Premier League Round-Up: Arsenal beat Man City but Leicester top at Xmas
22nd December 2015

In the battle of second against third it was Arsenal who came out on top on Monday night with a 2-1 win over Manchester City at the Emirates.

The Gunners headed into the break with a 2-0 lead thanks to a wonderful Theo Walcott strike and Olivier Giroud’s 10th of the season – both assisted by Mesut Ozil, who has now made 15 Premier League goals this season.

Yaya Toure’s sublime strike in the second-half gave City hope but, despite late pressure, the home side held on to move to within two points of Leicester at the top, while City are now six points behind the Foxes after failing to win on the road for a fifth league match in a row.

16 December 2015 - Barclays Premier League - Arsenal v Manchester City - Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal celebrates the opening goal - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Arsene Wenger celebrates a big win for Arsenal

Leicester City ensured their unlikely time atop of the Premier League table would continue past Christmas with a 3-2 win over Everton at Goodison Park.

A Riyad Mahrez penalty gave the Foxes the lead but they were shortly pegged back when Romelu Lukaku scored for the seventh league match in a row.

Mahrez again scored from the spot to give his side the lead again midway through the second-half, and the points were sealed by Shinji Okazaki four minutes later.

Kevin Mirallas struck a late consolation for the Toffees, but the result means Claudio Ranieri’s men have recorded seven wins from their last eight games. Meanwhile, Everton are 10th and without a win in their last four.

The pressure increased on Louis van Gaal at Manchester United as they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Norwich at Old Trafford.

Cameron Jerome gave the visitors the lead before half-time and Alexander Tettey toe poked a second after the break.

Anthony Martial pulled one back for the hosts but it couldn’t prevent the Red Devils slipping out of the top-four, whereas the Canaries climbed out of the bottom three.

Watford continue to climb the table as they cruised past Liverpool 3-0 at Vicarage Road to secure a fourth consecutive league win for the first time since 1987.

Nathan Ake’s first Premier League goal had the Hornets ahead after just three minutes, before Odion Ighalo doubled the lead after just 15 minutes.

The Nigerian sealed the win with just five minutes left with a header for his 12th of the season to condemn Jurgen Klopp’s Reds to a second away defeat on the trot.

16 December 2015 - Barclays Premier League - Watford v Liverpool - Odion Ighalo of Watford scores the 2nd goal - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Odion Ighalo scores Watford’s second against Liverpool

Chelsea comfortably secured a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge over Sunderland in the first match since Jose Mourinho was sacked on Thursday.

The Blues were two ahead before the 15 minute mark through a Branislav Ivanovic header and Pedro’s second of the season.

Oscar then scored from the spot in the second-half, before Fabio Borini netted a consolation in front of a crowd which showed their displeasure at the sacking of the ‘Special One’.

The champions move up to 15th with the win, meanwhile, Sunderland remain in the bottom-three after a third straight defeat.

Bournemouth continued their outstanding run of form as they beat nine-man West Brom 2-1 at the Hawthorns.

James McClean was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Adam Smith in the first-half, and it was Smith who put the Cherries ahead with a pinpoint finish from the edge of the box.

Albion looked to have secured a point when Gareth McAuley headed in an equaliser with 10 minutes left, but, with just three minutes remaining, Charlie Daniels scored from the spot after Dan Gosling was brought down by Darren Fletcher – though replays suggest initial contact was made outside of the area,

The Cherries are now 14th and unbeaten in their last five, whilst West Brom now sit 13th and are without a win in their last four.

19th December 2015 - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v AFC Bournemouth - Charlie Daniels of AFC Bournemouth celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot (1-2) - Photo: Paul Roberts / Offside.

Daniels fired home Bournemouth’s winner from the penalty spot

Crystal Palace stayed in touch with the top-four with a 2-1 triumph over Stoke at the Britannia.

A penalty for either side had the game at 1-1; first Connor Wickham stepped up to bag his first goal for Palace, before Bojan converted for the home side after the break.

However with just two minutes remaining, substitute Lee Chung-yong lashed in a stunning strike to steal the points.

The Eagles are now sixth and only outside of the top-four on goal difference, while Stoke are now 11th.

Tottenham moved into the top-four with a comfortable 2-0 win over Southampton at St. Mary’s.

Two goals in three minutes before half-time from Harry Kane and Dele Alli secured all three points for Spurs who bounced back from defeat against Newcastle last week.

However, Saints are slipping down the table, sitting 12th and without a win in their last five outings.

Newcastle and Aston Villa drew 1-1 at St. James’ Park on Saturday evening.

The home side went ahead late in the first-half through Fabricio Coloccini, before Jordan Ayew’s superb strike on the hour mark secured a point for the visitors.

The draw keeps the Magpies out of the bottom-three and unbeaten in their last three, while Villa remain bottom with just one win this season and are now 10 points from safety.

Swansea and West Ham played out a goalless draw at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday to leave the Swans in the bottom-three.

The home side had the better of the chances through Andre Ayew and Ki Sung-yeung but failed to find a way past Adrian.

A point apiece means the South Wales side are now winless in seven, whereas the Hammers sit eighth after five draws from their last six games.

Player of the Week: Odion Ighalo (Watford)
Team of the Week: Norwich
Goal of the Week: Lee Chung-yong (Crystal Palace)

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