Premier League Round-up | United and City win, Liverpool drop points

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Premier League Round-up | United and City win, Liverpool drop points

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SportsCafe Desk

01/03/2017

Both Manchester clubs – United and City – won their respective games against West Ham United and Burnley to end the festive season on a high. Liverpool, on the other hand, squandered the lead twice as two Jermain Defoe penalties helped Sunderland earn a draw at home.

Following their new year eve defeat to Liverpool that saw them slip out of the top four for the first time under Pep Guardiola, the onus was on City to claw their way back. Their job was made harder when midfielder Fernandinho was given the marching orders in the 32nd minute after a two-footed lunge on Johan Gudmundsson.

The introduction of Sergio Aguero at half-time paid rich dividends for the Manchester club as they quickly took a 2-0 lead – a classy Gael Clichy finish from outside the box was followed by a strike from Argentine Aguero, who finished from a very tight angle.

Burnley pulled one back through defender Ben Mee but it proved no more than a consolation as City jumped two places to third – two points off Liverpool.

Liverpool, who have faced problems at the Stadium of Light, got off to a good start against Sunderland by operating in the home side's final third. It wasn't long before they were rewarded for their efforts, with Daniel Sturridge putting the Merseyside club in the lead with a flicked header. The lead didn't last long though, as Jermain Defoe converted a penalty after Ragnar Klavan brought down Didier Ndong in the 18-yard-box.

The relentless Liverpool pressure continued into the second half, and when Sadio Mane put the ball past Vito Mannone, it looked like Liverpool would walk away with three full points. However, the Senegalese had a moment of madness as he handled the ball in his own box to give Defoe a chance to level things up six minutes from time – an opportunity that the Englishman gleefully accepted.

The result was compounded for Liverpool as Sturridge's injury problems continued when he limped off with an injured ankle after a clash with Papy Djilobodji.

Manchester United made it six wins on the bounce after their 2-0 victory against West Ham at the London Stadium. The hosts began impressively, pressing United high up the pitch, but a controversial decision by Mike Dean to send off Sofiane Feghouli turned the game in United's favour. However, United were unable to capitalize on the extra man advantage, as they headed into half-time with the scores level.

Jose Mourinho decided to make his changes early, as he sent on Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford to replace Matteo Darmian and Jesse Lingard. The duo combined brilliantly, as Mata provided the finishing touch to a breathtaking run from Rashford, to give United the lead. It turned out to be United's lucky day as the linesman failed to pick Zlatan Ibrahimovic in an offside position and the Swede put the ball past Randolf to take United level on points with Tottenham Hotspur.

Elsewhere, West Bromwich Albion came from a goal down to beat Hull City at the Hawthorns thanks to goals from Chris Brunt, Gareth McAuley, and James Morrison.

Second half goals from Enner Valencia, Leighton Baines and Romelu Lukaku were enough for Everton to earn three points against Southampton. In an earlier kick-off, champions Leicester City were held to a goalless draw by Middlesbrough at the Riverside stadium.

Results from Gameweek 20

Middlesbrough 0-0 Leicester City

Everton 3-0 Southampton

Manchester City 2-1 Burnley

Sunderland 2-2 Liverpool

West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Hull City

West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United

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