Sports

EPL: Man City hammer West Brom to go top

*Saka shines as Arsenal beat Southampton
*Leeds win puts more pressure on Newcastle’s Bruce as Hammers beat Palace

West Brom took another home hammering as Manchester City climbed to the top of the Premier League table in emphatic fashion.
No team in Europe’s top five divisions has conceded as many goals at home as Sam Allardyce’s Albion and they were ruthlessly exposed again by a brilliant attacking display.
For the second week running City were the beneficiaries of a contentious offside call but there can be no doubt that they would have routed the hosts regardless.
Ilkay Gundogan continued his inspired run in front of goal with two excellent strikes, Joao Cancelo scored while an offside flag was raised and several players seemed to stop, and Riyad Mahrez powered in a fourth before the break.
Raheem Sterling got in on the act in the second half as City end a day on top of the table for the first time this season.
Defeat leaves 19th-placed West Brom six points adrift of safety going into a massive game against Fulham on Saturday.
At Saint Mary’s, teenager Bukayo Saka scored a wonderful goal as Arsenal continued their excellent run of league form by coming from behind to beat Southampton in an eventful game.
After Alexandre Lacazette missed a glorious chance to give the Gunners a first-minute lead, Stuart Armstrong put Southampton ahead from a wonderful delivery by captain James Ward-Prowse.
But the lead lasted just five minutes, as Nicolas Pepe equalising with a neat finish, before both sides created clear chances.
Former Saints defender Cedric Soares volleyed narrowly wide at one end while Bernd Leno produced a flying save to keep out a header by Che Adams at the other.
England winger Saka put the Gunners ahead after going past keeper Alex McCarthy, who had come rushing out of his penalty area, before the 19-year-old picked out Lacazette to seal the points.
Earlier, Raphinha scored one goal and assisted another as Leeds completed the double over Newcastle to put more pressure on Toon boss Steve Bruce, reports the BBC.
The Whites have struggled in recent games, failing to score in back-to-back losses against Tottenham and Brighton, either side of an FA Cup humbling at League Two Crawley.
But they came out on top in a game against a Newcastle side who looked bereft of confidence in the first half and battled hard in the second, but who have now taken just two points from the last available 27.
The visitors led through a cool side-foot finish from their Brazilian winger, who could have made it 2-0 before the break with a shot against the post from a tight angle.
Credit to the home side, who came out fighting and levelled when pressure in the away half allowed them to win the ball back, and then Miguel Almiron to collect a Callum Wilson touch before running through to finish.
But the lead lasted just four minutes, with Raphinha finding Jack Harrison is acres of space in the box to power a lovely finish past Karl Darlow.
Newcastle introduced Allan Saint-Maximin from the bench and came close to a second equaliser through two headers from corners, the first from Jamaal Lascelles that clipped the bar and the second from Jonjo Shelvey that Illan Meslier tipped over.
But the visitors held out to move to 26 points from 19 games, seven points better than Newcastle, who are seven points above the bottom three, having played two more games than 18th-placed Fulham.
Leeds’ victory came at a cost, though, with Spanish international centre-back Diego Llorente limping off less than 10 minutes into his full debut to continue the injury woes he has suffered since joining the club in September.
And West Ham continued their flawless start to 2021 with another impressive win to move into the top four of the Premier League.
Crystal Palace took an early lead through their returning talisman Wilfried Zaha, but David Moyes’ side were soon back on terms through Tomas Soucek and from there on in dominated.
The free-scoring Soucek added another and Michail Antonio will feel he should have had a hat-trick of his own, twice hitting the post and seeing Vicente Guaita make a wonderful reflex save to keep him out.
Craig Dawson did add the third with a routine header from a corner as Roy Hodgson’s side continued their own run of form – the mirror image of West Ham’s resurgence.
Michy Batshuayi’s late strike for the hosts took some of the shine off the scoreline for West Ham but in truth they were rarely troubled.
Three points made it six wins in a row in all competitions for the visitors, but Palace – still a healthy 11 points clear of danger – have now won one in 10.
RESULTS
Newcastle 1 – 2 Leeds
Palace 2 – 3 West Ham
Southampton 1 – 3 Arsenal
West Brom 0 – 5  Man City

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