Manchester City moved six points clear at the top of the Premier League but only after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over stubborn Everton at Goodison Park.
Frank Lampard’s side defended resolutely for more than 80 minutes but a deflection to a Bernardo Silva cross left Michael Keane flat-footed and Phil Foden pounced on the Everton defender’s lack of control to finish from close range.
Moments later there was controversy when the ball appeared to spin up and hit Rodri on the arm as he went to clear in the box, but after a lengthy VAR check no penalty was given.
City held on to go six points clear of Liverpool, who have a game in hand but are not playing in the league this weekend as they face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday. Defeat leaves Everton just one point above the relegation zone.
Ukraine internationals Vitaliy Mykolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko were unused substitutes for Everton and City respectively, with both sets of players showing their solidarity prior to kick-off.
Newcastle continued their climb away from trouble with a 2-0 win at 10-man Brentford – a game which saw Christian Eriksen make his long-awaited return to action.
The Magpies took full advantage after VAR advised Mike Dean to head to the pitchside monitor 11 minutes in, with Josh Dasilva sent off for a reckless challenge on Matt Targett.
Twenty minutes later, Joelinton headed in Ryan Fraser’s cross, and Joe Willock made it 2-0 as he capped a swift counter-attack just before half-time.
Eriksen came on to make his Brentford debut in the second half, 259 days after collapsing while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020, but he could not change the course of the match.
The result sees Newcastle move above the Bees in the table, with Eddie Howe’s side now four points clear of the bottom three.
There was more encouragement for Burnley too as they followed up back-to-back wins over Brighton and Tottenham with a battling 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace to move within touching distance of Everton.
Jeffrey Schlupp had poked Palace ahead just nine minutes in after fine work from Michael Olise to send in the cross, but an own goal from Luka Milivojevic 40 seconds into the second half earned the Clarets another valuable point.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min created Premier League history as Tottenham delivered the ideal response to Wednesday’s chastening loss at Turf Moor by thrashing Leeds 4-0.
Kane and Son combined for a 37th time when Kane set up Son’s 85th minute goal, breaking the record held by Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba for Chelsea.
It followed first-half goals from Matt Doherty, Dejan Kulusevski and Kane as Tottenham responded to Antonio Conte’s midweek outburst to push the home side closer to the relegation battle.
The nature of the defeat will pile pressure on Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, whose side have now conceded 60 league goals this season, 20 of them this month.
Manchester United suffered more frustration in the fight for Champions League places as they were held to a goalless draw by Watford – whose 4-1 win over United in November contributed to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s exit.
Ralf Rangnick’s men dominated possession and had 20 shots in the match but could not find a breakthrough at Old Trafford.
Although they remain in fourth place, United have only two more points than Arsenal – who have three games in hand.
Kick-off at Brighton was delayed by 30 minutes due to heavy traffic around the AMEX Stadium, and things got little better for the locals once it did get under way as Aston Villa eased to a 2-0 win.
Matty Cash put the visitors ahead in the 17th minute with a low shot that went in off the post, with the Poland defender then booked for removing his shirt to reveal a message in support of international team-mate and Dynamo Kiev defender Tomasz Kedziora.
Villa then doubled their advantage in the 68th minute when Ollie Watkins fired beyond goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.
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