Premier League: Man City cheer but Erling Haaland injury update is concerning, Fulham's high five, Chelsea plan signings after latest loss

The champions battled back from a goal down at Luton to keep pace with the leaders

No wonder Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was a cheery chap at full time at Kenilworth Road. The onus was on the champions to respond to falling seven points off the summit of the Premier League on Sunday afternoon and after the first 45 minutes of their match against Luton Town, Man City trailed 1-0 and needed to up their game.

Without injured star striker Erling Haaland for the first time on league duty, they had struggled to find a way past Thomas Kaminski in the Luton goal and were caught out by a stoppage-time sucker punch when Elijah Adebayo – once close to joining Hearts – rose to head home a surprise opener. However, City did not panic. They put their foot to the floor in the second period and levelled through Bernardo Silva before Jack Grealish netted what turned out to be the winner on 65 minutes.

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The result makes the top of the Premier League fascinating reading after 16 matches. Liverpool lead the way on 37 points after leapfrogging Arsenal on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. The Gunners are a point behind on 36, with Aston Villa – 1-0 winners over Arsenal thanks to John McGinn’s goal – on 35. City complete the top four on 33 points after their own triumph.

Jack Grealish netted the winner for Man City at Luton Town.Jack Grealish netted the winner for Man City at Luton Town.
Jack Grealish netted the winner for Man City at Luton Town.

Their manager, Pep Guardiola, said his players refused to “feel sorry for ourselves” after going in a goal down. “The most important thing to change the dynamic is winning games,” he said. “That helps a lot. We didn’t get results sometimes when we deserved, but that’s what it is. Today was a good test for the fact that we played a really, really good first half against this type of team, this type of stadium. We did it perfect. We concede not much, created enough chances to score.”

City are likely to be without Haaland for at least a couple of matches, which is a blow to them and millions of fantasy football players. The Norwegian has a stress fracture in his foot and is expected to miss next weekend’s clash with Crystal Palace. “Week by week will dictate how [Haaland] feels,” added Guardiola.

Tottenham Hotspur sit fifth on 30 points after they demolished Newcastle United 4-1 at home in the 4.30pm Sunday kick-off, with Richarlison firing them to a first victory since October. Ange Postecoglou’s team looked more like the outfit that led the table earlier in the season, with the Brazilian netting twice alongside Destiny Udogie and Son Heung-min. They took advantage of a fatigued and at times ragged Newcastle, who are toiling with a heavy injury list. Joelinton scored in stoppage time and they sit seventh on 26 points.

“I can't fault the lads,” said Postecoglou. “They put in a massive effort today. We were brighter in the front third, I thought Sonny [Son Heung-min] was excellent and that sort of thing feeds off to the other guys.” Newcastle striker Callum Wilson pointed to tiredness as a big factor. “The players that have been starting the last five or six games have had a lot asked of them,” he said. “We are playing a top side; it felt like a game too many.”

Richarlison scored twice for Spurs in their 4-1 win over Newcastle.Richarlison scored twice for Spurs in their 4-1 win over Newcastle.
Richarlison scored twice for Spurs in their 4-1 win over Newcastle.

Fulham were the biggest winners on Sunday, thrashing West Ham 5-0 at Craven Cottage. It was the second time in four days that they racked up that scoreline following on from Wednesday’s big win over Nottingham Forest. Raul Jimenez opened the scoring to take his personal tally to four in five games having previously not scored a Premier League goal since March 2022, when he was a Wolves player. Willian and Tosin Adarabioyo goals then had the hosts coasting at the break before a fine effort from substitute Harry Wilson and late effort from Carlos Vinicius added the gloss. “It was a brilliant performance from us,” said their manager Marco Silva, with Fulham now up to tenth. “A great one at a very, very good level.”

West Ham boss David Moyes bemoaned the short turnaround between Thursday night’s comeback win at Tottenham and their trip to Craven Cottage. “I think just the carry over from the game,” he said when asked why he felt his side had fallen to a heavy loss. “We used up too much energy in midweek and we weren’t able to get ourselves back, another Thursday fixture. No excuse for the result. (It is) disappointing but we have had two difficult away games this week, three points from those two games is not a bad return.” The Hammers remain ninth in the able.

Everton continue to be galvanised by their ten-point deduction as they took down meek Chelsea 2-0 at Goodison Park. They moved four points clear of the relegation zone thanks to second-half goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure and Lewis Dobbin. “You can stick you points deduction up your arse,” rang out in the closing stages from the home fans. The Toffees, under their wily manager Sean Dyche, have developed a siege mentality.

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Chelsea had 72 per cent possession and had 16 shots but only four on target compared to Everton’s five on target from nine. Their manager Mauricio Pochettino believes they need more transfer window surgery in January to lift them out of the malaise which has left them 12th in the table and well adrift of Champions League qualification. This was their seventh Premier League defeat of the season and bridging the 14-point gap to Manchester City in fourth looks near-impossible for a side short of goals and consistency.

Lewis Dobbin was on target as a galvanised Everton took down Chelsea at Goodison Park.Lewis Dobbin was on target as a galvanised Everton took down Chelsea at Goodison Park.
Lewis Dobbin was on target as a galvanised Everton took down Chelsea at Goodison Park.

“This was a game to win,” said Pochettino. “It’s a problem we need to check. We need to talk and to try and improve in the next transfer market. We are dealing with this. After five months, or the first half of the season, we need to check and that’s the reality. If we are not aggressive enough (on the pitch) maybe we need to do something.”

Asked specifically about the coming window he added: “Some movement. That’s a thing to analyse with the sporting director and the owner and see what we can do to change the dynamic and improve the second half of the season. Our reality now is mid-table and if we want to go up we have to push ourselves. When the transfer window opens (we will) see what we can do.”