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EPL PIX: Spurs sink City to open up title race; Liverpool, Chelsea win

Last updated on: February 20, 2022 10:16 IST
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Images from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday.

IMAGE: Harry Kane celebrates scoring the third goal for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, on Saturday. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Harry Kane's stoppage time winner blew the Premier League title race wide open as Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester City 3-2 in a rip-roaring contest at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

 

Kane had put Tottenham 2-1 ahead in the 59th minute only for a Cristian Romero handball to allow Riyad Mahrez to equalise for the league leaders from the penalty spot in the 92nd minute.

City looked favourites to claw out a dramatic late victory, but Kane's header in the sixth minute of added time clinched a league double for Tottenham over City, having beaten them on the opening weekend of the season.

Tottenham had stunned City in the fourth minute when Dejan Kulusevski scored on his first league start since joining on loan from Juventus but Ilkay Gundogan levelled before halftime.

City's defeat, only their third in the league this season, means they are now only six points ahead of Liverpool who also have a game in hand after Liverpool beat Norwich City earlier.

"We kind of thought we'd rescued it. If you look at the whole game we deserved to win. But football is sometimes crazy and today we made easy mistakes," Gundogan said.

IMAGE: Harry Kane scores the second goal for Tottenham Hotspur. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Kane did not even play in Tottenham's August win over City when the England striker was holding out for a big-money move away from north London to join Guardiola's champions.

On Saturday he produced a stunning all-round display to show City what they missed out on.

The striker could have had four goals with Ederson keeping one effort out from point blank range and then having another ruled out for offside when Tottenham led 2-1.

But after Mahrez appeared to have snatched victory away from Antonio Conte's side, Kane pounced to revive his side's top-four ambitions after three successive league defeats.

"We had to find a way to get our season back on track," Kane said. "Tough place to come against one of the best teams in the world but to grind out the result we did was really special."

City had won 14 of their previous 15 games, drawing the other, to seize control of the title race.

And with Tottenham in a rut, they were fully expected to re-open their nine-point lead at the top.

But Tottenham have often proved a stumbling block for City and they went ahead with a well-worked goal.

IMAGE: Riyad Mahrez scores the second goal for Manchester City from the penalty spot. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Kane's superb lay-off sent Son Heung-min down the left and he picked out Kulusevski to coolly slot past Ederson.

City responded by swarming forward and Gundogan was denied when his curled effort hit the woodwork.

But a mistake by Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris allowed City to level. He could not hold Raheem Sterling's dangerous ball in towards Kevin de Bruyne and the ball popped up invitingly for Gundogan to equalise.

City dominated after the break and it seemed only a matter of time before they went ahead. But Tottenham were always a menace on the counter-attack and from one rare raid forward Son linked well with Ryan Sessegnon before his pass picked out Kane to sidefoot high past Ederson.

Ederson denied Kane again shortly afterwards from point-blank range and Kane the had a goal ruled out in the 73rd minute after a VAR check for offside in the build-up.

When Romero slid in to block Bernardo Silva's shot and the ball struck his raised arm, referee Anthony Taylor was eventually invited to check a pitch-side monitor, returning to point to the spot and offer City salvation.

Mahrez duly belted his spot kick high past Lloris but there was a sting in the tail as Kulusevski's low cross found Kane who showed great strength to head the winner.

Liverpool rally to beat Norwich

Liverpool's Luis Diaz celebrates with Mohamed Salah on scoring their third goal against Norwich City at Anfield

IMAGE: Liverpool's Luis Diaz celebrates with Mohamed Salah on scoring their third goal against Norwich City at Anfield. Photograph: Peter Powell/Reuters

Liverpool had to dig deep for a 3-1 victory against lowly Norwich City with goals by Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz securing the points after the visitors had threatened to pull off a massive shock at Anfield on Saturday.

In the end it looked relatively comfortable for Juergen Klopp's side as they reduced Premier League leaders Manchester City's lead to six points - for a few hours at least.

But when Milot Rashica's shot deflected off of Joel Matip to give Norwich the lead just after the break, Liverpool's hopes of putting some pressure on City looked in peril.

They were eventually rewarded for their intense pressure when Mane's overhead kick levelled it up in the 64th minute and less than three minutes later Salah made it 2-1 after latching onto a long clearance by keeper Alisson.

Diaz calmed Liverpool's nerves with a delightful finish in the 81st minute, finally flooring a courageous Norwich side.

Liverpool's fifth successive league win, and eighth in all competitions, put them on 57 points from 25 games, with City, who host Tottenham Hotspur later, on 63.

For all their effort, defeat put Norwich back at the bottom of the table after wins for Burnley and Watford.

