Liverpool thrashed second-placed Leicester City 4-0 to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 13 points with a game in hand.

Club World Cup hero Roberto Firmino scored either side of a James Milner penalty and Trent Alexander-Arnold capped a phenomenal display by completing the scoring at the King Power Stadium.

Manchester United were also big winners, coming from behind to beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford, while elsewhere in the Premier League two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the result of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Spurs moved back to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a result repeated in the south of the capital as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard, but better news for Solskjaer

Leicester's designs on a title push have been checked by defeats to Manchester City and now Liverpool, who have won 17 of their 18 Premier League games this season.

They last lost in the competition on January 3 and Alexander-Arnold, who set up both of Firmino's goals, gave an awesome demonstration of the quality at their disposal.

By contrast, Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour. Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time.

Spurs were facing a fresh setback in their game against Brighton when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick, but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his Manchester United turn on the style after going behind to an early Matty Longstaff goal against Newcastle.

As memories of a painful 1-0 defeat to the Magpies in October came flooding back, the hosts found an extra gear at Old Trafford to turn the match around, with Martial, Greenwood and Rashford showing a clinical touch.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

The Clarets are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Palace had a day to remember against West Ham despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Southampton shocked Chelsea and Manchester United thrashed Newcastle on Boxing Day, while elsewhere in the Premier League two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the result of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Manchester United swept aside Newcastle United 4-1 with two goals from Anthony Martial, who also struck the post, and one each from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.

Spurs moved back to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a result repeated in the south of the capital as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard, but better news for Solskjaer

Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour.

Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time and Chelsea got what they deserved after bearing no more than a passing resemblance to the side that outplayed Tottenham at the weekend.

Spurs were facing a fresh setback in their game against Brighton when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick, but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his Manchester United turn on the style after going behind to an early Matty Longstaff goal against Newcastle. As memories of a painful 1-0 defeat to the Magpies in October came flooding back, the hosts found an extra gear at Old Trafford to turn the match around, with Martial, Greenwood and Rashford showing a clinical touch.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

Burnley are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Palace had a day to remember against West Ham despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Southampton shocked Chelsea with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day as two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way in the Premier League.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the story of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Spurs are back to within three points of their London rivals and the top four after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a feat repeated in the south of the capital later in the day as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard

Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour.

Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time and Chelsea got what they deserved after bearing no more than a passing resemblance to the side that outplayed Tottenham at the weekend.

Spurs were facing a further setback when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

Burnley are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Ahead of Manchester United's later kick-off at home to Newcastle United, Palace moved up to eighth despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri believes managing the Toffees is one of the most difficult jobs in football.

Carlo Ancelotti's appointment as Everton's new boss was confirmed on Saturday, before interim manager Duncan Ferguson secured a goalless draw with Arsenal in his final match in charge.

Ancelotti was unveiled to the media on Monday, having taken over with Everton sitting just four points above the relegation zone a fortnight after Marco Silva was sacked.

Moshiri knows the Italian has a tough task on his hands, but believes Ancelotti's experience gives him the ability to cope with the expectations at Goodison Park.

"Everton is a very difficult job, because you are two home losses from being disowned by the fans," Moshiri, who invested into Everton in 2016, said to TalkSport.

"It is very hard, and with younger managers it is difficult to cope. Because you have the bad runs, but the fans don't give you any time.

"The strength of Goodison is the passion from the fans. Once you lose that, you lose a lot. [Everton] was supposed to be five per cent of my time, not 95 per cent!

"I think it's one of the most difficult clubs in football. We don't have the financial base, but the fans expectations are huge. I think this mismatch somehow needs to be resolved.

"Sometimes, the expectation is just too much for a young manager. That's why we hope a more experienced manager can cope with it better."

Moshiri has hired and subsequently fired Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and Silva during his time at Everton, while also bringing an end to Roberto Martinez's tenure in 2016.

However, Moshiri conceded any manager must also need luck on their side.

