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Published: 22:22 | 2/3/16

PL: City, Arsenal and Spurs lose

Big night in title race

It was another night of major twists and turns in the Barclays Premier League title race as Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City all failed to claw back any ground on leaders Leicester.

It proved a great night for Claudio Ranieri's side who can now look on their 2-2 draw with West Brom as a point gained rather than two points lost as all three of their closest rivals were beaten.

Elsewhere, Manchester United moved level on points with City after beating Watford 1-0 at Old Trafford, while Newcastle remain in the relegation zone after going down 1-0 at Stoke.

Manchester City's title hopes are in tatters after a 3-0 humiliation at Anfield as Liverpool exacted sweet revenge for their Capital One Cup final defeat at the weekend.

Although there was plenty at stake for both sides, neither created much in the opening exchanges. City, if anything, looked slightly the more dangerous of the two, but were behind on 34 minutes when Adam Lallana collected a pass from James Milner 35 yards out and sent a low shot beyond a somewhat flat-footed Joe Hart.

It was 2-0 seven minutes later as Lallana and Roberto Firmino combined superbly to set up Milner to finish coolly from 15 yards.

Any prospect of a City comeback was ended twelve minutes after the restart after another flowing Liverpool move saw Lallana play in Firmino who drilled a low shot beyond Hart to make it 3-0.

City never looked like getting back into the game and are now ten points behind leaders Leicester with just one game in hand, while Liverpool climb to eighth.

Arsenal's title bid continues to stutter as they slipped to their second defeat in four days as Swansea won 2-1 at the Emirates.

It all started so well for Arsene Wenger's side as, after Alexis Sanchez had hit the post early on, they were ahead courtesy of a fine Joel Campbell strike on the quarter hour.

More goals seemed inevitable as the Gunners continued to press, but they were caught out by Swansea's first real attack of the game on 32 minutes as Jack Cork fed Wayne Routledge who drilled a low shot beyond Petr Cech.

Olivier Giroud rattled the crossbar from close range shortly afterwards and Sanchez flashed a shot inches wide just after the break and hit the crossbar himself with a curling free-kick.

But Swansea continued to carry a threat and, after Gylfi Sigurdsson had fired wide with just Cech to beat, the Icelandic international made amends 16 minutes from time with a superb free-kick into the Gunners box which was bundled in by Ashley Williams for the winner.

The result leaves Arsenal six points behind Leicester in third place, while Swansea are now six points above the drop zone.

Tottenham knew they would go top of the league on goal difference if they could overcome London rivals West Ham at Upton Park, but it was not to be as they went down 1-0 to an early Michail Antonio header.

Mauricio Pochettino's men were sadly out of sorts and, after Antonio had given the hosts the lead on seven minutes, they failed to respond and were unable to register a single effort on target in the first half.

They were slightly better after the break and Harry Kane missed a glorious chance to level matters on the hour mark after Hammers goalkeeper Adrian had parried Toby Alderweireld's shot from distance.

The ball fell to the England international six yards out, but he couldn't connect properly and the ball was cleared away for a corner.

He missed another good chance ten minutes later as he failed to connect properly with Christian Eriksen's low cross at the far post to cap a miserable night for the visitors as West Ham's Champions League ambitions remain intact.

Manchester United are right back in the hunt for a Champions League spot themselves a late Juan Mata free-kick helped them to a 1-0 victory over Watford at Old Trafford.

The result moves Louis van Gaal's side in fifth place, level on points with rivals City and one ahead of West Ham, but it was rough justice for the Hornets who dominated the game for long periods before Mata's sublime free-kick from the edge of the penalty area seven minutes from time won it for the hosts.

Stoke climb to seventh after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over a stubborn Newcastle side at the Britannia Stadium.

After a goalless first half in which the home side had the better of the very few chances created, the deadlock was finally broken ten minutes from the end by Xherdan Shaqiri's excellent 25-yard effort.

Marko Arnautovic rattled the crossbar with an audacious volley deep into injury time, but Mark Hughes' side had done enough to claim all three points which ensures that Newcastle remain in deep trouble in 19th.

By: Kieran O'Daly

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