Aguero nets four as Manch­ester City march on to ti­tle

Sunday Times - - Sport | Cricket -

● Ser­gio Aguero scored four goals as Manch­ester City ex­tended their Pre­mier League lead to 16 points and Harry Kane net­ted again as Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur beat archri­vals Arse­nal 1-0 yes­ter­day.

Af­ter a slug­gish first half in the early kick­off at Wem­b­ley, Kane jumped high­est to head home his sev­enth derby goal in seven games and 23rd in the league this sea­son.

Spurs, who would have won by a greater mar­gin but for an in­spired per­for­mance from goal­keeper Petr Cech, climbed two places to third while Arse­nal sit six points adrift of Liver­pool in fourth and Juer­gen Klopp’s side have a game in hand.

At the Eti­had Sta­dium Aguero and the bril­liant Kevin De Bruyne, who added three as­sists, were in­spired as City blew away Le­ices­ter in the sec­ond half to seal a 23rd league vic­tory from 27 games this sea­son.

“I think we played bril­liantly to­day, the boys did re­ally well and of course Ser­gio Aguero was a dif­fer­ent class to­day,” Ra­heem Ster­ling, scorer of City’s opener, told the BBC. “He’s a phe­nom­e­nal striker. He scores all dif­fer­ent types of goals — tap-ins, cheeky chips and scream­ers and we’ve seen that to­day. It was al­ways go­ing to be a mat­ter of time be­fore he over­took my goal tally.”

Af­ter Ster­ling and Jamie Vardy ex­changed first-half goals, Aguero took over and ef­fec­tively ended the game with two strikes within eight min­utes af­ter the break.

The Ar­gen­tine con­verted De Bruyne’s teas­ing cross in the 48th minute and col­lected an­other pass from the Bel­gian to fire through Kasper Sch­me­ichel’s at­tempted save.

The for­ward com­pleted his hat-trick with a del­i­cate chip be­fore adding a fourth with an un­stop­pable, dipping drive which crashed in off the un­der­side of the cross­bar.

The 29-year-old now has 21 league goals this sea­son and be­came only the fourth player to score more than 20 times in four suc­ces­sive Pre­mier League cam­paigns.

In front of a Pre­mier League record crowd of 83 222, Spurs were in the as­cen­dancy for much of the af­ter­noon — par­tic­u­larly in the sec­ond half when only a string of saves from Cech kept Arse­nal in the game.

Spurs reg­is­tered 18 shots to Arse­nal’s six with Kane, a con­stant thorn in the visi­tors’ side, wast­ing a num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties to seal a more com­fort­able win.

Arse­nal, how­ever, did have late chances to equalise with sub­sti­tute Alexan­dre La­cazette — who re­placed the in­ef­fec­tive Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan — twice go­ing close in the clos­ing min­utes.

“I am so happy to win,” Spurs man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino said.

Ever­ton bounced back from a hu­mil­i­at­ing 5-1 de­feat at Arse­nal with Gylfi Sig­urds­son, Ou­mar Ni­asse and Tom Davies on tar­get in a straight­for­ward 3-1 win over Crys­tal Palace.

In south Wales, Swansea reg­is­tered a third Pre­mier League vic­tory in four matches with Ki Sung-yueng’s late strike lift­ing them to 15th af­ter a tense 1-0 vic­tory over Burn­ley.

West Ham climbed five points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone and ended a run of three league games with­out vic­tory with a 2-0 win over Wat­ford thanks to goals from Javier Her­nan­dez and Marko Ar­nau­tovic.

Stoke drew 1-1 with Brighton af­ter Xher­dan Shaqiri can­celled out Jose Izquierdo’s bril­liant opener for the visi­tors.

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