Ram­pant City go top

Palace slump con­tin­ues, Liverpool held by Burn­ley

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS&VIEWS -

MANCH­ESTER City thumped Wat­ford 6-0 to move top of the Premier League on Saturday as Roy Hodg­son’s Crys­tal Palace suf­fered their fifth suc­ces­sive loss in a 1-0 de­feat by Southamp­ton.

With joint lead­ers Manch­ester United play­ing on Sun­day, along with Chelsea, City took their op­por­tu­nity to lay down a ti­tle marker with an­other at­tack­ing mas­ter­class to go three points clear of their neigh­bours at the sum­mit.

Ser­gio Aguero scored a hat­trick to reach 175 goals for the club, with strike part­ner Gabriel Je­sus, Ni­co­las Ota­mendi and Ra­heem Ster­ling also net­ting against pre­vi­ously un­beaten Wat­ford as City, who also beat Liverpool 5-0 and Feyeno­ord 4-0 this week, romped home.

For­mer Eng­land man­ager Hodg­son would have loved to call on some of that fire­power at Sel­hurst Park as he be­gan his lat­est job at Crys­tal Palace, who look se­ri­ous can­di­dates for rel­e­ga­tion af­ter suf­fer­ing the worst start to a sea­son by any side in English foot­ball’s top-flight his­tory.

Steven Davis scored the only goal of the game af­ter six min­utes and Southamp­ton, for whom Vir­gil van Dijk came on as a sub­sti­tute to play his first game in eight months, sur­vived the odd sec­ond-half scare to take all three points.

“We didn’t de­serve a fairy­tale end­ing,” Hodg­son said. “We didn’t play well enough. Af­ter the goal you could see the nerves and the anx­i­ety.”

It was hardly much bet­ter at Liverpool, who com­pleted a dis­ap­point­ing week by draw­ing 1-1 with Burn­ley at An­field and the vis­i­tors re­mained un­beaten away from home in the Premier League this sea­son af­ter a win at Chelsea and draw at Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur.

New­cas­tle United posted their third suc­ces­sive win, 2-1 over Stoke City, to cheer Rafa Ben­itez on his re­turn af­ter ill­health. For the sec­ond week run­ning, Ja­maal Las­celles scored the win­ner to jus­tify the ex­pected award of a new five-year con­tract at the club.

New­cas­tle are fourth, one place and point above fel­low pro­moted side Hud­der­s­field Town, who drew 1-1 with Le­ices­ter City.

Jamie Vardy’s sec­ond-half penalty earned the vis­i­tors a point af­ter Lau­rent De­poitre gave Hud­der­s­field the lead.

West Ham United drew 0-0 with West Bromwich Al­bion in a game only mem­o­rable for Gareth Barry’s record-equalling 632nd Premier League ap­pear­ance for the home side at The Hawthorns. In the late match of the day Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur were held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea City at Wem­b­ley.

Mean­while, An­to­nio Conte hopes his Chelsea team can re­spond to their FA Cup fi­nal frus­tra­tion in the best pos­si­ble way, and with 11 men on the pitch, when they host Ar­se­nal at Stam­ford Bridge to­day.

Chelsea were de­nied the dou­ble when they lost the cup fi­nal 2-1 at Wem­b­ley, and then sur­pris­ingly lost the Com­mu­nity Shield on penal­ties be­fore this sea­son started. In both games they had a man sent off, which Conte made pointed ref­er­ence to. Conte still has an is­sue with Alexis Sanchez’s open­ing goal in the cup fi­nal, which could eas­ily have been dis­al­lowed for ei­ther hand­ball or off­side.

“I re­mem­ber very well that game. If you re­mem­ber, the first goal was very strange, I am sure that this goal should have been dis­al­lowed in­stead,” he said – Reuters & The In­de­pen­dent

HAT-TRICK HERO: Ser­gio Aguero, right, scores Manch­ester City’s first goal against Wat­ford dur­ing yes­ter­day’s Premier League match at Vicarage Road.

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