Touré scores two in Man City win; Liverpool draws; more EPL results
Week 12 of the EPL saw a return to action for Yaya Touré, who made an immediate impact on Manchester City's title ambitions in a win over Crystal Palace. Also, a late header from Olivier Giroud secured a draw for Arsenal against Manchester United, and Liverpool couldn't break down Southampton in a scoreless draw.
Full recaps from all the games are below:
Yaya Touré scores two as Man City tops Crystal Palace
LONDON (AP) — Yaya Toure returned from his Manchester City exile to score twice, inspiring the team to a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace in the English Premier League on Saturday.
The Ivorian midfielder was a surprise inclusion in Pep Guardiola's starting XI, making his first Premier League appearance of the season, and justified his selection by scoring goals in the 39th and 83rd minutes to bring City level on 27 points with first-placed Liverpool.
Substitute Connor Wickham's 66th-minute goal briefly made it 1-1 but Palace slumped to a fifth successive defeat.
Toure's only previous first-team appearance this season came in City's 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest in a Champions League qualifier on Aug. 24. His agent, Dimitri Seluk, had been vocal in his criticism of City manager Pep Guardiola, who he said had "humiliated" Toure by omitting him from the squad for the Champions League group stage.
That led to Toure being ostracized by Guardiola, only for the midfielder to issue an apology for "misunderstandings of the past."
There was also a rare start for long-serving captain Vincent Kompany, but the defender only lasted until the 37th when he came off with a suspected head injury soon after teammate Claudio Bravo clattered into him when they challenged for the ball.
It was in the 39th, after Palace defender Martin Kelly conceded possession, that Toure's vision gave City the lead. From the edge of a crowded penalty area, he received a pass from Sergio Aguero and played a one-two with Nolito before shooting powerfully beyond Wayne Hennessey — via a deflection off James Tomkins — into the back of the net.
Palace manager Alan Pardew responded at halftime by replacing Andros Townsend with Wickham and was rewarded when his team produced a greater intensity and Christian Benteke threatened with a header.
As it pressed for the equalizing goal, City almost doubled its lead when Joel Ward, after Hennessey had taken the sting out of a near-post shot from Aguero, was forced to clear off the line, but the chance they needed almost instantly followed.
With time in City's half, Wilfried Zaha found Wickham in space and after a slightly heavy touch, the striker ran into the area and powerfully shot under Bravo.
The exceptional talents of Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne on each of City's wings led the response with which the visitors sought to restore their lead.
City's winning goal came from an 83rd-minute corner, with De Bruyne sending a low cross toward the near post where substitute David Silva dummied to deceive Hennessey and his defense.
Toure routinely finished from in front of goal to seal an impressive comeback.
Liverpool stays top of EPL despite 0–0 draw at Southampton
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Liverpool stayed top of the English Premier League despite a frustrating 0-0 draw at Southampton, where Juergen Klopp's team couldn't get past goalkeeper Fraser Forster on Saturday.
Liverpool is tied on 27 points with Manchester City but both teams can be overtaken by Chelsea, which visits Middlesbrough on Sunday.
"I'm not happy, not over the moon, but I'm not frustrated," Klopp said after Liverpool's three-game winning streak in the league ended.
The visitors dominated large periods at St Mary's, where former Saints trio Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane all started for Liverpool.
Roberto Firmino was guilty of missing the best chance to win the game for Liverpool, while Charlie Austin headed wide for midtable Southampton, which offered very little going forward.
Former Southampton player Adam Lallana was missing after picking up an injury in England's draw with Spain on Tuesday, and it was Mane who had the best chance in the opening half-hour.
The Senegal international hit Georginio Wijnaldum's pass first time, only to see Forster leap to his left and paw his shot away.
After the interval, Emre Can — making his 100th appearance for the Reds — lofted a ball over to Firmino, who had his shirt pulled by Virgil van Dijk and went down, but referee Mark Clattenburg turned appeals away.
Saints skipper Jose Fonte did just enough to put off Philippe Coutinho moments later as the forward burst through.
Austin had arguably Southampton's best chance as he headed Cedric's cross wide under pressure from Clyne shortly after Joel Matip had been inches away from connecting with a free kick to put Liverpool ahead.
Firmino was played in by Coutinho but could only shoot wide when clean-through as he attempted to finish with the outside of his boot.
Daniel Sturridge was introduced in the 78th and almost provided an immediate impact as he dug out a cross to the back post which Clyne headed wide.
Forster then kept out Firmino's curling effort as Liverpool, unbeaten in the league since August, failed to find a winning goal.
Liverpool and Man City have the same goal difference but the Reds have scored more goals.
Watch: Giroud heads home late equalizer for Arsenal in draw vs. Manchester United
Just when it appeared that Manchester United was going to walk away with three points–and Jose Mourinho another triumph over nemesis Arsene Wenger–Olivier Giroud came crashing into the box with a heroic moment.
Giroud's leaping header in the 89th minute salvaged a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Old Trafford Saturday, as he matched Juan Mata's earlier goal and ensured that both teams walked away with a point.
Mata had snapped the deadlock in the 68th minute of the clash of Premier League powers. The sequence was sparked by Paul Pogba, who played Ander Herrera down toward the byline. Herrera's cut-back cross made its way to Mata in the center of the box, and the Spaniard placed a low, first-time effort into the net to put the Red Devils ahead.
