Rampant Man City goes top, Spurs’ Wembley woes continue
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.