Man City charge into Christmas with 17th successive win
MANCHESTER CITY 4 BOURNEMOUTH 0
Premier League leaders Manchester City extended their winning sequence to 17 with a 4-0 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday after champions Chelsea suffered a goalless stalemate at Everton to fall even further adrift.
Pep Guardiola's side began their extraordinary run away to Bournemouth in late summer with 97th-minute winner from Raheem Sterling but found the south coast side an easier nut to crack this time with Sterling again on target.
Sergio Aguero also scored twice and Danilo completed the rout as record-breaking City reached Christmas with 55 points and 60 goals.
They are 14 points ahead of Manchester United who play their 19th game of the season later at Leicester City.
Chelsea are two points further back with 39 points, a total that in an ordinary season would have put them in the title mix for Christmas, but they were left frustrated at a misty Goodison Park after 25 goal attempts came to nothing.
"I think we dominated the game and lots of chances to score. I think it is unfair result. Everton deserve credit but we deserve to win," Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, deprived of suspended top scorer Alvaro Morata, said.
At the other end of the table Newcastle United ended a run of nine league games without a win to beat West Ham United 3-2 at the London Stadium and move out of the relegation zone.
Marko Arnautovic opened the scoring for West Ham but Henri Saivet, Mo Diame and Christian Atsu were on target for the Magpies who moved up to 15th with 18 points, a point ahead of West Ham who slipped down to 17th.
Stoke City arrested their worrying slide down the table to beat second-from-bottom West Bromwich Albion 3-1 while bottom club Swansea City, who sacked manager Paul Clement this week, drew 1-1 at home to Crystal Palace.
Bournemouth joined West Brom and Swansea in the drop zone.
Brighton and Hove Albion eased their relegation fears as Pascal Gross scored the only goal against Watford to give the Seagulls a first win in eight games. Watford have now lost four in a row and five of their last six.
Huddersfield Town remained comfortably in mid-table as they came from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Southampton.
Sixth-placed Burnley take on seventh-placed Tottenham Hotspur later on Saturday.
Everton hold Chelsea at home
EVERTON 0 CHELSEA 0
Chelsea found no chink in Everton's defensive armour as the Premier League champions were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Goodison Park.
Antonio Conte's side, missing suspended top scorer Alvaro Morata, played most of the game in Everton's half and had 25 attempts on goal to the host's five but the closest they came was when home defender Ashley Williams headed against his own bar trying to clear a cross.
Everton are now unbeaten in five games under new manager Sam Allardyce who has steered the Merseysiders to ninth place having looked in real relegation trouble earlier in the campaign.
"Hard-earned is certainly right. In terms of effort, commitment, organisation, we have played a hugely talented front five and have had a bit of luck but rolled up our sleeves to get a result," Allardyce told Sky Sports.
"It keeps the undefeated run going, and you have to respect a point against the big boys."
The draw left Chelsea in third spot after 19 games with 39 points, two points behind Manchester United and 13 behind runaway leaders Manchester City, both of whom play later.
"I think we dominated the game and lots of chances to score. I think it is unfair result. Everton deserve credit but we deserve to win," Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said.
"Maybe (Everton keeper) Jordan Pickford was the best player for them. It is normal to drop points with a poor performance but not today. We needed a bit of luck."
Everton were under pressure from beginning to end but defended with real discipline -- a far cry to earlier this season when they were leaking goals at an alarming rate.
Captain Phil Jagielka epitomised their resolve, making goalline clearances to deny Tiemoue Bakayoko and Willian in quick succession in the first half.
Pickford tipped a Pedro effort over the bar while Everton's best first-half chance came when Dominic Calvert-Lewin stole the ball from Andreas Christensen near the touchline but with team mates in space greedily went for goal himself.
Pickford made great saves to deny Eden Hazard and Pedro after the break while Antonio Rudiger failed to connect properly with another half chance as Chelsea laid siege to the goal.
Even when Pickford was beaten, the crossbar came to his rescue to spare team mate Williams' blushes.
Despite going through the entire match without forcing Thibaut Courtois into a save, Everton should possibly have won it in the 91st minute when Michael Keane escaped his marker from a corner but wafted a header over the crossbar.
Newcastle end four-match losing streak with win at West Ham
WEST HAM UNITED 2 NEWCASTLE UNITED 3
Newcastle United finally got back on the winning trail when they secured a crucial 3-2 win over West Ham to move out of the bottom three and end a barren run of four consecutive defeats.
Despite Marko Arnautovic firing West Ham into the lead on six minutes following a bad mistake by Henri Saivet, the north east club showed all their fighting spirit to secure their first three points in nine Premier League games and ease their relegation worries.
Saivet made up for his error when he brought Newcastle level with a curling free kick in the 10th minute, before Mohamed Diame scored the second shortly after halftime.
Andre Ayew missed a penalty in the 55th and it was to prove costly as Christian Atsu made it three on the hour mark for the visitors. Ayew reduced the deficit in the 69th but Newcastle held on to record their first win since October 21.
Newcastle got off to the worst possible start when Saivet passed the ball straight into the path of Arnautovic who raced towards the visitors' goal and fired a low shot past Rob Elliot to make it three goals in his last four league appearances.
But Saivet more than made up for his mistake when he brought Newcastle level in spectacular fashion curling a free kick over the wall and past the outstretched hand of Adrian after Winston Reid had committed a foul on the edge of the box.
Newcastle may have struggled in recent weeks but they found their best form at just the right time and hit the woodwork twice when Dwight Gayle struck the bar and Matt Ritchie curled his shot against the post.
The away side were rewarded when Diame netted against his former club after Atsu took the ball around Pablo Zabaleta and pulled it back for the Newcastle midfielder to fire an unstoppable shot past Adrian.
West Ham blew a major chance to get back into the game when Ayew had his penalty saved by Rob Elliot after Michail Antonio was brought down inside the box by Ciaran Clark.
Newcastle made them pay as they made it three with superb counterattack which ended with Joselu picking out Atsu who made no mistake converting from close range.
Ayew reduced the deficit when he fired into the roof of the net to make it a tense finish but Newcastle saw out the game and delivered the perfect Christmas present for their travelling fans.
Managerless Swansea come from behind to hold Palace
SWANSEA CITY 1 CRYSTAL PALACE 1
Crystal Palace striker Luka Milivojevic's second-half penalty was cancelled out by Jordan Ayew's terrific strike as managerless Swansea earned a 1-1 draw in an evenly-contested Premier League contest at the Liberty Stadium.
Milivojevic beat goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski with a precise spot kick down the middle after Swansea defender Federico Fernandez had brought down Palace midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the box 13 minutes into the second half.
Palace's lead did not last long as Swansea forward Ayew, who came on in place of winger Luciano Narsingh, smashed the ball into the bottom left corner from outside the box in the 77th minute to give hope to the Welsh side, who were led by temporary manager Leon Britton after Paul Clement's sacking.
Ghana international Ayew added a touch of urgency to Swansea's attack and went close with another shot from distance two minutes later but the visitors held on to secure a point.