"With Silva, he's a very talented coach, but when the Gods of football are not kind to you, what can you do?" he said.

"We lose six points because of VAR, he loses 70 per cent of his midfielders. But a good general is a lucky one. We hope we've got a lucky general. 

"I think we have a good base. We have been unlucky. Duncan has given the passion and belief but we still have some very difficult games.

"We play Burnley at home, but then Man City away and Liverpool away. All of these games take a lot out of the players, but they have got their belief back."

As well as unveiling Ancelotti on Monday, Everton also revealed the final plans for a new 52,000 seater stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.

Carlo Ancelotti has claimed it is not "mission impossible" for Everton to end their miserable record against Merseyside rivals Liverpool.

Everton's dire run in derbies continued earlier in December, with a 5-2 defeat at Anfield marking the end of Marco Silva's tenure.

The Toffees have not beaten Liverpool, who currently lead the Premier League by 10 points, in any competition since 2010.

Ancelotti, however, defeated Jurgen Klopp's full-strength team this season, with Napoli beating the Reds 2-0 in their opening Champions League fixture.

Everton visit Anfield again in the FA Cup on January 5 and Ancelotti is relishing going up against the European champions.

"The Evertonians know my record against Liverpool, they will be happy with this," the Italian, who will take charge of his first game on Boxing Day when Burnley visit Goodison Park, told a news conference.

"[Napoli] beat Liverpool this season, it's a big rivalry here and a big motivation for us.

"It feels good. Honestly, I have a really good relationship with Jurgen Klopp. It is always exciting, playing against them.

"Of course, I have beat them but they are not used to losing. It was a good day for me. I know how much Evertonians want to beat Liverpool.

"We don't have to wait a long time, because we have the game on January 5, so we will see them soon. It's not mission impossible, nothing is impossible in football."

Ancelotti's appointment represents a coup for Everton, who are languishing four points above the relegation zone, and the former Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea boss says it is the club's ambition that attracted him to take on a tough job.

"The attraction is the tradition, history of the club. It's one of the biggest teams in England," he said.

"I have managed top teams, that's true. When I was at PSG, the project was really good there and that attracted me, the ambition of the club and I think here is the same.

"It is not true that I have only managed top teams. I managed Parma in the beginning which was not a top, top team. I like teams that have ambition and a clear idea of how to reach success. Here, I went to the training ground, it is a fantastic training ground.

"The fact that the club wants to build a new stadium, they have a clear idea how to improve. It takes time, I don’t know how long. For me it could be good to be here when the new stadium is open. This is what attracted me."

Carlo Ancelotti is open to trying to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Everton, although insists he has not spoken to the Swedish star about such a possibility.

Ibrahimovic is a free agent after leaving MLS side LA Galaxy earlier this year and the 38-year-old has been heavily linked with a return to Serie A, with Milan and Ancelotti's former club Napoli reportedly interested.

However, with Ancelotti – who coached Ibrahimovic at Paris Saint-Germain – having joined Everton, the striker has been mooted as a potential transfer target for the Toffees.

Ancelotti says the door would be open should Ibrahimovic wish to visit Goodison Park.

"Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a good friend of mine, he was my player," Ancelotti told reporters in a news conference on Monday.

"Fortunately I have trained a lot of good players, fantastic players. Ibrahimovic has finished his time in the United States but really I don't know what is his idea.

"I really don't know. I'd have to call him. If he wants to come here, wants to come, enjoy it, then he can come."

He quickly added "but not to play!" in an apparent attempt to cool expectations of a move.

"I don't know. But I'm not a manager that is used to working alone," Ancelotti said when asked if his status as one of the world's most successful managers would help attract a higher calibre of player to Everton.

"I want to speak to the club, we have to speak, have to work together to find the right solution.

"I don't know whether it is helpful if some players want to come here because I am here. It has happened in the past sometimes. I think there are a lot of fantastic players, but it's important to choose the ones important to our squad."

Everton pulled off a coup in the close season when they signed Moise Kean from Juventus, though the youngster has so far struggled, failing to score in 16 appearances across all competitions.

