches in the top flight.

But it did not take them long to establish control against the Cherries – Alireza Jahanbakhsh putting them in front within three minutes by lashing into the bottom-right corner, finally opening his account for the club more than a year after costing a reported £17million.

Brighton thought they had sealed the win just before the hour when Dan Burn slammed home, only for a VAR review to adjudge him to be offside by a shoulder.

But Aaron Mooy did wrap up the victory 12 minutes from time in style, bringing down Leandro Trossard's cross, cleverly beating a defender and coolly slotting home.

Victory moves Brighton above Southampton, who could only salvage a draw at home to Palace, Danny Ings cancelling out James Tomkins' header with 16 minutes to go.

 

Paul Pogba is once again missing from the Manchester United squad for Saturday's trip to Burnley despite making substitute cameos in both of the club's two previous matches.

France international Pogba has been absent for most of the season due to a foot injury and illness, and he played for the first time in nearly three months when United were beaten 2-0 by Watford last weekend.

He was arguably United's best player after his introduction at Vicarage Road, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer again kept him in reserve as they thrashed Newcastle United 4-1 on Boxing Day.

It was suggested Pogba's fitness was being carefully managed in order to avoid a recurrence, with the trip to Turf Moor seemingly the ideal opportunity to give him his first start since returning.

But he has not even travelled, news that will surely worry some supporters given the transfer speculation that has surrounded him for much of the season.

Real Madrid are said to be keen on midfielder, who is reportedly frustrated by United's inability to challenge for major honours.

But Solskjaer insists Pogba has been left at home simply to avoid overloading him so soon after finding fitness.

"Paul has played in two games and has been out for a while and it didn't feel right to play him [on Saturday]," Solskjaer told MUTV.

Scott McTominay is also missing having been forced off in the Boxing Day win – Solskjaer suggesting at the time knee ligament damage was a possibility for the Scotland international, but the "full scan" has not been carried out yet.

Nemanja Matic is the main beneficiary of those absences, as he comes in for only his third Premier League start of the season, with Fred and Andreas Pereira also lining up in midfield.

Solskjaer has opted to rotate both full-backs as well.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw drop to the bench, with Brandon Williams and Ashley Young taking their places.

Mason Greenwood has to accept a spot among the substitutes despite scoring as a starter two days ago, with Daniel James coming back in.

Watford eased to a 3-0 win over relegation rivals Aston Villa despite having Adrian Mariappa sent off, while Carlo Ancelotti got a second win in succession as Everton boss on Saturday.

Nigel Pearson's impact is becoming impressively clear at Watford, with the new manager guiding them to two wins in a week, having also presided over the 2-0 defeat of Manchester United before Christmas.

Watford are now within two points of 18th-placed Villa and having previously looked doomed for relegation, they have been revived under Pearson.

Everton are also enjoying something of an improvement, as they left St James' Park with a 2-1 win over Newcastle United – Ancelotti's early work seemingly getting a reaction out of the Toffees.

New managers having desired effect

A tense first half at Vicarage Road remained goalless until just before the interval, when Ezri Konsa's error allowed Abdoulaye Doucoure to get a shot away and Troy Deeney converted on the rebound.

Villa were given a boost just before the hour when Mariappa was shown a second yellow card for appearing to catch Henri Lansbury late, though replays suggested contact was minimal.

But Watford got a second goal in the 67th minute – Deeney smashing in a penalty after he had been barged over by Douglas Luiz, and Ismaila Sarr finished Villa off 19 minutes from time.

Ancelotti is overseeing an improvement at Everton, who beat Newcastle to make it two wins from as many matches under the Italian.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin got himself a brace either side of Fabian Schar's strike, allowing the Toffees to move above their hosts in the table and up to 10th.

Seagulls pick off Cherries to arrest slump

Brighton and Hove Albion went into Saturday's clash with Bournemouth having not won any of their previous four matches in the Premier League.

But it did not take them long to establish control against the Cherries – Alireza Jahanbakhsh putting them in front within three minutes by lashing into the bottom-right corner, finally opening his account for the club more than a year after costing a reported £17million.

