Manchester City stormed to the top of the Premier League on Tuesday with a 5-0 demolition of West Brom to extend their winning streak to 11 games.
Ilkay Gundogan scored twice, while Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling were also on target as Pep Guardiola’s men moved a point ahead of local rivals Manchester United at the top of the table.
United can move back in front when they host bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United on Wednesday, but on the evidence of recent weeks City will take some stopping if they are to be denied a third title in four years.
Liverpool and City have battled for Premier League supremacy over the past three seasons.
But Liverpool’s five-game winless league run has allowed City to open up a seven-point lead over the champions.
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The Baggies were the last side to take points off the leaders with a shock 1-1 draw at the Etihad last month that still was not enough to save Slaven Bilic from the sack.
However, the appointment of Sam Allardyce has so far done little to boost West Brom’s chances of survival as they remain second from bottom, six points off safety.
In four home games since the former England manager took charge, West Brom have conceded 17 goals without reply.
SOUTHAMPTON 1-3 ARSENAL
Bukayo Saka starred as Arsenal avenged their FA Cup exit against Southampton with a 3-1 win in the Premier League rematch on Tuesday.
Mikel Arteta’s side saw their reign as FA Cup holders ended in a lacklustre 1-0 fourth round defeat at St Mary’s on Saturday.
But Arsenal made amends for that blow with a convincing success on their return to Southampton four days later.
Unfazed by Stuart Armstrong’s early strike for the hosts, Arsenal were ahead by half-time thanks to goals from Nicolas Pepe and Saka.
Alexandre Lacazette netted in the second half as Arsenal came from behind to win an away league game for the first time since Arteta took charge in December 2019.
Arsenal are up to eighth place after a fifth victory in their last six league matches, putting them in a rich vein of form ahead of Saturday’s visit from title contenders Manchester United.
NEWCASTLE 1-2 LEEDS UNITED
Leeds inflicted more misery on Newcastle with a 2-1 victory at St James’ Park as the Toon’s winless run stretched to 11 games to pile more pressure on beleaguered boss Steve Bruce.
The Magpies have a seven-point cushion over the bottom three, but have now played two games more than Fulham in 18th.
Leeds had been on a poor run themselves, but secured their first win of 2021 to move 14 points clear of the drop zone in 12th.
Raphinha slotted home Rodrigo’s cut-back to give Marcelo Bielsa’s men a deserved half-time lead.
Miguel Almiron levelled with Newcastle’s first goal for five games early in the second half, but parity lasted only four minutes before Jack Harrison’s sensational finish with the outside of his left foot claimed all three points for the visitors.
CRYSTAL PALACE 2-3 WEST HAM UNITED
West Ham moved into the Premier League’s top four as Tomas Soucek scored twice in a 3-2 win at Crystal Palace.
The Hammers suffered an early setback when Wilfried Zaha put Palace in front after just three minutes.
But the stronger mentality that David Moyes has lauded in West Ham this season showed as Soucek struck twice in 16 minutes to turn the game around.
Only Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has scored more Premier League goals from midfield than the Czech since he joined from Slavia Prague a year ago.
Soucek powered home a header from close range from Michail Antonio’s cross and then bundled in Aaron Cresswell’s free-kick at the back post.
West Ham could have been out of sight by half-time as Antonio then twice struck the post.
A third goal was no more than the visitors deserved and it came 25 minutes from time when Craig Dawson headed in Jarrod Bowen’s corner.
Michy Batshuayi pulled a goal back with virtually the last kick of the game but it was too little, too late for Palace.
A sixth consecutive win in all competitions takes Moyes’s men above Liverpool in the table and Jurgen Klopp’s struggling Reds will be wary of their trip to the London Stadium on Sunday.