LONDON — There was stalemate at the summit meeting between Chelsea and Manchester City on Saturday as the Premier League front-runners drew 1-1 on Saturday.
Although Chelsea dropped points for the first time at home this season, the leaders' defensive-minded approach in the second half suggested they were satisfied with the draw. It preserved the five-point lead over the defending champions.
Although Chelsea was without suspended striker Diego Costa, Lioc Remy initially filled the void by giving the hosts the lead in the 41st minute after latching onto Eden Hazard's volley across the face of goal.
A City counterattack before halftime led to the leveler, with David Silva completing the move by turning in Sergio Aguero's shot. Although City avoided defeat, it is now three games without a win in the league.
"It was a solid game and Chelsea probably accepted a point in the end," said City midfielder Frank Lampard, playing at Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving Chelsea in May after 13 years. "Chelsea will be happy to be five points clear, we're not stupid. We know what that lead is. But there are lots of points to play for."
Neighbor Man United is only five points behind now in third place after Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao rediscovered their scoring touch in a 3-1 win over Leicester.
Van Persie put United ahead in the 27th minute with his first goal since Dec. 26 and Falcao netted only the fourth goal of his loan spell from Monaco five minutes later.
The victory was wrapped up before halftime through Wes Morgan's own goal. Marcin Wasilewski scored a consolation goal in the second half for Leicester, which stayed bottom.
Unlike the more illustrious striking duo of Falcao and Van Persie, 21-year-old Tottenham forward Harry Kane has been a scoring revelation this season.
In a 3-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion, Kane took his season's tally to 20 with a double — one from the penalty spot at the Hawthorns— after Christian Eriksen opened the scoring with a trademark free kick.
Liverpool was relieved to see its star striker, Daniel Sturridge, make an instant impact on his return from five months out with thigh and calf injuries.
Within 12 minutes of coming off the bench, Sturridge completed a 2-0 victory over West Ham that took Liverpool above the London club into seventh place.
Just like Raheem Sterling's opener, Sturridge was also set up by Philippe Coutinho.
At Sunderland, there was a first goal for the northeast club from Jermain Defore, who joined from Toronto earlier this month. Connor Wickham had headed in the opener as Sunderland beat Burnley 2-0 for only its second home win of the campaign.
Queens Park Rangers has failed to collect a single point on the road this season, with Jonathan Walters scoring a hat trick as Stoke beat the relegation-threatened team 3-1.
Romelu Lukaku's early goal gave Everton a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, handing Alan Pardew his first loss since taking over the London club. It was Everton's first win in nine games in all competitions, and put the team three points clear of Palace in 12th place.