Man City back on top of EPL; Eriksen saves Spurs

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Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus, center, jumps over Everton's Jordan Pickford, right, during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Everton at Etihad stadium in Manchester, Saturday, Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, center, jumps over Everton’s Jordan Pickford, right, during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Everton at Etihad stadium in Manchester, Saturday, Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

London (AP) — Facing opposition decked out in royal blue for the second week running, Manchester City avoided any surprises this time round.

After watching his side crash to their first English Premier League defeat at Chelsea last weekend, Pep Guardiola was looking for a positive reaction from City on Saturday and the home team responded in style by defeating Everton 3-1 on a bitterly cold day at Etihad Stadium.

Gabriel Jesus chose the perfect occasion to score in the league for the first time since August when he grabbed a double while Raheem Sterling, allegedly racially abused in the loss at Chelsea, ended a difficult week on a happy note when he wrapped up victory with the third goal.

The win took City back to the top of the standings, two points ahead of second-placed Liverpool ahead of their standout game against rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.

“The players responded in a marvelous way,” Guardiola said after chalking up his 100th victory for the club in all competitions. “Everton are a top side. Today was tricky, a dangerous, dangerous game.”

Tottenham, five points off the pace in third position, needed an injury-time goal from substitute Christian Eriksen to defeat struggling Burnley 1-0 at Wembley Stadium, while Crystal Palace topped Leicester 1-0 and West Ham won at bottom club Fulham 2-0.

Wolverhampton eased past Bournemouth 2-0, Newcastle defeated Huddersfield 1-0, and Watford beat Cardiff 3-2.