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EPL: City make it 20 straight wins with victory over West Ham

Last updated on: February 28, 2021 09:37 IST
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IMAGE: Manchester City's players celebrate after John Stones scored the second goal against West Ham United, at Etihad Stadium, in Manchester on Saturday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester City moved 13 points clear at the top of the English Premier League table after a 2-1 win over West Ham United on Saturday - their 20th straight win in all competitions.

 

City manager Pep Guardiola rotated his side after their midweek trip to Budapest to face Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League but there was no change to their winning habit.

Argentine striker Sergio Aguero made his first start in four months, one of seven changes from the team which won 2-0 on Wednesday, with Kevin De Bruyne also back in the first eleven.

It was no surprise that the Belgian midfielder had a crucial impact, creating the opener in the 30th minute with a curling cross from deep on the right which was firmly headed home by centre-half Ruben Dias.

But David Moyes' Hammers, who have improved so impressively this season, drew level through Michail Antonio two minutes before the interval, the forward tapping home at close range after Jesse Lingard had turned a Vladimir Coufal cross towards goal.

Pep Guardiola's side secured their 14th consecutive league win, however, when in the 68th minute Dias' fellow defender John Stones slotted home after being picked out by a Riyad Mahrez pullback.

Fourth-placed West Ham, who performed well throughout, had a late chance to grab a point, but Issa Diop failed to connect well with a header from a Jesse Lingard cross.

It was more workmanlike than some of the more fluent City displays but Guardiola was content to collect three more points towards what looks set to be a third Premier League title in four years.

"After 10-15 minutes today we realise we are not going to paint anything beautiful. Second half we were much better than the first half. When you play a lot of games, in the league and then the Champions League, this is normal. We were lucky to get all three points," he said.

The win moves City, unbeaten in 27 matches - one short of the club’s record - on to 62 points from 26 games, with Manchester United, who play Chelsea on Sunday, behind them on 49 points from 25 matches. Third-placed Leicester are also on 49, four ahead of West Ham.

Injuries hamper Newcastle in 1-1 draw with Wolves

IMAGE: Ruben Neves scores the equaliser for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Newcastle United at St James Park. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Reuters

Injury-hit strugglers Newcastle United were held to a 1-1 home draw by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday after Jamaal Lascelles' opener for the Magpies was cancelled out by a Ruben Neves header.

The point leaves Newcastle 17th on 26 from 26 games, four points above the relegation zone but having played a game more than third-bottom Fulham, who visit Crystal Palace on Sunday, while Wolves are 12th on 34 points.

Having seen Miguel Almiron hit a post in the first half, Newcastle went ahead seven minutes into the second as winger Ryan Fraser picked out Lascelles with a cross that the central defender met with a powerful header to give his side the lead.

By that stage Paraguayan Almiron had already gone off injured and was soon followed by French winger Allan Saint-Maximin, who appeared to damage a groin muscle, and Swedish defender Emil Krafth as the tide turned in Wolves' favour.

Portugal midfielder Neves put the visitors level with a superb header from Pedro Neto's cross in the 73rd minute, and Newcastle were forced to defend deeper and deeper.

A rare late foray resulted in a superb chance for Newcastle's Brazilian striker Joelinton and his thunderous shot beat goalkeeper Rui Patricio, only to hit defender Romain Saiss just in front of the goal-line and spin away for a corner.

The drama did not end there as Wolves mounted one final push and home keeper Martin Dubravka, making his first league appearance of the season, had to make a reflex stoppage-time save to secure a point for his team.

"I was trying to react from short distance. It was a tough situation, but I'm glad I was able to help the team," Dubravka told Sky Sports, adding that his side had done enough to win.

"In the first 45 minutes we were in control. We didn't do the basics as well in the second but we still had a few chances. We're a bit disappointed with the result, but one point is better than nothing," he said.

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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021