By Mike Collett
LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League — at least until Leicester City play Manchester United in the late match — when they beat Southampton 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Leicester, who started the day in first place, and United, who were second, kick-off at the King Power Stadium at 1730GMT and whoever wins that will go top in place of City.
City, thrashed 4-1 at home by Liverpool last week, took an early grip with a tap-in from Kevin de Bruyne and a shot from the edge of the box from Fabian Delph inside the opening 20 minutes before Shane Long headed in for Saints soon after halftime.
Aleksandar Kolarov added the third after 69 minutes as City moved on to 29 points from 14 matches, one more than Leicester and two more than United.
With fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur not playing until Sunday, Crystal Palace closed the gap on the leaders when they thrashed struggling Newcastle United 5-1 at Selhurst Park after Newcastle scored first through Papiss Cisse after 10 minutes.
Palace, who had slipped back to 10th after a good start to the season, responded with two goals from Yannick Bolasie, two from James McArthur and one from Wilfried Zaha to send Newcastle back into the relegation zone.
Newcastle have 10 points, the same as Bournemouth who staged a dramatic comeback after trailing 2-0 to Everton then 3-2 with only seconds of stoppage time left before Junior Stanislas equalised with a header to make it 3-3.
Ramiro Funes Mori and Romelu Lukaku had put Everton 2-0 ahead before Adam Smith and Stanislas scored to make it 2-2. Ross Barkley put Everton 3-2 up after five minutes of additional time before Stanislas’s late goal saved a point for the home side.
Despite those heroics, Bournemouth have now gone eight games without a win and remain in the relegation zone on 10 points with Newcastle and Aston Villa, who have only five points and have lost 11 of their 14 games, beneath them.
Villa lost 3-2 at home to Watford after 10 minutes of stoppage time at Villa Park following a long delay to treat Watford’s goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes who suffered a head injury.
Sunderland climbed out of the relegation zone with their second win this week, following up Monday’s 1-0 victory at Palace with a 2-0 win over Stoke City who had Ryan Shawcross sent off in the second half.
(editing by Justin Palmer)