LONDON: Gabriel Jesus struck twice and Raheem Sterling once as Manchester City beat Everton 3-1 to return to the top of the Premier League for 24 hours at least.
City’s performance marked a strong return to form after last week’s first league loss of the season at Chelsea and put pressure back on rivals Liverpool ahead of their clash with Manchester United on Sunday.
City were further lifted by the return of Kevin De Bruyne as a substitute after six weeks out while Sergio Aguero was also back in the squad, although he did not come off the bench.
Aguero’s absence from the starting line-up allowed Jesus another opportunity after criticism of his recent form. He responded well, scoring his first Premier League goals since August, although City needed to work hard to gain the upper hand.
The pressure eventually told in the 22nd minute when City capitalised on a poor Yerry Mina clearance.
Everton hauled themselves back into the contest thanks to Calvert-Lewin’s 65th-minute header but City restored their two-goal cushion four minutes later when Fernandinho found an unmarked Sterling, who came on three minutes earlier, to head in from close range.
Manager Pep Guardiola praised Sterling’s character after the England forward ended a difficult week with a winning strike.
Sterling has been at the centre of a big debate about racism in football in recent days after being subjected to alleged discriminatory abuse during City’s defeat at Chelsea last weekend.
The issue did not appear to affect the 24-year-old’s game as he played 90 minutes in the midweek Champions League win over Hoffenheim and was again in good touch against the Merseysiders.
Guardiola said: “He has handled many situations in the last year. There are many rumours that people have been talking about, and not nice things about him or his family or, in this case, the colour of his skin.
“That is why I admire him. I admire that it is not easy for him but he is calm, he is happy playing football and he is beloved.
“He is incredible for all the staff, locker room and his team-mates. It is good. Hopefully we can improve on that and move forward.”
Sterling’s goal was his 10th of a fine campaign which saw him named this week as the Premier League’s Player of the Month for November.
Tottenham recorded a late victory, despite the best efforts from Burnley and in particular a superb performance from goalkeeper Joe Hart. Sub Christian Eriksen’s injury time goal ensured Spurs continue to keep in touch with the top two.
Mauricio Pochettino raised several eyebrows with his team selection. Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen, who were not listed as pre-match doubts, were not in the matchday squad, with left-back Ben Davies slated to start at centre-back. Eighteen-year-old Oliver Skipp was given his first senior start in midfield.
Spurs dominated and worked 15 shots at goal, however only three were on target, summing up their afternoon.
When they did get it on target they found Hart in top form, especially when pulling off a magnificent save to deny Erik Lamela.
The fact that Sean Dyche’s men had two players booked for time wasting by the 68th minute says everything about their approach at Wembley.
It looked like being an afternoon to forget, especially when Heung-Min Son dragged an effort wide at the far post, but Eriksen had the final say.
Dele Alli headed to Kane and the England captain teed up his Danish team-mate to clip home.
The victory moves Spurs to 39 points and within three of Liverpool in second. Burnley remain in 17th with 12 points, two points above the relegation zone.
Gerard Deulofeu starred as Watford withstood a late rally from Cardiff to end a six-match winless run with a 3-2 victory at Vicarage Road.
The Hornets led 3-0 after 68 minutes after Deulofeu’s solo strike and curling efforts from Jose Holebas and Domingos Quina.
But the Bluebirds were grateful for goalkeeper Neil Etheridge’s display and refused to submit, scoring two goals in three minutes to set up a nervous finale.
Junior Hoilett struck from 25 yards after 80 minutes and Bobby Reid scrambled in a second soon afterwards, but Watford held on to win. Cardiff now have one point from their last 10 Premier League away games.
Deulofeu came in for Isaac Success as the sole change from the starting line-up in last Monday’s clash at Everton, when the Toffees stole a last-gasp draw to extend the Hornets’ winless run.
The former Barcelona and Everton forward wore leggings and gloves and seemed to revel in the atrocious conditions.
His second goal of the season came 10 minutes later, when he bamboozled Bruno Ecuele Manga and Sean Morrison before sliding the ball into the bottom corner.
Into the secon half and the Cardiff goalkeeper was beaten, with Deulofeu again influential. He checked and teed-up Holebas, who curled into the top corner from the edge of the box.
It was the Greece left-back’s third goal of the season – a best after more than three seasons at Vicarage Road – and Watford have never lost when he has scored.
Home supporters sensed a first win since October’s back-to-back successes against Wolves and Huddersfield.
And they were right to feel confident as Abdoulaye Doucoure found Quina on the edge of the area and the 19-year-old finished beautifully for his first Premier League goal.
