Erling Haaland scores but Manchester City hit a bump

Manchester, December 31

Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton after Erling Haaland’s strike was cancelled out by Demarai Gray. Haaland scored his 21st Premier League goal of the season in the 24th minute.

But the Toffees earned a share of the spoils when Gray scored a fine solo goal in the 64th minute.

City trail leaders Arsenal by four points having played a game more.

Earlier, Marcus Rashford came off the bench after being dropped for disciplinary reasons and scored the winner for Manchester United, securing a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton that sent the team into the top-four.

Barcelona held by Espanyol

Barcelona’s lead over Real Madrid atop the LaLiga standings evaporated after they were held to a 1-1 home draw by local rivals Espanyol in a bad-tempered clash in which both sides were reduced to 10 men.

Madrid had taken top spot on Friday with a 2-0 win at Real Valladolid, putting pressure on Barcelona to respond against an Espanyol side battling to avoid relegation.

Barcelona started strongly, with defender Marcos Alonso glancing a header into the net to give the hosts the lead with seven minutes on the clock.

After a first half in which Barcelona spurned several chances, Alonso turned from hero to zero as he gave away a penalty following a clumsy foul on Joselu, who rolled his spot kick straight down the middle to make it 1-1 in the 73rd minute.

Tempers flared after the equaliser, with Barcelona’s Jordi Alba being sent off after receiving back-to-back yellow cards for vociferous protests against the referee, before Espanyol’s Vinicius Souza was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Robert Lewandowski minutes later.

Barcelona remain on top of the standings due to their superior goal difference.

Suarez joins Gremio

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez will join Brazilian Serie A side Gremio on a free transfer on a two-year contract until the end of 2024. Suarez bid farewell to his boyhood club Nacional in October after three months in which he scored eight goals in 16 games and won the Uruguayan championship.

Previously the 35-year-old enjoyed success in Europe with Ajax Amsterdam, Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. — Reuters

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