The 19-year-old was also substituted off by interim boss Duncan Ferguson just 19 minutes after coming on during a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on December 15.

Ancelotti, however, is eager to help develop Kean, but warned it may take more time for the Italy international to adapt.

"Moise Kean did really well last year. We were involved when I was at Napoli in trying to sign him," Ancelotti said.

"I think he's a really good player with a lot of talent. He showed fantastic talent last year at Juventus even if he didn't play a lot.

"We have to consider he's 19, every player that changes country or teams needs a time of adaptation. We have to wait and work on him to improve his quality, be a better professional, but he has a top quality."

Carlo Ancelotti's primary goal is to turn Everton into a side that is "competitive" in the Champions League following his appointment as Marco Silva's successor.

Silva was dismissed early in December after a difficult start to the 2019-20 season, with club legend Duncan Ferguson taking charge on an interim basis.

Ferguson presided over four matches across all competitions and oversaw a relative improvement in their fortunes, beating Chelsea and securing league draws with Manchester United and Arsenal, while they fought back from 2-0 down before losing to Leicester City on penalties in the EFL Cup.

Ancelotti swiftly emerged as Everton's first choice to fill the vacancy after leaving Napoli; he was officially appointed on Saturday before the 0-0 stalemate with Arsenal, signing a four-and-a-half-year contract.

He has no plans to sit back and relax, however, with the Italian setting an ambitious target.

"Everton, our ambition, our goal has to be competitive in the Premier League, to try and stay at the top of the table, to try to become competitive in Europe," he told Everton's official website.

"I think it's not going to happen straight away, but I think we have to work for this. The goal for every team is to try and be competitive, to try and win, of course.

"The ambition to reach the Champions League or Europa League and to be competitive in that also has to be a goal for the club and the supporters.

"I am here to try and do this. There are a lot of competitions in England, like the FA Cup and EFL Cup. Like I say, it takes time, it's not going to happen straight away, but working together we have to try and do it as soon as possible.

"I'm happy to be here. All the people are really respectful. I would like to stay together with the supporters, work together, to enjoy together. My dream is to bring success here."

Ancelotti's first game at the helm will be at home to Burnley on December 26.

Manchester City battled to a 3-1 comeback win against Leicester City to keep alive their slim Premier League title hopes, while Everton and Arsenal played out a bore draw at Goodison Park.

Riyad Mahrez struck against his former club to cancel out Jamie Vardy's opener in a game the reigning champions went on to win comfortably, moving them to within a point of their second-placed opponents.

Elsewhere, Miguel Almiron scored his first Premier League goal to fire Newcastle United to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, while Everton and Arsenal played out a bore draw at Goodison Park.

Paraguay international Almiron volleyed home late on to get off the mark on his 27th appearance in the competition and settle a match that was heading for a goalless draw.

Goals proved hard to come by in the stalemate between Everton and Arsenal, a low-quality match watched from the stands by respective incoming bosses Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta.

Everton failed to record a shot on target in a top-flight home match for the first time since January 2018, while Gabriel Martinelli went closest to scoring for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Burnley, Sheffield United, Wolves and Southampton all won away from home, the latter seeing off relegation rivals Aston Villa 3-1 to boost their survival hopes.
 

City comeback flattens Foxes

Pep Guardiola's side entered Saturday's late kick-off sitting four points behind Leicester and 14 adrift of Liverpool, meaning only victory would do if they were to keep their outside title aspirations alive.

Those hopes were further dented when Vardy got on the end of Harvey Barnes' pass and scored through Leicester's first effort at goal but, inspired by another Kevin De Bruyne masterclass, the champions roared back to claim back-to-back league wins.

Mahrez, who won the Premier League title with Leicester in 2016, fired a deflected shot past Kasper Schmeichel to pull one back and Ilkay Gundogan converted from the penalty spot after Raheem Sterling was fouled by Ricardo Pereira.

