EPL: Man City too strong for Hull, Liverpool bounce back

Manchester City ended a four-game winless run in the Premier League with a comfortable victory over Hull City on Saturday that boosted their hopes of finishing in a Champions League spot.

Ahmed Elmohamady’s own goal opened the scoring before half time at Etihad Stadium, as the Hull defender turned in Jesus Navas’ dangerous low cross.

Raheem Sterling’s jinking run then set up Sergio Aguero and the Argentine’s powerful effort squeezed past Eldin Jakupovic.

The Hull goalkeeper had no chance from City’s third, with Fabian Delph allowed time and space to lash in from outside the box.

Andrea Ranocchia did pull one back late on, as Claudio Bravo let a weak effort trickle past him.

And Liverpool came from behind to beat Stoke City and stay on course for a top-four finish thanks to goals by substitutes Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.

Unmarked Jon Walters headed the hosts into the lead after meeting Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross, as the Reds failed to register a first-half effort on target.

Coutinho levelled with a first-time shot before Firmino smashed the bouncing ball beyond keeper Lee Grant after Georginio Wijnaldum’s pass.

Liverpool remain third in the Premier League table.

Much has been made of Liverpool’s inability to beat teams in the bottom half of the table and for 45 minutes it looked like they were heading for defeat against a team that started the day 12th.

Klopp started with 17-year-old Ben Woodburn and 18-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold, while opting to keep Coutinho, who was ill during Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth, and Firmino on the bench.

It looked like his plan to give youth a chance had backfired as Walters was left totally unmarked to bury Shaqiri’s inch-perfect cross past Simon Mignolet.

It was only after the introduction of Brazilian duo Coutinho and Firmino at the start of the second half – in place of Woodburn and Alexander-Arnold – that Liverpool played like a team chasing a Champions League spot, reports the BBC.

Dejan Lovren headed against the bar before Coutinho swept home the equaliser from 12 yards out.

Liverpool fans were still celebrating when Firmino lashed a dipping shot over Lee Camp from 22 yards, a sublime goal worthy of winning any match.

Mignolet still had to produce a fine save to deny Saido Berhaino, but Liverpool hung on to move nine points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, although the Reds have played three games more.

EPL RESULTS

Tottenham 4 – 0 Watford

Man City 3 – 1 Hull

Middlesbrough 0 – 0 Burnley

Stoke 1 – 2 Liverpool

West Brom 0 – 1 Southampton

West Ham 1 – 0 Swansea

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