Man City swat West Ham aside, Liverpool stay close behind

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LONDON: Manchester City maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Premier League as Leroy Sane scored twice in an emphatic 4-0 victory over West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Liverpool kept up the pressure with a 3-0 win at Watford, but Manchester United misfired at Old Trafford once again in a drab 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.

Goals from David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sane’s double helped Manchester City record their eighth consecutive victory and Guardiola was full of praise for his team.

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

“The players train in a different way, so it is difficult to come back. West Ham have chances and they don’t score, we were quite lucky but we will come back to our best.”

Liverpool remained two points behind City with an impressive win over Watford at Vicarage Road. Juergen Klopp’s side had to be patient but were rewarded when Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino netted late goals.

The only downside was captain Jordan Henderson being shown a red card for two bookable offences but Klopp was more focussed on his side’s spirit.

“I think it (the result) tells the story because we stayed stubborn, they defended and counter-attacked so we had a few really good moments we didn’t score which is not a big problem if we stay on track. How we closed down the game was just brilliant especially the third goal.” Klopp said.

Manchester United failed to close the gap on the top four as they were held by Crystal Palace – the sixth time they have failed to win in the league at Old Trafford this season. “Frustrating.

The objective was to start well this period of eight matches until December. We did not win one point, we lost two,” United manager Jose Mourinho said.

“We knew where they close down and knew where the spaces were, we did not have enough aggression or intensity to kill.”

Claudio Ranieri celebrated a winning return to the Premier League as his Fulham team moved off the foot of the table with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Southampton at Craven Cottage.

Two goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic helped Fulham record their first top-flight win since August to make it a dream first game in charge for Ranieri.

“It was important to come back and come back with a victory. It is a little step but important for the enthusiasm and everything.” the Italian said.

Jamie Vardy netted his first goal since September as 10-man Leicester City secured a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion. Brighton thought they were heading for all three points after Glenn Murray put them ahead early in the first half and James Maddison was sent off after 30 minutes.

But Vardy kept his composure from the penalty spot 11 minutes from time to earn Leicester a point. Everton moved into the top six as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s close-range finish after 59 minutes sealed a 1-0 win over Cardiff City who remained in the bottom three.

Tottenham Hotspur were hosting Chelsea in the late kick-off.

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