Brighton thought they had sealed the win just before the hour when Dan Burn slammed home, only for a VAR review to adjudge him to be offside by a shoulder.

But Aaron Mooy did wrap up the victory 12 minutes from time in style, bringing down Leandro Trossard's cross, cleverly beating a defender and coolly slotting home.

Brighton's win moved them above Southampton, who could only salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace, Danny Ings cancelling out James Tomkins' header with 16 minutes to go.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it is not possible to expect Manchester United's youngsters to play "tippy-tappy" football in the manner of Manchester City at this stage of their development.

United produced one of their best displays of the season in Thursday's Premier League clash with Newcastle United, coming from a goal down to ease to a 4-1 victory at Old Trafford.

Anthony Martial scored twice, while Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford were also on target after Matty Longstaff had given the visitors a 17th-minute lead.

Solskjaer's side have often struggled to break down more defensive opposition this term, but the United boss believes the win over Newcastle shows their style can work.

"I think it's been said in no uncertain terms what type of team we are," he told reporters. "Supporters know what we expect and know when we are at our best. 

"We showed that on Thursday and, even though we went a goal down, heads didn't drop. We have to make it hard to play against us. 

"We can't play tippy-tappy football and can't, at this moment in time, play like City - only City can do that. 

"We have to show more energy, drive and urgency, plus selflessness in every single game. That's the way we have to play at the moment."

United's victory over Newcastle saw them return to winning ways after a 2-0 loss at strugglers Watford last weekend.

The Red Devils are now four points behind the top four and Solskjaer remains confident of finishing in a Champions League spot.

"We should get into the top four without waiting for the final game against Leicester," he said. "But it may go down to that game, who knows? 

"I've said about this team that we may be challenging for a lot more next year. We're young but I except a lot from this team this year."

Two days after beating Newcastle, United take on Burnley in their next Premier League outing and they then travel to Arsenal four days later.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp this week described the scheduling of the festive fixtures as "criminal" and Solskjaer agrees something needs to be changed.

"You are traditionalists in this country so I can't see it changing, but it should," Solskjaer said.

"I don't think it's fair on the boys at all. It's not fair to be expected to perform at the best of your ability, mentally and physically, 48 hours after you last played. 

"But we are probably in the best position to perform on Saturday because the game [against Newcastle] was over after 45 minutes and we are a young side.

"We have a chance against Burnley to perform at our best level. When you're 23, which I think was our average age against Newcastle, it makes it easier to recover than Burnley.

"But it's not fair, especially when there was a game against Watford just gone, a game on New Year's Day - two games in three days."

Liverpool thrashed second-placed Leicester City 4-0 to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 13 points with a game in hand.

Club World Cup hero Roberto Firmino scored either side of a James Milner penalty and Trent Alexander-Arnold capped a phenomenal display by completing the scoring at the King Power Stadium.

Manchester United were also big winners, coming from behind to beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford, while elsewhere in the Premier League two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the result of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Spurs moved back to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a result repeated in the south of the capital as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard, but better news for Solskjaer

Leicester's designs on a title push have been checked by defeats to Manchester City and now Liverpool, who have won 17 of their 18 Premier League games this season.

They last lost in the competition on January 3 and Alexander-Arnold, who set up both of Firmino's goals, gave an awesome demonstration of the quality at their disposal.

By contrast, Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour. Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time.

Spurs were facing a fresh setback in their game against Brighton when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick, but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his Manchester United turn on the style after going behind to an early Matty Longstaff goal against Newcastle.

As memories of a painful 1-0 defeat to the Magpies in October came flooding back, the hosts found an extra gear at Old Trafford to turn the match around, with Martial, Greenwood and Rashford showing a clinical touch.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

The Clarets are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Palace had a day to remember against West Ham despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Southampton shocked Chelsea and Manchester United thrashed Newcastle on Boxing Day, while elsewhere in the Premier League two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the result of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Manchester United swept aside Newcastle United 4-1 with two goals from Anthony Martial, who also struck the post, and one each from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.

Spurs moved back to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a result repeated in the south of the capital as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard, but better news for Solskjaer

Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour.

Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time and Chelsea got what they deserved after bearing no more than a passing resemblance to the side that outplayed Tottenham at the weekend.

Spurs were facing a fresh setback in their game against Brighton when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick, but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his Manchester United turn on the style after going behind to an early Matty Longstaff goal against Newcastle. As memories of a painful 1-0 defeat to the Magpies in October came flooding back, the hosts found an extra gear at Old Trafford to turn the match around, with Martial, Greenwood and Rashford showing a clinical touch.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

Burnley are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Palace had a day to remember against West Ham despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Southampton shocked Chelsea with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day as two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way in the Premier League.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the story of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Spurs are back to within three points of their London rivals and the top four after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a feat repeated in the south of the capital later in the day as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard

Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour.

Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time and Chelsea got what they deserved after bearing no more than a passing resemblance to the side that outplayed Tottenham at the weekend.

Spurs were facing a further setback when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

Burnley are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Ahead of Manchester United's later kick-off at home to Newcastle United, Palace moved up to eighth despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Manchester City battled to a 3-1 comeback win against Leicester City to keep alive their slim Premier League title hopes, while Everton and Arsenal played out a bore draw at Goodison Park.

Riyad Mahrez struck against his former club to cancel out Jamie Vardy's opener in a game the reigning champions went on to win comfortably, moving them to within a point of their second-placed opponents.

Elsewhere, Miguel Almiron scored his first Premier League goal to fire Newcastle United to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, while Everton and Arsenal played out a bore draw at Goodison Park.

Paraguay international Almiron volleyed home late on to get off the mark on his 27th appearance in the competition and settle a match that was heading for a goalless draw.

Goals proved hard to come by in the stalemate between Everton and Arsenal, a low-quality match watched from the stands by respective incoming bosses Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta.

Everton failed to record a shot on target in a top-flight home match for the first time since January 2018, while Gabriel Martinelli went closest to scoring for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Burnley, Sheffield United, Wolves and Southampton all won away from home, the latter seeing off relegation rivals Aston Villa 3-1 to boost their survival hopes.
 

City comeback flattens Foxes

Pep Guardiola's side entered Saturday's late kick-off sitting four points behind Leicester and 14 adrift of Liverpool, meaning only victory would do if they were to keep their outside title aspirations alive.

Those hopes were further dented when Vardy got on the end of Harvey Barnes' pass and scored through Leicester's first effort at goal but, inspired by another Kevin De Bruyne masterclass, the champions roared back to claim back-to-back league wins.

Mahrez, who won the Premier League title with Leicester in 2016, fired a deflected shot past Kasper Schmeichel to pull one back and Ilkay Gundogan converted from the penalty spot after Raheem Sterling was fouled by Ricardo Pereira.

De Bruyne picked up the assist his performance deserved in the second half by setting up Gabriel Jesus - who had not previously scored on home soil this season - to seal the victory.

Arsenal's poor form continues

With Arteta not officially taking charge of his first Arsenal match until the Boxing Day trip to Bournemouth, interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg oversaw yet another below-par display from his side.

The Gunners looked the more likely side to score on Merseyside but lacked cohesion all over the field and had to settle for a point, making it just one win in 13 matches in all competitions.

Arsenal did at least manage to test Jordan Pickford - the England international doing well to keep out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the second half - with the Toffees rarely troubling the opposition defence.

Ancelotti was confirmed as Everton's new manager on a four-and-a-half-year deal shortly before kick-off, giving him a chance to witness up close just how big a task he has on his hands when taking the reins from stand-in boss Duncan Ferguson.

Almiron ends drought to extend Palace's winless run

A third victory in four Premier League matches for Newcastle was secured thanks to Almiron, who has had a tough time of things since arriving from Atlanta United for a reported £20million in January.

Almiron converted with a first-time finish seven minutes from time after being teed up by Andy Carroll's header, ending his long-running goal drought and sending United up to ninth place.

Palace, now without a win in three league outings, saw more of the ball and had the better of the chances, but Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke were unable to find a way past home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Ings inspires Southampton to vital victory

Southampton leapfrogged fellow strugglers Aston Villa into 17th place with a Danny Ings-inspired win, the one-cap England international reaching double figures for the season before Christmas.

