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
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
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
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
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