Rampant City go top
Palace slump continues, Liverpool held by Burnley
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.