Yaya Toure back with a bang

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

YAYA Toure made a thun­der­ous re­turn to Manch­ester City with a brace to lead them to a 2-1 win over Crys­tal Palace as Diego Costa dis­play preda­tor in­stincts in Chelsea’s vic­tory over Mid­dles­brough.

Costa scored his 10th goal of the sea­son as Chelsea won 1-0 at Mid­dles­brough to record a sixth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory and take over at the Premier League sum­mit.

Costa struck for the third straight game with half-time ap­proach­ing in Sun­day’s game as An­to­nio Conte’s side un­der­lined their ti­tle cre­den­tials by post­ing a sixth clean sheet in a row.

It took them a point clear of Liver­pool and Manch­ester City, and three ahead of fourth­place Arse­nal. Mean­while, de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Leicester City suf­fered their sixth de­feat of the sea­son in the 2-1 loss to Wat­ford.

Liver­pool re­lin­quished their top spot with a 0-0 draw against Southamp­ton in a week­end that saw Sun­der­land grab a rare vic­tory (3-0 against Hull City), their sec­ond of the sea­son.

The match of the week­end — Manch­ester United v Arse­nal pro­duced lit­tle spark as it ended 1-1. Downs on the up, Wits top Mamelodi Sun­downs gave a per­for­mance be­fit­ting African cham­pi­ons to de­feat Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 this week­end in a high-pro­file Absa Pre­mier­ship show­down.

Trail­ing to a Ramahlwe Mphahlele cross-cumshot, the Caf Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle-hold­ers lev­elled within two min­utes through Te­bogo Langer­man.

Re­cent sign­ing Sibu­siso Vi­lakazi snatched the early sec­ond-half win­ner by slam­ming a loose ball into the net af­ter a Percy Tau at­tempt to score was blocked. Al­though Sun­downs lie 12th in the 16-club stand­ings, the Pre­to­ria out­fit have five matches in hand on most ri­vals ow­ing to post­pone­ments caused by African com­mit­ments.

A sec­ond de­feat of the sea­son left four-time for­mer cham­pi­ons Chiefs four points be­hind pace­set­ters Wits, who won 1-0 at Plat­inum Stars, af­ter nine rounds. Wits have 19 points with two matches in hand, Golden Ar­rows and Cape Town City 17 each, Su­perS­port United 16 and Chiefs 15.

Ron­aldo hat-trick as Real surge ahead Cris­tiano Ron­aldo’s hat-trick de­liv­ered Real Madrid’s first suc­cess over Atletico Madrid in La Liga for three years with a 3-0 win in the last meet­ing be­tween the sides at Atletico’s Vi­cente Calderon.

Real now lead sec­ond-placed Barcelona by four points af­ter the Cata­lans paid a heavy price for the ab­sence of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in a 0-0 draw with nine­man Malaga ear­lier on Satur­day. Ron­aldo struck the de­ci­sive spot-kick as Real edged Atletico on penal­ties in the Cham­pi­ons League final in May and was the match win­ner once more, al­beit with a slight hint of for­tune. The Por­tuguese’s opener took a wicked de­flec­tion on its way past the ex­cel­lent Jan Oblak. Ron­aldo dou­bled Real’s lead from the penalty spot 19 min­utes from time be­fore a bril­liant Gareth Bale cross teed him up for the sim­plest of fin­ishes to com­plete his hat-trick. Barca trail lead­ers Real Madrid by four points af­ter stum­bling to a 0-0 draw at home to Malaga on Satur­day and have lost all of their trips to Anoeta in the last three sea­sons. BVB stun Bay­ern; Leipzig stay top Borus­sia Dort­mund stunned cham­pi­ons and arch-ri­vals Bay­ern Mu­nich 1-0 on Satur­day in a bad-tem­pered “Der Klas­siker” clash to leave RB Leipzig the shock Bun­desliga lead­ers. Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang prod­ded in on 11 min­utes at a fren­zied Sig­nal Iduna Park to pro­pel Dort­mund up to third on 21 points, three points be­hind Bay­ern, for whom this was a first de­feat of the league sea­son. RB Leipzig are top, un­beaten and three points clear of the mighty Bay­ern, af­ter a thrilling 3-2 win at Bayer Lev­erkusen on Fri­day sig­nalled an­other mile­stone in their fast, but con­tro­ver­sial rise to the top of Ger­man foot­ball. — su­pers­port.com

Yaya Toure

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