EPL results: Liverpool stumbles to draw, 10-man Manchester City wins

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Monday January 2nd, 2017

The holiday slog known as the Premier League schedule carried on Monday, with six more matches yielding results that had implications near the top of the table below league-leading Chelsea.

The Blues had to be happy with the result at the Stadium of Light, as Sunderland drew Liverpool 2-2 thanks to two Jermain Defoe penalty kicks. That opens the door for Chelsea to add to its league lead with a win at Tottenham on Wednesday, which would be its record 14th straight in EPL play.

Manchester City provisionally moved into third, two points behind Liverpool, with a 2-1 win over Burnley. The triumph was achieved despite Fernandinho's third sending-off of the season. City rival Manchester United won as well, extending its unbeaten streak in the league to 11 games with a somewhat controversial 2-0 victory at West Ham.

Elsewhere, Everton and West Brom eased to victories after second-half rallies to remain in seventh and eighth place, respectively, while Leicester City was held to a 0-0 draw by Middlesbrough. 

Here's the rundown of Monday's EPL results:

Defoe's two penalty kicks salvage Sunderland draw vs. Liverpool

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Monday January 2nd, 2017

SUNDERLAND, England (AP) — Jermain Defoe denied Liverpool a fifth successive English Premier League win by scoring twice to give struggling Sunderland a 2-2 draw on Monday.

Sadio Mane, playing his final game before heading to the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, looked to have won the game for Liverpool in the 72nd minute after Defoe had cancelled out Daniel Sturridge's opener by converting a penalty.

However, Mane's handball with five minutes presented a second penalty that Defoe also scored to secure a valuable point in Sunderland's bid for survival.

Liverpool is in second place, five points behind Chelsea, which can pull eight points clear of Juergen Klopp's side with a victory at Tottenham on Wednesday.

The manner of Liverpool's 19th-minute opener jarred with the quality of the early attacking play in northeast England. Defender Dejan Lovren scuffed his attempted volley from James Milner's corner harmlessly into the ground but saw the ball bounce up off the turf for Sturridge to head past helpless goalkeeper Vito Mannone from close range.

But Sunderland was level six minutes later. Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan clumsily upended midfielder Didier Ndong as he burst into the penalty area and Defoe slammed the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.

Defoe should really have scored another almost immediately after he ran on to Adnan Januzaj's through-ball but could not go round goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Fabio Borini fired wide from the rebound.

Sturridge tested Mannone once again from distance as the break approached, but the Italian goalkeeeper stood firm to keep Sunderland level.

The game was becoming increasingly stretched as the hosts sensed an opportunity, although that allowed Liverpool to hit them on the break.

Mannone needed to be at his best to keep out Sturridge's shot after he had run on to Adam Lallana's back-heel.

But Liverpool regained the lead from the resulting corner when Papy Djilobodji could only help on Alberto Moreno's corner to Mane, who tapped into the empty net.

Mane's joy was short-lived when he conceded the game's second penalty by blocking Sebastian Larsson's free kick with his arm. Defoe's equalizer prevented Sunderland slumping to a third successive loss.

Sunderland is one point from safety, in 18th place.

Manchester City overcomes another Fernandinho red card to beat Burnley

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Monday January 2nd, 2017

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Ten-man Manchester City bounced back from a bruising defeat to title rival Liverpool by beating Burnley 2-1 in the English Premier League on Monday, easing the pressure on manager Pep Guardiola.

City captain Fernandinho was shown a straight red card in the 32nd minute for a two-footed lunge on Johann Gudmundsson at the Etihad Stadium.

Despite the setback, City's French defender Gael Clichy broke the deadlock with a well-placed shot into the far corner in the 58th minute.

Sergio Aguero then came off the bench to score City's second, firing in off the post from the tightest of angles four minutes later.

Burnley made a fight of it when an attempted clearance by City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was eventually smashed over the line by Ben Mee in the 70th, but City held on for an important win after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Anfield.

City moved up to third place, two points behind Liverpool and seven behind leader Chelsea, which plays Tottenham on Wednesday.

Controversial decisions help Manchester United extend win streak vs. West Ham

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Monday January 2nd, 2017

LONDON (AP) — Manchester United benefited from a controversial red card and an equally debatable goal to beat 10-man West Ham 2-0 in the English Premier League on Monday, earning a sixth successive victory.

