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Leroy Sane put the home side in front with less than 20 minutes to play with a low-drilled shot that cannoned off the post. Reuters photo

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And in the final fixture of the week played on Thursday, Leroy Sane’s brilliant second half goal was the difference maker, as Manchester City avenged their first-round loss to Liverpool ...
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 Week 21 of the English Premier League got underway this past Tuesday with Leicester City, Arsenal, and Tottenham rebounding from this past weekend’s losses with victory over Everton, Fulham and Cardiff respectively.

Not to be outdone, Crystal Palace hit the rebound button with a 2-0 win over Wolves, Manchester United caretaker, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and his crew won a fourth straight, Burnley edged Huddersfield by two goals to one, Bournemouth and Watford played to thrilling 3-3 tie, West Ham and Brighton also played to a 2-2 tie, and Chelsea managed just a point against Southampton, all on Wednesday.

And in the final fixture of the week played on Thursday, Leroy Sane’s brilliant second half goal was the difference maker, as Manchester City avenged their first-round loss to Liverpool with a 2-1 win to end the latter’s unbeaten 20-game start to the season, as well as reignite their Championship aspirations.

EPL Week 21 Standings

EPL Week 21 Standings

Tuesday

Everton 0-1 Leicester City

Jamie Vardy scored the winner as Leicester got their festive period back on track with a 1-0 victory at Everton on New Year's Day.

Having beaten Manchester City on Boxing Day, Claude Puel's men suffered a shock home defeat to Cardiff on Saturday but were back on form at Goodison Park.

Vardy - employed as a lone striker but starved of service for long periods - gobbled up the only chance that came his way (58) which grabbed Leicester a deserved three points. Everton have now lost four of their last five games, while Leicester are up to seventh.

Arsenal 4-1 Fulham

Arsenal returned to winning ways in emphatic style with a 4-1 victory over Fulham.

Looking to bounce back from a 5-1 drubbing at Liverpool, Arsenal punished Fulham for two missed Ryan Sessegnon chances when Granit Xhaka broke the deadlock (25) at the Emirates.

lexandre Lacazette then scored Arsenal's second (55) after the break following a fine team move, and though substitute Aboubakar Kamara gave the visitors hope (69), it was only short-lived.

Aaron Ramsey (79) restored the two-goal advantage before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (83) added a somewhat flattering fourth. Arsenal move two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, while Fulham remain 19th in the Premier League table.

Cardiff 0-3 Tottenham

A first-half flurry gave Tottehham a comfortable 3-0 win at Cardiff.

Spurs were in complete control early on through Harry Kane's messy finish (3), before Christian Eriksen's low strike from 20 yards gave him his fourth goal in five league games.

Heung-Min Son scored from a tight angle to make it 3-0 (26), and though Spurs had some half-chances to add to their lead in the second half, keeping a clean sheet seemed their priority. Spurs have the third spot, while Cardiff are 17th.

Wednesday

Wolves 0-2 Crystal Palace

Late goals from Jordan Ayew and Luka Milivojevic saw Crystal Palace secure a 2-0 win against Wolves at Molineux.

Ayew broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute with his first goal for the club before Milivojevic's penalty in stoppage time, after Ryan Bennett had brought down Wilfried Zaha, secured all three points.

Palace stay 14th but they move six points clear of the relegation zone after picking up seven points from their last four matches in the league, while Wolves drop a place to ninth after a disappointing evening.

Chelsea 0-0 Southampton

Chelsea missed the chance to strengthen their top-four position as they produced an ineffective display in a 0-0 home draw with Southampton.

Eden Hazard spurned the best opening of the first half when he fired at Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn, who was making his Premier League debut.

Chelsea continued to labour after half-time, with Alvaro Morata having a goal ruled out in the 71st minute after a tight offside call and then seeing a shot saved by Gunn.

Southampton rarely threatened but will likely be satisfied with a hard-earned point, while there were some boos from Chelsea fans at the final whistle.

West Ham 2-2 Brighton

Marko Arnautovic scored twice in two minutes to lead a West Ham comeback from 2-0 down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Brighton.

In a crazy spell of four goals in 11 second-half minutes, Dale Stephens put the visitors in front (57) before Shane Duffy acrobatically hooked home to double the lead (59).

West Ham responded by sending on Mark Noble and Michail Antonio and they both played a part as Arnautovic netted a quick-fire double (66 & 68) to draw the hosts level. His second goal - from a Antonio cross - was controversial as the ball was borderline off the pitch when the winger found his striker. West ham has the 10th spot, with Brighton 13th.

Huddersfield 1-2 Burnley FC

Ashley Barnes struck the winner as Burnley came from behind to beat 10-man Huddersfield on Wednesday night.

Huddersfield had taken the lead through Steve Mounie, but Chris Wood levelled up for Burnley before Christopher Schindler picked up a second yellow card before the break.

Barnes then punished the Terriers with 16 minutes to go, as they were condemned to an eighth-straight league defeat for the first time in their history.

Burnley saw Robbie Brady sent off in the 90th minute but held on for a victory that lifted them out of the relegation zone.

 

Newcastle 0-2 Manchester United

Manchester United made it four wins from four under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle at St. James' Park that saw the interim manager emulate Sir Matt Busby.

Substitute Romelu Lukaku scored with his first touch on 63 minutes, 38 seconds after coming on, before Marcus Rashford wrapped up the three points 10 minutes from time.

The victory sees Solskjaer become only the second manager in Manchester United's history to win their first four games in charge, after Busby in 1946, and sees sixth-placed United move to within six points of the top four.

Newcastle, who have now won just one of their last eight league games, stay 15th, just two points clear of the relegation zone.

 

Bournemouth 3-3 Watford

Bournemouth and Watford played out a 3-3 draw as four goals were scored in six frantic first-half minutes at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday.

Troy Deeney's two goals gave Watford a commanding lead (14 & 27) before Bournemouth responded in quickfire fashion with goals from Nathan Ake (34) and Callum Wilson (37).

Seconds later, Ken Sema put Watford back in front again with a fine half-volley (38) before Ryan Fraser levelled the game with a composed finish (40) in an action-packed first half.

The result means Watford move up one place into eighth on 29 points. Bournemouth remain in 12th as their winless run stretches to three games.

Thursday

Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool

Manchester City blew the title race wide open by inflicting Liverpool's first defeat of the season with an engrossing 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

Sergio Aguero proved the scourge of Liverpool again with a clinical near-post drive - his seventh goal in seven home appearances against the Reds - at the end of a frenetic first half, which saw Sadio Mane strike the post and John Stones hook his own deflected clearance off the line with millimetres to spare.

Roberto Firmino headed Liverpool level on 64 minutes but parity lasted just eight minutes as Leroy Sane cannoned the winning goal in off the post at the end of a trademark City counter.

City were simply not willing to relinquish their title without a fight, their victory reduces Liverpool's lead at the top of the table to four points and leaves the Premier League title race delicately poised.

EPL Week 21 Scores At A Glance

Tuesday

Everton 0-1 Leicester City

Arsenal 4-1 Fulham

Cardiff 0-3 Tottenham

Wednesday

Wolves 0-2 Crystal Palace

Chelsea 0-0 Southampton

West Ham 2-2 Brighton

Huddersfield 1-2 Burnley FC

Newcastle 0-2 Manchester United

Bournemouth 3-3 Watford

Thursday

Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool

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