Rooney, Sterling show their class

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport -

MANCH­ESTER City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola burst onto the field with his fists clenched and leapt into the air. Ben­jamin Mendy, cur­rently out with a long-term knee in­jury, hob­bled down the touch­line in a des­per­ate bid to get a selfie with team­mate and match-win­ner Ra­heem Sterling.

Ninety me­tres away, Southamp­ton’s play­ers were on their backs in their own area, dis­traught at con­ced­ing in the sixth minute of in­jury time.

In a wild fi­nale that sparked an ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­plo­sion of joy from City’s play­ers and coach­ing staff, Sterling curled home a last-gasp goal with vir­tu­ally the last kick of the game to give the Premier League lead­ers a 2-1 vic­tory over Southamp­ton on Wed­nes­day.

It needed some­thing spe­cial to up­stage Wayne Rooney’s hat-trick goal from his own half for Everton on an in­ci­dent-packed night in Eng­land’s top flight. Sterling man­aged it. “It was an as­ton­ish­ing end to the game,” said Guardi­ola, who was told to calm down by the ref­eree amid his fren­zied cel­e­bra­tions. “It means a lot.”

City re-es­tab­lished its eight-point lead over sec­ond-place Manch­ester United thanks to a 12th straight league win. Late goals used to be United’s forte dur­ing the glory days un­der Alex Fer­gu­son, but now it is City mas­ter­ing the art of scor­ing the last-gasp win­ners.

In par­tic­u­lar Sterling, who grabbed an 84th-minute win­ner against Hud­der­s­field on Sun­day and also a win­ner in the sev­enth minute of in­jury time against Bournemouth in Au­gust.

“I could not con­trol it,” Guardi­ola said of his be­hav­iour af­ter Sterling’s goal, which in­cluded a bizarre con­fronta­tion with Nathan Red­mond as the Southamp­ton winger walked off the field.

“We want to win the league but you have to cel­e­brate when you score in the last breath like that.”

In the night’s other high­light, Rooney demon­strated his en­dur­ing class by meet­ing a goal­keeper clear­ance with a su­perbly struck first-time shot from just in­side his own half that ar­rowed into an empty net. It was his, and Everton’s, third goal in a 4-0 win over West Ham.

There were also vic­to­ries for Chelsea, Ar­se­nal and Liver­pool.

Here’s a closer look at the ac­tion:

ROONEY HAT TRICK

Rooney’s tech­nique for his longdis­tance goal was per­fect, the for­mer Eng­land cap­tain strik­ing the ball firm and true as it ar­rowed over a raft of West Ham de­fend­ers and into the net.

Rooney had al­ready scored two goals, one from the penalty spot, on what proved to be a painful re­turn to Good­i­son Park for West Ham man­ager David Moyes, who spent 11 years in charge of Everton (2002-13). Ash­ley Wil­liams scored the fourth goal as Everton moved five points clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Sam Al­lardyce was in the stands and is on the verge of be­com­ing Everton’s next man­ager, five weeks af­ter the fir­ing of Ronald Koe­man.

FIVE-STAR AR­SE­NAL

Me­sut Ozil in­spired Ar­se­nal to a third straight Premier League win as Hud­der­s­field was thrashed 5-0 at Emi­rates Sta­dium.

Alexan­der La­cazette opened the scor­ing af­ter three min­utes be­fore Ozil took over the game, set­ting up goals for Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez and then adding a fourth him­self — all in the space of four min­utes.

Giroud added his sec­ond to com­plete the rout as Ar­se­nal climbed to fourth place.

SALAH’S DOU­BLE

Mo­hamed Salah came off the bench to score twice in Liver­pool’s 3-0 win over Stoke and make it 12 goals for the sea­son for the Premier League’s lead­ing scorer.

Sa­dio Mane opened the scor­ing for Liver­pool, loft­ing the ball into the net as Stoke’s de­fend­ers claimed it had gone out of play ear­lier.

Liver­pool jumped to fifth place.

CONTE SENT OFF

Chelsea man­ager An­to­nio Conte was sent to the stands for the sec­ond half as his team beat Swansea 1-0 for a fifth league win in six games.

Conte was dis­missed from the touch­line by ref­eree Neil Swar­brick mo­ments be­fore the in­ter­val af­ter fu­ri­ously protest­ing the award­ing of a Swansea goal kick.

The Ital­ian at first sat be­hind the dugout, but then had to move due to the prox­im­ity of his new seat to his coach­ing staff.

An­to­nio Rudi­ger scored the win­ner with a 55th-minute header.

Chelsea stayed 11 points be­hind City.

WIN FOR BURN­LEY

Burn­ley moved above Tot­ten­ham and into sixth place thanks to a 2-1 win at Bournemouth, with its goals com­ing from Chris Wood and Rob­bie Brady. – AP

Manch­ester City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola cel­e­brates af­ter Ra­heem Sterling scored an in­jury-time goal in his side’s 2-1 win over Southamp­ton at the Eti­had Sta­dium on Wed­nes­day. Photo: AP

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