Manchester United defeated West Brom 2-1 away at the Hawthorns, with first-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard proving enough to down the Baggies; a late Gareth Barry effort notwithstanding. United moved back to 11 points behind Manchester City with this win, with almost half the season done, and it already looks like the Premier League title race is a foregone conclusion, with the real battle being fought for the remaining Champions League places.
City’s magnificent form continued, as they secured a 16th consecutive league win in emphatic fashion, thumping Tottenham 4-1 at the Etihad. David Silva’s absence did nothing to blunt the City attack, as his replacement, Ilkay Gundogan, headed them into an early lead. A late Kevin de Bruyne effort, and a brace from Raheem Sterling completed the scoring for the Citizens, who even missed a penalty via Gabriel Jesus. Christian Eriksen got a late, late consolation for Spurs. Arsenal deepened Newcastle’s woes with a 1-0 win at the Emirates. Mesut Ozil got the only goal of the game with a superb volley, and this result meant the Magpies moved into the relegation zone.
Chelsea also celebrated a narrow victory, a Marcos Alonso freekick proving enough to give them all three points in a 1-0 win over Southampton. Liverpool hammered Bournemouth 4-0 away on the south coast; Mohamed Salah continuing his scarcely-believable form with another goal, while Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Roberto Firmino got the rest of the goals for the Reds. Brighton and Burnley played out a goalless draw at the Amex, while Stoke’s troubles intensified after a 3-0 humbling at the hands of David Moyes’ West Ham side. A Mark Noble penalty set the Hammers on their way, with the returning Marko Arnautovic and Diafra Sakho completed the rout. West Ham are unbeaten and haven’t conceded a goal in their last three games, while Stoke appear to be in free-fall.
Huddersfield pulled a rabbit out of the hat with a 4-1 win away to Watford, aided by Troy Deeney’s brainless red card in the 33rd minute. Aaron Mooy scored a brace, with Elias Kachunga and Laurent Depoitre getting the other goals for the Terriers; Abdoulaye Doucoure getting the solitary strike for the Hornets. Watford seem to struggle with discipline; this was Deeney’s second suspension of the season, while they had Tom Cleverley sent off in the previous game, and have had two other sending-offs during the season as well.
Crystal Palace halted Leicester City’s momentum with a shock 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium. Palace had not scored a goal on their travels before this game, and Christian Benteke was without one for seven months; both runs were halted in the 19th minute when Belgian headed in from Andros Townsend’s cross. Wilfried Zaha scored before halftime to give Palace a solid lead into the break, and after Wilfied Ndidi had been sent off for simulation, Bakary Sako wrapped up the win with a stoppage-time goal. This result meant that Palace moved out of the relegation zone for the first time this season. Monday night’s game sees bottom club Swansea take on a resurgent Everton side.
United got the result and the three points, on a fairly comfortable outing at the Hawthorns, even though they had to withstand a late onslaught after Barry’s goal. The chasing pack and City all won their games, which means it is status quo heading into the halfway point of the season.