Images from the EPL matches played on Saturday
Raheem Sterling’s hat-trick in Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Watford lifted the champions four points clear at the top of the Premier League after Tottenham Hotspur’s challenge faltered again with a 2-1 loss at Southampton on Saturday.
On a landmark day for England strikers, with Harry Kane scoring his 200th goal for clubs and country in Spurs’ defeat and Jamie Vardy notching his 100th and 101st for Leicester City in their 3-1 win over Fulham, Sterling took pride of place.
City, still on course to lift four different trophies, took advantage of Sterling being awarded a contentious goal just after halftime before he struck a minute later and completed his treble in the space of 13 minutes.
Gerard Deulofeu pulled one back within 17 seconds of being brought on as a substitute but Pep Guardiola’s men never looked threatened as they moved on to 74 points from 30 games, four clear of Liverpool, who host Burnley on Sunday.
Sterling’s opening goal following a goalless first half was awarded after originally being ruled out for offside.
A long discussion between referee Paul Tierney and his assistant saw the decision reversed with Sterling ruled to have been played onside by Watford’s Daryl Janmaat, whose challenge saw the ball ricochet off the striker’s leg into the net.
Yet if the opener was debatable, there was no argument about the other two as Sterling made it 15 league goals for the season.
“It’s a massive win,” Sterling told the BBC. “In my head, I am hoping and praying (that the first goal would be awarded). I was hoping my goal didn’t get cancelled out. We got it and it kick started our game.”
Kane's 200th goal in vain as Southampton stun Spurs
England captain Harry Kane scored the 200th goal of his career but his milestone was eclipsed as Tottenham Hotspur squandered a lead in a game they were dominating before suffering a 2-1 Premier League defeat at Southampton.
Yet it was to prove an unhappy return to his old St Mary's stamping ground for Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino who, serving the first of a two-match touchline ban, saw his side capitulate to two late goals in five minutes from Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse.
Ward-Prowse's stunning free kick winner left Spurs third on 61 points, still 10 behind leaders Manchester City, who were hosting Watford later on Saturday, and nine behind Liverpool, who entertain Burnley on Sunday.
The win also dented Spurs' hopes in an ever-tighter top-four battle for Champions League places as they remain just three points ahead of their nearest pursuers Manchester United, who play at fifth-placed Arsenal on Sunday.
Southampton's late turnaround, though, earned them crucial points in the fight to avoid relegation, just as Cardiff City were able to celebrate an equally important 2-0 win over West Ham United thanks to goals from Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa.
Fellow strugglers Brighton & Hove Albion also had reason to cheer as a dazzling individual goal from Anthony Knockaert sealed their 2-1 win at fierce rivals Crystal Palace.
Cardiff's win was not enough to take the 18th-placed side out of the bottom three but they are just two points behind Burnley and Southampton (30 points) while Brighton joined Palace on 33.
Knockaert strike breaks Palace resistance
A moment of brilliance from Anthony Knockaert settled a fiercely contested local derby as Brighton & Hove Albion beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park to edge further clear from the Premier League relegation zone.
The Frenchman moved inside his marker to fire a curling 74th-minute left-foot winner from outside the area as Brighton completed the league double over their great rivals for the first time since 1983-4.
But Knockaert was fortunate to still be on the pitch after only receiving a yellow card for a crunching challenge on Luka Milivojevic after just 28 seconds -- the quickest booking in the Premier League for 10 years.
Brighton opened the scoring on 19 minutes when 35-year-old Glenn Murray -- promoted off the bench after Florin Andone was injured in the warm-up -- volleyed home after Scott Dann misjudged his headed clearance.
The goal was Murray's 100th league strike for Brighton and seventh in this fixture, three of which he scored for Palace.
Brighton, impressively marshalled at the back by Lewis Dunk, were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when Dann wrestled Shane Duffy to the ground but then conceded from the spot after the break when Davy Propper fouled Andros Townsend.
The ever-reliable Milivojevic converted the penalty for the 17th time as a Palace player before Knockaert had the final say as Brighton registered back-to-back league victories for the first time this year to join Palace on 33 points in the standings.
Afterwards Knockaert, who was substituted immediately after his goal, described it as "a special day for us and the fans".
Knockaeart said the referee spoke to him at halftime about his two-footed challenge on Milivojevic which led to his early booking. "We both went for the same ball. I was a bit late," he said.
