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Rampant Man City crush West Brom to return to the top

Premier League West Bromwich Albion V Manchester City
The Citizens hammered West Brom to go top of the Premier League

Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League table in emphatic fashion on Tuesday by crushing West Bromwich Albion 5-0 at the Hawthorns.

City, who scored three goals in the opening half hour, have 41 points, one more than rivals Manchester United who have also played 19 games and will return to the summit if they beat bottom club Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Ilkay Gundogan put City ahead in the sixth minute, showing great control as he collected a pass from Joao Cancelo and curled a shot into the far corner.

Cancelo then made it 2-0 with another fine strike into the same corner, although West Brom were unhappy that the assistant’s flag had been raised before his shot.

The impressive Gundogan added his second and City’s third on the half-hour, when he robbed Romaine Sawyers on the edge of the box, danced past Dara O’Shea and fired home.

On the stroke of halftime, Riyad Mahrez made it 4-0 with a trademark strike, cutting in from the right and blasting a left-foot shot into the far top corner past the helpless Sam Johnstone.

Mahrez turned provider after the interval, with his low ball across the face of the penalty area tapped in from close range by Raheem Sterling in the 57th minute.

The win was Pep Guardiola’s team’s 11th straight victory in all competitions.

Struggling West Brom remain second-bottom on 11 points, six points from the safety zone. They have conceded 22 goals in their last five home league games, the most a team have conceded across five top-flight matches since Aston Villa in December 1935 (22).

SOUTHAMPTON 1-3 ARSENAL

Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka scored and had an assist each as Arsenal won 3-1 away to Southampton in the Premier League on Tuesday, exacting revenge for their FA Cup fourth-round loss to the Saints on Saturday.

Southampton took an early lead when Stuart Armstrong met James Ward-Prowse’s corner with a thunderous half-volley in the third minute, but Nicolas Pepe drew Arsenal level five minutes later with a cool left-footed finish from Granit Xhaka’s pass.

Saka put the Gunners ahead six minutes before halftime, latching on to a superb pass from Lacazette before rounding keeper Alex McCarthy, who had rushed out of his goal, and slotting the ball home.

The roles were reversed in the 73rd minute as Saka crossed for Lacazette to score the third and seal a victory that lifts Arsenal to eighth place in the table on 30 points, one ahead of Aston Villa, Chelsea and Southampton.

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