Cyprus Mail
Premier League

City back on top, United win thriller

Substitute Riyad Mahrez secured Man City's fifth successive top-flight win with a low strike early in the second half after coming off the bench to replace the injured Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League but lost Kevin de Bruyne to injury in a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

De Bruyne has been beset by injury problems this season and concerns would have been heightened when he pulled up shortly before half-time under no pressure.

His replacement Riyad Mahrez proved City’s saviour on the south coast as they moved two points clear of Liverpool ahead of Sunday afternoon’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.

Mahrez collected the ball on the right side of the area in the 55th minute before slicing a low drive beyond Bournemouth goalkeepeer Artur Boruc, who arguably should have done better at his near post.

Boruc atoned for his error with a fine save to deny the Algerian in the closing stages, moments after Sergio Aguero had seen an audacious effort from distance clatter the crossbar.

City were never seemed in danger of conceding – they had 23 shots at goal to their opponent’s zero – as they claimed a fifth consecutive league win.

Arsenal, who had earlier drawn 1-1 with Tottenham, were knocked out of the top four as a resurgent Manchester United came from a goal down to claim a 3-2 win over Southampton.

Yan Valery’s 25-yard piledriver stunned Old Trafford into silence midway through the first half but Andreas Pereira drew United level seven minutes into the second half with a fine curling effort.

Pereira then teed up Romelu Lukaku as United retook the lead on the hour and the Belgian would have the final say – after James Ward-Prowse equalised with a sublime free-kick – with a fantastic finish in the last minute.

Paul Pogba saw his injury-time spot-kick saved but United held on.

Elsewhere, Brighton clinched their first league win of the year as they edged out rock-bottom Huddersfield 1-0 at the Amex Stadium, moving the Seagulls five points clear of the relegation zone.

Substitute Florin Andone – who coincidentally scored the winner when these sides met earlier in the season at the John Smith’s Stadium – headed home the only goal of the game in the 79th minute.

Burnley suffered their second defeat in a week as Phil Bardsley’s own goal plus efforts from Michy Batshuayi and Wilfried Zaha helped Crystal Palace clinch a 3-1 win at Turf Moor.

Quickfire first-half strikes from Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez ushered Wolves to a 2-0 triumph over Cardiff at Molineux.

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