LONDON — Manchester City proved that talk of their demise was premature as the champions climbed back to within four points of leaders Liverpool in the English Premier League with a much-needed 2-1 victory over Luton Town, their first win in five league games.
Tottenham Hotspur also returned to form after a five-game winless streak as Richarlison’s double helped them to a 4-1 defeat of Newcastle United, Reuters reported.
Everton inflicted a third away defeat in a row on Chelsea with a 2-0 victory, while Fulham registered their second successive 5-0 victory when they thrashed West Ham United at home in a one-sided London derby.
City, without their Norwegian goal machine Erling Haaland who was ruled out with a foot problem, was trailing at halftime at a raucous Kenilworth Road after Elijah Adebayo headed Luton into the lead seconds before halftime.
But Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish scored three minutes apart to keep the champions in fourth place on 33 points in a crowded title fight.
“Great performance after what happened in (recent) results,” City manager Pep Guardiola told the BBC. “We conceded the goal in the last minute of the first half. It was a really good test and the players reacted as they had to.”
Four points separate the top four teams with Liverpool (37) at the summit after their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, while Arsenal (36) are second after losing 1-0 at Aston Villa, who are third (35).
“I think a lot of people like to talk about City and go on like it’s a big crisis,” Grealish told Sky Sports. “In reality we’ve played very good teams.”
Tottenham had slipped out of the picture after failing to win any of their previous five games, all of which they led 1-0.
But they are only seven points off the top in fifth place after Sunday’s convincing display against a Newcastle side who are suffering from a long injury list and a relentless schedule.
Destiny Udogie put Tottenham ahead from Son Heung-min’s assist and Son then set up Richarlison for his first goal since September. Richarlison made the game safe on the hour and Son tucked away a late penalty before Joelinton grabbed a consolation goal for Newcastle.
“We looked really bright and clinical in our front third. We created a number of chances and kept them to minimal and the boys get the rewards for it,” Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou said. “We’ve gone through a tough time. Hopefully we’re getting out the other side.”
Abdoulaye Doucoure scored in his 100th Premier League appearance for Everton and substitute Lewis Dobbin netted a late second goal as Sean Dyche’s team won for the fourth time in five games and heaped more misery on Chelsea.
“We are so glad to win this game,” Doucoure said. “At Goodison Park we know the fans are behind us. I’m very happy, two goals in two games. I’m delighted for the team.”
Everton are 17th in the table with 13 points, while Chelsea slipped to 12th. Without their 10-point deduction for breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules, Everton would be in 10th, four points ahead of Chelsea.
Fulham had five different scorers against West Ham, four days after they beat Nottingham Forest 5-0. Sunday’s win marked the fourth straight game in which they had scored at least three goals. They climbed four spots to 10th on 21 points, three behind ninth-placed West Ham.
“We keep getting in the right areas. We were doing that earlier this season but maybe the runs weren’t there or we weren’t filling the spaces,” said Harry Wilson, who scored one goal from long range and assisted another.