Premier League: Pep Guardiola laughs off Man City title talk following derby win
City are two points clear of Liverpool going into the international break
Manchester City 3 Manchester United 1
Manchester City increased their grip on the Premier League with a 3-1 victory against rivals Manchester United at the Etihad yesterday.
Although Liverpool beat Fulham earlier in the day, Chelsea and Arsenal were both held to draws, leaving the Sky Blues two points ahead of Liverpool and four clear of third-placed Chelsea.
Still early doors
City manager Pep Guardiola laughed off suggestions that his side already have one hand on the title, saying: “It is November, so we haven’t even finished the first round. A lot can happen in football.”
Nonetheless, it lookd likr United have already been knocked out of the title race. The Red Devils are eighth and now trail their noisy neighbours by a daunting 12 points.
“There is a gap,” admitted United boss Jose Mourinho. “Manchester City start playing from the beginning of the season at a certain level that allows them to get a lot of points. Now we are a much better team than at the beginning of the season, when we lost a lot of points.”
Blunder between the sticks
David de Gea’s blunder early in the second-half allowed Sergio Aguero to add to David Silva’s strike before the break. Commenting on the error, Mourinho said: “The first [goal] is a bad one to concede and the second one is even worse. The third goal kills everything… we cannot lose the ball the way we did. It is not about David de Gea, it is about the way we lost the ball.”
United struck back just before the hour mark, when Romelu Lukaku was fouled by Ederson, allowing Anthony Martial to fire the penalty past the City goalkeeper. However, the last word came from City, with substitute Ilkay Gundogan finishing a 44-pass move four minutes from time.
“We made a good performance against a top, top team,” said Guardiola. “Everybody was good, especially in the second half.”
Reds still in the hunt
Liverpool ensured they still have City in their sights, with a 2-0 against Fulham. It wasn’t as straightforward as the scoreline night suggest, though, with referee Paul Tierney disallowing a header from Aleksandar Mitrovic - although replays indicated that Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson was in line with the Serbia forward.
To rub salt into the Londoners’ wounds, Mohamed Salah scored 14 seconds later for Liverpool.
Xherdan Shaqiri doubled the Reds’ advantage in the second half, securing their best start to a Premier League season since 2002-03, but manager Jurgen Klopp admitted that they had been fortunate with the refereeing decisions.
“In the end, we were a bit lucky and maybe because of Robbo it is not 100% offside because of his heel,” said the German. “Apart from scoring more goals, it was a really good performance. Fulham always have the quality to cause problems. We had to work hard, we won it. All good.”
Stalemate in London
Chelsea and Arsenal both dropped points in matches they had expected to win. The Blues were held to a goal-less draw at home to Everton, and Arsenal needed a late strike against Wolves from Henrikh Mkhitaryan to equalise Ivan Cavaleiro’s first-half goal. It was nothing less than Wolves deserved for an impressive display against the Gunners.
More work required
The results leave Chelsea in third and Arsenal remain fifth, with Tottenham sandwiched in the middle, one point behind the Blues and three clear of the Gunners.
“For me, the match is difficult and we needed to take chances and play tactically,” said Arsenal boss Unai Emery. “We need to continue and to work better. We want to win but then you draw. We want to continue our way and carry on.”
The next Premier League fixtures take place between 24 and 26 November, following the international break.
Results and fixtures
Premier League results
- Cardiff City 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 1
- Huddersfield Town 1 West Ham United 1
- Leicester City 0 Burnley 0
- Newcastle United 2 AFC Bournemouth 1
- Southampton 1 Watford 1
- Crystal Palace 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1
- Liverpool 2 Fulham 0
- Chelsea 0 Everton 0
- Arsenal 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
- Manchester City 3 Manchester United 1
Premier League fixtures Saturday 24 November (3pm unless stated)
- Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Leicester City
- Everton vs. Cardiff City
- Fulham vs. Southampton
- Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace
- Watford vs. Liverpool
- West Ham United vs. Manchester City
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea (5.30pm)
Sunday 25 November
- AFC Bournemouth vs. Arsenal (1.30pm)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Huddersfield Town (4pm)
Monday 26 November
- Burnley vs. Newcastle United (8pm)