The Premier League was reeling by a coronavirus outbreak that forced Manchester City’s game at Everton to be postponed just four hours before kick-off.
Three days after Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus were among four individuals to return positive tests, City announced on Monday that another round of testing had “returned a number of positive cases”.
“With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond,” a club statement read.
“Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, has decided to postpone the fixture.”
The Premier League, in agreeing to the postponement, insisted the health of players and staff was paramount.
However, Everton said they would request “full disclosure of all the information that Manchester City provided to the Premier League so the club can be clear on why this decision was taken.”
The fixture is the second Premier League game to be called off this season due to positive tests for coronavirus.
The match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United, due to be played on December 4, was postponed due to cases within the Magpies’ camp.
In on-field action, Leicester City and Chelsea both dropped points in the title race as they were held to 1-1 draws on Monday evening.
The Foxes needed a late equaliser at Crystal Palace while the Blues draw at home with Aston Villa.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s first-half penalty for Leicester was saved by Vicente Guiata before Wilfied Zaha brilliantly volleyed Palace ahead in the second half.
Harvey Barnes snatched a point for the Foxes seven minutes from time to take them second, on goal difference ahead of Everton.
Chelsea took the lead at Stamford Bridge through an Olivier Giroud header but Anwar El Ghazi scored his fifth goal in as many games with a header of his own to earn a point.
Villa remained fifth, ahead of Chelsea on goal difference, with Blues boss Frank Lampard seeking positives despite just one win from their past five league outings.
“This is our tough period at the moment, and we have to fight for it and we’ll be stronger for it…” Lampard said.
“Off the back of a really good run we’ve had a difficult little time, but I saw some really good signs tonight that I liked.”