Dean Smith's side have 17 points, five behind 17th-placed Newcastle United who have played a game less.

But what had looked on paper like a formality, was anything but as Norwich went toe-to-toe with Liverpool from the first whistle.

Liverpool almost took the lead when Angus Gunn reacted superbly to keep out Virgil van Dijk's header.

But Norwich used the counter-attack to great effect and should have gone in front when Brandon Williams played in Teemu Pukki, who fired a golden chance wide.

Liverpool responded with a wave of attacks but could not crack Norwich's rearguard in a frantic first half.

The visiting Norwich fans could hardly believe their eyes in the 48th minute when Rashica cut in from the left and his right-footed shot clipped Matip before looping past Alisson.

It produced a furious response from the hosts and the game was turned on its head when Konstantinos Tsimikas headed across goal towards Mane who acrobatically volleyed in.

Norwich went back on the attack but were caught out when Alisson launched a huge clearance and Salah found himself clear. The Egyptian turned cleverly and then struck a shot that wrong-footed Norwich's covering defenders.

It was his 150th goal in all competitions and Diaz, signed from Porto last month, then opened his Liverpool account with a dinked finish from Jordan Henderson's defence-splitting pass.

Chelsea grab late winner to beat Crystal Palace 1-0

Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech celebrates scoring the winner against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, London

IMAGE: Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech celebrates scoring the winner against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, London. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

Chelsea snatched a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday courtesy of an 89th minute strike by Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech as the newly crowned world champions returned to winning ways in the Premier League after nearly a month's absence.

Ziyech kept his eye on a looping cross by substitute Marcos Alonso and calmly side-footed in the volley at the far post to give Chelsea the win that they had looked unlikely to claim for much of the match.

Palace limited the visitors to only a handful of opportunities including a 35-yard pile-driver shot by centre-half Antonio Rudiger in the 11th minute that Vicente Guaita palmed away acrobatically.

The hosts had their own chances with Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise coming close to breaking the deadlock as Palace sought to catch the visitors on the counter-attack.

Chelsea, who last weekend won the FIFA World Club Cup and next weekend face Liverpool in the League Cup final, have struggled to get the best out of record signing Romelu Lukaku and he mostly cut a lonely figure once again.

The win left Chelsea seven points behind second-placed Liverpool who beat Norwich City and 13 points behind league leaders Manchester City who play Tottenham Hotspur later on Saturday. Palace sit in 13th place.

Smith-Rowe and Saka goals keep Arsenal in top four hunt

Arsenal's Emile Smith-Rowe acknowledges fans after the match against Brentford

IMAGE: Arsenal's Emile Smith-Rowe acknowledges fans after the match against Brentford. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Second-half goals from Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal secure a 2-1 win over Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday and stay in the race to finish in the Champions League qualification places.

The win lifted the Gunners to within a point of fourth-placed Manchester United, whom they have played two games fewer than. Arsenal only sit below fifth-placed West Ham - who have played three games more than them and drew with Newcastle earlier in the day - on goal difference.

"There’s a long way to go but we’re a little bit closer (to the top four)," Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said.

"I think we played really well today. We had so many attempts in the first half and in the Premier League you have to put those away. But overall I think we should be happy with the result."

Forward Alexandre Lacazette saw an effort ruled out for offside in the first quarter of an hour, while his penalty claims in the build-up were also waved away.

Further shouts for a spot kick were again dismissed five minutes before the break when Cedric Soares's shot struck the arm of the sliding Yoane Wissa.

Arsenal did not have to wait long after the restart to open the scoring as Smith-Rowe showed quick feet before firing in on 48 minutes, before Saka sealed the victory 11 minutes from time with a sweeping counter attack.

Brentford, who felt defender Pontus Jansson was fouled in the build up to the second goal, pulled one back through Christian Norgaard in stoppage time.

But it was not enough to stop Thomas Frank's side slipping to their sixth defeat in seven games in all competitions.

Newcastle revival continues with draw at West Ham

West Ham United's Craig Dawson and Newcastle United's Chris Wood vie for possession during their match at London Stadium, London, on Saturday

IMAGE: Newcastle United's Chris Wood is challenged by West Ham United's Craig Dawson a they vie for possession during their match at London Stadium, London, on Saturday. Photograph: Chris Radburn/Reuters

West Ham United's top-four hopes suffered a further blow as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by a resurgent Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Craig Dawson, who snatched a 2-2 draw at Leicester City last week, put West Ham in front in the 32nd minute, heading home a free kick from Aaron Cresswell.

But Newcastle pulled themselves level in added time of the first half with a classy finish from Joe Willock, which flummoxed West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and bobbled over the line, the goal given by goalline technology after the ball was scrambled away.

