Premier League - City v Sunderland, Everton v Palace both off as storm wreaks havoc

The Premier League games between Manchester City and Sunderland and Everton and Crystal Palace have been called off due to high winds.

Greater Manchester Police deemed that the match between City and Sunderland could not go ahead with extreme wind and a downpour of rain enveloping Etihad Stadium.

City might have had the opportunity to move back to the top of the Premier League had the game gone ahead and other results gone in their favour.

The game will now have to be rearranged for later in the season, creating extra fixture congestion for a side still competing in four competitions.

A Manchester City statement read: “Manchester City can confirm that this evening’s fixture versus Sunderland has been postponed due to exceptional and escalating weather conditions.

“The safety of those in, around and travelling to the stadium complex cannot be guaranteed. This decision has been made by the Safety Officer and Greater Manchester Police. Both managers and the match officials understand and support this decision.”

Everton v Palace was also called off by Merseyside Police as a second game fell victim to the weather - this time due to building damage caused by the wind.

The club announced on its Twitter feed that "tonight's game has been called off due building damage which has led to safety concerns".

Several roads around Goodison Park had been closed due to the high winds sweeping the country, with a number of spectators stuck in heavy traffic and nowhere near the ground.

Despite the traffic warnings the club had posted on Twitter, it had appeared that the game would go ahead when teamsheets were handed in.

The club then added: "Tonight's game has been postponed on police advice because of damage to buildings on Goodison Road."

The match between Stoke City and Swansea City was also subject to a second pitch inspection at 7pm but the game went ahead after being pushed back to 8pm from its original 7.45pm kick-off.

Fans travelling down to London for the Arsenal v Manchester United and Fulham v Stoke games will also face considerable travel disruption with Virgin Trains cancelling all routes from Euston, which serves Manchester and Liverpool.

England has been battered by an almost unprecedented series of storms with multiple flood warnings in place across the country and winds in excess of 100mph being recorded on Wednesday.