Murray said he was delighted to get a start -- and his goal. "I got drafted in just before the game after Florin Andone felt his groin go in the warm-up," he said.
"The 100 goals and things like that don't bother me, it's something to look back on but I'm just delighted to get the three points."
Vardy milestone as Leicester overpower Fulham
Jamie Vardy scored his 100th and 101st goals for Leicester City to seal a 3-1 home Premier League win over Fulham on Saturday and give Brendan Rodgers his first win as manager of the club.
Rodgers, who started his tenure with a 2-1 defeat at Watford, was able to breathe a sigh of relief as England striker Vardy scored twice in the closing stages after setting up his team's opener.
"We're trying to win the ball back as quickly as possible," Vardy told the BBC.
"It’s definitely benefited me, but there’s a lot more hard work to come.
"We knew Fulham were going to cause us problems - we've been working on that. For the majority of the game we got the plan spot on."
Rodgers praised his striker.
"I think the first goal typifies the selflessness of Jamie Vardy," he said.
"He was in on the keeper for his 100th goal but he squares it for Youri (Tielemans) to finish and that tells you everything about him.
"I thought we were good in the first half but the equaliser gave Fulham a bit of momentum. Huge credit to the players, I am very happy for them."
Leicester took the lead in the 21st minute when Vardy beat the offside trap and laid the ball on to Belgian midfielder Tielemans, who is on loan from Monaco, and he netted his first Premier League goal with a simple tap-in.
Substitute Floyd Ayite equalised shortly after the break when he surged into the penalty area and beat goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel with a shot which took a deflection off two Leicester defenders.
Both keepers made good saves before livewire Vardy restored Leicester's lead with a trademark finish in the 78th minute, drilling in a low shot past Sergio Rico from inside the penalty box.
Vardy sealed the home side's win with a scrambled close-range finish in the 86th minute, lifting Leicester into the 10th position and leaving Fulham second bottom and staring at relegation.
Bournemouth end losing run to pile more misery on Huddersfield
Striker Callum Wilson and winger Ryan Fraser notched a goal and an assist each as Bournemouth cruised to a 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, ending a run of four Premier League games without a win.
Wilson returned after six games out due to injury and opened the scoring in the 20th minute, meeting Fraser's pinpoint cross from close range with his chest as England manager Gareth Southgate watched form the stands.
With just 15 goals scored so far this season, Huddersfield have the least potent attack in the Premier League, and though they had their fair share of possession, they once again struggled to create chances.
Wilson turned provider in the second half, latching on to a pass and turning the ball into the path of Fraser, who thumped it home first time.
"For anyone coming back from injury, you want to make an impact and it was nice to get a goal and an assist and three points for the team," Wilson said.
"I had two or three days training this week, and every day me and Ryan (Fraser) scored, linking up with each other, so it is good to get that partnership going again," he added.
Fraser was full of praise for the returning striker as the Bournemouth recorded their fourth away win of the campaign in 15 attempts.
"When you have players like that, they make everyone better in your team. He makes me better, he makes the lads better, and I think that if you've got a player like that in your team, you need him," Fraser said.
The 2-0 scoreline was enough to condemn bottom side Huddersfield to their 22nd defeat in 30 games this season, while Bournemouth remain 12th on 37 points.
Perez double inspires remarkable Newcastle comeback
Newcastle United produced a remarkable second-half fightback to overturn a two-goal deficit and beat Everton 3-2, their fifth successive home win in the Premier League, on Saturday.
A goal from Salomon Rondon and a late double from Ayoze Perez completely transformed the game after the home side were feeling aggrieved about going two down after a controversial first-half incident.
First-half goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison seemed to be easing Everton's path to victory as Newcastle were left raging about the visitors' England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who could have been sent off on the half-hour.
Everton were leading through Calvert-Lewin's 18th minute glancing header from Lucas Digne's cross when Pickford, failing to punch the ball clear, clattered into Rondon and gave away a penalty.
No punishment was taken against Pickford, who then picked himself up to save Matt Ritchie's 31st-minute spot kick with his feet.
Richarlison then struck within 71 seconds at the other end before Newcastle came on strong after the break, with the in-form Rondon reducing the deficit in the 65th minute with his eighth of the season.
Perez then hammered his quick-fire double in the final 10 minutes of the match to help Newcastle ease further clear of the relegation zone.