It has been another action packed Saturday afternoon in the Premier League, with plenty of thrills and spills along the way – as game-week 17 hits its half-way stage!
LEICESTER’S RUN CONTINUES:
The surprise package of the season, Leicester City, continued their remarkable form, with a 3-2 victory away at Everton at Goodison Park – a result which sees the Foxes regain top-spot, just in time for Christmas
Riyad Mahrez opened up the scoring after 27 minutes from the penalty spot, a lead which was swiftly cancelled out Romelu Lukaku’s equaliser for the Toffees’ just after the half-hour.
With 65 minutes on the clock, Everton keeper Tim Howard felled Jamie Vardy – allowing Mahrez to again convert from 12-yards out.
Shinji Okazaki added a third four-minutes later, to put City further in command – a further goal followed, with Kevin Mirallas scoring in the dying embers for the hosts.
Leicester have accumulated 38 points from 17 games played.
CHELSEA START LIFE POST-MOURINHO WITH A WIN:
Chelsea began life without Jose Mourinho with a straight-forward 3-1 victory over Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese was relieved of his duties on Thursday, following a poor start to their title-defence, but the West Londoners returned to winning ways with a win over Sam Allardyce’s men.
Guus Hiddink, who has been appointed as the club’s interim manager until the end of the season, watched from the stands, as Chelsea went two to the good within 13 minutes.
Branislav Ivanovic towered highest to glance the Blues into a fifth minute lead, with Pedro adding a second eight minutes later.
Oscar drilled home a penalty five-minutes after the interval – it would be Fabio Borini who had the final say, when he bundled from close-range to grab a consolation.
The day belonged to a man who wasn’t even in attendance, with Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa both booed.
Chelsea are up to 15th, meanwhile Sunderland remain in the relegation places.
UNITED STUMBLE TO HOME DEFEAT:
On a day which was dominated by Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal could be looking over his shoulder, after Manchester United succumbed to a home defeat against Norwich City at Old Trafford.
In a first half in which the Red Devils enjoyed the lion share of play, Cameron Jerome struck a shot beyond the reach of David De Gea seven minutes prior to the interval, to give the Norfolk side the lead.
The Canaries added a second nine minutes after the break, when Alexander Tetty toe-poked into the back of the net.
Anthony Martial completed the scoring after 66 minutes – but United are now winless in six league games, meanwhile, Norwich are out of the relegation places.
Harry Kane and Dele Alli scored within three-minutes of one another as Tottenham Hotspur got back to winning ways with a comprehensive victory at struggling Southampton.
Spurs are now fourth following their South Coast triumph, while Southampton drop to 12th.
Crystal Palace continued their quest for European football next season with a dramatic 2-1 win away at Stoke City – a win that moves Alan Pardew’s side up to fifth.
Connor Wickham’s penalty on the stroke of half-time gave the Eagles a first half lead, though their wings were clipped after 76 minutes when Bojan dispatched his penalty.
With time running out, up popped Lee Chung-Yong, who collected the ball from 30-yards, and hammered it beyond goalkeeper Jack Butland, as the clock ticked on 88 minutes.
Bournemouth picked up another three-points, this week, it was a 2-1 win at nine-man West Bromwich Albion, as Eddie Howe’s side remain 14th.
Fiery winger, James McClean, received his marching orders ten minutes before half-time, for hacking down Adam Smith.
Adam Smith drilled the Cherries into the lead with a low effort after 52 minutes, only for it to be cancelled out with ten minutes left through Gareth McCauley’s header.
Charlie Daniels scored an 87th minute penalty to win it for Bournemouth.
In the evening kick-off, Newcastle United drew 1-1 with Aston Villa at St James’ Park.