Record-equalling City savour Silva service
MANCHESTER – Manchester City moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League as David Silva’s superb late strike capped a dramatic 2-1 victory over West Ham on Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s side maintained their recent habit of finding dramatic, late winning goals, with Silva netting seven minutes from full-time at Eastlands to give City a record-equalling 13th successive Premier League victory.
Silva produced his impressive volley after Nicolas Otamendi struck in the second half to cancel out a first ever league goal from Hammers defender Angelo Ogbonna just before the interval. City have drawn level with Chelsea in 2016-17 and Arsenal in 2001-02 for the most consecutive victories in a single season in Premier League history. The all-time record for successive victories is Arsenal’s 14, achieved between February and August 2002.
City also set a club record with a 20th straight win in all competitions, giving them the perfect preparation for next weekend’s summit meeting with second-placed Manchester United at Old Trafford. West Ham are second bottom of the table after failing to win for the eighth consecutive league game.
The visitors, looking for their first win under new manager David Moyes, looked surprisingly untroubled, in the first half at least, and arguably created the better chances of the opening 45 minutes. That was certainly underlined a minute before the interval when Ogbonna headed his side into an unexpected lead that exposed some poor play in City’s defence.
At the interval, the City manager brought on Gabriel Jesus and saw an immediate improvement. A foul by Declan Rice on Fabian Delph presented Kevin De Bruyne with a free-kick on the edge of the area and his superb curling strike was parried away, equally impressively, by the diving Adrian on 55 minutes. Two minutes later, City were level. Raheem Sterling’s deft touch sent Jesus darting to the right-hand by-line from where his low cross was turned in from close range by central defender Otamendi. Silva struck in the 83rd minute with a brilliant finish, diving to meet De Bruyne’s cross at full stretch and steer the ball in from five yards, past the wrong-footed goalkeeper.
AUSTIN LEVELLER RESCUES SAINTS
In-form Charlie Austin rescued Southampton with a second half equaliser in a 1-1 draw at south-coast rivals Bournemouth on Sunday. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side trailed to Ryan Fraser’s goal late in the first half, but Austin nabbed an important point with his third goal in as many games. The result means Bournemouth climb to 14th in the table, five points above the relegation zone, while Southampton move up to 11th.
Striker Austin saved a point for the Saints thanks to an assist from Nathan Redmond just days after the winger was on the receiving end of a bizarre exchange with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola. Guardiola was seen shouting at Redmond after the final whistle of City’s 2-1 win over Southampton on Wednesday, but the Spaniard and the Saints winger both said the heated exchange was actually complimentary.
United win Arsenal thriller
Late Saturday, Jesse Lingard fired Manchester United to a pulsating 3-1 victory over Arsenal. Jose Mourinho’s side struck twice in the first 11 minutes at the Emirates Stadium as Antonio Valencia and Lingard punished suicidal Arsenal defending. Alexandre Lacazette reduced the deficit, but United goalkeeper David De Gea made a series of superb saves before Lingard grabbed his second goal. Despite the late dismissal of United midfielder Paul Pogba, who will miss next weekend’s Manchester derby after a nasty challenge on Hector Bellerin, the visitors held on for a priceless victory.
For Mourinho, this was a cathartic result as United earned their manager — who had been criticised for his cautious tactics in big games — a first away league win against a top-six rival in 12 attempts. It also extended his mastery over Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has now won only two of their 19 meetings. The end of Arsenal’s 12-match winning run in home league games left their already faint title hopes in tatters.
Pochettino’s side fell behind to an early Christian Kabasele header. Son Heung-Min equalised midway through the first half but Spurs were reduced to 10 men when Davinson Sanchez was dismissed shortly after the restart. “It is important for us to change the feelings,” said Pochettino. “We were disappointed after Leicester. We are in a period now that we suffered things against us. It is good for the group to try and learn. It is a long-term project. It will be good for the future. You want to win but in tough moments you learn.”
Former Premier League champions Leicester City, enjoying a revival under new boss Claude Puel, won 1-0 at home to Burnley courtesy of an early strike from flying winger Demarai Gray. New Everton manager Sam Allardyce watched his side beat Huddersfield 2-0 and Stoke came from behind to beat Swansea 2-1 while West Brom, under new boss Alan Pardew, drew 0-0 against Crystal Palace. Manchester City host struggling West Ham on Sunday, with Guardiola’s men looking for their 13th consecutive Premier League victory.