*COVID-hit Chelsea held by Wolves
Reigning champions Manchester City recorded their eighth successive Premier League victory as they swept aside struggling Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
The league leaders were gifted a fifth-minute opener as Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark failed to attack Joao Cancelo’s hooked cross and Ruben Dias had a simple task to head City ahead, reports the BBC.
City doubled their lead in the 27th minute when Cancelo collected the ball 35 yards out, beat two Newcastle players and fired an unstoppable strike into the top corner from outside the penalty area.
Riyad Mahrez scored his 50th Premier League goal for the club in the 63rd minute, superbly volleying in Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross for City’s third.
It got even worse for the hosts as Raheem Sterling tapped in from close range four minutes from time after a fine run down the left flank from Gabriel Jesus.
This victory ensures City will be top of the Premier League at Christmas for only the third time – and on both previous occasions in 2011-12 and 2017-18 they went on to be champions.
Newcastle remain 19th in the table, three points behind 17th-placed Watford and with only goal difference keeping them above bottom club Norwich City.
And Covid-19-hit Chelsea slipped further behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League title race as they were held to a goalless draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The visitors had a request for the fixture to be postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak rejected on Sunday morning – with manager Thomas Tuchel saying they were “a bit angry” with the decision.
Consequently, the Blues named just four outfield players on the bench at Molineux. The first XI was still strong enough to be competitive but they struggled to create as they were held to a second successive draw.
Daniel Podence had an early goal ruled out for offside as Wolves enjoyed the better of the opening period but in foggy conditions chances were few and far between.
Leander Dendoncker’s header just before half-time was comfortably saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, while Wolves counterpart Jose Sa did well to deny Christian Pulisic from close range late on.
The result, coupled with a 4-0 win for Manchester City against Newcastle on Sunday, means Chelsea are six points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s side.
Wolves, meanwhile, remain eighth but move level on 25 points with seventh-placed Tottenham.
Newcastle 0 – 4 Man City
Wolves 0 – 0 Chelsea