Southampton survived a second-half barrage to secure a 1-1 draw at home against leaders Manchester City (1/12 Premier League Outright), whose 12-game winning run in the Premier League was brought to an end.
The Saints opened the scoring through Kyle Walker-Peters fantastic finish in the seventh minute, the English defender firing home with the outside of the boot to send the home crowd into raptures.
Having reached the break 1-0 ahead, it was then a backs-to-the-wall job for Southampton in the second half as they had to fend off waves of attack from the Citizens.
Eventually the home side’s resistance was broken when defender Aymeric Laporte (pictured) headed in unmarked at the far post in the 65th minute, levelling the scores and still giving the visitors plenty of time to find a winner.
However, the Saints managed to survive, narrowly ending up on the right side of a VAR penalty check along the way, as they secured a 1-1 draw that extends City’s lead at the top to 12 points.
Liverpool (8/1 Premier League Outright), sitting in second, do have two games in hand on City and the Reds will be hoping they can close the gap when they travel to Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon (Palace 5/1, Draw 16/5, Liverpool 3/5 – Match Betting).
Elsewhere on Saturday, Marcus Rashford’s scored a stoppage-time winner to give Manchester United (7/4 Top 4 Finish) a narrow 1-0 victory against West Ham United at Old Trafford to keep their top-four hopes alive.
The Red Devils have climbed into fourth position, one point ahead of the Hammers with a game in hand, but sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur are only two points behind United and have three games in hand.
In Saturday’s early game, Everton’s first match without Rafael Benitez at the helm ended in familiar fashion as they lost 1-0 at home to Aston Villa, who put an end to their four-game winless run across all competitions.
Argentine Emiliano Buendia’s header in first-half added time settled a scrappy encounter and the defeat means the Toffees have only tasted success in the league once from their last 14 fixtures, leaving them embroiled in a relegation battle.
Everton are now just four points above the drop zone after Newcastle United (5/4 Relegation) picked up a crucial 1-0 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road, with Jonjo Shelvey’s strike handing the Magpies just their second win of the campaign.
Eddie Howe’s men have climbed to 18th after that win and they will now prepare for a massive clash against the Toffees at St James’ Park on February 8 when the season returns after the winter break.
Over at the Brentford Community Stadium, Wolverhampton Wanderers picked up a hard-fought 2-1 victory against the Bees to keep the Black Country outfit in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves netted either side of Ivan Toney’s strike for the hosts but the game will be remembered more for being halted for over 25 minutes in the first half because of a drone flying over the pitch.