Man City stay top af­ter thrash­ing Palace

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - RACING -

FREE-SCOR­ING Manch­ester City turned on the style af­ter a dif­fi­cult start to the game to thrash Crys­tal Palace 5-0 yes­ter­day, 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 (pic­tured) 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.

Manch­ester United ground out a 1-0 win at Southamp­ton as striker Romelu Lukaku scored his eighth goal of the sea­son in all com­pe­ti­tions and man­ager Jose Mour­inho was sent off for dis­sent.

The re­sult en­sured United equalled their best start to a Pre­mier League cam­paign but left them sec­ond on 16 points from five games, be­hind lead­ers Manch­ester City.

Mour­inho, who was sent to the stands in the last minute of stop­page time as Southamp­ton piled on the pres­sure in the clos­ing stages, was glad to come away from St Mary’s Sta­dium with three points af­ter an unim­pres­sive per­for­mance.

United’s pro­lific close-sea­son sign­ing Lukaku scram­bled a 20th-minute win­ner, pounc­ing on his own re­bound in the six-yard 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.

Harry Kane took his Septem­ber tally for club and coun­try to eight af­ter net­ting twice in Tot­ten­ham’s 3-2 win at West Ham United.

Spurs dom­i­nated early on and the pres­sure told as Kane headed the visi­tors into a 34th-minute lead, be­fore mak­ing it seven goals in six games against West Ham four min­utes later.

Chris­tian Erik­sen ex­pertly con­verted from the edge of the box to make it 3-0 on the hour mark, be­fore West Ham’s Javier Her­nan­dez tapped home five min­utes later to give the home fans hope.

Serge Aurier was then dis­missed for a sec­ond book­ing, be­fore Cheikhou Kouy­ate en­sured a nervy fin­ish for Spurs af­ter net­ting with three min­utes to go.

Spurs held on, how­ever, for a fifth suc­ces­sive away win - a suc­cess that piles the pres­sure on West Ham boss Slaven Bilic.

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

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-at­tack­ing play 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.

Ever­ton sub­sti­tute Ou­mar Ni­asse struck twice in the sec­ond half as the Blues clawed their way back from a goal down to notch a su­perb 2-1 win over Bournemouth in a spiky en­counter at Good­i­son Park.

The home side played some bril­liant one-touch foot­ball in a tough first half that saw Wayne Rooney leave the pitch for treat­ment to a bloody wound near his left eye af­ter an aerial duel with Bournemouth’s Si­mon Fran­cis.

There were few chances in the open­ing 45 min­utes but just af­ter the break Nor­way in­ter­na­tional King latched on to a pass from Char­lie Daniels be­fore driv­ing di­ag­o­nally to­wards the penalty area and ri­fling the ball home.

Ever­ton poured for­ward and Ni­asse, who re­placed Rooney in the 55th minute, ex­pertly con­trolled a pass from Tom Davies and slammed the ball into the net be­fore bundling home a sec­ond five min­utes later to give his side a much-needed win.

Brazil­ian striker Richarli­son grabbed a late win­ner as Wat­ford beat Swansea City 2-1.

Wat­ford striker An­dre Gray opened the scor­ing af­ter the visi­tors piled on the pres­sure in the first half. Gray knocked in from close range in the 13th minute af­ter Swansea’s de­fence failed to deal with An­dre Car­illo’s cross.

Swansea in­tro­duced for­ward Tammy Abra­ham and mid­fielder Roque Mesa for the sec­ond half and the switch helped them to turn around their for­tunes with Abra­ham equal­is­ing in the 56th minute.

Swansea were dom­i­nant in the sec­ond half but Wat­ford cre­ated sev­eral late chances be­fore Richarli­son latched on to a de­flected pass from Mesa and charged for­ward to score the win­ner in the 90th minute.

Burn­ley were held to a goal­less draw at home to pro­moted Hud­der­s­field Town in a game which of­fered lit­tle en­ter­tain­ment. – Reuters

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