Manchester City toy with Chelsea
Manchester City shook off the impact of a Covid-19 outbreak in their ranks to outclass Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge and put themselves firmly in the Premier League title mix on Sunday.
City manager Pep Guardiola had six players unavailable after positive tests but his team responded in scintillating fashion with goals by Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne dismantling Chelsea in 16 first-half minutes.
After that it felt like damage limitation for a subdued Chelsea side whose season is unravelling alarmingly after a strong start, although substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi did grab a stoppage-time consolation.
City’s vintage display lifted them to fifth in the table with 29 points, four behind joint leaders Liverpool and Manchester United having played one game less.
A fourth defeat in six league games leaves Chelsea in eighth place with 26 points having played two games more than City.
Leicester City moved up to third place as second-half goals by James Maddison and Youri Tielemans secured a 2-1 victory away at Newcastle United.
Substitute Andy Carroll’s strike for the hosts set up a tense finale but Leicester were worthy winners.
They moved above Tottenham Hotspur with 32 points from 17 games played.
Maddison blasted Leicester in front in the 55th minute, and when the outstanding Tielemans produced a great finish to double the lead after 72 minutes it seemed that Leicester’s seventh away win in the league was in the bag.
Carroll’s first Premier League goal for Newcastle for 10 years offered a late twist.
“When we got the goal against us, we started panicking and stopped playing really. In general, we played well and the win is the most important thing,” Tielemans said.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was delighted with his team’s 4-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and said the players have finally released the handbrake and are playing with much more freedom.
Kieran Tierney got the ball rolling, cutting in from the left flank and firing home his second goal for Arsenal in the 23rd minute before teenage winger Bukayo Saka finished off a superb team effort. Alexandre Lacazette then struck twice in the second half to seal Arsenal’s victory.