London - Raheem Sterling scored the fastest goal of the
Premier League season as leaders Manchester City got back on track with a 3-1
win against Watford on Tuesday, while Fernando Llorente put Tottenham on course
for a 2-0 victory at his former club Swansea.
Sterling struck after just 38 seconds before Christian
Kabasele's first-half own goal put Pep Guardiola's side in control at
Sergio Aguero made it three as City gave the perfect
response after their 18-game winning run was ended in a goalless draw at
Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Unbeaten City are 15 points clear of second-placed
Manchester United as they continue to turn the title race into a lengthy
Guardiola had complained that the hectic festive fixture
schedule was a "disaster" after City striker Gabriel Jesus suffered a
knee ligament injury at Palace.
But Guardiola was able to replace the Brazilian with Sergio
Aguero, while David Silva returned from a two-game absence.
City, playing their fourth match in 11 days, were ahead
inside a minute as Sterling met Leroy Sane's cross with a near-post finish for
his 18th goal this season.
Having won 6-0 at Watford in September, City looked on
course for another rout in the 13th minute when Watford's Kabasele sliced an
attempted clearance into his own net from Kevin De Bruyne's cross.
Yet they had to wait 50 minutes to score again as Argentine
forward Aguero netted from close-range for his 16th goal of the season.
Andre Gray's 82nd minute goal for Watford came way too late
to avoid a sixth defeat in their last seven league matches.
With Harry Kane only fit enough for a place on the bench
after illness, former Swansea striker Llorente made his first league start for
Tottenham at the rain-lashed Liberty Stadium.
Llorente marked the occasion with a 12th minute goal, the
Spaniard powering home a header from Christian Eriksen's free-kick despite
Swansea's appeals for offside.
Puddles all over the pitch made it hard for Tottenham to establish
their smooth-passing game and Kane, who finished 2017 with consecutive
hat-tricks, was sent on for Llorente after 68 minutes.
Kane made his presence felt with a perfect pass to Dele Alli
and the Tottenham midfielder finished at the second attempt to wrap up the
points in the 89th minute.
Tottenham move above Arsenal into fifth place and sit four
points behind fourth placed Liverpool with a game in hand.
Swansea remain bottom of the table as new boss Carlos
Carvalhal was beaten for the first time in his second match since replacing the
sacked Paul Clement.
Andy Carroll's stoppage-time strike sealed a vital 2-1 win
for West Ham against second bottom West Bromwich Albion at the London Stadium.
James McClean's deflected shot from the edge of the area put
Albion in front in the 30th minute.
But Carroll equalised with a bullet header in the 59th
Carroll followed his first goal since April with a dramatic
winner from close-range, lifting David Moyes' side out of the bottom three.
West Brom are winless in 20 top-flight fixtures - only three
clubs have endured longer runs without a victory in the Premier League: Derby
with 32, Sunderland with 26 and Norwich with 21.
Crystal Palace came from behind to win 2-1 at Southampton
thanks to Luka Milivojevic's late goal.
Palace fell behind in the 17th minute as Saints striker
Shane Long scored for the first time since February last year.
Long's fine finish raced into the top corner from Jeremy
But Palace equalised in the 69th minute when Scotland
midfielder James McArthur volleyed home from Christian Benteke's header.
And Serbia midfielder Milivojevic redeemed himself for
missing a last-minute penalty against Manchester City at the weekend as his
long-range curler in the 80th minute lifted Palace away from the relegation