Man City steamroll Spurs to go back to summit

Chelsea suffer setback after scoreless clash with West Ham

Edin Dzeko celebrates scoring  Manchester City’s   third goal during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur  at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Edin Dzeko celebrates scoring Manchester City’s third goal during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

 

Wednesday night football round-up: Manchester City usurped Arsenal at the top of the table after emphatically ending Tottenham’s unbeaten Premier League run under Tim Sherwood with a 5-1 victory at White Hart Lane.

As each match goes by, Manuel Pellegrini’s men look increasingly capable of making a serious challenge at an unparalleled quadruple.

The dismantling of 10-man Tottenham was City’s 18th win in a 20-match unbeaten run in all competitions, which started with City’s 6-0 demolition of Spurs in November.

Spurs were on the end of another embarrassing hiding this evening as Sherwood tasted defeat for the first time in his seven Premier League games at the helm.

Just four minutes were on the clock when Sergio Aguero struck the post – a warning the hosts failed to heed as in the 15th minute he latched onto a David Silva through-ball to direct past Hugo Lloris.

Remarkably, it was the Argentina international’s seventh goal in his five appearances since returning from a calf injury and one he looked likely to add to until he limped off late in the first half with what looked like a hamstring injury.

By that point, Spurs were in the ascendancy and thought they had levelled when Michael Dawson turned in a Christian Eriksen free-kick only for the goal to be chalked off for offside.

Spurs had a further decision to rue moments into the second half, with Danny Rose controversially sent off by referee Andre Marriner for taking down Edin Dzeko in the box.

Yaya Toure slotted home the resulting spot-kick and City extended their lead in the 53rd minute, with Dzeko netting his sixth goal in as many matches against Tottenham.

Sherwood’s men attempted to regroup and did pull one back through substitute Etienne Capoue, but City struck again through a replacement of their own, Stevan Jovetic, and captain Vincent Kompany to head into a tough-looking February top of the pile.

Chelsea were frustrated by West Ham in a goalless draw which saw Jose Mourinho’s men fall three points behind City.

Mourinho on Tuesday played down his side’s title chances this term and the Blues saw a seven-game winning run ended by a West Ham side battling relegation and, after leaking goals in recent weeks, defensively resolute.

City, Chelsea’s opponents next Monday, scored nine in the two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final with the Hammers, but the Blues faced a defensive wall they could not breach.

Chelsea had won five successive league games and were anticipated to have a comfortable evening against a West Ham side with five points from the previous nine games and deep in the relegation mire.

Yet it was anything but easy as the Blues, who won 3-0 at Upton Park in November, found West Ham to be defensively resilient and organised, while also posing an early threat.

West Ham ended the game with 10 men when Republic of Ireland defender Joey O’Brien departed with a damaged shoulder after an off-the-ball Gary Cahill push before a corner.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce confirmed after the game that O'Brien dislocated his shoulder and faces 10 to 12 weeks on the sideline.

Christian Benteke’s second-half penalty settled a remarkable West Midlands derby as Aston Villa came from 2-0 down against West Brom to edge a seven-goal thriller 4-3 at Villa Park.

A Chris Brunt stunner and a Fabian Delph own goal inside the first nine minutes got the Baggies off to a flyer but the hosts replied quickly through Andreas Weimann, Leandro Bacuna and Delph.

Youssouf Mulumbu made it 3-3 at half-time but Benteke secured only Villa’s third Premier League home win of the season from the spot after the striker himself was fouled.

The result left new West Brom manager Pepe Mel still waiting for his first victory in the job.

The performance of his side’s defence might also have raised concerns for a side that has now won just once in 13 league games.

In possession, they did arguably have the better of the game in the second half but they could not add to their tally.

Adam Johnson continued his mission to single-handedly fire Sunderland to Premier League safety as 10-man Stoke were dragged back into the mix.

The England midfielder’s sixth goal in as many games secured a 1-0 win – the Black Cats’ first in the league in six attempts at the Stadium of Light – and in the process eased them out of the relegation zone for the first time since August.

Johnson struck from close range with 17 minutes gone after Potters goalkeeper Asmir Begovic had spilled Fabio Borini’s effort, to the delight of the bulk of a crowd of 34,745.

Celtic’s procession towards the Scottish Premiership title went almost unopposed in their 4-0 trouncing of Kilmarnock at Parkhead.

Midfielder Joe Ledley opened the scoring in the 11th minute of a desperately one-sided affair with an angled-drive before Killie defender Lee Ashcroft turned the ball into his own net from a James Forrest cross.

Midfielder Charlie Mulgrew grabbed a third in the 67th minute before substitute Amido Balde, on for Teemu Pukki after the break, added a fourth in injury time, helped by Killie goalkeeper Craig Samson, who let a less than powerful shot slip through his hands.

The Hoops have now gone 23 league games unbeaten since the start of the season to sit 18 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen, and another clean sheet means the champions equalled the club record of 10, last achieved in 1921/22.

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