Sports

EPL: Bale, Kane inspire Spurs to easy win over Palace

*Man Utd end Man City’s 21-game winning run with derby victory
*Fulham win as Liverpool lose sixth straight home game
*Strugglers West Brom, Newcastle share goalless draw

Gareth Bale and Harry Kane both scored twice to inspire Tottenham to a third consecutive Premier League win at the expense of Crystal Palace.
On-loan Real Madrid forward Bale had Kane to thank for both of his goals, opening the scoring with a tap-in from Kane’s cross and heading in a superb second from another assist from the England forward.
In between, Christian Benteke had drawn Palace level with their first effort on target with a fine header from Luka Milivojevic’s cross.
However, while the returning Wilfried Zaha hit the post for Roy Hodgson’s side they were unable to cope with the firepower at the hosts’ disposal.
Kane, who had played the role of provider, opened his account for the evening with a wonderful finish from 20-yards into the top right corner before rounding off the scoring from Son Heung-min’s cut-back.
The goal brought up a notable landmark, with Kane and Son now having combined for more goals in a single season than any other duo in Premier League history.
The result lifts Tottenham up to sixth in the table and they are now just two points off a top-four place, with Palace remaining in 13th.
Earlier, Manchester United brought Manchester City’s sequence of 21 successive victories in all competitions to a crashing halt with an impressive derby victory at Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side still have what looks to be an unassailable 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League, but the manner in which United subdued a previously unstoppable City and enhanced their own top-four chances will be a huge confidence boost to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players.
United, who have now gone 22 league away games unbeaten – including 14 wins – stunned City with a fast start and were ahead after a penalty was awarded inside the first 30 seconds when Gabriel Jesus fouled the impressive Antony Martial.
Bruno Fernandes scored from the spot despite City keeper Ederson getting a strong hand on the ball, then United fashioned the win with a mixture of solid defence and constant menace on the break.
Rodri almost equalised just after the break when his shot glanced off the angle of post and bar, but United effectively sealed the win – condemning City to their first loss since a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham on 21 November – when the outstanding Shaw, who had earlier missed a chance to double United’s lead, led a counter-attack, exchanging passes with Marcus Rashford before beating Ederson with a low shot.
Solskjaer’s team, who had not scored in their previous three games, moved back into second place a point ahead of Leicester City in the increasing tight fight for a place in the top four.
And Liverpool’s incredible slide continued with a sixth successive Premier League home defeat as Fulham secured a crucial win to give their survival hopes a huge boost.
Mario Lemina’s goal on the stroke of half-time, after the Gabon midfielder had dispossessed Mohamed Salah, gave the visitors a deserved win and saw them draw level on 26 points with 17th-placed Brighton.
It was Fulham’s first win at Anfield since 2012, while champions Liverpool are now struggling to finish in the top four after another uninspired performance at home.
The Reds, who won the title last season by 18 points, had gone 68 home league matches unbeaten before their current run started with a loss to Burnley in January.
Since then they have also lost on home soil to Brighton, Manchester City, Everton, Chelsea and now Fulham.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made seven changes following the defeat to Chelsea in attempt to freshen things up, but Fulham were the better side and carved out four chances in the opening half an hour alone.
Ademola Lookman, who was given the freedom of Anfield, twice got behind the Reds defence but could not finish while Josh Maja was denied by a brave save by Alisson.
The winner came after Liverpool thought they had cleared a free-kick but Salah was caught on the ball by Lemina who produced an arrowed finish, his first goal since joining on loan from Southampton.
Diogo Jota, making his first start since November 28, was denied an equaliser by an acrobatic save from Alphonse Areola early in the second half before substitute Sadio Mane hit the post with a looping header.
But Liverpool were poor and have now failed to win their last eight home games.
Earlier, West Brom and Newcastle battled to a goalless draw at the Hawthorns that will do little to ease either side’s Premier League relegation fears.
The Magpies had the better opportunities in a game lacking attacking fluency, but West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was alert to deny Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Willock either side of half-time, reports the BBC.
Mbaye Diagne had the best chance for the Baggies when his header was tipped behind by Martin Dubravka, while Matt Phillips fired over when well placed early in the second half.
The draw means West Brom stay 19th and are now eight points from safety. Newcastle move above Brighton into 16th, four points clear of the bottom three.
RESULTS
West Brom 0 – 0 Newcastle
Liverpool 0 – 1 Fulham
Man City 0 – 2 Man United
Tottenham 4 – 1 Crystal Palace

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