Sport Premier League

Monday 23 January 2017

City back on track with mauling of pitiful Baggies

Louise Taylor

Published 30/10/2016 | 02:30

Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan were both on the scoresheet for Manchester City. Photo: PA
Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan were both on the scoresheet for Manchester City. Photo: PA

Manchester City triumphed 4-0 at West Brom to make a swift return to the Premier League summit yesterday after Arsenal had briefly taken over top spot with a 4-1 romp at Sunderland.

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It was a stunning display from striker Sergio Aguero, who opened the scoring from a tight angle on 19 minutes after being slipped in by Ilkay Gundogan, with his second a brilliant strike into the top corner nine minutes later.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero scores their first goal
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero scores their first goal

The Argentinian was involved in the third goal after the interval, too, teeing up Gundogan, and the German sealed the rout with his second goal in the final minute to emphatically end manager Pep Guardiola's six-game winless run.

Olivier Giroud's first goals of the season had earlier handed Arsenal victory and Sunderland a share of an unwanted Premier League record in the lunchtime kick-off on Wearside. The France forward struck twice within five minutes of being introduced as a 69th-minute substitute to kill off hopes of a Black Cats' fightback, after Jermain Defoe's penalty had cancelled out Alexis Sanchez's first-half opener.

Sanchez helped himself to a second - the last three goals came inside a chaotic seven-minute period - to leave Sunderland with only two points from their first 10 league games, matching Manchester City's low in 1995-96.

Sunderland boss David Moyes attempted to find positives, saying: "It wasn't a difficult afternoon until the last 15 or 20 minutes. I didn't think we collapsed. I thought we lost to quality goals and Giroud coming off the bench.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero in action with West Bromwich Albion's James McClean
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero in action with West Bromwich Albion's James McClean

"I wanted to win but Arsenal can hurt you - they're really good at cutting through you. They've got great quality and they're competing for the title. I wouldn't say the score flattered them but I thought we'd done enough not to be beaten by that amount of goals. But I'm experienced. I'll keep doing what I do."

Liverpool moved level on points with City and Arsenal thanks to a 4-2 victory at Crystal Palace in the evening kick-off. Despite more errors in defence, they again proved they have one of Europe's finest attacks, with goals from Emre Can, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino.

Tottenham and Leicester battled out a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, Ahmed Musa securing a point for the champions with a close-range tap-in from Jamie Vardy's pass soon after the restart. Vincent Janssen's penalty - awarded shortly before half-time after he was fouled by Robert Huth - had opened the scoring for Spurs, who also hit the woodwork through Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen.

Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands after complaining at half-time of Manchester United's goalless draw against Burnley at Old Trafford.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (right) and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrate after the final whistle
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (right) and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrate after the final whistle

United's cause was not helped by the dismissal of midfielder Ander Herrera for a second bookable offence midway through the second half, or the fine form of Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

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