SUNDAY PL ROUND-UP: UNITED HIT SIX, LEICESTER BEAT SPURS, PLUS MUCH MORE
The final weekend of Premier League action before Christmas continued with wins for Leicester, Manchester United and Aston Villa.
The Foxes went back into the top two with an impressive victory against Tottenham, while United won a thriller against Leeds and Villa beat struggling West Brom with ease.
Manchester United 6-2 Leeds United
Leeds had waited 16 years to play their rivals in the league, and in truth, it was all over before it got started as Marcelo Bielsa was punished for his carefree style of play.
The Argentinian, who was in the final three for FIFA’s Manager of the Year award after guiding Leeds back to the top flight, has divided opinion over the years with his philosophy, but there was no doubt that he should have reigned it in at Old Trafford.
There were an incredible 43 shots in a contest that was like a basketball match at times.
Two goals in the first three minutes from Scott McTominay were complemented by strikes from Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelöf, before Liam Cooper made it 4-1 at half-time.
Fernandes’ penalty and a goal from Dan James added to the embarrassment for Leeds, which was lessened slightly with Stuart Dallas’ stunning consolation.
A pulsating game ended 6-2 to United, who moved up to third after their most prolific Premier League display since 2011.
Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Leicester City
Brendan Rogers’ Leicester will sit second in the Premier League at Christmas for the second season running after inflicting defeat on Tottenham.
It’s another tough result to take for Spurs, who now sit in fifth, six points off the top after their 11-game unbeaten run in the league came to an emphatic end.
The score line could’ve been even more comfortable as James Maddison’s strike just after the break was ruled out by VAR.
As it was, a Jamie Vardy penalty and Toby Alderweireld’s own goal were the moments that ensured three big points for Leicester.
West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Aston Villa
Sam Allardyce’s first game in management for more than eighteen months could hardly have gone any worse as his West Brom side were comprehensively beaten by Aston Villa.
The Baggies’ fellow West Midlands outfit ran out 3-0 winners in a game that got away from the hosts when Jake Livermore was sent off on 36 minutes.
Anwar El-Ghazi’s early goal had handed Dean Smith’s side the lead, which they threatened to increase even before the dismissal.
They had to wait until the latter stages to seal the three points, with Bertrand Traoré’s first league goal for Villa and a penalty from El-Ghazi completing the job.
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Sheffield United
The Blades came very close to their first win of the season as they were denied by a late Brighton equaliser in front of 2000 fans.
The hosts had the better of the early exchanges, and when John Lundstram was sent off by referee Peter Bankes, it looked like the same old story for Sheffield United.
However, Jayden Bogle’s first goal for the club gave them the advantage, which they held onto until the 87th minute, when Danny Welbeck stole a vital point for The Seagulls.
The result keeps Brighton’s heads just above water, while it’s getting pretty desperate for Chris Wilder, who play Everton next, on Boxing Day.