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Manchester City humiliate Palace, Leicester on top while Chelsea escape with draw

BIRMINGHAM: Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty but Leicester City still went back to the top of the Premier League table with a 1-1 draw at rejuvenated Aston Villa on Saturday.

The Foxes' fairytale showed no sign of losing any allure as they went ahead at Villa Park with a 28th-minute Shinji Okazaki goal, confirmed with the aid of technology after goalkeeper Mark Bunn had clawed the ball back from beyond the line.

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Manchester City cruise against Crystal Palace

Sergio Aguero scores twice to lead Manchester City to an easy 4-0 win.

Leicester were awarded a penalty five minutes later for Aly Cissokho's handball but Mahrez, one of the stars of their extraordinary season, struck a tame spot kick straight down the middle that Bunn saved with his feet.

Bottom club Villa, fresh from some respite in their wretched season following the midweek 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, produced a much-improved second half performance sealed by Rudy Gestede's 76th-minute equaliser.

Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta and Crystal Palace's Jason Puncheon contest the ball.
Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta and Crystal Palace's Jason Puncheon contest the ball. Photo: Jon Super

The draw moved Leicester one point clear of Arsenal and Manchester City at the top, with the Londoners having the chance to overhaul them when they visit Stoke City on Sunday.

It could easily have been a three-point lead had Jamie Vardy, who could not stop scoring earlier in the season, not blazed a late shot high, wide and not very handsome.

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Sergio Aguero spelled double trouble for Crystal Palace as Manchester City romped to a 4-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The Argentine striker scored in the 41st minute, after Fabian Delph's 22nd-minute opener, then doubled his tally in the 68th and set up David Silva for the fourth six minutes from time.

Everton's Ramiro Funes Mori scores his team's third goal against Chelsea.
Everton's Ramiro Funes Mori scores his team's third goal against Chelsea. Photo: Mike Hewitt

Fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur closed the gap on the leaders to four points with a crushing 4-1 defeat of struggling Sunderland in the lunchtime match at White Hart Lane.

Danish international Christian Eriksen struck either side of halftime after Sunderland, mired in the relegation zone, had taken an early lead through Patrick van Aanholt.

James Ward-Prowse converts a penalty for Southampton against West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's.
James Ward-Prowse converts a penalty for Southampton against West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's. Photo: Ian Walton

While Spurs reignited their title challenge, fifth-placed West Ham United's push faltered with a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United.

John Terry scored for both sides as champions Chelsea pulled off a Houdini-like escape in a 3-3 home draw with Everton, the veteran defender grabbing a dubious equaliser in the dying seconds to atone for his 50th-minute own goal.

Mousa Dembele scores Tottenham's  second goal against Sunderland at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Mousa Dembele scores Tottenham's second goal against Sunderland at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Photo: Paul Gilham

All the goals at Stamford Bridge came in the second half, with Chelsea battling back from 2-0 down before substitute Ramiro Funes Mori put Everton back in front as the game entered stoppage time.

Newcastle's victory lifted them out of the bottom three while troubled Swansea, who entertain Watford on Monday, dropped to 18th and a point ahead of Sunderland.

Christian Eriksen soaks up the adulation of White Hart Lane.
Christian Eriksen soaks up the adulation of White Hart Lane. Photo: Michael Regan

On a lively winter's afternoon for south-coast sides, Southampton beat West Bromwich Albion 3-0 for their third successive home win and Bournemouth overcame Norwich City by the same scoreline.

Liverpool, ninth, and Louis Van Gaal's sixth-placed Manchester United clash at Anfield on Sunday

Reuters