City thrash hap­less Palace

Sunday Tribune - - RACING -

FRee-scor­ing Manch­ester City turned on the style af­ter a dif­fi­cult start to the game to thrash Crys­tal Palace 5-0 on Satur­day, tak­ing their tally to 16 goals in their last three Premier League games.

Palace had the bet­ter of the ac­tion for much of the first half, with Ruben Loftus-cheek twice go­ing close to break­ing the dead­lock, but Leroy Sane’s well-taken goal on the stroke of half­time gave City mo­men­tum go­ing into the break.

Af­ter the in­ter­val, it was all City, and it was not long be­fore they had their sec­ond, with Sane turn­ing provider this time for Ra­heem Ster­ling to slot home six min­utes af­ter the in­ter­val.

Ster­ling then tapped home his sec­ond and City’s third eight min­utes later, Ser­gio Aguero net­ted 11 min­utes from full­time, and Fabian Delph’s thun­der­bolt at the death added the fin­ish­ing touch to a re­sult which en­sures City stay top of the ta­ble, on goal dif­fer­ence, above ri­vals Manch­ester United.

United equalled their best start to a Premier League cam­paign af­ter Romelu Lukaku scored his eighth goal of the sea­son in all com­pe­ti­tions to give them a 1-0 win at Southamp­ton.

The re­sult left United sec­ond on 16 points from five games, be­hind lead­ers Manch­ester City on goal dif­fer­ence as United’s pro­lific close-sea­son sign­ing be­came the first Premier League player to score for three dif­fer­ent clubs against Southamp­ton at their St Mary’s Sta­dium, hav­ing also done so with Ever­ton and West Bromwich Al­bion.

Lukaku scram­bled a 20th-minute win­ner, pounc­ing on his own re­bound in the six­yard box af­ter the home team’s keeper Fraser Forster had par­ried the striker’s close-range header fol­low­ing a su­perb cross from the left by Ash­ley Young.

United had man­ager Jose Mour­inho sent off in the last minute of stop­page time for dis­sent as Southamp­ton piled the pres­sure in the clos­ing stages.

Al­varo Mo­rata scored a hat­trick as third-placed Chelsea kept up their pur­suit of Manch­ester’s pace-set­ters by rout­ing Stoke City 4-0.

Hav­ing taken four points from home games against Arse­nal and Manch­ester United, Stoke could hardly have an­tic­i­pated their ter­ri­ble start when they con­ceded on 83 sec­onds to a neat fin­ish from Mo­rata, his fourth goal of the sea­son and first with his boot.

But with­out three de­fend­ers in­clud­ing Kurt Zouma, Stoke strug­gled to sti­fle Chelsea’s counter-at­tacks and con­ceded again af­ter half-an-hour when Dar­ren Fletcher mis­tak­enly chested the ball into the path of Pe­dro, whose right-foot shot gave keeper Jack But­land no chance.

Stoke stayed in the game un­til Mo­rata fin­ished them off with goals in the 77th and 82nd min­utes, first dink­ing the ball over But­land and then tap­ping in to take his sea­son’s tally to six. Chelsea keeper Thibaut Cour­tois suf­fered an in­jury af­ter fall­ing heav­ily but played on. – Reuters

PIC­TURE: AP

Manch­ester City’s Leroy Sane cel­e­brates scor­ing his side’s first goal of the game dur­ing the Premier League match at the Eti­had Sta­dium, Manch­ester.

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