The Fiji Times

Man City drops more points, Norwich gets lifeline


LONDON - Even when Liverpool are not in action, they continue to bolster their seemingly impregnabl­e Premier League lead and it happened again on Saturday as second-placed Manchester City could only draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium.

Fernandinh­o's 90th-minute own goal robbed them of victory and left Pep Guardiola's side 13 points behind Liverpool who have played two games less and who can stretch their advantage to 16 if they beat Manchester United on Sunday.

On a big day at the bottom of the table, bottom side Norwich City gave themselves a lifeline with a 1-0 defeat of free-falling Bournemout­h in a match in which both sides had a man sent off.

Norwich remain six points adrift of the safety zone but Teemu Pukki's first-half penalty, awarded after Bournemout­h skipper Steve Cook handled and was red-carded, gives them hope.

Watford's revival continued as they took their points tally in new manager Nigel Pearson's seven games in charge to 14, although Troy Deeney missed a penalty in their 0-0 home draw with Tottenham Hotspur who have stalled under Jose Mourinho.

Tottenham are in eighth spot after a four-game winless run, two places higher than Arsenal who could only draw 1-1 at home to Sheffield United, who continue to impress in seventh place.

Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli gave Arsenal the lead but John Fleck earned the Blades a draw.

Both Tottenham and Arsenal's hopes of challengin­g for a topfour finish are fading by the week.

However, Chelsea missed the chance to open up a commanding lead over their rivals as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat by Newcastle United in the day's late kickoff.

Chelsea had chances to snatch victory in a tight affair at St James' Park, but their profligacy in front of goal proved costly, as Isaac Hayden headed a dramatic stoppage-time winner to earn his top side a first win in five premier league games.

Southampto­n's surge hit the buffers as they surrendere­d a 2-0 lead at home to Wolverhamp­ton Wanderers to lose 3-2. Mexican striker Raul Jimenez struck twice after the break for Wolves who moved into sixth spot. David Moyes's West Ham United drew 1-1 at home to his old club Everton to remain in the thick of the relegation dogfight while Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion drew 1-1 with Jack Grealish equalising for Villa who stay third from bottom.

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