Gabriel Jesus struck twice as Manchester City beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday to move 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League with their 21st straight win in all competitions.
City have 65 points with 11 games left to play ahead of Manchester United on 50 points with a game in hand.
Pep Guardiola’s side took the lead in the 15th minute through an own goal from Wolves defender Leander Dendoncker who stretched out a leg and turned the ball into the net as he tried to cut out a low cross from Riyad Mahrez.
City dominated the game but Wolves, who had threatened little, drew level in the 61st minute with a diving header from Conor Coady.
Jesus restored City’s lead in the 80th minute, driving home after Wolves failed to clear a low ball into the box from Kyle Walker.
Mahrez slotted home the third in the final minute after some sloppy Wolves defending and then Jesus added his second in stoppage time after an offside decision was overturned by VAR.
Manchester City moved 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table after a 2-1 win over West Ham United on Saturday – their 20th straight win in all competitions.
City took the lead in the 30th minute with central defender Ruben Dias heading in a Kevin De Bruyne cross, but the Hammers drew level through Michail Antonio two minutes before the interval.
Pep Guardiola’s side secured their 14th consecutive league win, however, when Dias’ fellow defender John Stones slotted home after being picked out by a Riyad Mahrez pull back.
Fourth-placed West Ham, who performed well throughout, had a late chance to grab a point, but Issa Diop failed to connect well with a header from a Jesse Lingard cross.
The win moves City, unbeaten in 27 matches, on to 62 points from 26 games with Manchester United, who play Chelsea on Sunday, behind them on 49 points from 25 matches.
Brighton lost 1-0 at West Brom – but the scoreline does not even begin to tell the story of a match in which the visitors had a goal ruled out after referee Lee Mason blew his whistle twice, and also missed two penalties.
Lewis Dunk’s quick free-kick in the first half sparked a chaotic few minutes as the goal was disallowed, then allowed, then eventually ruled out for good after Mason had viewed the incident on the pitchside monitor following an intervention by the video assistant referee (VAR).
West Brom defender Kyle Bartley had given his side an early lead and Brighton were unable to respond, with Pascal Gross hitting the crossbar and Danny Welbeck smashing the left post from the penalty spot.
Brighton, who dominated possession again, had numerous chances to score either side of the break – Neal Maupay skewing a shot wide and Aaron Connolly firing over the bar from close range.
But West Brom, who had a few chances of their own, hung on to pick up a potentially vital three points in their attempt to avoid relegation.
Aston Villa moved within six points of the top four with an impressive victory over Leeds United on a difficult pitch at Elland Road.
Anwar El Ghazi scored the only goal, brilliantly controlling Ollie Watkins’ cross and firing past Islan Meslier after just five minutes.
Dean Smith’s side, still shorn of injured captain Jack Grealish, looked comfortable against Leeds who, despite winning their last two home games against Crystal Palace and Southampton, lacked penetration throughout.
Despite the defeat, Marcelo Bielsa’s United are still secure in 10th position with 35 points from their 26 games, just four points behind a rejuvenated Villa, who have games against Sheffield United, Wolves and Newcastle coming up as they look to strengthen their bid for European qualification.
No Grealish, no problem
Smith has refuted accusations Aston Villa are a one-man team but there is no doubting they are a more dangerous outfit when Grealish is available.
Before this match, their win percentage in the last three seasons dropped from 42% with Grealish to 17% without and his absence played a role in their laboured defeat by Leicester City last weekend.
And Smith’s insistence that his team have other options was proved when their attacking players combined skilfully to secure this win.
El Ghazi had an impressive goal streak pre-Christmas and he rediscovered his scoring touch in fine fashion, ghosting in behind the Leeds defence to bury Watkins’ strongly hit pass.
He showed further attacking intent shortly after, twice stinging Meslier’s palms with shots from distance.
This victory though owed as much to their miserly defence – only Manchester City and Chelsea have conceded fewer goals in the Premier League – and this was their 13th clean sheet of the campaign.
Captain Jamaal Lascelles says Newcastle “need to stop talking and put points on the board” after missing a chance to move further clear of the Premier League relegation zone with a draw against Wolves.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was also concerned at losing the influential Miguel Almiron, saying he “fears the worst” about the Paraguayan’s injury.
Almiron was substituted at half-time and Bruce says he will have a scan on Sunday.
