Manchester United came from two goals down to rescue a dramatic 2-2 draw against Burnley thanks to Jesse Lingard’s double, while Tottenham striker Harry Kane shattered a Premier League record with a hat-trick in a 5-2 rout of Southampton on Tuesday.
With Manchester City not in action until Wednesday’s trip to Newcastle, United are now 12 points behind the runaway leaders.
Ashley Barnes gave Burnley the perfect start in the third minute when he poked home from Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s free-kick.
Burnley hadn’t won at Old Trafford since 1962, four months before United coach Jose Mourinho was born, but they scored again in the 36th minute.
Belgian midfielder Steven Defour administered the knockout blow, bending a superb free-kick into the top corner.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, making his first league start since April after a major knee injury, was hauled off at half-time and his replacement Lingard gave United hope with a sublime back-flicked finish from Ashley Young’s cross in the 53rd minute.
And Lingard finished as United’s hero when he fired into the bottom corner in the first minute of stoppage-time.
Despite that leveller, it was still a frustrating result at the end of a painful December for United, who had suffered a crucial home loss against Manchester City, crashed out of the League Cup at second tier Bristol City and conceded a last-minute equaliser at 10-man Leicester.
At Wembley, Kane established a new record for the most Premier League goals in a year and will finish as Europe’s leading scorer for 2017.
Kane’s 22nd-minute header was his 37th goal of the year, moving him past Alan Shearer’s previous Premier League record, which was set when he played for Blackburn in 1995.
But Kane wasn’t happy to settle for that milestone and he scored twice more to claim his eighth treble of the year.
His second goal took him to 55 for club and country in 2017 — lifting him above Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to become Europe’s top-scorer over the last 12 months in the five major countries (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France).
“It has been a fantastic year. To get compared to those players, the Messis and Shearers, is what it is all about. Hopefully 2018 is even better,” Kane said.
Kane’s heroics were the highlight of a memorable Boxing Day for Tottenham as Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min also got on the scoresheet.
– Morata back with a bang –
Alvaro Morata returned to lift Chelsea to a 2-0 win over Brighton that took the champions to within a point of second placed Manchester United.
Morata was badly missed during his one-gane ban as Chelsea laboured to a goalless draw at Everton in their previous match.
But the Spain striker was back in the line-up at Stamford Bridge and he netted 51 seconds into the second half with a header from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.
Marcos Alonso sealed Chelsea’s third win in their last four league games with a near-post header from a 60th minute corner.
Bournemouth salvaged a controversial 3-3 draw against fellow strugglers West Ham at Dean Court.
West Ham scored first through Wales defender James Collins’ seventh minute header.
Dan Gosling equalised from close-range in the 29th minute and Nathan Ake put Bournemouth ahead in the 57th minute.
Marko Arnautovic scored in the 81st and 89th minutes to put West Ham back in front, before Ake headed goalwards and team-mate Callum Wilson got the final touch from what the visitors claimed was an offside position.
Tom Ince scored his first goal for Huddersfield but the hosts had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Stoke at the John Smith’s Stadium.
No player had had more shots without scoring in the Premier League than Ince this season, but he finally netted with a close-range finish in the 10th minute, before Egypt midfielder Ramadan Sobhi equalised for Stoke in the 60th minute.
Watford ended a six-game winless run as Marco Silva’s team came from behind to beat Leicester 2-1 at Vicarage Road.
Riyad Mahrez put Leicester in front in with a 37th minute header.
But Mali defender Molla Wague equalised in first-half stoppage-time and the Hornets won it in the 65th minute when Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel fumbled Abdoulaye Doucoure’s shot into his own net.
West Bromwich Albion are without a win in 18 league games after Alan Pardew’s side second bottom side were held to a goalless draw by Everton at the Hawthorns.