Premier League on Betfair: Champions beat Foxes and top four challengers falter

Man City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne has been in stunning form for Man City in recent weeks

Manchester City took advantage of Liverpool's absence by closing the gap at the top of the table but it was a poor Sunday for two top four hopefuls. Mike Norman updates us on the Premier League betting markets...

"City, third in the table, will be confident of overhauling second-place Leicester but they remain 11 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool who have a game in hand. The Reds can be backed at 1.171/6 to win the title with Man City at 7.613/2 and Leicester at 70.069/1."

Saturday started with one of the dullest Premier League games seen this season as Everton and Arsenal played out a goalless draw at Goodison Park in front of their respective new managers.

Both Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta were in the stands to watch the players they'll soon be working with as they strive to climb the Premier League table. Ancelotti's Everton sit 15th in the table while Arteta's Gunners are 11th

I'm happy to report the day did get better as a spectacle.

Champions back to within 11 points

While Liverpool were lifting the Club World Cup in Qatar, defending Premier League champions Manchester City were moving to within one point of Leicester City - and 11 of Liverpool - with a 3-1 victory over the Foxes.

In a game that the Citizens dominated it was Leicester that took a surprising lead when Jamie Vardy finished off a fine counter-attacking move midway through the first half. But Pep Guardiola's men showed why they are champions by quickly turning the game around, going into the interval 2-1 thanks to goals from former Foxes star Riyad Mahrez and a converted penalty from Ilkay Gundogan.

But undoubtedly the star of the show - yet again - was Man City's world class midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, who would go on to grab his 10th Premier League assist of the season when firing across goal for Gabriel Jesus to slide the ball home.

City, third in the table, will be confident of overhauling second-place Leicester but they remain 11 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool who have a game in hand. The Reds can be backed at 1.171/6 to win the title with Man City at 7.613/2 and Leicester at 70.069/1.

Chelsea tighten grip on Top 4 Finish

After a poor run of results Chelsea produced arguably their best performance of the season by beating Tottenham 2-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Former Spurs target Willian scored a first half brace, one a lovely curling shot into the far corner and his second from the penalty spot after Lilywhites goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga inexplicably came flying out to claim a ball, but instead clattered into Marcos Alonso.

Son Heung-min was sent off early in the second half for a petulant kick-out while lying on the ground, making a Tottenham comeback an even greater task, and although enjoying plenty of possession when down to 10 men Jose Mourinho's men failed to make a breakthrough as Frank Lampard's men saw the game out comfortably.

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Manchester United's in and out season continued as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to rock-bottom Watford in Sunday's early kick-off.

The Red Devils - who have beaten the likes of Man City, Chelsea and Spurs this season while being the only team to stop Liverpool from taking three points - failed to register a single shot on target in the first half and were made to pay for their below-par performance shortly after the interval.

Ismaila Sarr's tame shot spun through the hands of David De Gea to give Nigel Pearson's men the lead, and Troy Deeney made it 2-0 from the spot just minutes later. Paul Pogba returned to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team in the second half but he couldn't prevent United falling to their fifth league defeat of the season.

In the Top 4 Finish market Tottenham, now six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, can be backed at 2.89/5 while United drifted out 7.613/2. Watford remain bottom of the table and are trading at 1.664/6 to be relegated.

Fairytale continues for Blades but more woes for fellow promoted clubs

Sheffield United's remarkable start to the season continued when they won away at Brighton, meaning Chris Wilder's men remain unbeaten on the road this term while moving up to fifth in the Premier League table (before Sunday's games).

Whether or not the Blades can continue this glorious run is open to question but with 28 points on the board already they are well on course to record what many would have regarded an unlikely Top 10 Finish, for which they can be backed at 1.68/13.

It's a totally different story for fellow newly-promoted clubs Aston Villa and Norwich however as both fell to home defeats on Saturday, Villa losing 1-3 to struggling Southampton while the Canaries let slip a 1-0 lead in a 1-2 defeat to Wolves.

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Norwich sit second bottom of the table, six points from safety, and can be backed at 1.222/9 in the Relegation market, while Villa are just three points better off and are trading at 1.824/5 to go down.

Wolves meanwhile have shortened slightly to 3.711/4 to record a Top 6 Finish this season.

Mid table slots for Clarets and Magpies

Two other teams expected to struggle this term - Burnley and Newcastle - recorded 1-0 wins over Bournemouth and Crystal Palace respectively, victories that saw both clubs climb into the top 10 of the table.

Injury hit Bournemouth - who last week shocked Chelsea at Stamford Bridge - didn't really lay a glove on a well-organised Clarets defence and the away side just about deserved the win through Jay Rodriguez's 89th minute winner, while a first goal for the club from Miguel Almiron late in the game sealed another precious three points for the Magpies.

Sean Dyche's men can be backed at 3.211/5 to record a Top 10 Finish this season, while Steve Bruce's men - one point and one place above the Clarets - can be backed at 4.03/1 in the same market.

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