EPL: Manchester City bounce back, Harry Kane inspires Tottenham
Manchester City benefited from a case of mistaken identity as they trimmed Chelsea's lead in the Premier League to three points by beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0 on Saturday.sports Updated: Mar 22, 2015 23:11 IST
Manchester City benefited from a case of mistaken identity as they trimmed Chelsea's lead in the Premier League to three points by beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0 on Saturday.
Bidding to bounce back from their Champions League elimination by Barcelona in mid-week, City were given a big helping hand when referee Neil Swarbrick sent off West Brom defender Gareth McAuley after only 89 seconds.
But it was Craig Dawson, West Brom's number 25, who had committed a foul on City's Wilfried Bony (who then stumbled into number 23 McAuley), and Swarbrick later issued an apology for sending off the wrong player.
"I was too far to see the red card incident. It is the referee's decision," City captain Vincent Kompany told BT Sport. "There was nothing to win today for us. We just had to do a good job and we didn't fail."
Bony made the breakthrough in the 27th minute, gathering a deflected pass from Fernando and hoisting a shot past West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill to claim his first goal in City's colours.
Fernando added a second before half-time, stabbing home after Myhill and Jonas Olsson got in a muddle at a corner.
Both teams hit the woodwork in the second half - Sergio Aguero and Bony in quick succession for the hosts; Saido Berahino for West Brom - before David Silva diverted in a shot from City substitute Stevan Jovetic in the 77th minute.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis expressed bewilderment over McAuley's dismissal, saying: "How he gets the lad wrong is just absolutely amazing to me.
"The second goal shouldn't be allowed. Fernando kicked Saido in the face while jumping and it's a decision which leads to the second goal and kills the game."
Victory helped City draw a line beneath last weekend's shock 1-0 loss at struggling Burnley.
But although they are now within sight of Chelsea, Jose Mourinho's side have two games in hand, beginning with a trip to Hull City on Sunday.
Arsenal remain a point behind City in third place after Olivier Giroud scored twice in a 2-1 win at Newcastle United.
On target as Arsenal went out of the Champions League despite beating Monaco on Tuesday, Giroud struck twice in four first-half minutes at St James' Park, with Moussa Sissoko replying early in the second period.
"We want to finish as high as we can," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
"We have 60 points with eight games to go. If you look at the points we have taken in the last three months, it has been outstanding. So we just want to win and win and win."
Meanwhile, Harry Kane continued his astonishing form with a first Premier League hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur edged bottom club Leicester City 4-3 to move to within three points of the top four.
After Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was stretchered off with a gashed knee, Kane struck twice in the first 12 minutes, only for goals either side of half-time from Jamie Vardy and Wes Morgan to bring Leicester level.
But Kane restored Spurs' lead with a 64th-minute penalty that took him to the top of the Premier League scoring chart with 19 goals (29 in all competitions).
Jeff Schlupp's own goal made it 4-2, before Nugent claimed a late consolation for the visitors.
"A striker who scores three goals is always great," said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. "I am happy for him and for the team."
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson was disgusted by referee Mike Dean's decision to award a penalty for a challenge on Danny Rose by Nugent and described the official as "one of the most arrogant men I've ever met".
Southampton remain level on points with Spurs after beating Burnley 2-0 in a game that saw their goalkeeper, Fraser Forster, also stretchered off in the early stages.
Shane Long converted Nathaniel Clyne's drilled shot to put Southampton ahead in the 37th minute and Jason Shackell's second-half own goal completed victory.
Dick Advocaat's tenure as manager of fourth-bottom Sunderland began with defeat as Diafra Sakho struck in the 88th minute to give West Ham United a 1-0 win at Upton Park.
Elsewhere, Wilfried Zaha earned Crystal Palace a 2-1 victory at Stoke City, while Bafetimbi Gomis's 87th-minute strike gave Swansea City a 1-0 win at Aston Villa.
First Published: Mar 22, 2015 23:05 IST