The draw meant West Ham stayed in fifth place on 42 points, one behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who visit Leeds United on Sunday.

Newcastle meanwhile extended their unbeaten run to six games and although they are still in 17th position they are now five points above the relegation zone.

Eddie Howe's side were missing key players in French forward Allan Saint-Maximin and Kieran Trippier while Ryan Fraser was forced off late in the game.

But Willock filled the creative void with an outstanding performance.

With his instinctive flick to equalise he scored his first goal this season after making a stunning impact last campaign, netting eight times in 11 starts when he joined Newcastle on loan from Arsenal.

"When I saw it go in I was so delighted. It’s been a long time coming," Willock told BT Sport.

"I'm happy to score and help the team. That's how football is – it never goes how you want it to go. I've tried to stick to my task and take on board what the manager wanted me to do."

Newcastle have spent most of the season in the relegation zone and continued to struggle after Howe succeeded Steve Bruce in November but they have turned a corner and travelled to East London on a run of three consecutive victories.

Their revival has been fuelled by serious investment in the transfer window following their takeover by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund although Willock also credited Howe for their transformation.

"He's a brilliant manager and a brilliant person. He’s a manager we all trust and we all buy into what he wants to do. Long may it continue," added Willock.

"I thought we brought our game plan to them. We were very dominant in the first half and had moments in the second half. It shows how far we’ve come and how much the manager has instilled into us."

Southampton punish sloppy Everton to claim 2-0 win

Stuart Armstrong and substitute Shane Long scored for Southampton as they punished error-prone Everton to claim a deserved 2-0 Premier League victory at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

Everton gave the ball away with a sloppy piece of play in midfield on 52 minutes to allow the home side to break forward and Armstrong drilled the ball low into the bottom corner.

Long netted the second with six minutes remaining, seconds after entering the pitch, as he rose to head past Jordan Pickford from Valentino Livramento's cross.

The home side were quicker to the ball and won the physical battle against Frank Lampard’s team, who were sparkling in their 3-0 victory against Leeds United last weekend, but reverted to the form that has seen them dragged towards the relegation scrap this campaign.

Pickford was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers, saving brilliantly from point-blank range to deny Livramento, who flicked James Ward-Prowse's low corner goal-wards, while Mohamed Elyounoussi also struck the crossbar.

Southampton remain in 10th place with 32 points from 25 matches, while Everton are in 16th with 22 points from 23 games. Everton's next match is at home to Manchester City on Feb. 26.

Denis scores late as Watford clinch first win since November

Emmanuel Dennis scored 12 minutes from time to hand struggling Watford vital away points as they won 1-0 away at Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.

It ended as run of 12 matches without success and marked a first victory under new manager Roy Hodgson, although Watford remain in the relegation zone with 18 points from 24 matches.

Dennis, who now has nine league goals this season, headed home a cross from Issa Sarr as Watford’s counter attacking finally paid dividends and handed them their first win since November.

The result continued frustration at Villa Park where the home side have not won any of their last four games.

Weghorst fires Burnley to much-needed win at Brighton

Burnley claimed only their second Premier League win of the season when new signing Wout Weghorst scored one and created another in a 3-0 demolition of Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

Burnley's first away victory of the season lifted them off the bottom of the table. They remain in the relegation zone in 19th place with 17 points but manager Sean Dyche was happy to see their efforts finally pay off.

"I thought we deserved it today. It has been coming and I am pleased for the players who have stayed calm," Dyche said.

"Six points out of five games doesn't sound a lot but it is when you are playing those teams... The performance levels have been there, not so much the outcomes because we've had three draws and a loss, but the performances have been excellent."

Burnley took the lead when Aaron Lennon released full back Connor Roberts down the right flank and his cut-back was fired home first time by Weghorst, with the Dutch striker's curling effort squeezing in at the near post.

Brighton's defence was in disarray with centre back Shane Duffy and goalkeeper Robert Sanchez even arguing over a lack of communication which led to a heated confrontation between the two team mates as tempers flared.

Although Brighton dominated possession, Burnley doubled the lead when the towering Weghorst controlled a long ball, held it up and found Josh Brownhill who pulled the trigger, with the shot taking two deflections to beat the keeper.

Lennon sealed three desperately needed points for Burnley in the 69th minute when he drifted across two defenders, picked up a pass from Jay Rodriguez and found the top corner from the edge of the box for his second goal of the season.

Brighton, meanwhile, are ninth after a second straight defeat dealt their top four ambitions a blow and manager Graham Potter admitted his side was poor.

"From the start I thought Burnley were good and deserved to win the game and we were not at the level to get anything in the Premier League," Potter said.

"Today we weren't quite where we need to be... I think Burnley played well and they were a better version of themselves than we were."

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