Douglas Luiz’s late penalty propelled Aston Villa to a 3-2 victory over 10-man Burnley, bringing them level on points with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League. Meanwhile, Manchester City triumphed 2-0 against Sheffield United, closing the gap to the league leaders.
Villa’s festive period seemed bleak after recent stumbles but Luiz’s penalty, sneaking in off the underside of the bar, elevated Unai Emery’s side to joint-top. Leon Bailey’s opener was quickly nullified by Burnley’s Zeki Amdouni before Moussa Diaby restored Villa’s lead. Sander Berge’s second yellow card left Burnley a man down, but Lyle Foster exploited Villa’s high line to equalize.
However, Luiz had the last word, converting a penalty after Jhon Duran was fouled in the box. Luiz expressed joy but acknowledged the team’s recent struggles due to injuries and fatigue, emphasizing the need to persevere.
Meanwhile, despite Erling Haaland’s absence, Man City eased past Sheffield United. Rodri netted early, and Julian Alvarez sealed the win, securing City’s place alongside Arsenal on 40 points, just two behind the league leaders.
Pep Guardiola, content with City’s performance, reflected on the team’s success despite injury setbacks. Chelsea, inspired by Cole Palmer’s double, triumphed 3-2 against Luton, while Everton suffered a 3-0 loss to Wolves. Crystal Palace secured a vital 3-1 win over Brentford, easing relegation concerns, as Manchester United aimed to continue their form against Nottingham Forest.