De Bruyne picked up the assist his performance deserved in the second half by setting up Gabriel Jesus - who had not previously scored on home soil this season - to seal the victory.

Arsenal's poor form continues

With Arteta not officially taking charge of his first Arsenal match until the Boxing Day trip to Bournemouth, interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg oversaw yet another below-par display from his side.

The Gunners looked the more likely side to score on Merseyside but lacked cohesion all over the field and had to settle for a point, making it just one win in 13 matches in all competitions.

Arsenal did at least manage to test Jordan Pickford - the England international doing well to keep out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the second half - with the Toffees rarely troubling the opposition defence.

Ancelotti was confirmed as Everton's new manager on a four-and-a-half-year deal shortly before kick-off, giving him a chance to witness up close just how big a task he has on his hands when taking the reins from stand-in boss Duncan Ferguson.

Almiron ends drought to extend Palace's winless run

A third victory in four Premier League matches for Newcastle was secured thanks to Almiron, who has had a tough time of things since arriving from Atlanta United for a reported £20million in January.

Almiron converted with a first-time finish seven minutes from time after being teed up by Andy Carroll's header, ending his long-running goal drought and sending United up to ninth place.

Palace, now without a win in three league outings, saw more of the ball and had the better of the chances, but Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke were unable to find a way past home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Ings inspires Southampton to vital victory

Southampton leapfrogged fellow strugglers Aston Villa into 17th place with a Danny Ings-inspired win, the one-cap England international reaching double figures for the season before Christmas.

Ings scored either side of Jack Stephens' towering header as Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges raced into a three-goal lead at Villa Park with 51 minutes played.

Jack Grealish scored a fine goal to reduce the arrears, but Villa left themselves with too big a mountain to climb and are now in the relegation zone after a fourth defeat on the spin.

Norwich cut further adrift

Norwich City failed to make their first-half dominance count in a 2-1 home loss to Wolves that leaves them six points adrift of safety at Christmas.

Todd Cantwell pounced on a loose ball to give Norwich a deserved 17th-minute lead, but they could not build on their advantage and Wolves hit back.

After a subdued opening hour, Romain Saiss sparked his side into life with a powerful header and Raul Jimenez made it 16 goals for the season across all competitions late on to condemn Norwich - who have one point from their last five home matches - to another defeat.

Wilder's men overcome more VAR frustrations

Sheffield United continued their march up the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion, despite the frustration of having two goals ruled out by VAR.

John Egan's bundled finish was chalked off for handball and Jack O'Connell was denied for offside - the third and fourth goals United have been awarded on the field this term, only for VAR to intervene.

Not that it mattered, though, as Oli McBurnie's third goal of the season - a powerful strike past Mat Ryan after 23 minutes - proved enough for Chris Wilder's men to keep their unbeaten away record this season intact as they moved into the lofty heights of fifth place.

Rodriguez settles contest between shot-shy sides

Burnley edged out Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium in a game that saw the sides register just five shots between them - the fewest recorded in a Premier League game since records began in 2003-04.

The one and only attempt on target arrived in the final minute of the game, Jay Rodriguez heading in Ashley Westwood's cross from close range to settle a dreadful game.

Jefferson Lerma's 30-yard effort over the bar was as good as things got for a Bournemouth side that have lost six of their last seven league matches to slip into relegation danger.

Miguel Almiron scored his first Premier League goal to fire Newcastle United to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, while Everton and Arsenal played out a bore draw at Goodison Park.

Paraguay international Almiron volleyed home late on to get off the mark on his 27th appearance in the competition and settle a match that was heading for a goalless draw.

Goals proved hard to come by in the stalemate between Everton and Arsenal, a low-quality match watched from the stands by respective incoming bosses Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta.

Everton failed to record a shot on target in a top-flight home match for the first time since January 2018, while Gabriel Martinelli went closest to scoring for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Burnley, Sheffield United, Wolves and Southampton all won away from home, the latter seeing off relegation rivals Aston Villa 3-1 to boost their survival hopes.

