City hit Chelsea for six

Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League table in emphatic fashion, beating Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

City were 4-0 up before half an hour, exposing the visitors defensive frailties to move back above Liverpool on goal difference.

Chelsea began the game by attempting to press high up the pitch but their tactics were undermined within the first five minutes, City taking the lead.

It was the recalled Kevin De Bruyne who began the move with a quick free kick which found Bernardo Silva and, with the Chelsea defence failing to react, crossed for Raheem Sterling to pounce and turn the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Sergio Aguero should have scored shortly afterwards but, after being set up by Silva, shot wide with the goal gaping.

However, Aguero and City weren't denied for long and he doubled City's lead on 13 minutes, Oleksandr Zinchenko losing possession but the ball fell to the Argentine who shot into the top corner from about 25 yards out.

All Chelsea's plans were in tatters and City continued to pour forward to test a stretched defence and were rewarded on 19 minutes, Aguero getting a rather more scruffy goal but again Chelsea failed to clear the ball from their own area.

With less than half an hour of the game gone it was 4-0 when Ilkay Gundogan took advantage of a poor clearance from Antonio Rudiger and shot home.

City made it five about 10 minutes into the second half, Aguero completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot. Cesar Azpilicueta was ruled to have brought Sterling down in the area and the striker made no mistake from the spot to compound Chelsea's misery.

City have a heavy fixture list in coming weeks, taking on Newport in the FA Cup, Schalke in the Champions League and Chelsea again in the EFL Cup final and Pep Guardiola made changes with those games in mind.

The game already won he took off Aguero and De Bruyne, replaced by Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez.

It looked as if City were winding down but Guardiola recently suggested the Premier League title race could come down to goal difference and City scored another before the end to be nine goals ahead of Liverpool, Sterling getting on the end of another excellent moving involving David Silva and Zinchenko.

That completed the scoring and City, having played a game more than Liverpool, are back above them at the top of the Premier League.

City are 8/11 to win the Premier League with Liverpool 6/5.

City are 13/8 to reach the final of the Champions League this season with Liverpool 4/1 and Manchester United 14/1.

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Wilson would improve Chelsea

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson would make Chelsea a better side, should they secure his signature, according to Dion Dublin.

The 26-year-old Cherries forward has scored nine league goals this season and has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.

Dublin says he's a tougher prospect when compared to the likes of Alvaro Morata, but the pundit has warned Chelsea they'll have to pay a hefty fee in order to see Eddie Howe release the frontman.

Morata has struggled under new boss Maurizio Sarri this season, scoring just five times in the Premier League and has been linked with a return to his native Spain.

Frenchman Olivier Giroud has been vying with Morata for game-time and, so far, Sarri has been unable to find a line-up that pleases him – resulting in Eden Hazard being deployed further forward than had normally been the case.

Wilson, who earned his England debut last year, would improve Chelsea's fortunes if they can attract him to west London, according to former Aston Villa and Manchester United forward Dublin.

"Wilson has all the attributes to make them a better side going forward, he is a more out-and-out forward than what they have at present," he told BBC Sport.

"Morata seems to have a soft underbelly, he likes a tap-in but does not really like to go through the pain barrier to score goals.

"I do like Giroud, he is a very good centre-forward. He does not get the number that people expect but as a centre-forward, and as a team player, I have a lot of admiration for him."

Wilson is 50/1 to finish as the Premier League's leading goalscorer this season, while Harry Kane is 9/4 having scored 14 goals so far and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero is 7/1, with 10 to his name already.

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Klopp says City the best

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed that Manchester City are the best team in the world ahead of the teams meeting in the Premier League on Thursday.

Just two days after his opposite number Pep Guardiola said that Liverpool may be the best in world football at the moment, Klopp has responded by saying that title should be City's.

The teams meet at the Etihad Stadium with Klopp's side seven points ahead, City falling to third in the table after Tottenham's win over Cardiff on New Year's Day.

City will go back second with a draw or victory on Thursday night and Klopp claimed they were his team's main challengers in the race for the title.

He said in a press conference ahead of the game: "It is a normal game against Manchester City but a very difficult one, one of the most difficult you can play in modern football.

"They are a really strong football team with an outstanding manager. Before you play them, you never know.

"We have to be prepared as good as possible, be brave, full of desire and angry again like in all the other games. The opponent is, for me, still the best in the world."

City are 21/20 to win Thursday's game with Liverpool 5/2 and the draw 29/10. City are 10/1 to win the game 1-0.

Guardiola says Thursday's game is a must-win for his side but Klopp disagrees saying, though it's a crucial game, City have the quality to close the gap at the top whatever happens at the Etihad.

