Salah double gives Liverpool win, Chelsea cruise to five-goal victory
Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City
Mohamed Salah scored twice to equal Roger Hunt’s club record for goals scored before the turn of the year as Liverpool came from behind to beat Leicester 2-1.
The Egypt international took his tally to 23 for the campaign, with 17 in the league, with a second-half double to reach the same mark set by Hunt in 1961-62.
Liverpool had been trailing to an early goal for Jamie Vardy, who set a Leicester record of his own by becoming the first Foxes player to score in five successive matches against the Reds.
Vardy has long been a thorn in the side of the Merseysiders and he took his tally to seven in eight appearances against them, but Jurgen Klopp’s side have someone in even better form and they needed him to finally overcome another nemesis in Claude Puel.
Chelsea 5-0 Stoke City
Willian scored one and set up two more as Chelsea cranked up the pressure on Mark Hughes with a thumping 5-0 win over Stoke.
Chelsea were three up at half-time as a sensational Danny Drinkwater volley came between goals from Antonio Rudiger and Pedro, both laid on by the brilliant Willian.
Willian then turned scorer in the second half by earning a penalty and then converting it before substitute Davide Zappacosta added a fifth late on.
Victory means Chelsea reduce the gap behind Manchester City to 13 points, with City facing Crystal Palace on Sunday, while Stoke stay two points above the relegation zone.
Huddersfield 0-0 Burnley
Huddersfield brought a remarkable year to a close by extending their unbeaten Premier League run to four matches after a goalless home draw against Burnley.
Two of the top flight’s surprise packages this season showed typical endeavour but ultimately cancelled each other out, while Burnley were left to rue a controversial second-half penalty decision which went against them.
Huddersfield have ended 2017 in 11th place in their first season in the Premier League, having lost only one of their last five matches, and Burnley remain in seventh – now seven points adrift of the top four – after one defeat in their last six.
Newcastle 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Rafael Benitez was left frustrated after a 0-0 draw as misfiring Newcastle failed to claim the three points they had targeted against Brighton.
The Spaniard controversially rested many of his bigger names for Manchester City’s visit to St James’ Park on Wednesday evening.
He later denied doing so with one eye on the Seagulls’ visit to Tyneside but had hoped they would return with all guns blazing for a must-win clash with last season’s promotion rivals.
However, although Brighton keeper Matt Ryan had to make good saves from Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle, the technically superior visitors enjoyed the better of the game and might have emerged with more than a point had Karl Darlow not managed to repel Lewis Dunk’s 68th-minute header.
AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Everton
Bournemouth climbed out of the relegation zone after Ryan Fraser’s deflected effort in the 89th minute earned them a 2-1 win over Everton.
Fraser opened the scoring 33 minutes in before Idrissa Gueye equalised for Everton.