Substitute Juan Mata gave United the lead before Zlatan Ibrahimovic secured victory from what clearly appeared to be an offside position, after referee Mike Dean had controversially dismissed Sofiane Feghouli in the opening stages.

Despite its man-advantage, United struggle to break down the home side for long spells and required a number of strong saves from goalkeeper David de Gea to keep West Ham out.

Feghouli, making his first Premier League start for West Ham, was sent off after just 15 minutes for a lunging challenge on Phil Jones, which replays showed to have been a harsh decision.

Manuel Lanzini brought two strong saves from the United keeper before the break, while Michail Antonio was denied by the Spaniard when through one-on-one on the hour mark.

But West Ham was made to pay just three minutes later with Mourinho's alterations proving crucial as Marcus Rashford beat two defenders before setting up fellow substitute, Mata, to finish from close range.

United wrapped up the victory when Ibrahimovic reacted first as the ball bounced off Ander Herrera to fire low and hard past Randolph from just inside the box, with replays showing the striker had been marginally offside.

United had failed to make inroads until the 35th, when West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph produced one of the saves of the season, before Jesse Lingard produced an equally spectacular miss.

Antonio Valencia was set up at the back post after good work from Ibrahmovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but was foiled by the sprawling Randolph, who prevented the ball from crossing his line by the narrowest of margins.

The rebound fell to Lingard with the goal at his mercy, but he could only direct his effort onto the post from two yards out, with West Ham somehow escaping as the ball bounced into Randolph's hands.

United remains sixth in the table, but has now moved within five points of second-place Liverpool, which was held to a 2-2 draw at Sunderland earlier on Monday.

Everton piles on Southampton's holiday misery with second-half goal flurry

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Monday January 2nd, 2017

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Southampton lost its third English Premier League game in six days after conceding three late goals in a 3-0 defeat at Everton on Monday.

On-loan striker Enner Valencia made a game-changing substitute appearance at Goodison Park.

The Ecuador international came off the bench to score the 73rd-minute opener and then won a penalty that allowed Leighton Baines to double the lead. Romelu Lukaku gave the scoreline a flattering appearance with his team's third.

Midtable Southampton will want to forget this festive period after losing 4-1 to Tottenham on Wednesday and 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

The game seemed to be meandering toward a dull draw until Valencia's introduction on the hour by Everton manager Ronald Koeman. Valencia injected life into the game and produced the breakthrough, although Lukaku had a key role.

Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster did well to stop the Belgium international's powerful close-range header but the striker deflected the rebound to his teammate who scrambled home.

After Valencia was fouled by Maya Yoshida, Baines converted from the penalty spot in the 81st and Lukaku grabbed his second in three games in the 89th to make it seven points from nine over the Christmas period.

The results kept seventh-placed Everton firmly in the race for European football next season.

Middlesbrough holds Leicester to scoreless draw, rues late missed chance

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Monday January 2nd, 2017

MIDDLESBROUGH, England (AP) — Gaston Ramirez's late miss provided a timely reminder of Middlesbrough's need for attacking reinforcements in a 0-0 draw with struggling champion Leicester in the English Premier League on Monday. The Uruguayan steered his half-volley wide from eight yards to sum up a frustrating afternoon for the hosts, who are five points above the relegation zone.

Shorn of injured pair Islam Slimani and Danny Drinkwater, as well as the suspended Jamie Vardy, Leicester should be satisfied with the point. Leicester, which is in 14th place, missed opportunities from Leonardo Ulloa and Christian Fuchs.

U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan, making his first Premier League appearance since August 28, earned the clean sheet for Middlesbrough.

West Brom comes back to beat Hull City with second-half rally

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Monday January 2nd, 2017

WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) — West Bromwich Albion deepened Hull's relegation concerns with a 3-1 victory at the Hawthorns in the English Premier League on Monday.

Robert Snodgrass had given Hull a first-half lead, but Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley seized on errors and James Morrison also scored in West Brom's comeback.

The victory cemented the central England team's grip on eighth place, while Hull is three points from safety without a win in nine league games.

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