City make it 16 in a row, Ozil cracker downs Newcastle

Sunday, December 17, 2017

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London, United Kingdom (AFP) — Manchester City racked up a 16th-consecutive Premier League win as the runaway leaders routed Tottenham 4-1, while Mesut Ozil's stunning strike fired Arsenal to a 1-0 success against Newcastle yesterday.

Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring at Eastlands before Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling netted after the interval to ensure City opened up a 14-point lead over second-placed Manchester United, who face West Brom today.

Having set the Premier League record for successive wins in their midweek triumph at Swansea, Pep Guardiola's side now have their manager's personal bests in their sights.

City's 16-match winning run in the league equals Guardiola's second-longest streak as a boss — with Barcelona in 2010-11 — and moves them within three of his career-high 19 successive victories with Bayern Munich in 2013-14.

With the title race turning into a lengthy coronation for City, it would be easy for the leaders to take their eye off the ball, but they were always in control against a Tottenham team that once again flopped in an away game against top-six opponents.

Germany midfielder Gundogan put City in front in the 14th minute with a stooping header from Leroy Sane's cross.

De Bruyne made it two with a blistering finish from Gundogan's pass in the 70th minute.

Gabriel Jesus squandered a chance to make it three when the City forward hit the post with a penalty awarded for Jan Vertonghen's foul on De Bruyne.

But Sterling scored with an 80th-minute tap-in and then punished a mistake by Tottenham's Eric Dier to claim his 15th goal of the season.

Christian Eriksen's stoppage-time goal for Tottenham couldn't take the gloss off another City masterclass.

“We played really good to beat one of the strongest teams in the Premier League,” Guardiola said.

“Since August we are so happy and I admire the most the way we play without the ball. We are on a good streak.”

At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea beat Southampton 1-0 to stay 14 points behind City and draw level on points with United.

After a tame opening from the champions, Antonio Conte's side finally opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time.

Marcos Alonso provided the breakthrough, the Spanish wing back curling a free-kick past flat-footed Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster from 35 yards.

Chelsea have won eight of their last 10 league matches, but City remain out of reach.

“When you do not score the second goal, you have to suffer. You are afraid at every corner and free kick,” Conte said.

“We dominated the game, shooting 24 times, but we needed to score the second to be relaxed.”

At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal won for the first time in four league games to boost their bid to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish.

Heavily linked with a move to United when his contract expires at the end of the season, Ozil showcased his talents for any interested clubs when he put Arsenal ahead in the 23rd minute.

After an Alexis Sanchez shot deflected into Ozil's path, the German midfielder smashed a superb volley past Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot from the edge of the area for his third goal of the season.

Newcastle's eighth defeat in their last nine league games leaves Rafael Benitez's side mired in relegation trouble.

“Ozil's goal was a gem. It's good that he scores important goals,” Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger said.

West Ham piled pressure on Stoke boss Mark Hughes with a 3-0 win in a match delayed by an hour after a power outage plunged parts of the bet365 Stadium into darkness before kick-off.

Mark Noble, Marko Arnautovic and Diafra Sakho scored for the visitors as West Ham climbed above Stoke into 15th place.

Brighton's Glenn Murray missed a penalty in his team's 0-0 draw against high-flying Burnley at the Amex Stadium.

Huddersfield thrashed Watford 4-1 to record their first away win since the opening day of the season.

Christian Benteke's first goal since May inspired Crystal Palace to their maiden away win of the season as 10-man Leicester were beaten 0-3 at the King Power Stadium.




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