London: Manchester City brushed aside Burnley 5-0 on Saturday but Liverpool kept pace with the champions after Mohamed Salah rediscovered his scoring touch to fire his team to victory against lowly Huddersfield. Earlier, Chelsea — who had been level with City and Liverpool before the weekend — needed a last-gasp equaliser to grab a point against Manchester United. Tottenham moved into the top four after a 1-0 victory at West Ham, with Arsenal not in action until Monday. Pep Guardiola’s side, who missed a late penalty which would have given them victory over Liverpool at Anfield earlier this month, made it seven wins from nine league games as Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart endured a miserable return to his former club.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring in the 17th minute before second-half goals rained in from Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane. With the defending champions slipping ominously into gear, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne came on for just his second appearance of the season following a knee injury he suffered in August. “After we scored the second goal and third it was much easier,” said Guardiola. “And of course it’s good news that Kevin De Bruyne is back.... The goals were so outstanding, beautiful, beautiful goals and three more points.”
The result leaves City with 26 goals already this season, even though that is fewer than the 30 they hit in the first nine games last year, it still puts them on schedule to beat the Premier League record 106 they totalled over the whole season, and Guardiola is urging his team to be even more ruthless. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were forced to tough it out against Huddersfield in the late game, with Salah scoring the only goal of the game midway through the first half. — AFP