City go top, Liver­pool held by Burn­ley

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Employment -

MANCH­ESTER CITY stormed to the top of the Pre­mier League as Ser­gio Aguero’s hat-trick in­spired a 6-0 de­mo­li­tion of Wat­ford, while Philippe Coutinho’s re­turn couldn’t lift Liver­pool in a 1-1 draw against Burn­ley on Satur­day.

With pre­vi­ous lead­ers Manch­ester United not in ac­tion un­til Sun­day’s clash with Ever­ton, City had a chance to move three points clear of their ti­tle ri­vals.

Aguero en­sured they did just that as the Ar­gen­tine for­ward main­tained his mas­tery of Wat­ford at Vicarage Road.

Pep Guardiola’s side took the lead in the 27th minute when Aguero headed in from Kevin de Bruyne’s free- kick for his sev­enth goal in five games against the Hor­nets.

Aguero wasn’t fin­ished in­flict­ing pain on Marco Silva’s men and he struck again four min­utes later, tap­ping in af­ter Wat­ford goal­keeper Heurelho Gomes couldn’t hold David Silva’s cross-shot.

Hav­ing notched his fifth goal of the sea­son, Aguero turned provider in the 38th minute, slip­ping in Gabriel Je­sus for a non­cha­lant fin­ish.

It was City’s 12th goal of a mem­o­rable week that also in­cluded a 5-0 thrash­ing of Liver­pool and a 4-0 win at Feyeno­ord.

Ni­co­las Ota­mendi added to that tally when he headed in the fourth from Silva’s cross in the 63rd minute be­fore Aguero com­pleted his 10th City tre­ble with nine min­utes left.

There was still time for Ra­heem Ster­ling to win and con­vert an 89th-minute penalty to cap City’s swag­ger­ing dis­play.

“It was so good. Es­pe­cially af­ter an away game in the Cham­pi­ons League. The way we played as a team, we are so happy,” Guardiola said.

“I was lucky to man­age Barcelona with many out­stand­ing per­for­mances but this week has been a lot of goals. We have found our game.”

At An­field, with Sa­dio Mane sus­pended, Coutinho made his first Liver­pool start since his failed at­tempt to force a move to Barcelona.

Brazil for­ward Coutinho missed the first five games of the sea­son with a back in­jury be­fore com­ing on in Wed­nes­day’s 2-2 Cham­pi­ons League draw against Sevilla.

But de­spite his re­turn, Jur­gen Klopp’s team were rocked when Scott Ar­field put Burn­ley in front in the 27th minute.

Liver­pool drew level three min­utes later through Mo­hamed Salah’s cool fin­ish from Emre Can’s pass, but the Reds couldn’t find a win­ner with Coutinho sub­sti­tuted in the clos­ing stages.

“I’m not happy, I’m an­gry with the re­sult but pleased with the per­for­mance,” Klopp said.

“It’s our fault. We were dom­i­nant but only scored one goal.” — Su­perS­port AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Crys­tal Palace 0-1 West Bromwich 0-0 Hud­der­s­field Town 1-1 Wat­ford 0-6 Liver­pool 1-1 New­cas­tle United 2-1 Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 0-0 Brighton & Hove Al­bion Southamp­ton West Ham United Le­ices­ter City Manch­ester City Burn­ley Stoke City Swansea City

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