Raheem Sterling in action with Aston Villa's Frederic Guilbert at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Reuters
A Raheem-Sterling-inspired Manchester City routed Aston Villa 3-0 to close gap on leaders Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday. Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan were on the target as Villa were mauled by a rampant City with three second half goals.
After a dull first-half did not see any goals from either side, the trio stepped up to put a resilient City ahead with three second half goals.
The victory lifted Pep Guardiola’s side above above Leicester into second place with a second successive league victory and put pressure on Liverpool to beat Tottenham in Sunday’s clash at Anfield.
The only frustration for Guardiola was a red card for Fernandinho, who was dismissed after earning a second booking when he tugged at Keinan Davis in the 87th minute.
Despite facing a defeat against Wolves in their last game at the Etihad Stadium, City bounced back to maul Villa as they kept their record of never losing two consecutive matches at home intact.
Sterling delivered another dazzling performance just after scoring his second hat-trick of the season against Atlanta at the Champions League.
The England winger has made a convincing case to be regarded as genuine superstar over the last 18 months and Villa had no answer to his intelligent movement, sublime skills and predatory finishing.
Elsewhere, Chelsea defeated Burnley 4-2 as Christian Pulisic score a hat-trick.
Meanwhile, at the Amex Stadium, Everton blew a 2-1 lead in the final 10 minutes to leave Silva fighting to save his job as they lost to Brighton 3-2.
Silva’s side were in trouble after 15 minutes when Pascal Gross smashed a free-kick past Jordan Pickford for his first goal since April.
Everton drew level five minutes later when Richarlison met Lucas Digne’s corner with a header that deflected off Brighton defender Adam Webster into his own net. Dominic Calvert-Lewin came off the bench to put Everton ahead from Mason Holgate’s pass in the 74th minute.
However, Brighton’s Neal Maupay scored an 80th minute penalty after Michael Keane was controversially ruled by VAR to have fouled Aaron Connolly. And Everton defender Digne added to Silva’s woes when his stoppage-time own goal from Leandro Trossard’s cross left Everton two points above the relegation zone after their fifth defeat in their last six league games.
Watford remain bottom of the table after a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth.
The Hornets are still without a league win this season and haven’t won in nine home league games dating back to April.
Lys Mousset finished a memorable week on a high note with the equaliser in Sheffield United’s 1-1 draw at West Ham.
The hosts took the lead in the 44th minute through Robert Snodgrass’s cool finish from Andriy Yarmolenko’s pass.
But Mousset equalised for the Blades in the 69th minute, the French striker netting a fine strike with his first touch after coming off the bench.
After a difficult start following his close-season move from Bournemouth, Mousset now has three goals this term, with two in the last six days following his winner against Arsenal on Monday.
Saturday’s action couldn’t eclipse Leicester’s incredible 9-0 thrashing of Southampton at St Mary’s 24 hours earlier.
The result sent shockwaves through English football and Brendan Rodgers believes there is even better to come from Leicester after they equalled the biggest margin of victory in the Premier League era.
Leicester are third after hat-tricks from Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy secured the biggest away win in English top-flight history.
City have scored 32 league goals this season, 11 more than Liverpool, and their firepower was clear to see as they saw off Villa with their record scorer Sergio Aguero on the bench.
Gabriel Jesus made consecutive Premier League starts for the first time since December, but he squandered a chance to put City ahead when he dragged his close-range shot wide from Sterling’s pass.
Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to make winning trophies a habit as they head back to Istanbul — the scene of one of the club’s greatest triumphs — to take on Premier League rivals Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday.
Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City opened the defence of their Premier League title in style on Saturday before Tottenham recovered to beat Aston Villa, courtesy of two Harry Kane strikes.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he expects this season’s Premier League title race to be more open than last season’s when his side pipped Liverpool to the line in a two-horse race after an epic tussle.
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