City romp to derby success

Riyad Mahrez Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City (1/4 Premier League Outright) underlined their Premier League title credentials with an emphatic 4-1 derby victory over Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez (both pictured) both struck braces in a dominant display that has seen City re-establish their six-point lead at the top of the standings – an advantage that had been halved following Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over West Ham United 24 hours earlier.

During one 15-minute period in the second half, City boasted 92% of the possession and boss Pep Guardiola was certainly delighted with his side’s display from start to finish.

“It was excellent from the first minute. We played really well and had to be patient in the first step,” the City boss told the BBC.

“Football is emotions. It’s tactics, definitely, but it’s also emotions. Without the ball, we are a team with desire and passion to regain the ball from the first minute to the 90th.

“We also want the ball as much as possible and, especially, second half we used it very well.”

For United (10/3 Top Four Finish), who briefly levelled the scoreline at 1-1 during the first half through Jadon Sancho, they have slipped to fifth in the standings, a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal, while they have also played three more matches than the Gunners.

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Interim boss Ralf Rangnick felt his side had held their own during the first half against City, but the result ultimately underlined how much work they still have to do to bridge the gap between themselves and the league leaders.

“I think we played a good, if not decent first half. We were competitive. Difficult to concede an early goal. We came back, scored a brilliant goal ourselves then conceded another on the counter,” Rangnick told Sky Sports.

“It was a very difficult game against one of the best teams in the world. We conceded a fourth in the last minute of the game. It is a difficult game that shows we have a long way to go to close that gap.”

Arsenal (1/2 Top Four Finish) had moved into fourth place by virtue of their 3-2 victory away at Watford in the day’s early kick off, with Martin Odegaard putting the Gunners in front as early as the fifth minute.

Cucho Hernandez spectacularly levelled for Watford just six minutes later, but goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli soon had the Gunners on course for three points, with  a late strike from Hornets midfielder Moussa Sissoko proving a mere consolation.

The defeat leaves Watford (1/6 to be relegated) deep in the relegation mire, with Roy Hodgson’s side 19th in the standings and three points adrift of safety, while they have played at least a game more than the two sides directly above them in the standings.

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