LONDON: Anthony Martial’s goal early in the second half proved enough to give second-placed Manchester United a battling 1-0 win at Burnley in the English Premier League.
United – looking to finalise the transfer of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal – did not have a shot on target during the first half, but went ahead on 54 minutes when Martial was set up by Romelu Lukaku.
Burnley almost equalised straight away as a curling free-kick from Johann Berg Gudmundsson hit the top of the crossbar, but that was as close as they got.
United cut the deficit on rivals Manchester City to nine points but Pep Guardiola’s side responded with a routine 3-1 home win over Newcastle in the late kick-off.
Sergio Aguero fired a hat-trick for the hosts, with Jacob Murphy briefly making it interesting at 2-1 with a breakaway goal for the Magpies.
Aguero, whose 63rd minute penalty following up his first-half finish, rounded things off by completing his treble with just under 10 minutes to play.
Everton midfielder James McCarthy suffered a suspected double leg fracture during the 1-1 draw against West Brom at Goodison Park.
There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in honour of former Baggies forward Cyrille Regis, whose death was announced on Monday at the age of 59.
West Brom went ahead on seven minutes through Jay Rodriguez. Everton midfielder McCarthy had to be taken off on a stretcher just after the hour mark following a collision with Salomon Rondon, which looked to have resulted in a double leg break.
The hosts were level on 69 minutes through substitute Oumar Niasse, set up by Theo Walcott, making his debut after a transfer from Arsenal.
In Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, Chelsea returned to winning ways in fantastic style with a 4-0 victory over Brighton, including a brilliantly-worked Willian goal which Sky Bet make joint-favourite for Goal of the Season.
Willian’s fine finish which featured intricate back-heeled flicks from Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi in the build-up came after just six minutes, hot on the heels of Hazard’s third-minute opener which immediately put the hosts on the back foot.
To their credit Brighton did give as good as they got before and soon after half-time, but Belgian playmaker Hazard put the seal on a Man of the Match performance when adding his second in the 77th minute and Victor Moses rounded off the scoring at the end of normal time.
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea – who scrambled past Norwich in their FA Cup replay after a penalty shootout in midweek – collected all three points and move back level on points (50) with Manchester United, who face Burnley later in the day.
Arsenal showed little sign of missing Sanchez as they beat Crystal Palace 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners, who could see Henrikh Mkhitaryan move the other way from United, were in front after six minutes through defender Nacho Monreal. Alex Iwobi made it 2-0 on nine minutes and skipper Laurent Koscielny added a third in the 13th minute.
Alexandre Lacazette then made it 4-0 with a curling shot on 22 minutes. Palace scored a consolation goal on 78 minutes through Luka Milivojevic.
New Stoke manager Paul Lambert secured his first win with a 2-0 home victory over Huddersfield.
Xherdan Shaqiri saw an acrobatic effort ruled out for offside early in the second half, before Joe Allen put the Potters ahead on 53 minutes. Mame Biram Diouf made it 2-0 on 69 minutes as Stoke moved out of the bottom three and above Southampton.
Leicester beat Watford 2-0 at the King Power Stadium thanks for goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
Watford – with just one win from the previous 10 Premier League matches – had the ball in the net after 33 minutes, but Troy Deeney was flagged offside.
Leicester took the lead shortly before half-time when Vardy converted a penalty on 39 minutes after he had been fouled by Molla Wague. The Foxes made sure of victory when Mahrez slotted in during stoppage time.
West Ham and Bournemouth drew 1-1 at the London Stadium. Ryan Fraser put Bournemouth ahead with an angled finish on 71 minutes. West Ham, though, were level just two minutes later through substitute Javier Hernandez.