Sterling sparkles as City stretch lead, Palace end winless run in EPL

London: Manchester City moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League as Raheem Sterling inspired a 3-1 win over Bournemouth, while Crystal Palace clinched a crucial 2-0 victory over relegation rivals Burnley on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s side racked up their sixth successive league win thanks to a second half surge after Bournemouth shocked the Etihad Stadium.
City hold a significant lead over second placed Liverpool, but they can close the gap back to two points if they beat Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.
“A good win, after the Champions League it is always tough. People think it’s easy for us but that is not the truth, so I like to win in this way,” Guardiola said.
“In the second half one action from Raheem Sterling changed the game.
It was a landmark moment for former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola, who said: “My 400th win as a manager? I didn’t know that. Congratulations Pep!”
Guardiola left City’s record goal-scorer Sergio Aguero out of the squad, but even the Argentine star’s absence couldn’t halt the champions’ momentum.
City had scored 40 goals in their previous 13 league games and it took them just 16 minutes to shatter Bournemouth’s resistance as Bernardo Silva bagged his second goal of the season.
Leroy Sane’s shot was saved by Asmir Begovic, but Silva was on hand to tap into the empty net.
Stunned
City were stunned in the 44th minute when Callum Wilson headed Bournemouth’s equaliser from a Simon Francis cross.
But the leaders restored order in the 57th minute as Sterling continued his mastery of Eddie Howe’s team.
Sterling netted from close-range after Begovic spilled Danilo’s shot, making it eight goals in six league appearances against Bournemouth for the City winger.
Ilkay Gundogan put the result beyond doubt when the German finished a fine move involving Bernardo Silva and Sane in the 79th minute.
At Selhurst Park, Palace ended their eight-game winless league run at the expense of fellow strugglers Burnley.
Heading into this weekend, Palace had managed two points at home this season, scoring only two home goals, which were both penalties.
Roy Hodgson’s team finally ended their drought from open play in bizarre fashion when James McArthur’s 16th minute cross was missed by players from both teams, hit the far post and trickled into the net.
— Reuters