Arsenal's poor form continues

With Arteta not officially taking charge of his first Arsenal match until the Boxing Day trip to Bournemouth, interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg oversaw yet another below-par display from his side.

The Gunners looked the more likely side to score on Merseyside but lacked cohesion all over the field and had to settle for a point, making it just one win in 13 matches in all competitions.

Arsenal did at least manage to test Jordan Pickford - the England international doing well to keep out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the second half - with the Toffees rarely troubling the opposition defence.

Ancelotti was confirmed as Everton's new manager on a four-and-a-half-year deal shortly before kick-off, giving him a chance to witness up close just how big a task he has on his hands when taking the reins from stand-in boss Duncan Ferguson.

Almiron ends drought to extend Palace's winless run

A third victory in four Premier League matches for Newcastle was secured thanks to Almiron, who has had a tough time of things since arriving from Atlanta United for a reported £20million in January.

Almiron converted with a first-time finish seven minutes from time after being teed up by Andy Carroll's header, ending his long-running goal drought and sending United up to ninth place.

Palace, now without a win in three league outings, saw more of the ball and had the better of the chances, but Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke were unable to find a way past home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Ings inspires Southampton to vital victory

Southampton leapfrogged fellow strugglers Aston Villa into 17th place with a Danny Ings-inspired win, the one-cap England international reaching double figures for the season before Christmas.

Ings scored either side of Jack Stephens' towering header as Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges raced into a three-goal lead at Villa Park with 51 minutes played.

Jack Grealish scored a fine goal to reduce the arrears, but Villa left themselves with too big a mountain to climb and are now in the relegation zone after a fourth defeat on the spin.

Norwich cut further adrift

Norwich City failed to make their first-half dominance count in a 2-1 home loss to Wolves that leaves them six points adrift of safety at Christmas.

Todd Cantwell pounced on a loose ball to give Norwich a deserved 17th-minute lead, but they could not build on their advantage and Wolves hit back.

After a subdued opening hour, Romain Saiss sparked his side into life with a powerful header and Raul Jimenez made it 16 goals for the season across all competitions late on to condemn Norwich - who have one point from their last five home matches - to another defeat.

Wilder's men overcome more VAR frustrations

Sheffield United continued their march up the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion, despite the frustration of having two goals ruled out by VAR.

John Egan's bundled finish was chalked off for handball and Jack O'Connell was denied for offside - the third and fourth goals United have been awarded on the field this term, only for VAR to intervene.

Not that it mattered, though, as Oli McBurnie's third goal of the season - a powerful strike past Mat Ryan after 23 minutes - proved enough for Chris Wilder's men to keep their unbeaten away record this season intact as they moved into the lofty heights of fifth place.

Rodriguez settles contest between shot-shy sides

Burnley edged out Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium in a game that saw the sides register just five shots between them - the fewest recorded in a Premier League game since records began in 2003-04.

The one and only attempt on target arrived in the final minute of the game, Jay Rodriguez heading in Ashley Westwood's cross from close range to settle a dreadful game.

Jefferson Lerma's 30-yard effort over the bar was as good as things got for a Bournemouth side that have lost six of their last seven league matches to slip into relegation danger.

Freddie Ljungberg says a lack of staff hindered him during his spell as Arsenal interim boss.

Saturday's 0-0 draw at Everton brought an end to Ljungberg's time in charge with Mikel Arteta set to take over after leaving his post as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Unai Emery's dismissal saw various members of his staff depart Emirates Stadium with Ljungberg left to operate with a skeleton backroom team as the recruitment process continued.

Per Mertesacker stepped up to help Ljungberg, who will remain at the club in some capacity under Arteta's leadership.

"I think we had six people leaving so there were no people there and you try to fill the gaps and try to do a lot of things," Ljungberg told reporters after the goalless draw at Goodison Park. 

"I learned a lot of things about myself and tried to organise things and get it done but of course, it's been a big, big honour and as well a challenge to sort these things out. 

