Man City in a league of its own
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.’
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.
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.