Ings scored either side of Jack Stephens' towering header as Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges raced into a three-goal lead at Villa Park with 51 minutes played.

Jack Grealish scored a fine goal to reduce the arrears, but Villa left themselves with too big a mountain to climb and are now in the relegation zone after a fourth defeat on the spin.

Norwich cut further adrift

Norwich City failed to make their first-half dominance count in a 2-1 home loss to Wolves that leaves them six points adrift of safety at Christmas.

Todd Cantwell pounced on a loose ball to give Norwich a deserved 17th-minute lead, but they could not build on their advantage and Wolves hit back.

After a subdued opening hour, Romain Saiss sparked his side into life with a powerful header and Raul Jimenez made it 16 goals for the season across all competitions late on to condemn Norwich - who have one point from their last five home matches - to another defeat.

Wilder's men overcome more VAR frustrations

Sheffield United continued their march up the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion, despite the frustration of having two goals ruled out by VAR.

John Egan's bundled finish was chalked off for handball and Jack O'Connell was denied for offside - the third and fourth goals United have been awarded on the field this term, only for VAR to intervene.

Not that it mattered, though, as Oli McBurnie's third goal of the season - a powerful strike past Mat Ryan after 23 minutes - proved enough for Chris Wilder's men to keep their unbeaten away record this season intact as they moved into the lofty heights of fifth place.

Rodriguez settles contest between shot-shy sides

Burnley edged out Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium in a game that saw the sides register just five shots between them - the fewest recorded in a Premier League game since records began in 2003-04.

The one and only attempt on target arrived in the final minute of the game, Jay Rodriguez heading in Ashley Westwood's cross from close range to settle a dreadful game.

Jefferson Lerma's 30-yard effort over the bar was as good as things got for a Bournemouth side that have lost six of their last seven league matches to slip into relegation danger.

Miguel Almiron scored his first Premier League goal to fire Newcastle United to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, while Everton and Arsenal played out a bore draw at Goodison Park.

Paraguay international Almiron volleyed home late on to get off the mark on his 27th appearance in the competition and settle a match that was heading for a goalless draw.

Goals proved hard to come by in the stalemate between Everton and Arsenal, a low-quality match watched from the stands by respective incoming bosses Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta.

Everton failed to record a shot on target in a top-flight home match for the first time since January 2018, while Gabriel Martinelli went closest to scoring for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Burnley, Sheffield United, Wolves and Southampton all won away from home, the latter seeing off relegation rivals Aston Villa 3-1 to boost their survival hopes.

Arsenal's poor form continues

With Arteta not officially taking charge of his first Arsenal match until the Boxing Day trip to Bournemouth, interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg oversaw yet another below-par display from his side.

The Gunners looked the more likely side to score on Merseyside but lacked cohesion all over the field and had to settle for a point, making it just one win in 13 matches in all competitions.

Arsenal did at least manage to test Jordan Pickford - the England international doing well to keep out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the second half - with the Toffees rarely troubling the opposition defence.

Ancelotti was confirmed as Everton's new manager on a four-and-a-half-year deal shortly before kick-off, giving him a chance to witness up close just how big a task he has on his hands when taking the reins from stand-in boss Duncan Ferguson.

Almiron ends drought to extend Palace's winless run

A third victory in four Premier League matches for Newcastle was secured thanks to Almiron, who has had a tough time of things since arriving from Atlanta United for a reported £20million in January.

Almiron converted with a first-time finish seven minutes from time after being teed up by Andy Carroll's header, ending his long-running goal drought and sending United up to ninth place.

Palace, now without a win in three league outings, saw more of the ball and had the better of the chances, but Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke were unable to find a way past home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Ings inspires Southampton to vital victory

Southampton leapfrogged fellow strugglers Aston Villa into 17th place with a Danny Ings-inspired win, the one-cap England international reaching double figures for the season before Christmas.

Ings scored either side of Jack Stephens' towering header as Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges raced into a three-goal lead at Villa Park with 51 minutes played.

Jack Grealish scored a fine goal to reduce the arrears, but Villa left themselves with too big a mountain to climb and are now in the relegation zone after a fourth defeat on the spin.

