Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Man City crush Liverpool, extend lead at the top

PIX: Man City crush Liverpool, extend lead at the top

Last updated on: February 08, 2021 09:05 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Ilkay Gundogan celebrates with teammate Bernardo Silva after scoring Manchester City's first goal during the Premier League match against Liverpool, at Anfield, on Sunday.

IMAGE: Ilkay Gundogan celebrates with teammate Bernardo Silva after scoring Manchester City's first goal during the Premier League match against Liverpool, at Anfield, on Sunday. Photograph: Jon Super/Getty Images

Manchester City opened up a commanding five-point lead at the top of the Premier League as Ilkay Gundogan scored twice in a 4-1 victory at Liverpool for whom keeper Alisson endured a Sunday afternoon to forget.

 

An emphatic win, City's 10th in a row in the league and first at Anfield since 2003, moved Pep Guardiola's side to 50 points from 22 games, five more than second-placed Manchester United, who have played a game more.

Champions Liverpool are now 10 points behind City in fourth spot, also having played a game more, and if further evidence were needed that they have gone off the rails it was the sight of Alisson, a rock for the past two seasons, effectively gifting City the points.

In the space of three second-half minutes he twice passed the ball straight to an opposing player, allowing first Gundogan to grab his second goal, after Mohamed Salah had levelled from the penalty spot, and then Raheem Sterling to make it 3-1.

The excellent Phil Foden capped a superb day for City with his side's fourth to leave Liverpool crestfallen.

Fourth-placed Liverpool are the first reigning top-flight champions to lose three successive home league games since Chelsea in 1956 and they are a massive 27 points worse off than at the same stage of last season.

For City, who have won 14 straight games in all competitions, they are now overwhelming favourites to claim a third title in four seasons.

"It's brilliant, every player wants to play in big games like this and we showed that courage from minute one," Foden said. "We definitely forced the errors, it's something we're working at in training."

Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring Manchester City's third goal.

IMAGE: Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring Manchester City's third goal. Photograph: Jon Super/Getty Images

A nondescript opening half had few chances with Sadio Mane heading over for Liverpool before Gundogan lifted a penalty over the crossbar after Fabinho had tripped Sterling in the box.

City took the lead four minutes after the break when Sterling went on a trademark jinking run and played in Foden whose shot was well saved by Alisson, but Gundogan was alert to fire the rebound high into the net.

The visitors looked in control but Liverpool were given a reprieve when Salah was clumsily brought down by Ruben Dias before getting up to beat Ederson from the spot.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp bellowed "c'mon" to his troops after they ended their Anfield scoring drought going back to Dec. 27, but instead they imploded.

They got lucky when John Stones had a goal ruled out for offside but Alisson then suffered two inexplicable lapses.

His pass out in the 73rd minute went straight to Foden who then sliced through some non-existent Liverpool tackles before drawing the keeper and squaring for Gundogan to convert.

Incredibly the Brazilian then compounded that error with an even worse one. This time his casual pass went straight to City midfielder Bernardo Silva who then dinked a cross to Sterling to head into an empty net.

There was nothing Alisson could do, however, to stop the 20-year-old Foden's powerful finish in the 83rd minute after he cut in from the right and let fly.

It was a dispiriting afternoon for Klopp whose side are now in a battle to make sure they do not slip out of the top four.

Chelsea beat Sheffield Utd to continue recovery under Tuchel

Mason Mount is congratulated by his Chelsea teammates after scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match against Sheffield United.

IMAGE: Mason Mount is congratulated by his Chelsea teammates after scoring their opening goal against Sheffield United. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Chelsea extended their recovery under new coach Thomas Tuchel when they beat bottom side Sheffield United 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday thanks to a strike by Mason Mount and a penalty by Jorginho, with Germany's Timo Werner involved in both goals.

The away win - the third in four games since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard - pushed the Blues up to fifth in the Premier League table, just one point behind out-of-form Liverpool who occupy the last of the Champions League qualification spots.

Mount set the Londoners on their way to victory two minutes before halftime when Werner sprinted free on the left and provided an inch-perfect cut-back for the England midfielder to convert with a first-time shot from 12 yards.

Sheffield United got a reprieve when Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger misjudged where his goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was and tapped the ball into an empty net in the 54th minute. It was the first goal Chelsea have conceded under Tuchel.

But Werner's pace immediately stretched the hosts once again as he raced on to a wayward pass and was brought down by Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for a penalty that was converted by Jorginho after 58 minutes.

Werner’s role in the two goals represented the clearest sign to date that the German is recovering his confidence after a barren run. But he has yet to score in the league since Nov. 7 when he bagged a goal against Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge.

