Manchester United were prevented from recording a seventh straight Premier League victory as they were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Christian Benteke’s exquisitely-taken first goal against the Red Devils put Villa 1-0 ahead at half-time on Saturday but Radamel Falcao headed home a second-half equaliser before Gabriel Agbonlahor was dismissed for a challenge on former Villan Ashley Young.
However, United failed to find a winner after Manchester City’s routine 3-0 lunchtime victory over Crystal Palace at the Etihad enabled the champions to join leaders Chelsea on 39 points at the top of the table.
The day’s early kick-off saw City make light of their lack of available strikers, with David Silva’s double plus a goal from Yaya Toure, all notched after the break, steering them to what proved a routine victory and their eighth successive win in all competitions.
Chelsea travel to Stoke on Monday, while United’s draw kept them in third place on 32 points, a place and one point ahead of West Ham.
Goals from England duo Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing in either half earned the Hammers a comfortable 2-0 home win over bottom club Leicester.
Carroll pounced on a Paul Konchesky error to put the home side in front in the first half and the seal was put on the Foxes’ 10th defeat in a 12-game winless sequence when Downing curled in a fine second after the interval.
Harry Kane – now on 14 goals this term – was again on the scoresheet in Tottenham’s hard-fought 2-1 victory over Burnley at White Hart Lane to send Spurs above north London rivals Arsenal into sixth. Erik Lamela struck the other side of Ashley Barnes’ leveller.
Southampton got back to winning ways in emphatic fashion, after a run of six defeats, to stay in fifth with a 3-0 triumph over Everton at St Mary’s.
Romelu Lukaku’s first-half own-goal was added to by Italy striker Graziano Pelle, his 11th of the campaign, and Japan defender Maya Yoshida after half-time.
Down at the basement, Charlie Austin’s hat-trick saw Queens Park Rangers recover an early 2-0 deficit at home to West Bromwich Albion in a thrilling 3-2 triumph to climb out of the relegation zone.
The Baggies raced into a two-goal lead through early efforts from Joleon Lescott and Silvestre Varela, but Austin swiftly hit back with a penalty before adding a leveller and then an 86th-minute winner.
It took the Englishman’s goal tally for the season to 11, while his team have moved up from 18th to 15th, two points clear of the drop.
Burnley have replaced QPR in the bottom three, slipping to 18th place, while Hull stay 19th after they lost 1-0 at home against Swansea.
Ki Sung-yeung’s early strike proved the difference as the Tigers’ run without a win extended to 10 games. – Sky Sport