Lascelles headed the hosts in front from Ryan Fraser’s cross in the second half and they looked good for their lead after a confident performance.
But Ruben Neves, who had never scored a headed goal for Wolves before, was awarded space to guide Pedro Neto’s delivery beyond Martin Dubravka to earn the visitors a point.
Dubravka, making his first Premier League appearance of the season, may have done better for Wolves’ leveller but produced a superb save to deny Fabio Silva in added time.
Newcastle were left to rue a number of missed opportunities of their own, with Almiron striking the far post after breaking the offside trap early in the first half.
It means 18th-placed Fulham can move within one point of Newcastle if they beat Crystal Palace on Sunday, while Wolves remain 12th.
“We had very good chances and we are lost for words,” Lascelles told Match of the Day. “We got a point but it should have been three points.
“A lot of positives but we need to stop talking and put the points on the board.”
After Manchester City extended their lead of the Premier League, the battle for a top-four finish intensified on Sunday as Chelsea and Manchester United ground out a goalless draw, Leicester City lost and Liverpool finally came back to life.Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal showed signs that they could also join the fray while at the bottom Fulham missed an opportunity to claw closer to escaping the drop zone.
Chelsea’s 0-0 home draw with second-placed United ensured Thomas Tuchel is still undefeated in nine games since replacing Frank Lampard, but it meant they failed to dislodge fourth-placed West Ham United who became Manchester City’s 20th successive victims in all competitions on Saturday.
The match at Stamford Bridge was largely a forgettable affair with the main talking point a controversial penalty incident in the first half when referee Stuart Attwell opted not to award United a spot kick for a handball by Callum Hudson-Odoi.
It would have been a harsh decision but the fact that Attwell was instructed to watch the incident on a VAR monitor amplified the debate about the technology.
Needless to say both managers disagreed, with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying it was a 100% penalty and Tuchel offering the opposing view.
Either way it was a better result for United who preserved their six-point lead over Chelsea, even if it left them 12 points behind runaway leaders City.
“It would have been a big result,” Tuchel said. “We tried everything to win, to be prepared for no other intention but to win. We are in the middle of a battle to the top four.
“We have closed the gap quickly and now is the moment to hang in and to show performances every three or four days.
Injury-hit champions Liverpool snapped a four-match losing run in the league with a rather laboured 2-0 win at bottom club Sheffield United — Curtis Jones’s 48th-minute goal and Roberto Firmino’s shot deflected in off United’s Kean Bryan enough for Juergen Klopp’s side to get back to winning ways.
Liverpool’s second goal was their 7,000 in the top flight.
They stayed sixth with 43 points but are only a point behind fifth-placed Chelsea, who they play on Thursday, and two behind surprise package West Ham.
“Plenty of people have written us off. That’s fine. With all the problems we have had we’re still around the exciting places,” Klopp said.
Leicester, who are third with 49 points, ended a dismal week in which they went out of the Europa League with a 3-1 home defeat by Arsenal, despite taking the lead.
Youri Tielemans put Leicester ahead but goals by David Luiz, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe earned Arsenal an impressive victory, lifting them to 10th with 37 points.
Gareth Bale scored twice as Tottenham emerged from a run of five defeats in six league games to hammer Burnley 4-0, lifting Jose Mourinho’s side to eighth with 39 points.
Bale, starting only his third league game of the season, also set up a goal for Harry Kane with Lucas Moura the other scorer for the hosts.
Third-from-bottom Fulham had the chance to pull to within a point of 17th-placed Newcastle United but could only draw 0-0 with Crystal Palace and with Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City up next it could prove costly.
“I personally believe we can give anyone a game in this division. There’s still a long way to go,” manager Scott Parker said.
Richarlison’s early goal for Everton secured a 1-0 Premier League win over ailing Southampton on Monday to compound the woes for the visitors who have taken one point from the last 27 available.
Seventh-placed Everton are now level with Liverpool on 43 points with a game in hand and still very much in the hunt for the European places, while Southampton remain in 14th spot, seven points above the relegation zone.
In a game of few chances it was Everton who had the better of them as they ended a poor run to claim a first home victory in six games at Goodison Park.
Richarlison provided a neat finish to Gylfi Sigurdsson’s perfect through ball after nine minutes to win the game after another toothless display from Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.