LONDON – Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League after a 6-3 thumping of Leicester City on Sunday.
The traditional Boxing Day fixture list in the Premier League was shortened by the postponement of three games due to COVID-19, including Liverpool’s clash with Leeds United, and Pep Guardiola’s side took full advantage, although the City coach won’t be pleased at the way his side allowed Leicester a lifeline when they looked out for the count.
Goals from Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and penalties from Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling looked to have put the league leaders out of sight by the 25th minute, but Leicester fought back after the break.
James Maddison on 55 minutes, Ademola Lookman (59) and Kelechi Iheanacho (65) brought Leicester right back into the game before Aymeric Laporte and Sterling’s second of the game assured City of three points.
Chelsea remain six points off the lead after coming from behind to win 3-1 away to Aston Villa. Reece James flicked a header into his own goal after 28 minutes, but Jorginho leveled from the spot six minutes later.
Romelu Lukaku put Chelsea ahead with his first goal since September in the 56th minute, and despite a brave Villa display, Jorginho assured Chelsea of the points with his second penalty of the game in injury time.
West Ham lost ground after an exciting 3-2 home defeat to Southampton, who claimed the points thanks to goals from Mohamed Elyounoussi. James Ward-Prowse and Jan Bednarek, who scored a 70th minute winner after Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma had twice drawn West Ham level.
Arsenal crushed Norwich 5-0 at Carrow Road to confirm their battle for a top-four place with two goals from Bukayo Saka, and strikes from Kieran Tierney, Alexandre Lacazette and Emile Smith Rowe completing the rout.
Tottenham, meanwhile, cruised to a 3-0 win at home to Crystal Palace thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, who put Spurs 2-0 up after 34 minutes. Wilfried Zaha then made Spurs’ task easier when he was sent off minutes later, and Son Heung-min rounded off the scoring with 16 minutes left to play.
Finally, first-half goals from Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay (against his former club) helped Brighton end a run of 11 league games without a win as they beat Brentford 2-0.