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City march on but Everton start over – 5 things we learned in the Premier League

KevinCoutowe

Despite further disruption with postponed fixtures, the Premier League once again delivered a weekend of excitement and intrigue.

With stories at the top and bottom of the table, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the key talking points from the latest round of fixtures.

De Bruyne strikes as City do the dozen

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Chelsea’s trip to Manchester City saw the sides who entered the weekend first and second in the table meet at the Etihad Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half effort was enough to seal a 1-0 victory, City’s 12th consecutive league win, which ultimately takes them 11 points clear at the summit.

Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Brentford took them into second place with a game in hand over Pep Guardiola’s men but it would take something miraculous to prevent City retaining their title.

Sticky end for Rafa and Toffees

Everton fans protesting against Rafael Benitez during the loss at Norwich got their wish when the Spaniard was sacked a day later.

Everton fans protesting against Rafael Benitez during the loss at Norwich got their wish when the Spaniard was sacked a day later (Joe Giddens/PA)

Rafael Benitez was sacked on Sunday evening as his short tenure as Everton boss ended with a ninth defeat in their last 12 league outings.

The final straw came after a 2-1 loss at Norwich, who had gone into the game on a six-game losing streak where they had failed to score.

Now though, Dean Smith’s side are just a point away from clawing their way out of the relegation zone with Everton in search of fifth permanent manager in three and a half years.

Gerrard has his Phil

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Having lost 1-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup third round five days earlier, Aston Villa came from two down to draw with Manchester United at Villa Park on Saturday evening.

With Bruno Fernandes scoring twice following Villa errors, United looked on course to close in on the top four as interim manager Ralf Rangnick was once again without Cristiano Ronaldo.

The hosts, however, would rally as Steven Gerrard shuffled his pack, introducing former Liverpool team-mate Philippe Coutinho, who marked his debut with a sliding equaliser after the impressive Jacob Ramsey had pulled one back.

Harrison hits Hammers with hat-trick

Jack Harrison (centre) scored a hat-trick as Leeds won at high-flying West Ham.

Jack Harrison, centre, scored a hat-trick as Leeds won at high-flying West Ham (Jonathan Brady/PA)

With Arsenal’s appeal for their north London derby clash at Tottenham to be postponed proving successful, West Ham had the chance to open up a gap over their capital rivals.

Leeds were the visitors to the London Stadium and Marcelo Bielsa’s men would run out winners in a five-goal thriller as Jack Harrison scored the first hat-trick of his professional career.

The visitors themselves were down to the bare bones but survived two equalisers to claim back to back league wins for the first time this season and ease their relegation concerns.

Hornets hit back against Newcastle

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Newcastle remain inside the relegation zone as Eddie Howe once again saw his side surrender the lead as Watford left St James’ with a 1-1 draw.

The Magpies, who handed a debut to striker Chris Wood, had led through Allan Saint-Maximin but have now lost 21 points from winning positions this season after Joao Pedro levelled with just two minutes remaining.

Now only Burnley sit below Newcastle in the table and the Clarets have three games in hand over Newcastle, who have plenty to do to survive this season.

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