Norwich cut further adrift

Norwich City failed to make their first-half dominance count in a 2-1 home loss to Wolves that leaves them six points adrift of safety at Christmas.

Todd Cantwell pounced on a loose ball to give Norwich a deserved 17th-minute lead, but they could not build on their advantage and Wolves hit back.

After a subdued opening hour, Romain Saiss sparked his side into life with a powerful header and Raul Jimenez made it 16 goals for the season across all competitions late on to condemn Norwich - who have one point from their last five home matches - to another defeat.

Wilder's men overcome more VAR frustrations

Sheffield United continued their march up the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion, despite the frustration of having two goals ruled out by VAR.

John Egan's bundled finish was chalked off for handball and Jack O'Connell was denied for offside - the third and fourth goals United have been awarded on the field this term, only for VAR to intervene.

Not that it mattered, though, as Oli McBurnie's third goal of the season - a powerful strike past Mat Ryan after 23 minutes - proved enough for Chris Wilder's men to keep their unbeaten away record this season intact as they moved into the lofty heights of fifth place.

Rodriguez settles contest between shot-shy sides

Burnley edged out Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium in a game that saw the sides register just five shots between them - the fewest recorded in a Premier League game since records began in 2003-04.

The one and only attempt on target arrived in the final minute of the game, Jay Rodriguez heading in Ashley Westwood's cross from close range to settle a dreadful game.

Jefferson Lerma's 30-yard effort over the bar was as good as things got for a Bournemouth side that have lost six of their last seven league matches to slip into relegation danger.

Jan Vertonghen praised the turnaround Tottenham have made under Jose Mourinho after his late header earned a 2-1 Premier League win at Wolves.

Adama Traore, who gave Vertonghen a tough match at Molineux on Sunday, had struck to cancel out Lucas Moura's early effort in wet conditions.

But Vertonghen headed home a Christian Eriksen corner in the first minute of added time to give Mourinho's men their fourth win in five league games since the Portuguese replaced Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs are now within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who they host next weekend, with Vertonghen hailing the improvement made by his side in recent weeks.

"It was a very difficult game. We know how good Wolves are," said the defender.

"People talk about the top six but they're very close. They show it in the league every week. They're a very good side.

"It was very difficult playing against one of the quickest guys in the league [Traore].

"When he [Mourinho] came in, he was very clear that he wanted to be in the top four.

"We were 11 points off when he came in, now we are three away.

"Things are looking different for us now, we are in the next round of the Champions League too."

While there was joy at a late winner for Spurs it was a painful end to the game for Wolves, whose 11-match unbeaten run in the Premier League is over.

"I'm distraught," said captain Conor Coady. "I thought we were fantastic. We nullified them.

"We've got to manage the game better. We dominated them from start to finish. We have to pick ourselves up.

"We shouldn't have conceded the last one. We dominated a top team like Tottenham."

Liverpool kept their first home clean sheet of the Premier League season in a 2-0 win over Watford as Mohamed Salah's double rescued the off-key Reds.

The manner in which Jurgen Klopp's men can win when out of sorts must be hard to swallow for second-placed Leicester, who drew 1-1 at home to Norwich City, and third-placed Manchester City, who travel to Arsenal on Sunday.

Chelsea failed to put pressure on the top three as they succumbed to a 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth, but Sheffield United moved up to fifth after brushing Aston Villa aside in a 2-0 win.

Chris Wood's goal was enough to bring Burnley's three-match losing streak to an end and condemn Newcastle United to a first defeat in four league outings.

 

Watford make Reds work for 16th straight home win

New manager Nigel Pearson left Anfield with every reason to be proud of his Watford side's performance on an afternoon when the Hornets had enough chances to claim a shock victory against the Premier League leaders.

Abdoulaye Doucoure and Etienne Capoue were guilty of wasteful finishing that let Liverpool off the hook and Salah made Watford pay in spectacular style.

The Egypt international curled a spectacular opener into the top corner after 38 minutes and then wrapped up a hard-fought win with a cheeky tap-in in the last minute.

