Sergio Aguero missed a penalty before replacement Gabriel Jesus spared his blushes as Manchester City edged past Premier League top-three rivals Leicester 1-0 at the King Power Stadium.
After a first half marked by Jamie Vardy hitting a post early on and Aguero having a goal ruled out for offside, second-placed City thought they were finally about to break the deadlock when the Argentinian stepped up to the spot on the hour mark, following Dennis Praet’s handball in the box.
But Kasper Schmeichel guessed right, meaning City had missed five of their last seven penalties. However it was not long before Jesus was introduced as a substitute for Aguero, and the Brazilian quickly seized on a pass from former Leicester man Riyad Mahrez before slotting home in the 80th minute.
Frank Lampard got one over his former manager as Chelsea beat Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham 2-1 with goals from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso in yet another match affected by VAR controversy.
Mourinho, who worked with current incumbent Lampard across his own two spells as Blues boss, hinted before the match he had information about how Chelsea would line up at Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
But if Mourinho did have an informant divulging tactical secrets from Lampard’s training sessions it was not apparent as Giroud – making his first start since November – breached the Spurs defence in the 15th minute and was involved in the build-up to Alonso’s superb long-range strike three minutes into the second half.
A contentious talking point then arose as Tottenham midfielder Giovani Lo Celso looked certain to be dismissed for his apparent stamp on Cesar Azpilicueta, but the Argentinian somehow avoided a red card following a VAR review.
Antonio Rudiger’s late own goal, following a run into the box and cross-shot by Erik Lamela, offered Spurs some mild comfort as they watched Chelsea pull four points clear in fourth place.
VAR was key to Burnley’s comprehensive 3-0 home victory against Bournemouth, with the Cherries falling apart from a competitive position after the system ruled against them.
Aaron Ramsdale had kept Burnley at bay throughout the first half at Turf Moor but Matej Vydra spoiled his clean sheet in the 53rd minute. The Czech raced onto Dwight McNeil’s assist before shrugging off a challenge from Cherries captain Simon Francis and burying the ball.
Then, as it had earlier at Stamford Bridge, VAR then intervened in dramatic fashion, with Harry Wilson’s goal at the end of a rapid raid ruled out before Burnley were instead awarded a penalty at the other end. Adam Smith had been penalised for a handball he committed just before Bournemouth broke forward to score – Jay Rodriguez converted the spot-kick.
McNeil exploited Bournemouth’s low mood after the swift change in fortunes by killing off the tie with a third for Burnley, the young Claret leaving Ramsdale stranded with a left-footed screamer.
At St Mary’s, Shane Long scored with his knee in the eighth minute and Stuart Armstrong made the points safe at the death as Southampton beat Aston Villa 2-0 to ease their relegation fears.
Patrick Van Aanholt’s own stunning strike secured all three points for Crystal Palace despite the heroics of visiting Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
The Slovakian stopper made two early saves to deny Gary Cahill and then Scott Dann, but Van Aanholt would beat him when he steered in a sumptuous free-kick to make it 1-0 on the stroke of half-time at Selhurst Park.
Any hopes of a late Magpies rally were quashed when on-loan Inter Milan winger Valentino Lazaro saw red in second-half stoppage time for his foul on Wilfried Zaha.
Elsewhere, Sheffield United and Brighton shared a 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane.
In the 26th minute, Enda Stevens controlled the ball with one touch before finding the roof of the net for United. Neal Maupay, however, soon levelled for Brighton by heading home from six yards after meeting Lewis Dunk’s flick-on with half an hour gone.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.