"I must say Per Mertesacker - he's our academy manager and he's been academy manager plus being my assistant. 

"It's not been easy for him, he's been going to kids Christmas parties and then coming back to me, going here and there, so a big thank you to him."

Mesut Ozil was left out of the squad to face Everton due to injury but Ljungberg confirmed the midfielder would not have been selected after his frustrated reaction to being substituted during last weekend's heavy home loss to Manchester City.

"For me, I got asked after the game about Mesut," Ljungberg added. "He walked off the game and took the things [gloves] and kicked it. 

"The fans were not happy, I got asked about it and said for me, at Arsenal, that's not what we do and I stand by that. 

"Mesut was injured but I would not have picked him for the squad because I want to make a stance that's not what I expect from an Arsenal player. 

"That's my decision and I want to make the decisions again, but that's what I think." 

Duncan Ferguson joked he could become Carlo Ancelotti's co-manager after ending his interim spell in charge of Everton with a 0-0 Premier League draw at home to Arsenal.

Ferguson's Toffees have taken five points from matches against the Gunners, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Carlo Ancelotti will take over for December 26's home game with Burnley after the former Chelsea boss was confirmed as Everton's new manager just over an hour before kick-off.

Ferguson welcomed Ancelotti's appointment and joked he is hoping to be given a key role in the new set-up.

"It's brilliant. It's fantastic for the club, a guy of that pedigree coming here. I can't wait to start working with him and I'm sure I'll learn a lot," Ferguson said to BT Sport. 

"Hopefully we'll have a chat tonight with a glass of red wine. I'll get a few bottles of red wine down him and I'll become the new co-manager or something."

Everton were unbeaten under Ferguson and he led them to their first Premier League clean sheet since October at Goodison Park on Saturday.

"We wanted three points but what a fantastic performance from us," Ferguson said. "The boys didn't half dig in. I couldn't have asked any more from them - they've been fantastic for me.

"I'm glad I've ended on not a defeat. I'm delighted we got the draw, it's an extra point. We end undefeated, so we're absolutely delighted."

Ferguson's counterpart Freddie Ljungberg is also stepping aside for a new boss, with Mikel Arteta taking charge of Arsenal from Sunday.

Ljungberg was without the injured Mesut Ozil and was impressed by his inexperienced side despite a lack of chances created for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

"I was very happy. We put a very young side out there because we wanted energy," Ljungberg told BT Sport. "We worked hard in training and I wanted to give them a chance.

"We tried to dominate possession and keep the ball. You could see Everton getting frustrated and tired. Of course, there's more to come but it's a building block to have that stability we can fall back on.

"There's a lot of potential in a lot of the players. But I wanted to see people who would run and fight and go for it. We can't rely on our name - we still need to run and do the dirty things.

"Then Joe [Willock] comes on and Laca [Alexandre Lacazette] comes on, sprinting and fighting and all that. If we can do that, with the quality we have, it's a bright future.

"I've been told by the club that they want me to stay. I'll have a meeting with Mikel tomorrow and hopefully, it'll be a good one."

Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta surely departed Goodison Park on Saturday suspecting they had each arrived just in time.

Everton initially improved under Duncan Ferguson following Marco Silva's sacking, but new boss Ancelotti - watching in the stands - struggled to hide his frustration as they contributed to a dreadful Premier League encounter.

Arteta, a former Toffees favourite, was also in attendance and might even have been the more encouraged of the two coaches-in-waiting, yet his side Arsenal were only marginally better.

Freddie Ljungberg has failed to inspire Arsenal, and it was clear on Merseyside that both the Gunners and Everton were each in need of a lift.


MESUT MESS CONTRIBUTES TO CAPTAINCY CONCERN

Ljungberg's stint ends with one win in six matches in all competitions, having muddled through the same assortment of teams and tactics that saw off Unai Emery while further exacerbating the issues around Mesut Ozil, Arsenal's eternal enigma.

The injured Ozil's absence - having reacted angrily to his substitution last week - neatly encapsulated the lack of leadership on the pitch for Arsenal.

