City con­tinue surge

Sunday Express - - SPORT -

MANCh­eSTer City moved up to third in the Premier League yes­ter­day while New­cas­tle United boosted their hopes of sur­vival by com­ing back from two goals down at Liver­pool to draw 2-2 and se­cure a pre­cious point.

On an af­ter­noon that reaped 19 goals from four matches, last sea­son’s Player of the Year Eden Haz­ard fi­nally opened his league ac­count for the sea­son with two in Chelsea’s 4-1 win at Bournemouth.

Manch­ester City’s bid for a top-three fin­ish picked up ex­tra mo­men­tum, a 4-0 de­mo­li­tion of Stoke City at the eti­had Sta­dium lift­ing them a point clear of fourth­placed Ar­se­nal with 64 points from 35 matches.

Nige­rian striker Kelechi Iheana­cho, 19, scored in the 64th and 74th min­utes and was brought down for the penalty in the 43rd from which Ser­gio Aguero net­ted his 16th goal in as many games in all com­pe­ti­tions this year.

Fer­nando headed City’s opener from Je­sus Navas’ 35th-minute cor­ner.

Lead­ers Le­ices­ter City, who have 73 points from 34 games, host Swansea City to­day while Ar­se­nal travel to third from bot­tom Sun­der­land.

Sec­ond-placed Tot­ten­ham hot­spur, on 68, en­ter­tain West Bromwich Al­bion to­mor­row.

Liver­pool stayed seventh in the ta­ble af­ter their 2-2 draw at Anfield which marked the re­turn of for­mer man­ager rafa Ben­itez with a com­bat­ive New­cas­tle side.

The match was over­shad­owed by the news that Liver­pool’s French de­fender Ma­madou Sakho had failed a dope test.

Ben­itez, who man­aged Liver­pool for six years and won the Cham­pi­ons League with them in 2005 when they came back from 3-0 down against AC Mi­lan to draw 3-3 and win on penal­ties, had an­other roller­coaster af­ter­noon.

Daniel Stur­ridge put Liver­pool ahead af­ter 76 sec­onds and it was 2-0 on the halfhour when Adam Lal­lana scored the sec­ond but New­cas­tle ral­lied af­ter the break through Papiss Cisse and Jack Col­back to clinch their first away point of 2016.

Sec­ond from bot­tom New­cas­tle are level on 30 points with Sun­der­land, who have two games in hand, and one be­hind Nor­wich City.

As­ton Villa, who have al­ready been rel­e­gated, lost 4-2 to vis­it­ing Southamp­ton as they slumped to a 10th de­feat in a row.

On the south coast, Chelsea took their re­venge for a 1-0 home de­feat in De­cem­ber by de­feat­ing Bournemouth in a closer con­test than the score­line sug­gested.

haz­ard, who had not scored in the league for 29 games and 356 days, was on tar­get in the 34th and 91st min­utes.

Cesc Fabre­gas set up three of the goals, with Spain for­ward Pe­dro open­ing Chelsea’s ac­count in the fifth minute and Brazil mid­fielder Wil­lian notch­ing their third.

— reuters

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