In the first of two top of the table clashes, Arsenal closed the gap on Leicester with a 2-1 win thanks to a last minute Danny Welbeck winner at the Emirates.
The league leaders took the lead just before half-time after Jamie Vardy was brought down by Nacho Monreal and he stepped up to convert from the penalty spot for his 18th goal of the season. However the Foxes were reduced to ten men early in the second-half after Danny Simpson picked up a second yellow card.
Theo Walcott came off the bench to equalise and in the fourth minute of stoppage time Welbeck flicked Mesut Ozil’s free-kick into the net in his first appearance for ten months. The Gunners close the gap at the top to two points and consign Leicester to a first defeat in eight.
In the other huge clash at the top, Tottenham came out victors as they beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad. Spurs took the lead with a controversial penalty after Raheem Sterling was adjudged to have handled and Harry Kane netted.
Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to equalise for the home side before Christian Eriksen slotted in a winner with just seven minutes remaining. Spurs stay second, now two points off top spot whilst the Sky Blues lose a second successive game and stay fourth.
Sunderland aided their survival bid with a 2-1 win over Manchester United at the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats took the lead after just three minutes when Wahbi Khazri’s free-kick sailed straight in before Anthony Martial equalised. However Lamine Kone’s powerful header eight minutes from time proved to be enough to take Sam Allardyce’s side to within a point of safety, whilst United lose more ground on the top four.
Liverpool thumped Aston Villa 6-0 at Villa Park to leave the bottom club in more misery. Daniel Sturridge gave the Reds the lead on his return from injury before James Milner doubled the lead. The visitors then netted four times in 14 second-half minutes as Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Kolo Toure all struck. The win takes Jurgen Klopp’s side up to eighth, whereas Villa stay bottom and eight points from safety.
Norwich dropped more points at Carrow Road as they let a 2-0 lead slip to draw 2-2 with West Ham. Robbie Brady smashed them ahead before Wes Hoolahan doubled the lead midway through the second-half. Dimitri Payet pulled one back for the Hammers with 16 minutes left and just two minutes later Mark Noble equalised. The Canaries move out of the bottom three on goal difference, whilst West Ham are now seventh.
Chelsea comprehensively beat Newcastle 5-1 at Stamford Bridge. The Blues had the points wrapped up inside 20 minutes thanks to goals from Diego Costa, Pedro and Willian to fire them into a three-nil lead. Pedro added his second strike on the hour mark and Bertrand Traore came off the bench to score his first Premier League goal before Newcastle’s Andros Townsend netted a consolation. Guus Hiddink’s side move up to 12th and are unbeaten since he took over, whilst the Magpies slip into the bottom three.
Stoke ended their recent torrid run with a 3-1 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Giannelli Imbula netted a superb opener for his first goal for the Potters after just nine minutes. Two goals in three minutes from Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu in the second-half sealed the points before Matt Ritchie’s consolation. The Potters move back into the top ten, whilst the Cherries stay 15th, four points above the drop.
Crystal Palace’s winless run continued as they were beaten 2-1 by Watford at Selhurst Park. Troy Deeney’s penalty gave the visitors the lead before Emmanuel Adebayor equalised with his first goal for the club. However Deeney was on hand to bag another goal nine minutes from the end to take Watford up to ninth and leave Palace – who had Pape Souare, sent off late on – without a win in nine.
West Brom came away from Goodison Park with a 1-0 win over Everton despite seeing 34 shots taken at their goal. Salomon Rondon’s tap-in from Jonas Olsson’s flick proved to be enough for Albion to end a run of five games without a win and leave the Toffees slipping down to 11th.
Southampton inflicted a first defeat on Francesco Guidolin as Swansea manager with a 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium. Shane Long’s header 20 minutes from the end was enough to take Saints up to sixth spot with a sixth straight clean sheet, whilst Swans stay 16th without a win in three.
Player of the Week: Troy Deeney (Watford)
Team of the Week: Tottenham
Goal of the Week: Giannelli Imbula (Bournemouth vs STOKE CITY)