Manch­ester City end six-match win­less streak

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Manch­ester City ended a six­match win­less streak by duly thump­ing West Bromwich Al­bion 4-0 in the English Premier League on Satur­day.

West Brom hasn't won in the league since mid-Septem­ber, and was out­gunned by the league­lead­ing vis­i­tors.

Ser­gio Aguero and Ilkay Gun­do­gan scored twice each to bring an em­phatic end to Pep Guardi­ola’s long­est win­less run in his man­age­rial ca­reer.

Aguero scored twice in the first half, and set up the third for Gun­do­gan after the break when West Brom was threat­en­ing. Gun­do­gan's sec­ond in the last minute capped a flat­ter­ing score­line for City, which edged Arse­nal on top of the stand­ings on goal dif­fer­ence. Giroud’s 1st Arse­nal goals of sea­son add to Sun­der­land woes

Olivier Giroud scored his first goals of the sea­son as Arse­nal beat Sun­der­land 4-1, leav­ing the be­lea­guered north­east team with only two points after 10 Premier League games.

The France for­ward struck twice within five min­utes of be­ing in­tro­duced as a 69th-minute sub­sti­tute to kill off hopes of Sun­der­land’s fight­back after Jer­main De­foe’s penalty had can­celled out Alexis Sanchez’s first-half opener for Arse­nal.

The Gun­ners have now gone 14 games un­beaten in all com­pe­ti­tions since the open­ing day of the sea­son.

Sun­der­land lacked both the de­fen­sive re­silience and the raw pace to com­pete, fur­ther weak­en­ing David Moyes’ hold on the Sun­der­land job.

The other Arse­nal goals were scored by Alexis Sanchez, the first after 19 min­utes. He con­verted from close range after Gibbs’ shot had come back off the post to com­plete a mis­er­able af­ter­noon for Sun­der­land.

Liver­pool com­pen­sated for its de­fen­sive er­rors with a fine at­tack­ing dis­play to beat Crys­tal Palace 4-2 and re­main among the lead­ing pack.

Only an in­fe­rior goal dif­fer­ence means Liver­pool is be­hind Manch­ester City and Arse­nal at the top of the stand­ings.

Emre Can, De­jan Lovren, Joel Matip, and Roberto Firmino in­flicted Palace’s third suc­ces­sive loss.

Liver­pool’s Al­berto Moreno re­placed the ab­sent James Mil­ner to se­cure his first league start since los­ing his place after the open­ing day of the sea­son, and he re­quired only 16 min­utes to ex­ert his in­flu­ence set­ting Can to shoot first time from in­side the area be­yond goal­keeper Steve Man­danda into the bottom right cor­ner.

But two min­utes later Lovren, un­der lit­tle pres­sure, sliced a clear­ance back to­ward his own goal. James McArthur cap­i­talised and equalised.

It took only three min­utes for Liver­pool to re­store their lead through Lovren.

Amid more un­con­vinc­ing de­fend­ing in the 33rd, McArthur again brought Palace level.

But from an­other Coutinho cor­ner in the 44th, Lovren’s cen­tral de­fen­sive part­ner, Joel Matip, headed Liver­pool back into the lead.

Then in the 71st, Jor­dan Hen­der­son’s long-range, classy through­ball sent Firmino one-on-one with the goal­keeper, and the Brazil­ian re­sponded by su­perbly chip­ping Man­danda to dou­ble Liver­pool’s lead.

Jose Mour­inho watched from the stands in the sec­ond half as Manch­ester United en­dured a goal­less draw in the English Premier League on Satur­day, de­spite 37 at­tempts on goal, with 'keeper Tom Heaton help­ing Burn­ley snatch a point against his for­mer club.

United bounced back from a hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat at Chelsea with an English League Cup derby win against Manch­ester City mid­week, but hopes of a fol­low-up vic­tory in the league were thwarted by Heaton, a United academy grad­u­ate.

Heaton left United six years ago without a first-team ap­pear­ance to his name and, now 30, re­turned to haunt United on Satur­day, pro­duc­ing a stun­ning dis­play in the Burn­ley goal as a pul­sat­ing match ended 0-0.

Ref­eree Mark Clat­ten­burg gave An­der Her­rera a harsh-look­ing sec­ond yel­low card, having al­ready sent off Mour­inho.

United man­ager Mour­inho was fu­ri­ous at his side not re­ceiv­ing a penalty after Jon Flana­gan's chal­lenge on Mat­teo Darmian just be­fore half­time. Mour­inho set­tled in the di­rec­tors' box after hop­ping around seats near the dugout.

Five months after col­lect­ing the English Premier League tro­phy, Clau­dio Ranieri was ec­static just to see Le­ices­ter col­lect a point at Tot­ten­ham on Satur­day.

Cel­e­brat­ing a 1-1 draw — after Le­ices­ter for­ward Ahmed Musa can­celed out Vin­cent Janssen's penalty — was not de­mean­ing for the Le­ices­ter man­ager. Far from it.

De­fend­ing the ti­tle won so un­ex­pect­edly by the club for the first time last sea­son was al­ways an un­likely propo­si­tion as ri­vals have strength­ened.

Ranieri's early tar­get is the same as last sea­son's: Stay in the Premier League.

While the Ital­ian was un­der­play­ing the strength of Le­ices­ter's po­si­tion a year ago to al­le­vi­ate the pres­sure on his play­ers, slip­ping into a rel­e­ga­tion dog­fight has looked pos­si­ble this sea­son. Es­pe­cially with Jamie Vardy, last sea­son's top scorer on 24 goals, ex­tend­ing his drought to 10 games at White Hart Lane.

But after four suc­ces­sive losses on the road in the league, Le­ices­ter has its first point away from King Power Sta­dium and is up to 11th.

Sun­der­land’s John O’Shea, be­hind, and Arse­nal’s Alexis Sanchez bat­tle for the ball dur­ing yes­ter­day’s match Photo: AP

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