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What a game, a full-blooded encounter with both teams going for the three points.

Manchester City reignited the Premier League title race as they ended Liverpool’s 20-game unbeaten start to the season to reduce their lead at the top of the table to four points. Pep Guardiola’s hosts knew nothing less than a win at Etihad Stadium would do. Leroy Sane produced the decisive moment 18 minutes from time as he collected Raheem Sterling’s pass to fire across Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson after it had seemed like Roberto Firmino’s stooping header would maintain the visitors’ unbeaten sequence.

Sergio Aguero had earlier given City the lead with a rising, near-post drive just before the interval. That came after a moment of drama when Reds forward Sadio Mane hit the City post and John Stones scrambled the ball off the line after his attempted clearance struck goalkeeper Ederson, with data subsequently showing the ball had failed to cross by just 1.12cm.

Both sides had chances in a frantic finale but it was City who claimed a crucial win.

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Substitute Romelu Lukaku scored with his first touch as Manchester United beat Newcastle United with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer becoming the second manager in the club’s history to win his first four league games in charge, the Norwegian emulates the feat of Sir Matt Busby in 1946.

Lukaku, who had only been on the pitch 38 seconds, pounced on an error by Martin Dubravka with the Slovakia keeper spilling a free-kick by Marcus Rashford, Rashford doubled the lead after a sweeping move involving Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez as Newcastle lost for the eighth time at home in the league this season and Manchester United continue their resurgence.

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Crystal Palace struck two late goals as Roy Hodgson’s side edged further away from the Premier League relegation zone with victory over Wolves at Molineux, Jordan Ayew put the visitors ahead with seven minutes remaining, producing a sublime touch to control Patrick van Aanholt’s effort before converting from close range for his first goal for the club, Luka Milivojevic then made no mistake from the penalty spot deep into stoppage time after Wilfried Zaha was brought down by Ryan Bennett.

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Dale Stephens put Brighton ahead from the edge of the box with his first Premier League goal, shortly afterwards, the Seagulls doubled their advantage when Shane Duffy peeled to the back post and controlled the ball on his chest before cleverly poking home.

Marko Arnautovic brought the Hammers back into the game, Mark Noble chipped a lovely ball forward which the Austrian striker hammered home from close range, then Michail Antonio cut the ball back from as close to the byline as he could get for the 29-year-old to score his seventh goal of the season, there were further chances for Antonio and Declan Rice to win it, but the point moved West Ham into the top half of the table. My friend Chris Hughton the Brighton manager, will not be happy that his side threw away a two-goal lead, but will be satisfied in remaining unbeaten in three games over the festive period as they remain 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

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Huddersfield took the lead through Steve Mounie’s header in the 33rd minute but conceded Chris Wood’s equaliser and had Christopher Schindler sent off within two minutes before half-time.

Schindler, who had earlier been booked for a foul on Wood, was shown a second yellow card for hauling down Dwight McNeil on the edge of the penalty area, that left the Terriers playing for 50 minutes with 10 men and they succumbed to a record eighth successive league defeat which leaves them eight points from safety on 10 points from 21 games.

Ashley Barnes scored the winner for the Clarets in the second half which moved them out of the relegation zone.

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The bore draw of the week came at Stamford Bridge, where the apparent lack of strikers was evident.

Sarri, who dismissed the prospect of recalling strikers Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham from loan spells at Valencia and Aston Villa respectively, watched his side fail to score for the second successive home league game.

For Southampton, they kept their first clean sheet in 11 Premier League games but still dropped into the bottom three as they fall below Burnley into 18th after the Clarets 2-1 win at Huddersfield. Chelsea’s best chance fell to Eden Hazard, but his well-hit shot was saved by Premier League debutant Angus Gunn.

Morata thought he had scored when he put the ball into the net midway through the second half, but it was ruled out as he was given offside.


Both defences went missing as all six goals were scored in the first half, Troy Deeney’s textbook header from Sema’s cross gave the Hornets the lead and the forward scored his 117th goal for Watford when he lifted the ball over Cherries keeper Asmir Begovic after Gerard Deulofeu was tackled by Steve Cook, but Bournemouth hit back thanks to Ryan Fraser’s free-kick deliveries, with Nathan Ake nodding in after visiting keeper Ben Foster brilliantly parried from Dan Gosling and Callum Wilson looping in a header to bring the hosts level.

Watford regained their lead 85 seconds later though, with Sema collecting a Deeney knock-down to drive a left-foot shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards, however, that advantage lasted just over a minute as Fraser steered a right-foot shot into the bottom corner after Josh King’s dummy, to conclude an astonishing 13-minute spell that contained five goals.

The result sees Watford move to eighth while Bournemouth remains 12th.

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Jamie Vardy scored the only goal of an error-strewn encounter during which the Toffees rarely roused their supporters inside Goodison Park. Vardy’s 58th-minute goal was one of the few highlights of a  brain-numbing affair. Full-back Ricardo Pereira capitalised on defender Michael Keane’s error to play in the England striker, who finished with an angled drive past Jordan Pickford.


Goals from Granit Xhaka, Lacazette, Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped Arsenal to only their second win in six games. After Ryan Sessegnon had missed two good chances for Fulham, Xhaka put the hosts ahead, finishing past Sergio Rico after a good cross from the impressive Alex Iwobi, Lacazette doubled the lead when he finished off Sead Kolasinac’s pull-back following a fine Arsenal passing move. Kamara pulled one back from close range, but Ramsey scored the Gunners’ third after Aubameyang had hit the post.

Aubameyang’s deflected shot gave Arsenal their fourth and a deserved three points.

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Harry Kane bundled in a fortuitous early opener in the third minute and Christian Eriksen nestled a fine strike into the bottom corner nine minutes later, Son Heung-min added a third in the 26th minute and, from that point, the untroubled visitors seemed to ease off a little, as Cardiff put in a limp and lame display. Cardiff at least registered their first efforts on target in a low-key second half but the damage had already been done and they remain 16th in the table, three points clear of the relegation zone. By contrast, the sixth victory from seven league matches closes the gap between Spurs and leaders Liverpool.

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I got four correct results and one spot on the score this week in my predictions.

Please see following my week 21 predictions:

West Ham 1 v 2 Arsenal

Brighton 1 v 2 Liverpool

Burnley 2 v 1 Fulham

Cardiff 2 v 1 Huddersfield

Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Watford

Leicester 2 v 1 Southampton

Chelsea 3 v 1 Newcastle

Everton 2 v 1 Bournemouth

Spurs 3 v 1 Manchester United

Manchester City 3 v 1 Wolves

Have a great week,