EPL: Toure Returns With Sensational Double for Man City; Liverpool Held at Southampton
Manchester City's Yaya Toure celebrating after his goal against Crystal Palace. (Reuters)
Yaya Toure made a sensational return to the Manchester City ranks, scoring twice on his comeback to inspire the title contenders to a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Ivorian powerhouse was in the City line-up for his first league appearance of the season, back in the fold after recently making a public apology following comments the player's agent had made about the club and manager Pep Guardiola.
Injury-prone City captain Vincent Kompany had to go off with injury after a collision with his own keeper Claudio Bravo but Toure was soon back in business when his 39th minute shot, via a deflection, flew past Wayne Hennessey.
After Palace equalised in the 66th minute with a Connor Wickham strike, Toure struck seven minutes from time to consign the home side to their fifth consecutive defeat, slotting home from a low corner delivered expertly by Kevin de Bruyne.
Liverpool missed a chance to go clear at the top of the Premier League after squandering a string of chances in a dull 0-0 draw against Southampton in driving rain at St Mary's Stadium.
Liverpool have 27 points from 12 games, ahead of Manchester City on goal difference. Third-placed Chelsea, on 25, can leapfrog both of them when they visit struggling Middlesbrough on Sunday.
The visitors dominated the first half and came close when former Southampton forward Sadio Mane, who moved to Liverpool in the close season, forced a good save from goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Georginio Wijnaldum drove a long-range effort over the bar for Liverpool before the leaders wasted their best chance when Roberto Firmino shot wide with the goal at his mercy after a defence-splitting pass by fellow Brazilian Philippe Coutinho.
In another crucial match, Roberto Pereyra scored a spectacular goal after setting up Watford's first-minute opener to secure a 2-1 win over champions Leicester City.
The outcome left Leicester in 14th position on 12 points from as many games, only two above the relegation zone, as their poor away form continued with a fifth defeat in six games.
Fans had barely settled in their seats at Vicarage Road when Argentine forward Pereyra delivered an inch-perfect cross for Troy Deeney to head into path of Etienne Capoue, who scored with a bouncing volley from 12 metres.
Watford continued to press forward relentlessly and livewire Pereyra doubled the lead in the 12th minute when he curled a delightful shot from the edge of the penalty area into the far corner. Riyad Mahrez pulled one back for the visitors with a penalty three minutes later.
Just when Bob Bradley thought Swansea had secured their first win under his management, Seamus Coleman produced an 89th-minute header to give Everton a deserved 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.
Bradley made eight changes in a bid to kickstart his side's spluttering season and when Gylfi Sigurdsson scored from the penalty spot, after having been brought down by Phil Jagielka in the 41st minute, it was the first time they had even led under the American.
The goal stunned Everton, still smarting from their 5-0 drubbing by Chelsea before the international break, and Yannick Bolasie went close after the interval as Everton went all out for the equaliser.
After spending almost the entire second period in their own half, Swansea eventually buckled when Coleman headed home in the 89th minute, although the draw means Everton have only won one of their past seven league games.
Bournemouth won their first Premier League match on the road this season thanks to Nathan Ake's second league goal and a penalty miss from Stoke's Bojan Krkic.
Dutchman Ake proved the Cherries' courageous first-half hero, picking himself off the ground after a tough challenge from Wilfried Bony and heading home straight away from a Junior Stanislas cross.
Bournemouth were denied an obvious first-half penalty when Ryan Shawcross upended Callum Wilson but Stoke missed their chance to strike back after the interval when Bojan, fouled in the area by Simon Francis, struck the resulting spot kick against the bar.
Stoke could hardly credit that their six-match unbeaten record was ended as they squandered numerous chances for a late equaliser and Bournemouth celebrated their first away league win since April.
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