Emery named Ozil among a quintet of skippers in each of his two seasons, but the warring five families in 'The Godfather' were less disparate. Only Granit Xhaka - stripped of the role - and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the former coach's group started on Saturday.

Ozil and Xhaka were in 2018-19's selection of five, too. Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey have all since left - in controversial circumstances, on a free transfer, and retiring to join rivals Chelsea's staff, respectively.

Former Arsenal captain Arteta appears reluctant to intervene decisively, though, saying on Friday: "I want to see what they are doing at the moment and, after that, slowly, we will make some decisions to help them."


CLEAN SHEETS COURTESY OF CREATIVITY VOID

Everton collected just a second clean sheet in 16 league games, while Arsenal - having conceded the first goal in more Premier League games than any other side this season - could also welcome a rare shut-out - their first in 15 matches in all competitions.

But this goalless game owed more to aimless attacking play than defensive interventions, with passes from both sides regularly going astray at key moments.

Arsenal named their youngest league XI since May 2011, with many of the rookies in forward positions, yet Arteta would have been concerned as the visitors waited until the 44th minute for their first attempt.

Jordan Pickford was called into action before Bernd Leno, though, saving well six minutes after the break, as Everton likewise toiled.

Goals under Ferguson have largely come as a result of defensive errors, which the Gunners avoided, despite the presence of stars like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison.

Ancelotti is renowned for getting the best out of talented players, and for all Everton's back-line issues, a key focus must be to ensure future displays are more incisive going forward.


IMMEDIATE RESULTS REQUIRED REGARDLESS

These two sides are stuck in the mid-table mire, and it was not hard to see why in a pair of hopeless performances. But such is the need to get their seasons back on track that both teams would have welcomed a late winner regardless of what went before.

Neither truly deserved the three points, yet triumphing without playing well will be the early expectation for each new coach.

Arsenal's captaincy concerns need to be addressed, while Everton must have more edge up front and be less edgy at the back, but frustrations will not be abated for long if results see the two toiling in the bottom half.

Everton's pre-match optimism was sapped by full-time, and Arsenal's Friday talk of Champions League qualification and "eventually" the title looks pie in the sky.

Only once victories are belatedly strung together can serious discussion of fulfilling ambition be considered.

Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta watched new clubs Everton and Arsenal play out a low-quality 0-0 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Ancelotti's appointment was confirmed by Everton just over an hour prior to kick-off and the former Real Madrid and Chelsea head coach will likely have been happier than new Gunners boss Arteta by what he saw.

Interim Arsenal boss Freddie Ljungberg named a young starting line-up, leaving Mesut Ozil out of his squad entirely, but they failed to provide service to isolated captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Ljungberg's Everton counterpart Duncan Ferguson, who had secured four points from two games against Chelsea and Manchester United, will now step aside as Arteta and Ancelotti take charge for the next round of league games on December 26.

Alex Iwobi's first appearance against Arsenal since leaving the club lasted only 10 minutes before he had to be taken off due to an apparent hamstring injury.

A Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick into the side-netting was the closest either side came to working a goalkeeper during a woeful first half in which Arsenal mustered a single shot.

Jordan Pickford made an unconventional save to keep out Aubameyang's close-range shot after the restart, the striker then sending a tame effort at the goalkeeper.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's blocked shot came from a rare Everton foray forward as Arsenal largely controlled the second period without incision.

Ferguson's spell ended with him withdrawing a substitute for the second game running, Iwobi's early replacement Cenk Tosun making way for Moise Kean, who suffered the same fate last weekend when he was hauled off at Old Trafford after playing just 19 minutes.

What does it mean? Poor game offers new managers food for thought

Arteta and Ancelotti could have been forgiven for reconsidering their decisions to sign long-term contracts at their new clubs as they watched a game almost entirely lacking quality, which leaves Arsenal ninth and Everton 15th in the table.

Both men will hope funds are available to sign squad reinforcements during the January transfer window. They will need new arrivals if they are to inspire turnarounds at two under-performing clubs.

