In Brief

Premier League: Raheem Sterling shines as Man City hit Southampton for six

Morata brace maintains Chelsea’s unbeaten start to league season

Manchester City 6 Southampton 1

Manchester City gave Southampton six of the best yesterday as the defending champions climbed back to the top of the Premier League.

The Sky Blues had ceded top spot to Liverpool on Saturday evening, courtesy of the Reds’ 1-1 draw at Arsenal, but the punishment inflicted on the Saints means that Pep Guardiola’s City side are now two points clear of the pack. 

Sterling stars

The star of the six-goal show was Raheem Sterling, with the England striker scoring either side of the break, as the floodgates opened at the Etihad.

The rout started as early as the sixth minute, when Southampton defender Wesley Hoedt put the ball into his own net, and Sergio Aguero doubled the lead on 12 minutes after good work by Sterling.

David Silva latched onto Leroy Sane’s flick-on after 18 minutes to make it 3-0, and although Danny Ings pulled one back from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark (after he was felled by Ederson), Sterling added City’s fourth on the stroke of half-time.

Saints shell-shocked

Sterling also got goal number five, on 67 minutes, and Sane hit the sixth in stoppage time to send Southampton back to the south coast in a state of shock.

“We just didn’t have enough to match them technically and physically,” conceded Saints’ boss Mark Hughes. “We were poor in that opening period, you have to be resolute to keep back an outstanding City team. We were a bit lightweight and didn’t deal with one-on-one situations. Very quickly we found ourselves 3-0 down and the game was gone.”

Aggressive approach

City boss Guardiola praised the “aggression” of his players, and singled out Sterling for his combative approach.

“He has a desire to score,” said the Spaniard. “He is more mature now than he was when we first met at the club. He believes more in himself. Hopefully, he can be more ambitious and think he can improve. He is 23 and he can be a better player.”

Meanwhile, Sterling modestly played down his rich vein of form, saying: “It was a good day’s work from the team. I am grateful for the position I am in, learning and trying to get better. It is great times at the moment.”

City’s next Premier League match is a Manchester derby at home against United on Sunday 11 November (4.30pm kick-off).

Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 1

Chelsea’s 3-1 win at home against Crystal Palace ensured their unbeaten league run to the season continued. The Blues are now second in the table, ahead of Liverpool on goal difference. 

Morata finds the mark

Alvaro Morata scored in each half and there was also a goal from Pedro, while all Palace had to show for their efforts was a sweet strike from Andros Townsend on 53 minutes.

“We played good,” said Morata. “I am improving and I want to keep helping my team to win.”

Asked if Chelsea could challenge City for the title in six months’ time, the Spanish striker replied: “It is very hard because the Premier League is the most competitive league in the world. It will be very difficult. We want to take all the points. It is the only way to try to fight for the league.” 

Hazard back

Substitute Eden Hazard came in the second half and showed no ill-effects from his recent back injury, with the Belgian delivering the free-kick for Morata to score his second.

“We were lucky because we had Eden on the bench,” said Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri. “He was able to immediately change the match.”

Results and fixtures

Premier League results
  • AFC Bournemouth 1 Manchester United 2 
  • Cardiff City 0 Leicester City 1 
  • Everton 3 Brighton and Hove Albion 1 
  • Newcastle United 1 Watford 0 
  • West Ham United 4 Burnley 2 
  • Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1 
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Tottenham Hotspur 3 
  • Manchester City 6 Southampton 1 
  • Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 1
Tonight’s Premier League fixture
  • Huddersfield Town vs. Fulham (8pm, live on Sky Sports)

Next weekend’s fixtures

Saturday 10 November (3pm unless stated)
  • Cardiff City vs. Brighton and Hove Albion (12.30pm) 
  • Huddersfield Town vs. West Ham United 
  • Leicester City vs. Burnley 
  • Newcastle United vs. AFC Bournemouth 
  • Southampton vs. Watford 
  • Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur (5.30pm)
Sunday 11 November
  • Liverpool vs. Fulham (12pm) 
  • Chelsea vs. Everton (2.15pm) 
  • Arsenal vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers (4.30pm) 
  • Manchester City vs. Manchester United (4.30pm)

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