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Dublin: 1°C Friday 7 May 2021

Leicester top of the Premier League at Christmas after Goodison Park victory

Elsewhere, there were wins for Tottenham and Crystal Palace.

Shanji Okazaki celebrates scoring Leicester's third goal.
Shanji Okazaki celebrates scoring Leicester's third goal.
Image: Peter Byrne

RIYAD MAHREZ SCORED two penalties as Leicester City won 3-2 at Everton on Saturday to ensure they will be top of the Premier League at Christmas.

The in-form winger scored a spot-kick in each half, either side of Romelu Lukaku netting in his seventh consecutive league game for the hosts.

Shinji Okazaki appeared to have wrapped up the points, before a late strike from substitute Kevin Mirallas set up a dramatic finish as Claudio Ranieri’s men held on.

Leicester’s eighth victory from 10 games means they are guaranteed to be top of the league at Christmas and the omens look good for a shock title bid as five of the last six teams to have held that status went on to be crowned champions.

The visitors now sit five points clear of Arsenal – who face Manchester City on Monday – at the top of the table, although they will hope Jamie Vardy has not suffered a serious injury after he came off holding his hamstring in the closing stages.

Everton, meanwhile, lost for the first time in seven league games.

Meanwhile, Tottenham climbed to fourth as first-half goals from Harry Kane and Dele Alli helped them down Southampton 2-0 at St Mary’s Stadium.

The visitors saw their 14-game unbeaten league run ended by Newcastle United last weekend, but after enduring a nervy opening 20 minutes, they proved too strong for a Southampton side that has now gone six games without a win in all competitions.

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Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League - St Mary's Kane was on the scoresheet at St Mary's. Source: Chris Ison

The victory, Tottenham’s third on the road in the top flight this season, proved enough to lift them into the final Champions League qualification spot as Manchester United fell to a shock home loss against Norwich City.

Just two minutes and 50 seconds separated their two goals at St Mary’s, with Kane making it nine from his last 11 Premier League appearances and Alli claiming an assist before finding the net for the fourth time this season.

Ronald Koeman’s side lost their way after falling behind just before the break and rarely looked likely to halt their alarming slide down the table.

Elsewhere, a late goal from Chung-Yong Lee gave Crystal Palace an away win as they beat Stoke City 2-1.

A Bojan penalty in the second half cancelled out that of Connor Wickham and looked to have secured a point for the home side, but Lee was on target late in the game to restore his side’s lead.

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