The satisfaction Jurgen Klopp took from an ugly win was dulled by an injury to Georginio Wijnaldum, who suffered a muscle strain that looks set to rule him out of Liverpool's trip to Qatar for the Club World Cup.

Liverpool have now won 16 straight home Premier League games, with their lead up to 10 points.

Four defeats in five for Lampard's Blues

Bournemouth arrived at Stamford Bridge in the midst of a five-game Premier League losing streak but emerged with all three points after Dan Gosling's late goal clinched a surprise 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

Any hopes the Blues had of a return to strong domestic form following their 2-1 midweek victory over Lille began to fade as chances went begging while Bournemouth grew in confidence.

As the Cherries piled forward, Jefferson Lerma's looping header into the box six minutes from time found Gosling unmarked and he lifted the ball over Kepa Arrizabalaga and over the line.

Chelsea had 18 shots at goal throughout the match but failed to force an equaliser and Frank Lampard's men trudged off the field with a record of one win and four defeats in their last five Premier League outings.

Foxes come up short as winning streak ends

Teemu Pukki's third goal in four Premier League matches gave Norwich City the lead at King Power Stadium, where Leicester City's eight-match Premier League winning streak came grinding to a halt.

The Finland international fired Norwich ahead after 26 minutes, but their advantage did not last long, with Tim Krul palming Jamie Vardy's header into his own net seven minutes before half-time.

Daniel Farke's Norwich fought hard for their share of the points in a second half that saw Leicester heap pressure on their goal, attempting 12 shots on goal.

Ben Chilwell's cross forced a late corner from which substitute Harvey Barnes fired agonisingly wide for the hosts, who remain second in the table.

Blades up to fifth after victory over Villa

Any doubts over which of this season's promoted sides has the best chance of a top-half finish appeared to be resolved at Bramall Lane, where Fleck scored both of Sheffield United's goals in a 2-0 win over Aston Villa.

Chris Wilder's men have proved themselves extremely tough to beat and Villa's hopes of inflicting what would have been only United's second defeat in 10 league games suffered a blow when Scotland international Fleck finished a neat passing move with a goal after 50 minutes.

Fleck coolly slotted home his second 23 minutes later before Jack Grealish hit the crossbar with a penalty, leaving Villa winless in four Premier League matches and in trouble towards the foot of the table.

Liverpool maintained their charge for a first Premier League title with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth, keeping just a third top-flight clean sheet of the season in the process.

The Reds remain eight points ahead of Leicester City, who saw off Aston Villa 4-1 to make it eight league victories in a row – their best winning run in their top-flight history.

But defending champions Manchester City are now 14 points adrift of top spot after tasting defeat in their derby showdown with a rejuvenated Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho made it three league wins out of four as Tottenham thrashed Burnley to close to within six points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who lost 3-1 at Everton.

There were also wins for Newcastle United and Sheffield United, against Southampton and Norwich City respectively, while Watford played out a goalless draw with Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion took a point off Wolves.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's games.

DERBY DEFEAT LEAVES GUARDIOLA WITH LOWEST POINTS HAUL

Pep Guardiola admitted City could not cope with the pace of United's attacking trio of Daniel James, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in Saturday's clash.

City fell two goals behind inside half an hour and, despite Nicolas Otamendi pulling one back late on, they fell to a defeat that surely ends their hopes of retaining the title.

The loss leaves the reigning champions with 32 points - the lowest return of Guardiola's managerial career after 16 matches.

Kyle Walker refused to wave the white flag, but no English top-flight side has ever gone on to win the title after being as many as 14 points behind the top side at the end of a day.

As for United, who beat Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday, they are now unbeaten in five Premier League games and have won back-to-back matches for the first time since March.

CLEAN SHEET BONUS FOR RUNAWAY REDS

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had extra reason to celebrate his side's win at Bournemouth, having kept a first clean sheet in 14 games in all competitions.

In fact, toothless Bournemouth - now beaten in five successive games for the first time in their top-flight history - managed zero shots on target at the Vitality Stadium.

Klopp's men have won 24 of their past 25 Premier League matches, including 15 out of 16 this term, and have scored two or more goals in 23 of those past 25 fixtures.

