LONDON - Jamie Vardy scored a brace including a sensational long-range goal as Leicester City sank Liverpool 2-0 on Tuesday to safeguard their spot at the Premier League summit. Manchester City kept pace, the day after Pep Guardiola was announced as their new manager, by winning 1-0 at Sunderland courtesy of Sergio Aguero, but Arsenal lost ground after a 0-0 draw at home to Southampton.

Manchester United blew off the cobwebs in a 3-0 win over Stoke City, but nothing could overshadow the predatory brilliance of Vardy, whose double preserved Leicester's three-point lead over second-place Manchester City. Reports had emerged earlier in the day that the 29-year-old England striker is due to sign a new contract and he delivered a perfectly timed reminder of his talent at the King Power Stadium.

He opened the scoring on the hour with a goal-of-the-season contender from wide on the right, running onto Riyad Mahrez's pass from the Leicester half, allowing the ball to bounce and ripping a ferocious, dipping strike over Simon Mignolet from 30 yards. Eleven minutes later Vardy made the game safe, finishing neatly from Shinji Okazaki's deflected shot, as Claudio Ranieri's men produced another stunning performance to bolster their remarkable title bid.

Leicester visit Manchester City on Saturday and Manuel Pellegrini's men kept themselves within touching distance of the leaders with victory at the Stadium of Light in the Chilean's 100th league game as manager. Pellegrini will make way for Guardiola at the season's end and his hopes of signing off with a league title were kept on track by Aguero's 16th-minute strike -- his sixth goal in four appearances.

But Arsenal's title hopes took a blow in a goalless draw with Southampton that left Arsene Wenger's men five points below Leicester and saw them slip to fourth place. Exacerbating Arsenal's fans' disappointment was the sight of arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur stealing above them into third place on goal difference.

Mauricio Pochettino's men won 3-0 at Norwich City courtesy of a second-minute Dele Alli goal and a Harry Kane double -- a 30th-minute penalty, won by Alli, and a calm one-on-one finish late on. Fifth-place Manchester United remain five points off the Champions League places after putting Stoke to the sword with uncharacteristic verve.

Louis van Gaal's side had been booed off after losing 1-0 to Southampton in their previous game at Old Trafford, but they were a team transformed in a display that will give the under-fire Dutchman some much-needed breathing space. Jesse Lingard headed in Cameron Borthwick-Jackson's cross in the 14th minute before a fine team goal saw Anthony Martial curl home from Wayne Rooney's pass after a sweeping move.

Martial returned the favour in the 53rd minute, teeing Rooney up for a tap-in that took the United captain's tally to seven goals in seven games. West Ham United remain a point behind United in sixth place after a 2-0 win at home to bottom club Aston Villa, who had Jordan Ayew sent off in the 17th minute for a blatant elbow on Aaron Cresswell. Michail Antonio headed West Ham in front in the 58th minute, with Cheikhou Kouyate adding a late goal on the break.

Salomon Rondon scored a stoppage-time equaliser as West Bromwich Albion rescued a 1-1 draw at home to Swansea City, who had gone ahead in the 64th minute when debutant Alberto Paloschi set up Gylfi Sigurdsson to score. Meanwhile, Marc Pugh and Benik Afobe scored as Bournemouth came from behind to win 2-1 at Crystal Palace, who had gone ahead through Scott Dann in the 27th minute.


Arsenal 0-0 Southampton

Bournemouth 2-1 Crystal Palace

Leicester 2-0 Liverpool

Manchester United 3-0 Stoke

Tottenham 3-0 Norwich

Manchester City 1-0 Sunderland

West Brom 1-1 Swansea

West Ham 2 -0 Aston Villa