LONDON - A rampant Manchester City reclaimed top spot in the Premier League overnight after a statement victory over Southampton. Pep Guardiola’s men won 6-1 at home as Raheem Sterling bagged a double in the rout. Elsewhere, Chelsea became their closest rivals after a comfortable 3-1 win over Crystal Palace. Striker Alvaro Morata continued his improved form in front of goal, scoring a brace of his own. Liverpool now move down to third, trailing the Blues on goal difference.

Sterling scored twice and Sergio Aguero became the ninth player to reach 150 English Premier League goals as Manchester City powered back to the top of the standings by crushing Southampton 6-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

City needed only five minutes to take the lead with an own-goal from Wesley Hoedt following a neat move involving Aguero, David Silva and Leroy Sane. Sterling laid on the second for Aguero six minutes later and it wasn’t long before it was 3-0, Sterling chipping over a cross and the ball falling invitingly for Silva to lash home. Southampton, without a victory in six league games, pulled a goal back in the 29th minute when Danny Ings was brought down in the box and picked himself up to stroke the penalty past goalkeeper Ederson. City restored its three-goal cushion on the stroke of halftime with Aguero taking advantage of a mistake by Cedric Soares and crossing for Sterling to score his fifth league goal of the season. Sterling added his second of the game midway through the second half before Sane completed the rout in stoppage time.

Alvaro Morata scored twice to take unbeaten Chelsea above Liverpool into second place in the Premier League behind Manchester City, but Maurizio Sarri’s men made hard work of seeing off Crystal Palace 3-1. Morata has now scored four in his last four Premier League games after just two goals in his previous 20 domestic matches, and his return to form could be the final ingredient Sarri’s side need to mount a serious title challenge. The former Real Madrid striker gave Chelsea a barely deserved half-time lead from an uninspired first 45 minutes.

However, Andros Townsend’s equaliser and the introduction of Eden Hazard from the bench woke Chelsea from their slumber after the break and Morata restored the hosts’ lead before Pedro Rodriguez sealed the three points.