Arsenal wins as Chelsea, Manchester United and Man City falter


Chelsea missed the chance to tighten their grip on the Premier League title race as they were held to a draw by Southampton at St Mary’s as other title contenders, Man City and Manchester United were also held by Burnley and Tottenham respectively. Arsenal, however,ended the year on high after beating West Ham in a London derby.

Sadio Mane gave Saints a deserved early lead but a superb equaliser by Eden Harzard seconds before half-time set up Jose Mourinho’s title pacesetters for a second-half siege.

Chelsea’s pressure duly arrived as they dominated possession and attacked constantly – but Southampton showed magnificent organisation and determination to ensure goalkeeper Fraser Forster was not seriously troubled.

Manchester United’s pursuit of Chelsea and Manchester City in the Premier League title race was hampered by a frustrating goalless draw at Tottenham.

United created several good chances in the first half, with Juan Mata’s deflected free-kick hitting the post.
Home keeper Hugo Lloris also denied Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and Ashley Young as Spurs offered little.
Spurs’s Andros Townsend saw two shots easily saved, but the hosts rallied late on with Ryan Mason firing over.

However, Arsenal withstood a strong second-half fightback from West Ham to win 2-1 at Upton Park and move above the Hammers in the Premier League table.

The hosts enjoyed the better of the opening 45 minutes but fell behind shortly before the break when Winston Reid fouled Santi Cazorla in the box and the Spaniard dispatched the subsequent penalty.

Danny Welbeck doubled Arsenal’s advantage a couple of minutes later as he tapped in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross from a few yards out.

The Hammers halved the deficit early in the second half as Cheikhou Kouyate headed in his first goal for the club.

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