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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Manchester City surge on, Manchester United on their tail in Premier League

While Premier League leaders Manchester City defeated West Bromwich Albion 3-2, chasers Manchester United earned a 1-0 victory Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

football Updated: Oct 28, 2017 23:25 IST
Reuters, London
Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday.(Reuters)

Manchester City maintained their charge towards the Premier League title with a 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion as Manchester United kept within five points of their neighbours with a crucial 1-0 win over fellow contenders Tottenham Hotspur.

Goals from Leroy Sane, Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling moved the leaders on to 28 points -- equalling the best return after 10 matches of a Premier League season -- as irresistible City took their campaign’s tally of league goals to a remarkable 35.

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Earlier, Jose Mourinho received the response he had demanded from his United side following their humbling defeat at Huddersfield Town the previous week as an 81st minute goal from substitute Anthony Martial preserved their perfect home record.

The win, their sixth straight victory in the league at Old Trafford without conceding a goal, moved United on to 23 points, three clear of Spurs.

Arsenal marched to within a point of Tottenham with Arsene Wenger left to celebrate a successful 800th Premier League match in charge as his side fought from one down to beat Swansea City 2-1 with second-half goals from Sead Kolasinac and Aaron Ramsey.

Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp got the better of his best friend, Huddersfield boss David Wagner, in a 3-0 win at Anfield where Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum scored in the second half to push the Reds to sixth on 16 points.

Watford’s giddy ascent, though, was checked with a 1-0 home defeat by struggling Stoke City -- Darren Fletcher hit the target in the 16th minute -- that drops them to seventh on 15.

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At the other end of the table, Crystal Palace escaped with an astonishing 2-2 draw with West Ham United, coming back from two down and earning a draw in the seventh minute of stoppage time through Wilfried Zaha.

Pep Guardiola’s Man City continue to look unstoppable at domestic level, having opened up in brilliant fashion with Sane scoring his sixth goal in seven league games after just 10 minutes.

Though Jay Rodriguez equalised quickly, City were in complete control once Fernandinho’s deflected effort put them ahead after 15 minutes.

Substitute Sterling scored his ninth of the season in all competitions four minutes after coming on in the second half with City’s only late moment of concern en route to a 13th straight win coming when careless defending from Nicolas Otamendi let in Matty Phillips for a consolation.

City’s 28 points equalled the tally accrued by Chelsea in 2005 and City themselves in 2011 -- and both those sides went on to win the title.

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Mourinho hailed United’s win in difficult windy and rainy conditions in the lunchtime fixture between the second and third-placed teams as “deserved” after they had created the lion’s share of chances.

The best one had come when Romelu Lukaku headed against the foot of the post.

Eventually, Martial struck 10 minutes after coming on, latching on to Lukaku’s flicked header from David de Gea’s goalkick.

It was a scruffy left-foot finish from the Frenchman, leaving Mourinho to smile: “Martial scores with a bad shot -- but the bad shots can be the most beautiful.”

First Published: Oct 28, 2017 22:48 IST