Liverpool recorded their eighth straight Premier League win against Newcastle, but Manchester City were beaten at Leicester as the gap between the two stretched to seven points.
While Pep Guardiola’s side were slipping to third place after a second successive surprise defeat, the Reds barely got out of second gear in dispatching the struggling visitors.
Dejan Lovren’s brilliant 11th-minute half-volley set the tone and after a soft penalty given for a foul on Mohamed Salah enabled the Egypt international to score his 15th goal of the season, Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho completed the rout.
City’s Premier League title challenge took another blow at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day as they were beaten 2-1 by Claude Puel’s resurgent Foxes.
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After losing at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, City were unable to hold onto the lead given to them by Bernardo Silva as Marc Albrighton quickly equalised. Ricardo Pereira’s 81st-minute strike proved to be the winner for Leicester.
Tottenham continued their brilliant festive period with a 5-0 rout of Bournemouth that took them above Manchester City into second in the table.
Spurs came into the game on the back of the 6-2 mauling of Everton on Sunday and again brought their shooting boots as Christian Eriksen, Heung-min Son (2), Lucas Moura and Harry Kane found the net at Wembley.
It gave them an eighth Premier League win from their last nine games and keeps them firmly in the title race, although still six points behind leaders Liverpool.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Old Trafford return ended in another victory for Manchester United’s interim manager as a Paul Pogba double helped see off spirited Huddersfield.
Charged with injecting new life into United’s ailing season following Jose Mourinho’s dismissal, Solskjaer’s side failed to reach the heights scaled at Cardiff yet ended up with another comprehensive Premier League win.
The 45-year-old received a superb reception as he returned to Old Trafford 11-and a-half years after representing them as a player, and oversaw a 3-1 win against Huddersfield as Pogba’s pair complemented Nemanja Matic’s first-half goal.
It could have been a different story had captain David de Gea not produced an outstanding stop to deny Laurent Depoitre levelling during a spell in the ascendancy for David Wagner’s strugglers. Huddersfield would beat the United goalkeeper, but Mathias Jorgensen’s effort was only a consolation.
Eden Hazard inspired Chelsea to a 2-1 victory at Watford.
Maurizio Sarri’s side recovered from a surprise home defeat to Leicester thanks to two goals from Hazard, either side of a brilliant volley from Roberto Pereyra.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck his 13th Premier League goal of the season but a defensive error once again proved costly for Arsenal as Brighton recovered to claim a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.
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Aubameyang fired the Gunners in front after just seven minutes but Stephan Lichtsteiner’s failure to deal with a long ball forward handed Jurgen Locadia the chance to level 10 minutes before the interval with his first goal since February.
Both sides had opportunities to secure three points in the second half but the visitors were left ruing the failure to close within four points of third-placed Manchester City.
Elsewhere, Everton scored three times in the opening 22 minutes at Turf Moor to end a winless five-match run and push Burnley deeper into trouble.
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Any lingering negativity from the Toffees’ 6-2 hammering by Tottenham on Sunday was swept aside inside two minutes as Yerry Mina headed in his first goal in English football and Marco Silva’s side went on to triumph 5-1.
Lucas Digne curled in a superb free-kick 11 minutes later and Ben Mee’s handball allowed Gylfi Sigurdsson to net the third from the spot.
Ben Gibson pulled one back before half-time on his first Premier League start for Burnley following double hernia surgery but any hopes of a second-half comeback were ended by Digne’s second in the 71st minute, with Richarlison adding a fifth in injury-time.
Claudio Ranieri was left frustrated by wasteful Fulham after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Wolves.
Aleksandar Mitrovic was the chief culprit, the Serb squandering seven goalscoring opportunities in the first half alone.
Substitute Ryan Sessegnon did put Fulham into the lead midway through the second half, but Romain Saiss equalised five minutes from the end.
Cardiff resisted intense pressure to secure only their second Premier League point away from home this season in a goalless draw at Crystal Palace.
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The Bluebirds were hammered 5-1 by Manchester United on Saturday and could have lost just as heavily at Selhurst Park but goalkeeper Neil Etheridge’s resilience, Palace’s unconvincing finishing and some desperate defending earned them a point.
Roy Hodgson’s team came into the match on the back of a 3-2 win at defending champions Manchester City, but if they finally felt in position to push up the table they wasted the finest of opportunities against opponents who offered little in the attacking third.
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