Naby Keita marked his first league start of the season with a goal and an assist, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah were also on target.

Salah's goal took him to 63 in 100 Premier League outings, with Alan Shearer (79), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68) and Sergio Aguero (64) the only players to score more in their first century of games.

SENSATIONAL SON INSPIRES MOURINHO'S FREE-SCORING MEN

Tottenham produced a five-star display in their emphatic triumph against Burnley, who suffered their joint-biggest margin of defeat in the Premier League.

Mourinho saw Tottenham score five goals in his fourth Premier League game in charge, something Manchester United failed to achieve in 93 league matches under the Portuguese.

Harry Kane bagged a brace, Lucas Moura scored a sitter and Moussa Sissoko netted for the second home game running, but it was Son Heung-min who stole the show.

Having earlier set up Kane's opener, Son ran from one box to the other and found the net to make it 15 goal involvements in 15 appearances at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Dele Alli may not have registered in the one-sided contest, though he provided two assists in a Premier League game for the third time and the first since December 2017.

VARDY CLOSING IN ON HIS OWN RECORD

Leicester appear to be the only side standing between Liverpool and a maiden Premier League title success after coming out on top in their Midlands tussle with Aston Villa.

Jamie Vardy helped himself to a couple of goals as the Foxes inflicted a heaviest home league defeat on Villa since they lost 4-0 to Chelsea in April 2016.

The 32-year-old became the first player to score in eight consecutive Premier League matches since Vardy himself did so in November 2015 when netting 11 in a row.

Only one player other than Vardy has scored in eight successive fixtures, in fact - Van Nistelrooy, who did so in 2002 and again in 2003 during his time at Manchester United.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans also registered at Villa Park for Leicester, who have won their past four away Premier League matches by an aggregate score of 17-1.

Jose Mourinho compared Son Heung-min's solo strike in Tottenham's 5-0 win against Burnley to a famous goal scored by Brazil legend Ronaldo.

Son picked up the ball just outside his own 18-yard box, took on several opposition players and fired past Nick Pope to steal the show in Saturday's one-sided affair.

The mazy run and finish was described by former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker as the goal of the season, while Mourinho saw similarities to the stunning individual effort by then-Barcelona star Ronaldo against Compostela in 1996.

Mourinho was assistant to Barca coach Bobby Robson at the time of that incredible strike and has since described Ronaldo as "the best player I'd ever seen take to the field".

The Tottenham coach revealed on Saturday that Son had already earned a new nickname in the Mourinho household coming into the Burnley game.

"It is a tremendous goal. Even before this goal, my son calls him 'Sonaldo' after Ronaldo Luis Nazario," Mourinho said at his post-match news conference. 

"The only thing that comes to my mind is the goal when I had the honour of being next to Sir Bobby Robson when Ronaldo scored a wonderful goal.

"From the outside, I had a feeling. I remember speaking to Sir Alex [Ferguson] about Park Ji-sung. Maybe it's a cultural thing. These players are very coachable. The kid is fantastic. I'm very happy, so happy."

Harry Kane scored twice in the Burnley rout, while Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko were also on target as Spurs made it 16 goals scored in five matches under Mourinho.

Four of those games have ended in victory, with Tottenham closing to within six points of the Premier League's top four and already through to the last 16 of the Champions League ahead of their midweek clash with Bayern Munich.

Mourinho plans to leave out Kane for the trip to Bavaria, but 17-year-old striker Troy Parrott could make an appearance after being handed his Premier League debut as a late substitute against Burnley.

"Today he played in the Premier League at the age of 17," Mourinho said. "Will he play against Bayern Munich? I don't know. All I can say is Harry Kane won't. Who plays, we'll see.

"This was a perfect day for us - no injuries, a clean sheet, goals, perfect football, kids coming on for their first Premier League football. Finally, the boys get a day off tomorrow that I've not been able to give them yet."

Burnley fell to 13th after a third defeat in a row, and manager Sean Dyche acknowledged the past week had been a reality check for his side.

"We've given the ball away five times and they've scored five goals," he told reporters. "It's unlike us, even against these good sides, to give the ball away so often, and it's been a tough day.