Everton defence offers Ancelotti a platform

A first clean sheet in the Premier League for over two months could not have come at a better time for the Toffees, who have struggled at both ends of the pitch this season.

Yerry Mina was particularly impressive and Mason Holgate's potential is finally beginning to be realised.

Though Everton offered little threat, Arsenal also kept their first clean sheet since October in any competition.

Saka struggles in unfamiliar role

Injuries to Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac meant Bukayo Saka was pressed into action at left-back by Ljungberg.

The teenage forward struggled with his positioning throughout and could have been sent off after a string of poor challenges.

What's next?

Arteta's first game in charge of Arsenal comes away to Bournemouth on Boxing Day, while Carlo Ancelotti's bow will be at home to Burnley.

Carlo Ancelotti's ability to build trophy-winning sides makes him the "perfect appointment" for Everton, according to the club's director of football Marcel Brands.

Everton's two-week search for a new manager officially concluded on Saturday with confirmation of Ancelotti's arrival on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

The 60-year-old replaces Marco Silva at Goodison Park, returning to work just 11 days after he was sacked by Napoli amid off-field issues and a poor start to the Serie A season.

Ancelotti has previously managed in the Premier League with Chelsea, winning the title and the FA Cup in 2009-10 - continuing a trend of lifting the top prizes in a coaching career that includes three Champions League triumphs.

The Italian has coached in each of Europe's top five leagues, and Everton chief Brands believes his appointment on a long-term contract can be considered a coup for his side.

"Following a rigorous process conducted by all of our directors, it is a pleasure to now welcome Carlo Ancelotti to Everton," he told the Toffees' official website.

"He is one of the finest managers in world football and a proven winner, having achieved a remarkable level of success in each of Europe's major leagues.

"He is the perfect appointment for us. He embraces our vision for the club, and we are sure that his enthusiasm to take the helm at Goodison together with his tactical abilities and well-renowned man-management will make him successful in this role."

Unai Emery, Vitor Pereira and Rafael Benitez had also been linked with the Everton job, but Brands says Ancelotti was the undisputed first choice.

"This was a clear and exciting decision for the board to make," he said. "It was a unanimous choice and one we were all fully united behind throughout. 

"Carlo has proven time and again he knows how to build a trophy-winning side, and we share the excitement of our fans at the prospect of him leading our team in the years ahead. We're all greatly looking forward to working with him."

Freddie Ljungberg said Mesut Ozil would not have been involved for Arsenal in Saturday's Premier League contest against Everton even if injury had not ruled him out.

Interim boss Ljungberg named a youthful line-up for his final game in charge before handing the reins to new boss Mikel Arteta, who was appointed the Gunners' new head coach on Friday.

Ozil, who reacted petulantly to be subbed off in last week's defeat against Manchester City, was conspicuous by his absence and, while he confirmed a foot problem for the ex-Germany international, Ljungberg cast more doubt on the midfielder's long-term future in north London by admitting he would not have been part of his plans at Goodison Park.

Ljungberg told BT Sport: "Mesut has something on his foot, but we have things happening there so Mesut wouldn't have been in the squad today anyway, [after] what happened in the last game."

Nicolas Pepe, Sead Kolasinac, Matteo Guendouzi and the suspended Sokratis Papastathopoulos are also out of the starting XI that lost 3-0 to the champions last weekend, with Arsenal naming a new-look side that will be out to impress Arteta.

Emile Smith Rowe was awarded a first Premier League start as Ljungberg turns to youth, with Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson included in attack.

Arteta will be watching from the stands at another of his former clubs, who named Carlo Ancelotti as manager ahead of kick-off.

The Italian has agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal to succeed Marco Silva and, like Arteta, will begin work after Saturday's fixture.

The Toffees have welcomed back Lucas Digne, Djibril Sidibe, Fabian Delph and Gylfi Sigurdsson as Duncan Ferguson concludes his spell as caretaker manager.

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