American Josh Sargent’s first goals in English football helped Norwich City earn a crucial 3-0 victory at Watford on Friday, a win that moved Dean Smith’s side out of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season.

Sargent’s stunning flicked finish six minutes after the break gave the visitors the lead as he opened his Premier League account in style.

Following a bizarre break in play as several floodlights went out, Sargent’s night to remember continued as he drilled in from distance to double his side’s advantage in the 74th minute.

Watford’s bad luck continued as Emmanuel Dennis was sent off four minutes later after collecting his second yellow card.

The hosts’ miserable evening was complete when Juraj Kucka’s stoppage-time own goal handed the visitors a 3-0 win.

Norwich’s fourth win of the season lifted them to 17th with 16 points from 22 matches. Watford dropped to 18th, with 14 points from 20 games.

“To get my first goal, and then the second one after that was pretty crazy, especially in such a big game,” Sargent told Sky Sports.

“It was just a reaction to put my foot up like that (for first goal). I knew right away it was in when I hit it. I can’t remember ever scoring a goal like that. Getting these first goals will boost my confidence a lot.”

While Norwich continued their improvement under Smith, Claudio Ranieri’s Watford remain in freefall.

They are without a win in nine games in all competitions – earning just one draw and suffering eight losses in that run. It is their longest spell without a victory since December 2013.

Ranieri’s men have now also gone 30 Premier League games without a clean sheet, with only West Bromwich Albion enduring a longer such run in the history of the competition.

“Before everything I want to say sorry to our crowd,” Ranieri told Sky Sports. “We wanted to do another kind of match, we wanted to light the fire to our fans and we did not do this.

“We had some opportunities to score a goal but the first goal was very strange. After that we had the time to do something better, we didn’t do this.”

Manchester City’s seemingly unstoppable charge to the Premier League title slowed slightly as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Saturday, snapping a 12-match winning sequence that had distanced their rivals.

Manchester United moved into the top four of the Premier League with a last second goal from Marcus Rashford earning them a 1-0 win over West Ham United at Old Trafford.

Everton began life after Rafa Benitez in much the same manner as they ended it — in defeat — a 1-0 loss at home to Aston Villa leaving them in 16th place, just four points above the relegation zone.

Newcastle United claimed only their second league win of the season as they beat Leeds United 1-0 away, boosting their hopes of beating the drop.

Wolverhampton Wanderers won 2-1 at Brentford where the match was halted because of a drone flying above the ground.

City were stunned after seven minutes at St Mary’s as Kyle Walker-Peters struck his first Premier League goal, a stunning effort with the outside of his right fo

It knocked Pep Guardiola’s side out of their silky stride and it took a 65th-minute header by Aymeric Laporte to earn them a second draw of the season against Southampton.

Kevin de Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Rodri all hit the woodwork for City as they extended their lead at the top to 12 points, although second-placed Liverpool have played two games less. Liverpool face Crystal Palace on Sunday.

“I don’t understand the way people say that now, after this result, the race is open, when before it is over,” Guardiola, whose side have 57 points, said.

“I would love to be 40 points ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea, but that’s impossible. I would never expect to be in this position, with this margin.”

United’s title aspirations have long been over and their target is now finishing in the top four.

They created little against a cautious West Ham but interim manager Ralf Rangnick threw on Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial and they finally got their reward.

Martial collected from Cristiano Ronaldo and fed Cavani who slipped a low ball across for Rashford to score.

The three points pushed United above West Ham and back in the top four for the first time since early October.

United have 38 points from 22 matches while the Hammers are now fifth on 37 from 23.

There was an unpleasant atmosphere at Goodison Park where visitors Aston Villa had players hit by missiles thrown from the crowd.

Emiliano Buendia scored the decisive goal, just before halftime, with a header that looped over keeper Jordan Pickford and the celebrations led to a bottle being launched from the stands and hitting the Villa players.

Lucas Digne, who was booed by Everton fans on his return to Goodison Park since last week’s transfer, provided the assist and he was also hit by an object, with stewards and police trying to identify the perpetrators.

Everton, who are searching for a new manager and had ex-striker Duncan Ferguson in charge on a caretaker basis, have won only once in the league since September.

Jonjo Shelvey’s 75th minute goal earned Newcastle a vital win at Leeds, moving them to 18th in the standings, one point from the safety zone, having played one game fewer than Norwich City in 17th, and seven points behind Leeds in 15th.

“It was a massive win for us,” manager Eddie Howe said. “We hope to use it as a turning point in our season, we need to.”

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves struck in the 78th minute to seal a 2-1 win at Brentford although the main talking point was a 19-minute delay caused by a drone.

Joao Moutinho’s opener had been cancelled out by Brentford’s Ivan Toney.

Liverpool took advantage of Manchester City’s dropped points with a 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace on Sunday, taking a small bite out of City’s commanding lead of the Premier League.

It was far from vintage form for Liverpool who led 2-0 after a dominant first half but needed a late penalty by Fabinho to quell a stirring Palace fightback at Selhurst Park.

Third-placed Chelsea got back to winning ways with a 2-0 home victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge with an exquisite strike by Hakim Ziyech setting them on their way to a first victory in five league games.

Manchester City were denied a 13th successive league win on Saturday in a 1-1 draw at Southampton and now lead Liverpool by nine points having played a game more.

Chelsea are 10 behind City but have played a game more.

Arsenal missed an opportunity to move into the top four as they drew 0-0 at home to bottom club Burnley.

Leicester City drew 1-1 at home to Brighton and Hove Albion — Danny Welbeck’s late equaliser earning ninth-placed Brighton a 12th draw of the season.

Goals by Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put Liverpool in charge at Selhurst Park.

But Palace grew in belief after the break and when Odsonne Edouard tapped in after 55 minutes they looked capable of salvaging something until a controversial late penalty awarded when Diogo Jota collided with Palace keeper Vicente Guaita.

“A big three points today for us, really big,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said, although he played down the significance of the win in the title race.

“The distance is too far to talk about it but we don’t have to. We just need to win football matches. Each Premier League game is difficult like we saw today,” Klopp said.

Chelsea recorded a third win this month against Tottenham, including two in the League Cup semi-final, to get back on track after a worrying slump in league form.

They were far too good for the visitors but had to wait until Ziyech’s superb curled effort two minutes after the restart to go ahead. Thiago Silva made it 2-0 shortly after and Chelsea could have won by more.

Harry Kane did have a first-half goal disallowed for Tottenham but they surrendered their unbeaten league record under Antonio Conte in rather tame fashion.

“We were working extremely hard for it and it was a tough match,” said Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, who was celebrating one year in charge of the club. “The effort was outstanding and it was a deserved win.

“It is so hard to create chances against them but we were relentless and kept on believing.”

While Tottenham have slipped to seventh with 36 points, they have games in hand over all the teams battling for fourth spot.

Arsenal edged above them on goal difference but were disappointing as they could find now way past Burnley.

“To win this match you need to have a different level of quality,” said manager Mikel Arteta, whose side were booed off at the end and have endured a disappointing January.

The Premier League now takes a two-week winter break with the focus switching to the transfer window that closes on Jan. 31. Action resumes on Feb. 5.

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