Manchester City on Sunday moved to within three points of leaders Arsenal in the Premier League with a 3-1 win at home to Aston Villa.
Pep Guardiola’s players forgot the charges placed against the club for breaches of financial fair-play rules earlier in the week, with an impressive first-half display in which they pulled holes in the Villa defense.
Rodri Hernandez set City on track after just four minutes with the opening goal that he powered home at the near post. Ilkay Gundogan doubled their lead in the 39th minute and the impressive Riyad Mahrez made it 3-0 from the penalty spot in first-half injury time after Jack Grealish was fouled in the Villa area.
The bad news was that Erling Haaland didn’t appear for the second half due to a thigh injury and he is now a big doubt for Wednesday’s huge clash away to Arsenal.
Ollie Watkins scored a consolation goal for the visitors with just under half an hour left to play.
Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Brentford on Saturday afternoon as they dropped points for consecutive weeks
Leandro Trossard scored at the far post for Arsenal in the 66th minute after great work from Bukayo Saka down the right, but Ivan Toney earned a well-deserved point for the visitors 16 minutes from time, with Arsenal asking for an offside that wasn’t given.
Manchester United were below their best but strengthened their position in third place with a 2-0 win away to Leeds United.
Marcos Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho scored in the last-10 minutes of the game to give them three valuable points while leaving Leeds dangerously close to the relegation zone.
West Ham and Chelsea drew 1-1 after Joao Felix put Chelsea ahead with his first goal for the club in the 16th minute, only for Emerson Palmieri to level for West Ham before the break.
Eddie Howe’s return to Bournemouth (his former club) as coach of Newcastle United ended with a 1-1 draw after Marcos Senesi headed an improved Bournemouth in front on the half-hour and Miguel Almiron leveled for Newcastle in first half injury time.
Tottenham were thrashed 4-1 away to Leicester City, despite Rodrigo Bentancur’s 14th-minute opener.
Leicester took advantage of some poor defending with three goals before halftime from Nampalys Mendy, James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho before Harvey Barnes added a fourth goal with nine minutes left to play.
Fulham ended Nottingham Forest’s five-game unbeaten run with a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage, thanks to a goal from Willian, after 17 minutes and Manor Solomon, with two minutes left to play.
Crystal Palace and Brighton drew 1-1, with James Tomkins equalizing for Palace, six minutes after Solly March’s 62nd-minute opener for Brighton.
Southampton coach Nathan Jones was sacked after the bottom-of-the-table side surrendered a 1-0 lead at home to 10-man Wolves to lose 2-1.
It looked good for Southampton when Carlos Alcaraz opened the scoring in the 24th minute and Wolvesi Mario Lemina was sent off for a second yellow card three minutes later.
However, Wolves fought back, equalizing with an own goal, before Joao Gomes scored an 87th-minute winner for the visitors. ■