"We've shown we can play against these sort of teams and make life awkward, and we have to get back to that.

"We didn't start with that edge you need and it's been a week of reality for us, but we know there's a huge gulf in this league when the big teams are on it, so for us now it's onwards and upwards."

Son Heung-min said he had little choice but to go on a 90-yard solo run for his remarkable goal in Tottenham's thumping 5-0 win against Burnley.

Tottenham were two goals to the good when the South Korea international picked up the ball on the edge of his own area, carried it to the opposition box and slotted past Nick Pope.

Son had Dele Alli to his left and Lucas Moura to his right, but he elected to go it alone for one of the goals of the season.

"When I got the ball, I tried to pass it to Dele but I couldn't find him, so I had to keep going," he told Sky Sports. "I am happy to score this goal.

"It was brilliant today. We created chances and were clinical. We deserved the three points. It was an unbelievable performance."

Son also set up Harry Kane's early opener and has now been directly involved in 15 goals in 15 appearances at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Kane went on to score another goal, while Lucas and Moussa Sissoko were also on target in a dominant home display, but the skipper reserved special praise for Son.

"Sonny stole the show today. It was an unbelievable goal and a great counter-attack," Kane said.

"All he wants to do is work hard and play for the team. He has great quality and works hard for the team. All round, it was a top performance."

Tottenham suffered a first defeat under Jose Mourinho in Wednesday's trip to Manchester United and Kane was delighted to see his side bounce back in style.

"Whenever you play bad in a big game like the Manchester United one, you can't wait for the next game and for the whistle to start," he added.

"You saw that today: we pressed quickly and took our chance."

Son Heung-min scored a goal of the season contender as Tottenham returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a convincing 5-0 home victory against Burnley.

Tottenham suffered a first defeat under Jose Mourinho in midweek when going down 2-1 to Manchester United, but they turned on the style in Saturday's clash to climb up to fifth.

Mourinho's men were two goals ahead inside nine minutes, with Harry Kane opening the scoring from 25 yards out before Lucas Moura added a second from far closer range.

Son then scored a remarkable third goal by carrying the ball some 90 yards and slotting home, while Kane doubled his tally and Moussa Sissoko joined the scoring in an equally one-sided second half.

Kane took advantage of some hesitant Burnley defending to fire his side in front after 240 seconds with a fierce shot that caught out Nick Pope.

Pope got down to keep out Son's shot less than five minutes later, but the ball looped into the air, deflected off Dele Alli's back and Lucas was there to convert from a yard out.

Sissoko hit the post with a first-time shot and Alli was dispossessed by a brilliant challenge from James Tarkowski after being played through as Spurs' domination continued.

Burnley nearly pulled one back through a Robbie Brady header that hit the bar, but the hosts added a third before half-time thanks to Son's sublime solo goal.

It took less than 10 minutes of the second half for Kane to double his personal tally, the England international cutting inside Tarkowski and firing in at the near post.

Sissoko netted for the second home game running with 16 minutes remaining after playing a one-two with Kane and poking the ball past Pope to round off the scoring.


What does it mean? "Angry" Tottenham up to fifth

Mourinho told his Tottenham players he wanted to see more "anger" on the back of their defeat at Old Trafford and they certainly showed Burnley no mercy in a ruthless display.

Spurs have now won four of their five matches under Mourinho, three of those victories coming in the Premier League to move them within six points of the top four.


Sublime Son shines again

Son set up Kane's long-range opener, played a key part in Tottenham's second and scored one of the finest goals of this or any other season to cap an incredible display.

He knocked the ball past seven Burnley players and kept his composure to slot past Pope, making it 15 goal involvements in 15 appearances at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.


Burnley back off too freely

All five Tottenham goals were preventable, each coming down to a mixture of slack defending and questionable goalkeeping. 

In Pope's defence, he will ask how Son was allowed to carry the ball from one box to the other for the third goal, with the likes of Tarkowski and Ben Mee hardly covering themselves in glory.


What's next?

Tottenham travel to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday with a place in the last 16 already assured, while Burnley host Newcastle United in a week's time.

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