Tottenham 1 – 3 Manchester City
Back to winning ways for Manchester City. The game followed a familiar pattern – strong start, alarming lull – but Guardiola’s side were just good enough to beat Tottenham. Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring, racing through to put away Vincent Kompany’s long-ball, before Hugo Lloris was adjudged (incorrectly) to have brought down the Brazilian in the box. 2-0, Ilkay Gundogan coverting. Christian Eriksen would pull a goal back for Spurs just short of half-time, but Raheem Sterling’s close range finish secured the points. City two points away now.
Goals: Eriksen ’42 – Jesus ’22, Gundogan ’25 (pen), Sterling ’72
Liverpool 2 – 0 Bournemouth
No European hangover for Liverpool, who produced a lively response the morning after the night before. Bournemouth have been in a stubborn form lately, but Sadio Mane’s early goal – which owed much to Asmir Begovic’s fumble – showed their cracks. Jurgen Klopp’s side never quite reached the heights they achieved against Manchester City and their intensity waned a little in the second-half, but Mohamed Salah’s marvellous header made the game safe. Roberto Firmino added a late third, beating Begovic at his near post.
Goals: Mane ‘7, Salah ’69, Firmino ’90
Southampton 2 – 3 Chelsea
An extraordinary comeback. 2-0 down with 20 minutes left, behind to goals from Dusan Tadic and Jan Bednarek (on debut), a listless Chelsea produced an extraordinary flurry from almost nowhere: sub Olivier Giroud tapped in Marcos Alonso’s cross to pull one back, Eden Hazard crashed home an equaliser after fine work from Willian and, just four minutes later, Giroud struck again, finding the top-corner with a brilliant finish. The Champions League still looks remote for Chelsea, but it’s far more feasible than it might have been.
Goals: Tadic ’21, Bednarek ’60 – Giroud ’70, ’79, Hazard ’75
Burnley 2 – 1 Leicester
This was over early: Chris Wood opened the scoring after Burnley capitalised on a Wes Morgan mistake – another Wes Morgan mistake – and, three minutes later, Kevin Long rose highest to head in Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s cross. 2-0 up and looking strong for a European place. Nerves jangled a little towards the end, with Jamie Vardy hammering home his 20th goal of the season after good work from Kelechi Iheanacho, but Burnley held out to take all the points and maintain their course for the Europa League.
Goals: Wood ‘6, Long ‘9 – Vardy ’72
Crystal Palace 3 – 2 Brighton
Brighton shot themselves in the foot early at Selhurst Park: leaving Wilfried Zaha unmarked from a corner and allowing him to open the scoring after just five minutes. Not good. It got worse, too, and again from a set-piece. This time James Tomkins forced the ball home from close range following a Mat Ryan save. Brighton responded, though. Glenn Murray, as per the Law Of The Ex, got a touch on Lewis Dunk header and Chris Hughton’s team were briefly back in the game. Again though, they made it hard for themselves, allowing Zaha to score again, this time at the back-post and from a gorgeous Luka Milivojevic cross.
On we went, though: Jose Izequierdo curled in the fifth goal of the half – a real beauty – on 34 minutes. No question, this was the game of the day. Brighton had the better of the chances in the second-half, Murray wasting the best opportunity by shooting wide, but Palace held on for a crucial win.
Goals: Zaha ‘5, Tomkins ’14 – Murray ’18, Izquierdo ’34
Huddersfield 1 – 0 Watford
No surprise that Watford, who have lost all of their last five away games, and Huddersfield, who have not won any of their last five, got off to a slow start. Goalless at half-time, with neither side carrying much of a threat. The quality didn’t improve after the break but, just when Huddersfield needed a critical intervention, Tom Ince snuck into the six-yard box and prodded home with time running out. A massive win for David Wagner, who – cautiously – must now believe his side are almost safe.
Goals: Ince ’89
Swansea 1 – 1 Everton
Not a classic and not a good start for Swansea. Kyle Naughton broke the deadlock right at the end of the first-half, inadvertently sending a Lukasz Fabianski parry into his own net. Swansea did mount a response, though, with Jordan Ayew celebrating his return from suspension with the equaliser 18 minutes before time. Seamus Coleman came close to restoring Everton’s lead, hitting the crossbar from short range, but neither side was quite good enough to take all the points.
Goals: Ayew ’72 – Naughton OG ’43