Man.City thrash Liverpool to end 18-year Anfield jinx
Manchester City ended an 18-year wait to beat Liverpool at Anfield in style with a 4-1 win on Sunday to take a firm grip on the Premier League title race.
Ilkay Gundogan scored twice and missed a penalty as Pep Guardiola’s men moved five points clear of Manchester United, with a game in hand to come, at the top of the table.
A third consecutive home defeat leaves Liverpool 10 points off the top in fourth, having also played a game more than City.
Raheem Sterling and the outstanding Phil Foden were also on target for the visitors on a day to forget for Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who was at fault for three of City’s goals.
Tottenham win: Jose Mourinho admitted Tottenham “depend” on Harry Kane after the Tottenham striker returned from injury to inspire a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion.
Mourinho’s side had lost their previous three Premier League games to put their top four hopes in peril.
Revitalised by Kane’s earlier than expected return from an ankle problem suffered against Liverpool, Tottenham got back to winning ways just when the under-fire Mourinho needed it most. Kane had missed the last two games, but he made up for lost time by opening the scoring in the second half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Kane’s 20th goal in all competitions this season took him to 208 goals in 317 Tottenham appearances — level in joint second place alongside Bobby Smith in the club’s all-time scoring list.
After a club record-breaking run of 68 league games unbeaten at Anfield, Liverpool have now lost three consecutive home league games for the first time since 1963.
The margin of defeat was also the Reds’ biggest in the Premier League era as City landed a knockout blow to their title defence.
The England captain’s milestone goal was followed by a Son Heung-min strike moments later that killed off West Brom.
As well as his priceless goals, Kane also has 11 assists this season and Mourinho is in no doubt about his value to the team.
“He is one of the best strikers in the world. Period,” Mourinho said. “There is nothing else to say. The team depends a lot on him, we can’t hide that.
“It’s the goals he can score, the assists he can make, the link play he has, that personality that players like that can have. He is always an important influence for us.
“Today I was promising I was not going to speak about individuals because I am so happy with the players closing this negative series of three defeats, but with the question it is hard to run away from it. He is a very important player.”
Amid criticism of Mourinho’s negative tactics and talk of rifts with several players, there is a long way to go before seventh-placed Tottenham are completely back on track.
Only three wins from the last 12 league games before this weekend — the same sequence that saw Mourinho’s predecessor Mauricio Pochettino sacked — had left the Portuguese coach in the spotlight.
But, in the midst of Mourinho’s winter of discontent, this was a small step in the right direction as snow flurries swirled around frozen north London.
Thursday’s defeat against Chelsea condemned Mourinho to consecutive home league defeats for the first time as a manager.
In the circumstances, second bottom West Brom were ideal opponents for Tottenham to end their dismal decline.
Inevitably at the heart of all Tottenham’s best moments, Kane was inches away from opening the scoring, taking Serge Aurier’s pass in stride and firing just wide.
There was a little sign of rustiness when Kane shot wide from Son’s pass, but he was back involved moments later when his blocked effort was nearly scrambled in by Lucas Moura.