"I'm happy when we win and when I can make two assists like today it's is also good," Werner told Sky Sports.

"But as a striker you want to score. It's a long time now for me. I don't have it in my career, (such) a long period but... you have to keep going to try to do your best on the field and the goals will come."

Chelsea survived an early scare when Oliver Burke failed to hit the target in the opening seconds. Twelve minutes later referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot when Ben Chilwell brought down Chris Basham only for Basham to be adjudged offside.

After that, Chelsea were largely in charge although Mendy had to make a smart save to deny Billy Sharp in the dying seconds.

Kane returns to help Tottenham back to winning ways

Harry Kane

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane and Son Heung-min celebrate after the match. Photograph: Matt Dunham/Reuters

Harry Kane scored on his return from injury to help Tottenham Hotspur to a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Sunday and end a three-match losing run in the Premier League.

The England skipper's return after missing the last two games with an ankle injury was sooner than expected and Tottenham's talisman was quickly back in the groove.

After missing a couple of chances in the first half Kane struck in the 54th minute to move joint second on Tottenham's all-time scoring list alongside Bobby Smith with 208 goals.

Four minutes later Son Heung-min drove in Tottenham's second after a strong run by recalled Lucas Moura.

Tottenham moved up to seventh place with 36 points from 22 games, above Chelsea on goal difference before their match against bottom club Sheffield United later.

Sam Allardyce's West Brom are 19th with 12 points from 23 games, 11 points below 17th-placed Burnley, and their hopes of avoiding relegation are looking forlorn.

Kane and Son have both scored 13 league goals this season and again showed how invaluable they are to Tottenham.

When Kane had to be substituted at halftime in the defeat by Liverpool there were fears the striker might be facing a longer spell on the sidelines and the Spurs gloom deepened with a toothless loss to Chelsea in midweek.

But his return proved a huge boost as Tottenham produced a dominant display, albeit against struggling opposition, to revive their challenge for the top four.

"We've had a couple of bad results so it was very important to get back to winning ways," Son said.

"Harry is one of the best strikers in the world so we missed him, even if it was only a couple of games, and I'm happy that he scored again. I miss him."

It took Kane a little while to find his range.

He had two chances in quick succession in the first half but unusually failed to hit the target with either.

He did work West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone with a powerful effort from Moura's pass but the visitors reached halftime level and could have even been ahead had Diagne not headed straight at Hugo Lloris.

The first time Kane got an opportunity in the second half he made no mistake. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's threaded the ball through the West Brom defence and Kane took one touch before passing a right-footed shot into the net.

Tottenham suddenly looked fluent and doubled their lead when Moura made a surging run from the halfway line and played in Son whose right-footed shot had too much power for Johnstone.

Had Mbaye Diagne's header not been rightly ruled out for offside it might have complicated Tottenham's afternoon, but Jose Mourinho's side were comfortable winners.

"Kane is a special player, but today they showed everyone how together they are and how much they were suffering with the bad results," Mourinho said.

Wolves and Leicester lack inspiration in stalemate

Leicester City

IMAGE: Leicester City's Harvey Barnes in action with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ki-Jana Hoever. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City shared the spoils in a 0-0 Premier League draw as both teams showed plenty of attacking intent but lacked an end product.

Leicester, who started the year with three wins to boost their title challenge, have now won only once in their last four games and stayed third in the standings with 43 points.

Wolves, who have won once in their last 10 matches, remained 14th on 27 points but manager Nuno Espirito Santo saw positives.

"It was a good performance. It was a tough game against a good team, we had chances," Nuno told Sky Sports.

"We're trying to stabilise the team so we can progress. We have a lot of players out, trying to be compact... I'm proud of the way they committed to playing a good team in possession."

Pedro Neto was busy on the left flank for Wolves in the first half, twice skipping past two defenders with ease before making the final pass, but neither opportunity was taken.

In-form James Maddison had Leicester's only two shots on target in the first half but his shots from distance were saved.

Wolves started the second half brightly with Adama Traore using his pace on the flanks, earning bookings for Caglar Soyuncu and Maddison making attempts to stop counter-attacks.

Wolves nearly took the lead from a corner when Ruben Neves' blocked shot fell to Fabio Silva, whose side-footed shot was deflected wide by Kasper Schmeichel's foot as the goalkeeper scrambled to deny the Portuguese forward.

"Fabio must do better. He's young and very talented but that moment requires a better finish. Tomorrow we will work on that," Nuno added.

Jamie Vardy made his return after a hernia operation when he was introduced for the last half hour and the substitution nearly yielded a goal for Leicester in stoppage-time but the striker's header went wide.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: source
© Copyright 2021 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT

Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021