City, Liverpool cruise on … as Spurs end Chelsea’s unbeaten run

Chelsea

Chelsea

Manchester City stretched a relentless winning run to eight games by thrashing West Ham 4-0 on Saturday, while Tottenham ended Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season with a stylish 3-1 win on Saturday.

With Chelsea stumbling, second placed Liverpool remain the most likely challengers for City’s title after sweeping to a 3-0 win at Watford that keeps them two points behind the leaders.

Manchester United are 14 points adrift of the leaders as Paul Pogba was hauled off by Jose Mourinho as they failed to break down Crystal Palace in a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.

Everton leapfrogged United to move up to sixth with a 1-0 victory over Cardiff, while Claudio Ranieri won his first match in charge of Fulham in a 3-2 thriller over fellow strugglers Southampton.

City have now won 12 of their last 13 games with the only dropped points coming in a creditable 0-0 draw at Liverpool last month.

Pep Guardiola’s men had scored 13 goals in their three previous visits to the London Stadium and had another three before halftime in another dominant display.

“If you see the result which was 0-4 especially after the international break it is good,” said Guardiola. “You see Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United they struggle.”

David Silva and Raheem Sterling continued their scoring streaks inside the first 20 minutes.

The roles were reversed from City’s flying wingers 11 minutes before halftime when this time Sane showed great composure to turn home Sterling’s pass and Sane completed the rout in stoppage time.

At Wembley, Tottenham put Chelsea to the sword as goals from Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min lifted them above their London rivals into third place.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were on fire from the start and Alli headed home from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick in the eighth minute.

With Chelsea looking lethargic, Kane blasted Tottenham’s second from long-range in the 16th minute.

Chelsea were unable to stem the tide as their 12-game unbeaten league run came to a crashing halt when Son danced through the visitors’ defence to score a superb third in the 54th minute.

Substitute Olivier Giroud got one back in the 85th minute, but it was no consolation for Maurizio Sarri’s men, who drop down to fourth place.

Liverpool remain on City’s coat-tails as Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino all struck in the final quarter at Vicarage Road.

“The first goal was brilliant football and the free kick from Trent (Alexander-Arnold) was a dream. It was a good game against a good side,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said.

Klopp’s front three clicked 23 minutes from time when Firmino fed Sadio Mane and his cut-back was prodded home by Salah for his ninth goal of the season.

Alexander-Arnold then bagged his first for the campaign at club level with a sumptuous free-kick after opening his account for England in the international break.

And despite having captain Jordan Henderson sent-off, Liverpool added a third through Firmino a minute from time.

How United wish they had the same firepower as after a bright start they again faded and Palace held out for just a second point in seven Premier League games.

Pogba and Romelu Lukaku were fit enough to start after missing international duty for France and Belgium through injury, but failed to spark the hosts and Pogba was even withdrawn for Alexis Sanchez in the search for a winner that never came.

“We did not have enough aggression or intensity,” lamented Mourinho. “We gave the opponent time to have the ball and did not press enough. We gave them moments to breathe and relax. We did not press enough.”

Ranieri couldn’t stop Fulham leaking goals in his first match in charge at Craven Cottage, but did secure a first win in 10 league games as Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice to edge a five-goal thriller.

Leicester showed great resilience after a difficult few weeks off the field to fight back from a goal and a man down for a 1-1 draw at Brighton thanks to Jamie Vardy’s penalty after James Maddison was shown two yellow cards inside 28 minutes. – AFP

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