United needed a response after the derby defeat to City, and while a 1-0 win over Bournemouth wasn’t quite the statement they were hoping to make, the three points were essential on a day when City won their 15th game in a row. Romelu Lukaku’s near-post header from Juan Mata’s cross in the 25th minute was enough to seal the points.
Manchester City continued their sparkling form, with a record-breaking 15th consecutive win in the league coming via a 4-0 demolition of Swansea City. David Silva’s recent goalscoring streak carried on, as he netted a brace, either side of a Kevin de Bruyne free kick. Sergio Aguero’s late goal wrapped up the points for the Citizens, who, ominously, strolled through large parts of the game. Chelsea shrugged of their loss to West Ham at the weekend with a 3-1 win over Huddersfield, even with Alvaro Morata absent. Tiemoue Bakayoko opened the scoring with a subtle dink in the 23rd minute, and Willian and Pedro completed the scoring for Chelsea before Laurent Depoitre’s late consolation goal.
Crystal Palace completed a stunning comeback at Selhurst Park, scoring two goals in the last three minutes to beat Watford 2-1. Daryl Janmaat’s early goal had put the Hornets in control, and they should have added to the scoreline before half-time, with Troy Deeney missing a simple chance. Tom Cleverley’s sending off six minutes from time allowed Palace to get a foothold in the game, and they took full advantage, as Wilfried Zaha started to dominate proceedings. The winger’s low shot was blocked by Heurelho Gomes, who also saved Bakary Sako’s follow-up, but could not do anything when the rebound fell at the Malian international’s feet. Zaha then set up James McArthur to score the winner in stoppage time, and this win lifted Palace to 18th place, level on points with West Brom.
Burnley maintained their unlikely push for a top-4 spot, beating Stoke 1-0 at home via a late Ashley Barnes effort. Everton remain unbeaten under Sam Allardyce, Wayne Rooney scoring again as they beat troubled Newcastle 1-0 at St. James’ Park. Arsenal’s woeful away form continued, as they could only draw 0-0 away to a rejuvenated West Ham. Leicester City took apart Southampton in a 4-1 win, in Claude Puel’s return to his former club. Shinji Okazaki scored a brace, while Riyad Mahrez and Andy King got the other goals. Maya Yoshida had scored a 61st minute goal for the Saints to give them a lifeline, before Okazaki’s second finished the game off.
Tottenham completed a routine 2-0 win over Brighton; a fluke goal from Serge Aurier and a late Son Heung-min header proving enough to give them the win. Liverpool restored their missing Brazilians to the lineup against West Brom, but their “Fab Four” of Firmino, Coutinho, Mane and Salah were unable to break down the Baggies, who left Anfield with a 0-0 draw; the point allowing them to climb out of the relegation zone. They did set a club record of 16 games without a win though, and Alan Pardew has a lot of work on his hands if he is to stop them from going down.
United needed a win after the derby setback, and duly got it. The performance may not have been of the swashbuckling nature that fans are craving, but with the games now coming thick and fast, results matter more than the manner in which they are achieved. A couple of the chasing pack dropped points, and United have to keep plugging away in the hope that the fixture schedule over the holiday period trips City up.