Man City in a league of its own

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

SER­GIO Aguero and Ilkay Gun­do­gan each scored twice as Manch­ester City crushed West Bromwich Al­bion 4-0 on October 29 to keep their noses in front in the Premier League.

Arse­nal won 4-1 at Sun­der­land and Liver­pool pre­vailed 4-2 at Crys­tal Palace, but City’s win kept Pep Guardi­ola’s side above them both on goal dif­fer­ence as they ended a six-game win­less run.

“When we lose there are al­ways doubts,” said Guardi­ola. “It’s the first time I have not won in six games. Al­ways you have doubts, [but] not over the prin­ci­ples.”

Jose Mour­inho was sent to the stands and An­der Her­rera dis­missed as Manch­ester United drew 0-0 at home to Burn­ley de­spite having 37 shots at goal, while cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter City drew 1-1 at Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur.

Guardi­ola, whose team host his for­mer club Barcelona in the Cham­pi­ons League to­mor­row, made eight changes to his start­ing XI from October 26’s 1-0 League Cup de­feat at Manch­ester United.

Aguero was among the play­ers who re­turned to City’s start­ing line-up at The Hawthorns and his first-half brace ef­fec­tively set­tled the game.

He broke the dead­lock in the 19th minute, slam­ming a shot be­tween Ben Foster’s legs from Gun­do­gan’s pass, Manch­ester City boss and dou­bled his tally nine min­utes later with a stun­ning shot from the edge of the box.

The goals ended Aguero’s six-game scor­ing drought and lifted his City tally to 149 – one more than club great Fran­cis Lee.

Aguero teed up Gun­do­gan for City’s third in the 79th minute and the for­mer Borus­sia Dort­mund mid­fielder sealed vic­tory in the last minute of nor­mal time.

“We need Ser­gio,” said Guardi­ola, who dropped the Ar­gentina striker for City’s 4-0 de­feat at Barcelona. “He is one of the best.”

Manch­ester United’s ti­tle hopes faded a lit­tle after their stale­mate with Burn­ley left them eight points off top spot in eighth place.

For­mer United goal­keeper Tom Heaton was Burn­ley’s saviour, pro­duc­ing stun­ning saves from Jesse Lin­gard, Paul Pogba and Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic.

United also hit the wood­work in the sec­ond half through Juan Mata and Ibrahi­movic.

Mour­inho was sent to the stands at half-time, re­port­edly after com­plain­ing about ref­eree Mark Clat­ten­burg’s fail­ure to award Mat­teo Darmian a penalty.

Her­rera was sent off in the 70th minute after be­ing shown a sec­ond yel­low card for slid­ing in on Dean Marney.

“I think the ref­eree did fan­tas­tic work. I won’t say more than this,” United as­sis­tant Rui Faria, who faced the me­dia in­stead of Mour­inho, said sar­cas­ti­cally.

“The peo­ple in the sta­dium could feel that the play­ers gave ev­ery­thing. We fought un­til the last sec­ond. We have to keep work­ing and things will hap­pen.” –

‘When we lose there are al­ways doubts... We need Ser­gio [Aguero]. He is one of the best.’

Pep Guardi­ola

Photo: AFP

Manch­ester City’s Ar­gen­tinian striker Ser­gio Aguero (right) vies with West Bromwich Al­bion’s Swedish de­fender Jonas Ols­son dur­ing the English Premier League foot­ball match be­tween West Bromwich Al­bion and Manch­ester City at The Hawthorns sta­dium in West Bromwich, cen­tral Eng­land, on October 29.

Photo: AFP

Bay­ern Mu­nich’s Dutch mid­fielder Ar­jen Robben (right) and Augsburg’s Greek de­fender Kostas Stafy­lidis (left) vie for the ball dur­ing the Ger­man first di­vi­sion Bun­desliga foot­ball match be­tween FC Augsburg and FC Bay­ern Mu­nich in Augsburg, south­ern Ger­many, on October 29.

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