United cruised to a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield at home, with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez proving enough to beat the Terriers, who didn’t manage a single shot on target. The win kept United six points ahead of Chelsea, who play Watford on Monday night, and five ahead of Liverpool, who drew with Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday.
That Liverpool-Tottenham game was a slow burner, up until the last ten minutes, when it burst into life. Liverpool had taken a lead inside three minutes through Mohamed Salah, who capitalized on an Eric Dier error to become the fastest Liverpool player to 20 Premier League goals. Tottenham dominated possession from then on, although they did not create any clear-cut chances, till the 80th minute, when substitute Victor Wanyama hit a howitzer into the top corner from 30 yards. Five minutes later, Tottenham were awarded a penalty after a lengthy discussion between referee Jon Moss and his assistant on the near side, following Loris Karius’ trip on Harry Kane. Kane’s effort was straight down the middle, and the German beat it away to leave the Englishman still stuck on 99 Premier League goals. More drama was to follow; Salah wriggled away from the Tottenham defence and lifted the ball over Hugo Lloris at the start of stoppage time to spark wild celebrations from Jurgen Klopp, while in the 95th minute, Spurs were awarded another penalty when Virgil van Dijk was alleged to have kicked Erik Lamela. The referee had waved play on but his assistant flagged and called the penalty; Kane stepped up again and this time dispatched it into the bottom corner to hit his 100th in the Premier League and leave Klopp furious and Pochettino smiling.
Arsenal hammered an abject Everton side 5-1 at the Emirates, with Aaron Ramsey bagging a hattrick. The other goals came from Laurent Koscielny and debutant Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan got three assists as well. Dominic Calvert-Lewin got the solitary goal for the Toffees. Burnley held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor, as City paid for some uncharacteristically sloppy finishing. They had taken the lead from Danilo’s curled shot into the top corner, but failed to add to the advantage as the likes of Sterling, de Bruyne and Aguero all missed presentable chances. Sterling was the worst of the bunch as he missed an open goal from two yards out, and was promptly substituted. Burnley kept knocking at the door throughout the second half, and finally found a way through Johann Berg Gudmundsson, after Ederson had earlier made a stunning save to tip Aaron Lennon’s drive onto the post. The result cut City’s lead at the top to 13 points, but that will scarcely matter to Pep Guardiola now.
Leicester and Swansea drew 1-1 at the King Power Stadium, Jamie Vardy and Federico Fernandez scoring for their respective sides. Crystal Palace and Newcastle’s game ended with the same scoreline, as Luka Milivojevic’s penalty cancelled out Mohamed Diame’s goal. Brighton beat West Ham 3-1 for their first win since 23rd December; Glenn Murray’s goalscoring run continued as he netted the opener, and while Javier Hernandez got the equaliser for the Hammers, a Jose Izquierdo stunner and Pascal Gross’ late goal secured the three points for the Seagulls. Elsewhere, Stoke’s run under Paul Lambert was brought to a halt by Bournemouth, who defeated them 2-1, thanks to Josh King and Lys Mousset, despite Xherdan Shaqiri’s early goal for the Potters. Finally, West Brom and Southampton played out a five-goal thriller in the Midlands, with the Baggies ending up on the wrong end of the 3-2 scoreline. Ahmed Hegazi had put them in an early lead from a corner, but a rocket from Mario Lemina, and further goals from Jack Stephens and James Ward-Prowse put the Saints in control before Salomon Rondon’s goal ensured a tense finish. Chelsea play Watford on Monday night to round up this week’s games.
United got back to winning ways with an efficient performance against Huddersfield, where the likes of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial were used from the bench. The result kept some breathing distance between them and the chasing pack, as Liverpool and Spurs both dropped points, and Jose Mourinho will want his side to secure second place this season before a fresh assault on the title next term.