City stretch lead at top of EPL as rivals slip up
MANCHESTER City took a tighter grip on the race for the Premier League title on Thursday (AEST), defeating bottom club West Bromwich Albion 3-0, while two of their rivals slumped to defeats.
As City scored their 12th consecutive league home win, Manchester United suffered a demoralising 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, while Chelsea went down to a stunning 3-0 loss at home to Bournemouth.
Pep Guardiola's runaway leaders, whose new record signing Aymeric Laporte enjoyed an impressive debut, surged 15 points clear of their neighbours, who conceded a goal to Spurs at Wembley after just 11 seconds of the kick-off.
Goals from Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, took City to 68 points, Manchester United are on 53 points with Chelsea dropping to fourth on 50, the same as third-placed Liverpool. Spurs moved to within two points of the pair on 48.
De Bruyne's goal, the second of the game, took the Sky Blues' tally of goals in all competitions this season to 100.
At Wembley, many of the EPL record crowd of 81,978 hadn't taken their seats when Spurs took the lead with Christian Eriksen's goal in the first minute.
Eriksen was on the spot with a neat finish after Spurs had launched a long ball straight from kick-off that was flicked on by Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
At just under 11 seconds, it equalled the third fastest goal scored in the Premier League era after the 10-second efforts netted by former Spurs favourite Ledley King and Newcastle United's Alan Shearer.
United's Phil Jones provided the home team's second when he hammered the ball clumsily into his own net when trying to clear from Kieran Trippier's cross midway through the first half.
Antonio Conte suffered one of his worst Premier League defeats at Chelsea after three second-half goals in the space of 16 minutes from Callum Wilson, Junior Stanislas and Nathan Ake earned Eddie Howe his best top-flight win with the Cherries.
"We have to accept it's a bad result and understand that we have to fight this season,” Conte told the BBC.
West Brom's defeat left them rooted at the foot of the table while Southampton also remain in the bottom three despite largely dominating while coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at home to fellow strugglers Brighton & Hove Albion.
Brighton are just a point above the relegation zone alongside Newcastle, who have now not won a home league match in eight attempts after goalkeeper Karl Darlow's 85th-minute own goal earned Burnley a 1-1 draw at St James' Park.
Everton's new signing Theo Walcott proved he has settled in well at Goodison Park, scoring his first two goals since signing from Arsenal in a 2-1 victory over Leicester City.
Stoke City's and Watford drew 0-0 in a game of few clear-cut chances.