Aguero, Ster­ling star in Six and the City show

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES SPORT -

Manchester: Manchester City’s on-fire striker Ser­gio Aguero struck his sec­ond hat­trick in a week as the cham­pi­ons ruth­lessly de­stroyed woe­ful Chelsea in a 6-0 win at The Eti­had on Sun­day to re­turn to the top of the Pre­mier League. City and Liver­pool are both on 65 points with City hav­ing the better goal dif­fer­ence although they have played one more game than their ri­vals. Third-placed Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur, who beat Le­ices­ter City 3-1 ear­lier on Sun­day, are five points be­hind.

Aguero, who scored a hat-trick seven days ago against Arse­nal, has now equalled Alan Shearer’s record of 11 Pre­mier League hat­tricks. Ra­heem Ster­ling fired City ahead in the fourth minute with a side-foot fin­ish af­ter a quick free-kick from Kevin De Bruyne had caught the Chelsea de­fence nap­ping. Af­ter Aguero had some­how missed an open goal from two me­tres, the Ar­gen­tine promptly beat goal­keeper Kepa Ar­riz­a­bal­aga with a blis­ter­ing strike from 25 me­tres.

A poor header to­wards his own goal from

PRE­MIER LEAGUE STAND­INGS

Chelsea’s Ross Barkley gifted Aguero with City’s third goal and then a low drive from Ilkay Gun­do­gan made it 4-0 af­ter 25 min­utes.

Fol­low­ing the break, Aguero, who also be­came City’s top scorer in league games, headed against the bar be­fore he com­pleted his hat-trick from the penalty spot af­ter Ster­ling had been brought down by Ce­sar Azpilicueta. Ster­ling com­pleted the rout, turn­ing in a low cross from Olek­sandr Zinchenko in the 80th.

The de­feat was Chelsea’s worst since their 7-0 loss to Not­ting­ham For­est in 1991. London: Christian Erik­sen cre­ated the opener be­fore scor­ing him­self as Tot­ten­ham beat Le­ices­ter 3-1 on Sun­day to go five points from the top of the Pre­mier League.

It was third-placed Tot­ten­ham’s fourth suc­ces­sive league win without in­jured top-scorer Harry Kane. Kieran Trip­pier’s cor­ner was played short to Erik­sen, who floated in an invit­ing cross for Dav­i­son Sanchez to power home a div­ing head for his first Tot­ten­ham goal in the 33rd minute.

A key turn­ing point came on the hour when Jamie Vardy missed a penalty for Le­ices­ter with his first touch of the game. The striker had been dropped from the start­ing lineup and only came on to take the spot kick af­ter Tot­ten­ham de­fender Jan Ver­tonghen knocked over James Mad­di­son. Erik­sen then dou­bled Tot­ten­ham’s lead in­side three min­utes. Oliver Skipp charged down Ri­cardo Pereira’s clear­ance, Fer­nando Llorente fed Erik­sen, who added to his ear­lier as­sist by send­ing a low shot into the bot­tom cor­ner in the 63rd. But Vardy partly made amends in the 76th when he turned in Pereira’s cross from close range. Just as Le­ices­ter pressed for an equal­izer, Son He­ung­min scored a break­away goal, rac­ing clear from the halfway line and con­vert­ing his 15th of the cam­paign in the first minute of stop­page time. It en­sured third-placed Tot­ten­ham is five points be­hind Manchester City and Liver­pool.

Bay­ern beat Schalke 3-1 to cut Dort­mund lead

Berlin: Cham­pi­ons Bay­ern Mu­nich beat Schalke 04 3-1 on Satur­day to climb back into sec­ond place and cut the gap on Bun­desliga lead­ers Borus­sia Dort­mund to five points.

Goals from Robert Le­wandowski and Serge Gnabry af­ter a Schalke own goal lifted the Bavar­i­ans, who bounced back from last week’s loss to Bayer Lev­erkusen and face Liver­pool in the Cham­pi­ons League round of 16 later this month, to 45 points. Dort­mund are on 50 points af­ter wast­ing a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Hof­fen­heim ear­lier on Satur­day. Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach dropped to third on 42 af­ter los­ing 3-0 to vis­it­ing Hertha Berlin.

Napoli stum­ble, Martinez halts In­ter’s slump

Rome: Napoli could fin­ish the week­end trail­ing Serie A lead­ers Ju­ven­tus by 11 points af­ter Carlo Ancelotti’s waste­ful side stut­tered to a 0-0 draw at Fiorentina on Satur­day, as Lau­taro Martinez scored the only goal to get In­ter Mi­lan back win­ning against pro­moted Parma.

Both sides start their Europa League cam­paigns this week af­ter crash­ing out of the Cham­pi­ons League with Napoli trav­el­ling to FC Zurich and In­ter Mi­lan away to Rapid Vi­enna in their round of the 32, first leg ties. In­ter Mi­lan, in third, got back win­ning af­ter Martinez came off the bench late, scor­ing af­ter 79 min­utes at Parma, af­ter an ear­lier Danilo D’Am­bro­sio headed goal was ruled out af­ter a VAR video re­view for a han­dling of­fence.

AFP

HAT-TRICK HERO: Manchester City striker Ser­gio Aguero cel­e­brates the sec­ond of his three goals against Chelsea on Sun­day. City won 6-0

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