The match was devoid of scoring opportunities prior to that, though United was denied on a pair of occasions in the first half–once by Petr Cech and once by the referee. Cech tipped Anthony Martial's goal-bound attempt over the bar, and Antonio Valencia had a penalty shout go unheard after a challenge by Nacho Monreal, much to Mourinho's dismay.
Arsenal got its equalizer through Giroud, who had come off the bench in the 73rd minute. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, another substitute, beat Marcus Rashford to create space for the cross, and Giroud crashed into the area with a powerful, pinpoint header to get Arsenal on the board in the dying moments.
Neither side could find a winner after that, and the result puts Arsenal provisionally in third place with 25 points, while United remains in sixth with 19.
Bradley denied first win with Swansea as Everton equalizes late
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — American coach Bob Bradley was denied a first win in charge of Swansea when Seamus Coleman scored an 89th-minute equalizer for Everton in a 1-1 draw in the English Premier League on Saturday.
As a result, Bradley became the first Swansea manager in the Premier League to fail to win in his first five games — taking just two points from a possible 15 — and the Welsh club dropped to last place, behind Sunderland after its 3-0 win against Hull.
Swansea hasn't won since the opening day of the season, with its long wait for three points continuing after Gylfi Sigurdsson's 41st-minute penalty was canceled out after a late defensive lapse from Jordi Amat.
Amat's weak header dropped to Coleman, who nodded a looping effort over goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
It was cruel on the visitors, who had limited Everton to few chances, but they invited more pressure as the second half wore on and their fragile confidence was eventually exposed.
Bournemouth get first away win of EPL season at Stoke City
STOKE, England (AP) — Bournemouth won away in the English Premier League for the first time this season after ending Stoke's recent revival with a 1-0 victory on Saturday.
Nathan Ake's 26th-minute header was enough for Eddie Howe's team to grab all three points — and its first league win in four matches — as Stoke looked off the pace in the first half.
The hosts improved after the break but blew the chance to extend their unbeaten run to seven league matches for the first time since December 2012 when Bojan Krkic crashed a penalty against the crossbar at the start of the second half.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe wanted his players to show they were a better side than the one which slumped to successive defeats to Middlesbrough and Sunderland prior to the international break. They did just that with a solid and well-drilled performance.
After 12 rounds, midtable Bournemouth has 15 points, two more than Stoke.
Stadium of Light goes dark as Sunderland rout visiting Hull City
SUNDERLAND, England (AP) — The Stadium of Light briefly failed to live up to its name as Sunderland beat Hull 3-0 in the English Premier League thanks to a double from Victor Anichebe on Saturday.
Sunderland was 1-0 ahead in the second half when the floodlights went out, prompting a nine-minute delay.
After order was restored, David Moyes' side wrapped up victory with Anichebe's goals to complete back-to-back league wins for the first time since May, having beaten Bournemouth away before the international break.
Jermain Defoe scored his 150th Premier League goal to put Sunderland 1-0 up in the 34th, the striker running onto Duncan Watmore's flick-on before sidestepping Curtis Davies and Michael Dawson and then shooting into the bottom corner.
Anichebe doubled the lead after receiving Patrick van Aanholt's pass, cutting inside and blasting left-footed past goalkeeper David Marshall, and added a second in injury time.
Leicester City concedes early, loses away at Watford
WATFORD, England (AP) — Struggling champion Leicester conceded inside 33 seconds and lost to Watford 2-1 in the English Premier League on Saturday, its latest defeat before a Champions League fixture.
After 12 games of its title defense, Leicester is languishing in 15th place in the 20-team league on 12 points — two above the relegation zone. Claudio Ranieri's side has already lost six times, double the number of defeats it had in the whole of last season.
Leicester's fans started a rendition of "Champions of England, you'll never sing that" at kickoff, only to see their team quickly fall behind when Roberto Pereyra crossed from the left, Troy Deeney flicked the ball on, and the on-rushing Etienne Capoue stretched out his right boot to score.
There were more chances for Watford before Pereyra cut in from the left and fired an inswinging right-foot shot into the far corner in the 12th minute.
Leicester pulled a goal back when Miguel Britos was over-eager in covering to meet Jamie Vardy, who accepted the contact and went down. Riyad Mahrez drilled the resulting penalty into the center of goal.
Leicester's best opportunities came from set-pieces, but the connection was lacking and Watford had the better chances to restore its two-goal lead in the second half.
Leicester has lost four of its five games before playing group matches in the Champions League this season. On Tuesday, Ranieri's team can qualify for the knockout stage by beating Club Brugge.
Kane caps late comeback as Tottenham tops West Ham United
LONDON (AP) — Harry Kane scored in the 89th minute and again in injury time to propel Tottenham to a 3-2 win over West Ham, maintaining the team's unbeaten start to the English Premier League in dramatic style on Saturday.
Kane's winning goal came from the penalty spot in the first minute of stoppage time as West Ham unraveled late on White Hart Lane, with Winston Reid getting sent off for the visitors after collecting his second yellow card for pushing Kane in the final seconds.
Tottenham is the only unbeaten team in all four leagues in England.
Michail Antonio put West Ham ahead with a 24th-minute goal that was canceled out six minutes after halftime by Harry Winks on his first Premier League start.
West Ham went back in front thanks to Manuel Lanzini's penalty, after Reid was fouled by Vincent Janssen.
Spurs are three points behind first-place Liverpool.