Leicester’s charge for the title continued on Monday night with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newcastle in Rafael Benitez’s first game in charge of the Magpies.
Shinji Okazaki’s overhead kick from close range after a Jamie Vardy knock-down after 25 minutes was enough for the Foxes to maintain their five-point gap at the top, whereas Newcastle stay second-bottom after their fourth straight defeat.
Tottenham kept up pace with Leicester at the summit with a 2-0 win over bottom side Aston Villa at Villa Park. Two goals either side of half-time from Harry Kane, provided by two Dele Alli assists, were enough for Spurs to remain five points behind leaders Leicester, whilst Villa fell to a fifth straight defeat and remain nine points from safety.
Manchester City’s faint title hopes were dealt another blow as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Norwich at Carrow Road. Sergio Aguero was twice denied by John Ruddy whilst Patrick Bamford hit the bar for the home side. The point means the Canaries remain in the bottom three on goal difference whereas City stay fourth, now 12 points off the top.
Bournemouth took another step towards Premier League safety with an entertaining 3-2 win over Swansea at the Vitality Stadium. Max Gradel gave the hosts the lead, but just two minutes later Modou Barrow equalised with his first goal in the Premier League.
Josh King smashed the Cherries back ahead before Gylfi Sigurdsson pegged them back again just after the hour mark. But with just 12 minutes remaining, defender Steve Cook headed in what turned out to be the winner to make it three straight wins for Eddie Howe’s men, whilst a defeat for the Swans leaves them eight points above the drop zone.
Southampton stayed in the hunt for European football with a 2-1 triumph over Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. Graziano Pelle struck twice in the first half hour for his first goals in 12 league games to put the Saints 2-0 up. Marko Arnautovic pulled one back for the hosts before the visitors saw Sadio Mane sent off for an alleged elbow in stoppage time. Ronald Koeman’s side move up to seventh and a point above the Potters, whose run of four matches unbeaten ends.
Player of the Weekend: Graziano Pelle (Southampton)
Team of the Weekend: Bournemouth
Goal of the Weekend: Shinji Okazaki (LEICESTER vs Newcastle)