Manchester — Manchester City missed the chance to go top of the Premier League as they suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat to Brentford on Saturday and Tottenham rallied to win a 4-3 thriller over Leeds.
Liverpool climbed into the top six by seeing off Southampton 3-1, while James Maddison gave England manager Gareth Southgate a scare by limping off in Leicester’s 2-0 win at West Ham.
City had not lost at the Etihad since February, but were stunned by Ivan Toney’s response to being left out of England’s World Cup squad.
The Brentford captain headed in his 10th goal of the season to give the Bees an early lead, but City responded before half-time thanks to Phil Foden’s sumptuous strike.
Pep Guardiola warned ahead of the game that his side might have one eye on the World Cup with 10 of the City starting XI heading to Qatar.
A lacklustre performance from the champions was punished in the eighth minute of time added on when Brentford cut open Guardiola’s men on the counter-attack and Toney tapped in Josh Dasilva’s cross.
“The better team won,” conceded Guardiola. “We had a lot of problems and we could not press as they didn’t allow us.”
Thomas Frank hailed the result as perhaps Brentford’s best ever as they moved up to 10th in the Premier League.
“Speaking to some people from the club, this is probably the single biggest ever result,” said Frank. “Against one of the richest clubs in the world and we have one of the lowest budgets in the division.”
City’s defeat means Arsenal can open a five-point lead heading into the World Cup break should they win at Wolves later on Saturday.
Bentancur saves Spurs
Tottenham once again had to come from behind. Goals from the in-form Crysencio Summerville and Rodrigo either side of Harry Kane’s equaliser put Leeds in front at half tie.
Jesse Marsch’s men won 4-3 against Bournemouth last weekend, but were this time on the receiving end of a thrilling comeback.
“I feel like someone has ripped my heart out,” said Marsch.
Ben Davies’ powerful strike made it 2-2 before Rodrigo restored Leeds’ lead.
Tottenham have made a habit of late fightbacks this season and rescued the three points as Rodrigo Bentancur scored twice in the final 10 minutes to move Antonio Conte’s men up to third.
Newcastle can go back above Spurs should they inflict a third consecutive league defeat on Chelsea at St. James’ Park later.
Liverpool signed off until Boxing Day on a positive note as Darwin Nunez struck twice against Southampton.
Roberto Firmino’s header opened the scoring inside six minutes at Anfield, but in Nathan Jones’ first game in charge, the Saints responded immediately through Che Adams.
Nunez has been erratic since his 75 million euro ($77 million) signing from Benfica, but the Uruguayan is already up to eight goals in his debut season at Liverpool.
He produced a cool finish to slot home Harvey Elliott’s pass before sliding in to turn home Andy Robertson’s cross before half-time.
“It’s been a long, difficult period for the boys so now first part of the season finished, 22 points, I’m more than happy with that now and here we go in six weeks,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Leicester’s rise up the table continued but there were fears it could come at a cost for England.
Maddison’s stunning form forced his way into Southgate’s squad and he opened the scoring with his seventh goal of he season.
The midfielder hobbled off shortly after, but Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers played down the seriousness of the problem.
“He’s fine. It was just precautionary, a little soreness on the side of the knee,” said Rodgers.
Harvey Barnes added a second for the Foxes 12 minutes from time to leave West Ham one point above the relegation zone.
Everton are also only a point above the bottom three after a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Bournemouth.
Marcus Tavernier, Kieffer Moore and Jaidon Anthony on target for the Cherries and there were angry confrontations between the Everton players and travelling support at full-time.
Nottingham Forest moved off the bottom as Morgan Gibbs-White scored the only goal of a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.