Premier League results and round-up: Manchester City, Newcastle, Southampton secure big wins
Tottenham's loss at Saints blows top four race wide open
Last Updated: 09/03/19 8:43pm
Raheem Sterling's hat-trick helped Manchester City build a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League, but Tottenham are in danger of slipping out of the top four.
Sterling's opening goal in City's 3-1 win over Watford was hotly disputed as he was initially flagged offside, but referee Paul Tierney overruled the decision after a three-minute discussion with his assistant.
Sterling was in a clear offside position when Sergio Aguero played him through on goal but Tierney apparently ruled the goal should stand because defender Daryl Janmaat then tried to clear the ball, which deflected off Sterling and into the net.
There was nothing fortunate about the other two, though. The second goal was a simple tap-in from a yard out after City carved apart Watford's defence, with David Silva and Riyad Mahrez combining to tee up Sterling. The third was more impressive as Sterling collected a pass from Silva and went past two defenders before slotting the ball home.
Sterling was taken off shortly afterwards, and Watford substitute Gerard Deulofeu pulled a goal back for the visitors just 17 seconds after going on, scoring with his first touch after Troy Deeney flicked a long ball into the box.
Tottenham were stunned at relegation-threatened Southampton 2-1 after wasting a first-half lead, meaning their grip on a top-four place is suddenly extremely fragile.
Harry Kane put Tottenham ahead with his 200th career goal for club and country as Spurs dominated the first half, but Southampton turned it around after the breakthrough quickfire goals from Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse.
Tottenham are just three points ahead of fourth-placed Manchester United ahead of their game at Arsenal on Sunday, with the Gunners just a further point back. Sixth-placed Chelsea, meanwhile, are five points behind Spurs with two games in hand.
Southampton's win meant the fight to avoid the last relegation spot also tightened. The gap between 13th place and 18th is just six points after Cardiff, Newcastle and Brighton also earned crucial victories, while Fulham and Huddersfield both look doomed after losing again.
Cardiff's hopes of staying up were boosted by a 2-0 win over West Ham, with Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa scoring in either half to end a run of three successive defeats.
That put Cardiff just two points behind Burnley, who play at Liverpool on Sunday, while the gap to Southampton also remained at two points.
Newcastle rallied from two goals down to beat Everton 3-2, putting Rafa Benitez's team six points above the relegation zone.
On Rafael Benitez's three-year anniversary as boss, Newcastle fell two behind at the break as Dominic Calvert-Lewin (18) and Richarlison (32) put Everton in control.
Richarlison's effort came 71 seconds after Jordan Pickford saved a Matt Ritchie penalty after the goalkeeper hauled down Salomon Rondon with the goal gaping but survived a straight red card.
Fuelled by that apparent injustice, Benitez's men staged a remarkable second-half fightback with Rondon (65) and an Ayoze Perez double (81, 84) blitzing a crumbling Everton defence.
Brighton also boosted its own hopes by beating Crystal Palace 2-1, putting it level on points with Roy Hodgson's team.
Last-placed Huddersfield lost at home to Bournemouth 2-0 and was 16 points from safety, while Fulham remained just three points ahead in 19th after losing at Leicester 3-1.
Huddersfield fell to a 15th loss in their last 17 league games after Callum Wilson scored on his return from a knee injury for Bournemouth, who ended a nine-game losing streak in Premier League away matches. Ryan Fraser doubled the lead in the 67th minute.
Fulham also inched closer to the drop after Jamie Vardy reached 100 goals for Leicester by scoring twice in the second half at the King Power Stadium.
Youri Tielemans gave the hosts a deserved lead from Vardy's unselfish pass, but substitute Floyd Ayite hauled Fulham level in untidy fashion when his shot deflected in off Harry Maguire.
Vardy made it 2-1 in the 78th minute to reach the century mark across all competitions and then netted his 101st goal eight minutes later to seal the win in new manager Brendan Rodgers' first home game in charge.