Man City, Chelsea stunned at home in EPL
The English Premier League title race has taken an unexpected twist as champions Manchester City lost ground on leaders Liverpool after a 3-2 defeat at home by Crystal Palace.
Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend and a Luka Milivojevic penalty gave Palace victory on Saturday, leaving Liverpool four points clear at the top at Christmas as they chase their first title since 1990.
"Obviously the result is a setback," City captain Fabian Delph said. "We have lost but we are only looking at ourselves game to game. "We had a few chances which we have put away in the past, but fair play to Crystal Palace - they were stubborn and organised."
Fourth-placed Chelsea also lost, beaten 1-0 at home by Leicester, while Arsenal moved alongside them after a 3-1 win over Burnley.
City lost at home for the first time in the league this season as they were stunned by Palace, with manager Roy Hodgson handing his former club Liverpool an early Christmas present.
It looked like being business as usual when Ilkay Gundogan gave City the lead on 27 minutes.
But Schlupp equalised six minutes later and two minutes after that, Townsend hammered in a sensational volley from more than 25 yards out. City brought on Sergio Aguero just after halftime but Milivojevic made no mistake from the spot on 51 minutes to make it 3-1.
Another substitute, Kevin De Bruyne, pulled one back late on but Palace held on to move up to 14th and make Hodgson the first English manager to win at City since 2010.
Jamie Vardy scored the only goal as Leicester won 1-0 at Chelsea, Marcos Alonso hitting the post in injury time for the home side.
Mesut Oezil starred on his return to the Arsenal line-up as his side beat Burnley 3-1 on Saturday to go level on points with fourth-placed Chelsea. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice and Alex Iwobi got the third as Arsenal moved on to 37 points, the same as Chelsea.
Aubameyang put Arsenal in charge with goals in the 14th and 48 minutes and though Ashley Barnes pulled one back for Burnley (67), Iwobi sealed victory in injury time.
"The victory was deserved and in the table we are closer to Tottenham and Chelsea," said Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who praised Oezil, the German setting up two of the three goals.
"It was a big performance today and afterwards I said congratulations for your work." "Every player showed his quality and their characteristics. We needed him to work to help us today and he did." Burnley remained third-bottom, just two points above bottom side Fulham. Watford are sixth after a 2-0 win at West Ham, Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu scoring the goals, while David Brooks scored two excellent goals as Bournemouth beat Brighton 2-0.
Nathan Redmond, Danny Ings, with a penalty, and Michael Obafemi scored as Southampton won 3-1 at Huddersfield, a second straight win for new manager Ralph Hasenhuettl.
Fulham remain bottom despite a 0-0 draw at Newcastle, though they are now level on points with Huddersfield.
In the final match of the day Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made an instant impact as Manchester United caretaker manager with Paul Pogba to the fore in a transformed performance from the final days of Jose Mourinho's reign in a 5-1 win over Cardiff.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS:
Played on Saturday (UK time)
Cardiff City 1 (Camarasa 38 pen) Manchester United 5 (Rashford 3, Herrera 29, Martial 41, Lingard 57 pen, 90)
Chelsea 0 Leicester City 1 (Vardy 51)
Huddersfield Town 1 (Billing 58) Southampton 3 (Redmond 15, Ings 43 pen, Obafemi 71)
Newcastle United 0 Fulham 0
West Ham 0 Watford 2 (Deeney 30 pen, Deulofeu 87)
Bournemouth 2 (Brooks 21, 77) Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Send-offs: (Dunk 73 - Brighton & Hove Albion)
Manchester City 2 (Gundogan 27, De Bruyne 85) Crystal Palace 3 (Schlupp 33, Townsend 35, Milivojevic 51 pen)
Arsenal 3 (P Aubameyang 14, 48, Iwobi 90+1) Burnley 1 (Barnes 63)
Played on Friday
Wolves 0 Liverpool 2 (M Salah 18, Van Dijk 68)