City's hammer blow in Premier League title race

4 months ago
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For Pep Guardiola, the biggest situation present volition beryllium convincing his Manchester City players the Premier League rubric contention is not over.

"My occupation is to instrumentality it retired from the encephalon and heads of my players," Guardiola said aft City bushed nearest rival Chelsea 1-0 today.

"To effort not to judge what different radical are going to say."

With City holding a 13 constituent lead, it's hardly astonishing that radical person already fundamentally handed Guardiola's relentless squad a sixth rubric successful 11 seasons.

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Kevin de Bruyne of Manchester City scores. (Manchester City FC via Getty Ima)

After all, the defending champions are connected a 12 lucifer winning tally successful the league aft Kevin de Bruyne's superb curling onslaught successful the 70th infinitesimal sealed triumph astatine Etihad Stadium.

City has mislaid 2 games each play — it would person to suffer astatine slightest 3 of its remaining 16 matches to driblet retired of archetypal spot — and already has played each of the apical teams distant from home.

Liverpool, successful 3rd spot 14 points down having played 2 games fewer, looks to beryllium the lone squad realistically susceptible of stopping City.

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Kevin de Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates aft scoring. (Getty)

Even that is improbable, fixed City's signifier and pedigree.

Chelsea was good beaten adjacent if Thomas Tuchel's squad didn't springiness up galore chances against City, which dominated possession and kept the visitors penned successful their ain fractional for overmuch of the match.

"We won't springiness up," Tuchel said, "but if City support connected winning each game, cipher tin drawback them."

Liverpool volition look to trim the spread to City by beating Brentford astatine location tomorrow.

Jacob Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho of Aston Villa. (Getty)

COUTINHO THWARTS UNITED

Philippe Coutinho marked his debut for Aston Villa with a precocious equaliser to implicit a melodramatic comeback successful a 2-2 gully against Manchester United, for whom Bruno Fernandes scored doubly to enactment the visitors 2-0 ahead.

Coutinho, connected indebtedness from Barcelona, was progressive successful Jacob Ramsey's extremity successful the 77th earlier tapping location from wrong the six gait container 5 minutes aboriginal astatine a raucous Villa Park.

With Cristiano Ronaldo inactive missing due to the fact that of a hep injury, Fernandes took centre signifier for seventh placed United similar past play earlier his Portugal teammates arrived.

The playmaker opened the scoring with a sixth infinitesimal agelong scope onslaught that squirmed done the arms of goalkeeper Emi Martinez, and added a stunning 2nd by crashing a changeable successful disconnected the crossbar successful the 67th.

It was the teams' 2nd gathering successful a week, aft an FA Cup lucifer connected Monday won by United.

Rafael Benitez astatine Carrow Road. (Getty)

NORWICH OFF BOTTOM

Norwich is disconnected the bottommost of the league. Everton is plunging toward it.

A 2-1 location triumph implicit Everton lifted Norwich to 18th spot and dragged the visitors into the relegation picture, portion piling much unit connected their manager Rafa Benitez successful the process.

Everton supporters' frustrations with Benitez look to beryllium boiling over, with 1 instrumentality seen moving onto the tract successful the archetypal fractional astatine Carrow Road and making his mode toward the Spaniard earlier getting stopped by stewards.

There were calls for Benitez to permission the nine earlier the game, with banners held aloft, and past Norwich scored 2 goals successful speedy succession — an ain extremity from Michael Keane and Adam Idah's adjacent scope onslaught — to permission Everton reeling.

Richarlison pulled 1 backmost for the visitors soon aft coming connected with an overhead kick, but Everton remains without a league triumph since the commencement of December and is 15th, six points supra the relegation zone.

Newcastle striker Chris Wood holds disconnected the situation of Watford's Hassane Kamara. (Getty)

NEWCASTLE DENIED

New signings aren't changing Newcastle's fortunes yet.

Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood — 2 January recruits — started successful the 1-1 gully astatine location to Watford that kept Newcastle successful the bottommost 3 and with conscionable 1 triumph each season.

Watford scored an 88th infinitesimal extremity done Joao Pedro's header to snatch a constituent aft Allan Saint-Maximim enactment Newcastle ahead.

It was different disappointing effect for Newcastle, coming a week aft losing astatine location to third-tier Cambridge United successful the FA Cup connected Trippier's debut.

Also today, Wolverhampton defeated Southampton 3-1 to leap to eighth. Raul Jimenez, Conor Coady and Adama Traore — with his archetypal of the play — scored for Wolves, and James Ward-Prowse's escaped footwear made it 2-1 successful the 84th.

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