Ram­pant Man City goes top, Spurs’ Wem­b­ley woes con­tinue

Jerusalem Post - - SPORTS - (Reuters)

LON­DON (Reuters) – Manch­ester City thumped Wat­ford 6-0 to move top of the Pre­mier League on Satur­day as Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur’s Wem­b­ley woes con­tin­ued in a 0-0 draw with Swansea City, while Roy Hodg­son’s Crys­tal Palace suf­fered its fifth suc­ces­sive loss in a 1-0 de­feat by Southamp­ton.

With joint leader Manch­ester United play­ing on Sun­day, along with Chelsea, City took the op­por­tu­nity to lay down a ti­tle marker with another at­tack­ing mas­ter­class to go three points clear of its neigh­bor at the sum­mit.

Ser­gio Aguero scored a hat-trick to reach 175 goals for the club, with strike part­ner Gabriel Je­sus, Ni­co­las Ota­mendi and Ra­heem Ster­ling also net­ting against pre­vi­ously un­beaten Wat­ford as City moved to 13 points af­ter five games.

United had won many of the plau­dits for its im­pres­sive start, but at Vicarage Road Pep Guardiola’s side – led by the sub­lime quar­tet of Aguero, Gabriel Je­sus, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne – was ram­pant.

Aguero opened the scor­ing in the 27th minute, head­ing home De Bruyne’s su­perb free kick, and dou­bled the lead within four min­utes when he con­verted Silva’s teas­ing cross from close range.

City was in ex­u­ber­ant mood and added a third be­fore the break when the ex­cel­lent Je­sus latched on to Aguero’s cute pass to stroke the ball home.

Af­ter Ni­co­las Ota­mendi headed in a fourth in the 63rd minute, Aguero com­pleted his tre­ble with a neat fin­ish at the end of a sen­sa­tional run.

Ster­ling added a sixth from the penalty spot af­ter he was brought down by Christian Kabasele late on.

Guardiola ini­tially sig­naled for Aguero to take the penalty, but the Ar­gen­tine self­lessly al­lowed the Eng­land winger to com­plete a hugely im­pres­sive vic­tory.

“It was so good, es­pe­cially af­ter an away game in the Cham­pi­ons League,” Guardiola said at the end MANCH­ESTER CITY for­ward Ser­gio Aguero (right) heads home his club’s first goal – and the first of his three tal­lies in the con­test – past Wat­ford ’keeper Heurelho Gomes in the 27th minute of yes­ter­day’s 6-0 road tri­umph for City, tak­ing it to the top of the Pre­mier­ship ta­ble. of a week which also yielded 5-0 and 4-0 vic­to­ries over Liver­pool and Feyeno­ord.

“The way we played as a team, we are so happy,” the Spa­niard added.

Spurs were again dom­i­nant at the na­tional sta­dium, but were un­able to con­vert any of their chances with for­ward Harry Kane go­ing clos­est when he rat­tled the cross­bar in the sec­ond half.

Moussa Sis­soko, Dele Alli and Son He­ung-min were waste­ful for Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s side, which en­joyed 75 per­cent of pos­ses­sion and had 26 at­tempts, but was un­able to break down the res­o­lute visi­tors.

Spurs de­fender Serge Aurier was booked for div­ing, de­spite ap­pear­ing to be clipped as he raced into the box while Kieran Trip­pier blazed a fierce shot nar­rowly wide late on.

Vic­tory would have lifted last sea­son’s run­ner-up to third, but it sit fifth with eight points af­ter five games. Swansea, in 14th, has five points af­ter another en­cour­ag­ing per­for­mance.

For­mer Eng­land man­ager Hodg­son would have loved to call on some of that fire­power at Sel­hurst Park as he be­gan his lat­est job at Crys­tal Palace, which look like a se­ri­ous can­di­date for rel­e­ga­tion af­ter suf­fer­ing the worst start to a sea­son by any side in English soc­cer’s top-flight his­tory.

Steven Davis scored the only goal of the game af­ter six min­utes and Southamp­ton – for which Vir­gil van Dijk came on as a sub­sti­tute to play his first game in eight months – sur­vived the odd sec­ond-half scare to take all three points.

“We didn’t de­serve a fairy­tale end­ing,” Hodg­son said. “We didn’t play well enough. Af­ter the goal you could see the nerves and the anx­i­ety.”

It was hardly much bet­ter at Liver­pool, which com­pleted a dis­ap­point­ing week by draw­ing 1-1 with Burn­ley at An­field as the vis­it­ing side re­mained un­beaten away from home in the Pre­mier League this sea­son af­ter a win at Chelsea and draw at Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur.

Even Philippe Coutinho’s first start could not se­cure the points for Liver­pool, which trailed on a Scott Ar­field goal be­fore Egyp­tian Mo­hamed Salah equal­ized with his fifth of the sea­son.

New­cas­tle United posted its third suc­ces­sive win, 2-1 over Stoke City, to cheer Rafa Ben­itez on his re­turn to the dugout af­ter ill-health. For the sec­ond week run­ning, Ja­maal Las­celles scored the win­ner to jus­tify the ex­pected award of a new five-year con­tract at the club.

New­cas­tle is fourth, one place and point above fel­low pro­moted side Hud­der­s­field Town, which drew 1-1 with Le­ices­ter City.

Jamie Vardy’s sec­ond-half penalty earned the Foxes a point af­ter Lau­rent De­poitre gave Hud­der­s­field the lead.

West Ham United drew 0-0 with West Bromwich Al­bion in a game only mem­o­rable for Gareth Barry’s record-equal­ing 632nd Pre­mier League ap­pear­ance for the home side at The Hawthorns.

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