Man City pull three clear of Liverpool

English Premier League

Manchester City opened up a three-point gap over second-place Liverpool in the Premier League with a 5-0 victory over Newcastle United on Sunday evening.

Pep Guardiola brought in four changes from the high-octane clash with Real Madrid in midweek as Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling were recalled.

It took the league leaders just 19 minutes to get the breakthrough as Sterling headed home a well-worked lay-off in the danger area from Joao Cancelo.

Newcastle looked to have drawn level minutes later from a simple tap-in by Chris Wood from a high ball involving Bruno Guimaraes, but the offside flag was raised and the effort didn’t stand.

The reigning champions doubled their lead with 38 minutes gone when Aymeric Laporte took full advantage of a howler by Martin Dubravka from Gundogan’s shot and fired home from close range.

City manager Pep Guardiola made a substitution just before the second half started, as defender Ruben Dias made way for the long-serving Fernandinho who will leave the club at the end of this season.

Newcastle continued to chase shadows and as such went three goals 61 minutes in when Rodri rose highest in the area and headed in Kevin De Bruyne’s corner-kick.

The Magpies were under more threats in the closing quarter of the half and could’ve been further behind when Cancelo opened an angle on the edge of the area and fired wide of the bottom-left post.

However, City added a fourth goal in time added on when Phil Foden directed a low pass from Zinchenko into the net.

The Citizens made it five with the last kick of the game as a flowing passing move saw Sterling ran clear right of the area and fired into the far corner to bring the clash to a close.

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Arsenal secured a fourth successive win in the Premier League after defeating Leeds United 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Unsurprisingly, the host named one change only in Cedric Soares ahead of Nuno Tavares from the win over West Ham United last Sunday whereas Leeds missed Stuart Dallas due to a troubled injury.

Arsenal made the best possible start on seven minutes after Eddie Nketiah robbed possession from goalkeeper Illan Meslier and stabbed home from close-range following a run-in.

Nketiah got a brace three minutes later when the young forward dropped in unchecked in the six-yard area and finished off a low square ball from strike-partner Gabriel Martinelli.

Leeds were down to ten players four minutes to the half-hour mark after a two-footed challenge by Luke Ayling forced the referee to change the yellow card into a red card following a pitch-side review.

The dismissal expectantly prompted the Peacocks to reshuffle their stall where Joe Gelhardt made way for Pascal Struijk, as the host had total ascendancy.

A third goal could’ve gone the way of the Gunners through a free-kick from a difficult angle by Martin Odegaard, but a strong one-hand block from Meslier denied the Norwegian.

The Peacocks remained on the back-foot just after halftime and nearly conceded a third from a snap effort around the area by Martinelli, but the attempt narrowly missed target.

Leeds did halve the score during the midway stage of the second half after Diego Llorente made a blind run at the back-post of the area and finished off Junior Firpo’s delivery from a corner-kick.

Odegaard could’ve restored the Gunners two-goal cushion in the closing minutes from a low teasing attempt in the box, but he dragged wide.

There were late drama from the visitors in the closing seconds in pursuit of the equaliser, but the Gunners held firm to see out their fourth successive win and solidified their top-four ambitions too.

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