Manchester City maintained their slim advantage at the top of the Premier League with a routine 2-0 win at Burnley on Saturday as Liverpool eased past Watford 2-0 to keep their title ambitions very much alive.
Brentford pulled off a stunning 4-1 victory at Chelsea with Christian Eriksen among the scorers and Manchester United were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Leicester City at Old Trafford.
Kevin De Bruyne put Manchester City ahead after five minutes when he found the top corner from a Raheem Sterling pass and Ilkay Gundogan added another before halftime to keep City one point clear of Liverpool ahead of their seismic clash next Sunday.
“We came here to win the game and we did it. You never know what’s going to happen after an international break,” said City boss Pep Guardiola. “It was made more complicated by the fact we couldn’t score the third goal.”
Earlier, Diogo Jota put Liverpool ahead against Watford after 22 minutes in manager Juergen Klopp’s 250th game in charge before a late Fabinho penalty secured the points.
A Vitaly Janelt double and strikes from Eriksen and Yoane Wissa helped Brentford to a famous win over local rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half with a stunning long-range effort but Brentford responded almost instantly through Janelt, who rifled home from the edge of the box.
Eriksen, whose career was in doubt after suffering a near-fatal cardiac arrest during the European Championship last year, gave Brentford the lead in the 54th minute before Janelt grabbed a second and Wissa completed the rout.
“Nobody saw it coming, especially after going 1-0 ahead. It was very untypical of us,” said Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, whose side remained third on 59 points, 14 behind leaders City.
“We stopped defending. We were not aware of enough of the danger, were sloppy with the defending and got punished… they were lucky and clinical enough to get three goals.”
Manchester United’s struggles under interim manager Ralf Rangnick continued as they were outplayed by Leicester in front of their own fans.
Kelechi Iheanacho put the visitors in front in the 63rd minute after nodding home a James Maddison cross but United responded three minutes later when Fred scored from a rebound following Bruno Fernandes’ initial effort.
“We all know we need points. Today it was not enough. We created some chances but the last option was not the best. We have to look forward and win our own games,” Fernandes said.
The draw left United in sixth place, three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal who have two games in hand. Leicester are ninth with 37 points.
Wolverhampton Wanderers kept their European hopes alive after goals from Jonny and Ashley Young clinched a 2-1 win over Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa. Wolves climbed to seventh, while Villa are 10th following a third straight loss.
James Ward-Prowse scored an excellent free kick as Southampton grabbed a point in a 1-1 draw at Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion were held to a goalless home draw by bottom club Norwich City to end a six-game losing streak for both teams.