LEICESTER, England (AP) — First came the Champions League title, then the Club World Cup last week. Now, with a 13-point lead, Liverpool will surely be champions of England again by May.
Leicester, the closest challenger, was blown away in a 4-0 victory that pushes Liverpool closer to ending a three-decade title drought.
There is half of the season still to play but the gulf was vast on Thursday night, exposed by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s repertoire of assists and a goal from the right back. Alexander-Arnold’s crosses set up both of Roberto Firmino’s goals and another was handled by Leicester Çağlar Söyüncü which led to James Milner scoring a penalty.
Manchester City’s title challenge faded long ago, as the defending champion sits a further point back in third.
Below that, inconsistent form is rife.
Chelsea remains fourth despite losing a seventh game of the season earlier in the day, beaten 2-0 by a struggling Southampton side that lost 9-0 to Leicester two months ago.
Tottenham is three points behind Chelsea after recovering from losing to its west London rival by beating Brighton 2-1 on Boxing Day.
Sheffield United was behind Tottenham only on goal difference, riding high on its return to the topflight, but it was still held by relegation-threatened Watford to 1-1.
After losing to Watford in the previous round, Manchester United came from behind to beat Newcastle 4-1.
It looked like being another miserable day for United against Newcastle when Matty Longstaff netted the opener, having scored the winner when the sides met in October.
But Anthony Martial’s double, Mason Greenwood’s strike, and Marcus Rashford’s header turned the match around for the hosts.
It was a bleak start as a head coach for Mikel Arteta when Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead in the first half,
But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rescued a point for the north London club in the second half with his 12th goal of the league campaign.
Carlo Ancelotti, a Premier League title winner with Chelsea, is vastly more experienced than Arteta.
And the Italian began his bid to steer Everton away from the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over Burnley clinched by Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s diving header.
Harry Kane has scored on Boxing Day in each of the last six years apart from 2016, when he did not play. The Tottenham striker canceled out Adam Webster’s opener for Brighton then Dele Alli clinched the win to make it five goals in eight games under Jose Mourinho.
Aston Villa is a point from safety after a 1-0 victory over Norwich, which slumped to last place. Substitute Conor Hourihane swept a shot into the top corner in the 82nd minute after being picked out by Jack Grealish.
West Ham is a point above Villa after losing 2-1 at Crystal Palace, which sealed the victory through Jordan Ayew’s strike in the 90th.
Watford is off the foot of the standings thanks to goalkeeper Ben Foster protecting a 1-1 draw at Sheffield United.
Foster made a point-blank range, clawing away John Fleck’s shot in the second half at Bramall Lane where Oliver Norwood’s penalty canceled out Gerard Deulofeu’s opener for Watford.
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