Cardiff had a goal back when Hoilett curled in from 25 yards and the visitors’ second followed almost immediately. Ben Foster saved from Sol Bamba, but Watford failed to clear and Reid prodded the ball in.
Raul Jimenez’s fifth goal of the season helped Wolves move up to seventh in the Premier League, above their defeated opponents Bournemouth.
It also gave the earned the hosts three straight top-flight victories for the first time in almost 40 years.
An early goal from Raul Jimenez and a late strike by substitute Ivan Cavaleiro handed Wolves the three points.
Following successes against Chelsea and Newcastle in the past 10 days, it is the first time since March 1980 that Wanderers have recorded a trio of consecutive victories in the top division.
The opener was against the run of play when Wolves went ahead after 12 minutes, but Bournemouth were architects of their own downfall.
Charlie Daniels, midway inside his own half, needlessly gave the ball away to Diogo Jota after he played a sloppy pass along the back line. Jota advanced towards goal but dragged his shot from the right side of the penalty area straight into the path of Jimenez, who tapped the ball home from six yards out.
At the other end, Junior Stanislas struck the crossbar with a free-kick and, after Bournemouth had recycled the ball, Rui Patricio had to be alert to pluck the ball out of the air when Jefferson Lerma’s 22-yard shot looked to be heading for the top corner of the net.
Wolves sealed victory in injury time when Costa’s through-ball put Cavaleiro one-on-one with the goalkeeper and he beat Begovic with a confident finish into the bottom corner of the net.
Bournemouth remain in mid-table after a sixth defeat in seven Premier League games.
Crystal Palace secured their first Premier League victory without Wilfried Zaha in over two years as Luka Milivojevic’s outstanding finish inspired them to overcome Leicester City 1-0.
Without their most influential player they followed successive defeats to end the wider run of 13 league defeats that had come when Zaha was unavailable.
During those 13 fixtures – their last league success without him came at struggling Sunderland in September 2016 when Alan Pardew remained manager – they had scored only three goals and conceded 28.
The lack of a consistent goalscorer remained a concern at Selhurst Park but their captain Milivojevic produced a fine first-half finish to give them the lead they retained to move up to 15th and clear of the Premier League’s bottom three.
Leicester had earlier perhaps been unfortunate not to go in front midway through the first half when Jamie Vardy found the back of the net but was judged to have fouled Palace’s Spanish goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, handed his Premier League debut after back spasms ruled out Wayne Hennessey.
Instead of clearing Milivojevic’s pass-back, Guaita took a heavy touch and changed direction, tempting Vardy to pursue the loose ball he won after a shoulder barge that knocked over the goalkeeper, who was awarded a free-kick just as Vardy finished.
With Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Andros Townsend exchanging passes near the Leicester penalty area as they pursued a target, Townsend found Milivojevic, who in turn unexpectedly looked up and brilliantly bent from 25 yards just inside the far right post and beyond Kasper Schmeichel’s fingertips.
It has been a lack of goals, in the absence of the injured Christian Benteke, that has undermined Palace this season but taking the lead again gave them belief, even if a second goal rarely looked likely.
A final, late chance fell kindly to Wilfred Ndidi on the edge of the area, inviting the midfielder to strike, from where he connected well and with power but shot beyond the crossbar, leaving them narrowly outside of the top 10.
Salomon Rondon’s strike secured Newcastle their first victory in four matches as they won 1-0 at Huddersfield Town, who have now lost four in a row.
Rondon finished off a Newcastle break in the 55th minute at a rain-sodden John Smith’s Stadium having been teed up by Javier Manquillo.
Rafael Benitez’s men – celebrating a win for only the fourth time this season, the day after it emerged they had cancelled their Christmas party – are up a place to 14th in the Premier League table.
They are six points clear of the relegation zone, in which David Wagner’s 18th-placed Huddersfield remain two adrift of safety.
The hosts made a fairly lively start to the contest, with Laurent Depoitre volleying over in the fourth minute and Chris Lowe sending a bouncing shot wide in the 10th.
It was Huddersfield then doing most of the attacking for the remainder of the first half, during which the stadium floodlights dimmed briefly on two occasions.
Dubravka collected a tame Billing shot and smartly kept out a Lowe strike – although the flag was up for offside – while the most notable action besides from Newcastle was Jamaal Lascelles’ waist-high challenge on Depoitre, for which he was booked.
Early in the second half Atsu twice tried his luck on goal, seeing one shot caught and another parried by Lossl.
The Dane was then beaten as an incisive Newcastle move saw the ball worked from Ayoze Perez to Manquillo and on to Rondon, who slotted in.
As Huddersfield looked to hit back, Lowe brought a decent save out of Dubravka with a strike just before the hour mark and Depoitre then had a header saved.