Klopp also revealed that James Milner may be fit enough to play against his old side. He missed the recent wins over Newcastle and Arsenal due to a hamstring problem but has resumed training and may come back into the squad.

City are 7/4 to win the Premier League title this season with Liverpool 8/15.

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Eriksen pleased to make impact

Christian Eriksen said he was delighted to make an impact late on to keep Tottenham in the Premier League title race.

At home to Burnley at Wembley, the match looked to be ending in frustration for Spurs with the Clarets on course to earn a hard-earned point.

However, in stoppage time Eriksen, on as a substitute, scored the only goal of the game, Harry Kane passing for the Dane to strike past Joe Hart.

Earlier the Burnley keeper had been at his best to deny Erik Lamela but Spurs found chances at a premium, Sean Dyche's side retricting them to few clear-cut chances.

In the end though Burnley were left pointless and remain in a struggle at the foot of the table, two points above the bottom three.

Spurs meanwhile stay in the hunt for the title, the three points keeping them third in the table, five points behind leaders Manchester City.

Eriksen afterwards said he was delighted to have scored the decisive goal. He said: "Every time you come on you want to make an impact. To score in extra time was extra nice!

"Any goal if it is your first or number 20 is always very important and it is nice to score. The games are so close if you drop any points… getting in a flow like we are now feeds confidence.

"We try to win every game not just at Christmas! We are in a good situation and feel confident going into any game."

Other games on Saturday saw Crystal Palace pull clear of trouble with a victory at home to Leicester.

Huddersfield remain in the bottom three with a home defeat at the hands of Newcastle, while Cardiff lost away at Watford and Wolves beat Bournemouth 2-0.

Earlier in the day Manchester City went back to the top of the table after beating Everton 3-1.

Spurs are in action in midweek, making the short journey to Arsenal with the north London rivals playing in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.

Spurs are 19/10 for the win with Arsenal 11/8.

Tottenham are 11/1 to win the game 1-0 while they are 6/1 to win the EFL Cup next year.

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Klopp looks beyond trophies

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he understands the desire for silverware but dismisses it being the only concern.

His team play Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday with a win moving them back to the top of the Premier League.

The Reds have been close to silverware during Klopp's time in charge, being runners-up in the League Cup and the Europa League in 2015-16 and beaten finalists in the Champions League last season.

The Premier League represents a good chance this season with Liverpool shaping up to be the main challengers to champions Manchester City. However Klopp has denied that winning trophies is the only focus.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "What I have to do is make the best of the things the club is offering me – that is what I believe in.

"If people say the Champions League campaign last season was not a success because we didn't win the final then I cannot change that. Is the finish successful? No, but the ride was brilliant. I enjoyed it a lot.

"The pressure is from outside, people saying if I don't win silverware then I have to leave. In the moment you find someone who can do the job better you have to take him."

Liverpool finished fourth in the Premier League last season; runners-up to City were Manchester rivals United but they are struggling to break into the top four this campaign.

They travel to Merseyside 16 points behind Liverpool and eight points adrift of Chelsea who sit fourth.

Liverpool are 8/15 to win the game with United 11/2 and the draw 7/2.

Liverpool look set to be without Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold for Sunday's game while Jose Mourinho is short on numbers in defence with Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot and Victor Lindelof all doubtful.

Liverpool are 15/2 to win the game 1-0 while Mo Salah is 3/1 to score the first goal.

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Aubameyang urged to keep scoring

Arsenal boss Unai Emery believes former Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can be the Premier League's top scorer this season.

The 29-year-old grabbed a brace in the 4-2 victory against local rivals Tottenham on Sunday to bring his goal tally in the top-flight this season to 10.

Aubameyang is 10/11 to score at any time against Manchester United on Wednesday and 4/1 to be the Premier League's leading goalscorer in 2018/19. Mo Salah can be backed at 11/2 and Sergio Aguero at 10/3.

Aubameyang, who has also found the net twice in the Europa League this season, moved to the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in January for £56million and has already scored 20 Premier League goals in only 27 appearances for the north London outfit.

Emery said ahead of the Old Trafford clash: "I want him to continue improving and his challenge is also collective and individual.

"I want his challenge to be that he has the opportunity to be the best scorer in the Premier League. We want to help him achieve this and that is because, if he is scoring, he is helping us.

"In the last two matches he has had a very big performance, working and scoring. I want to say to him, 'Don't stop, continue with this commitment every match'."

Pochettino dismisses Real talk

Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed talk linking him with Real Madrid, insisting that he is focussed on his job with Tottenham.

The Spurs boss was talking at a press conference ahead of his side's trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday and said, while he couldn't control rumours surfacing about his future, he was concentrating on getting on with the job.

He told reporters: "I am so focused in my job at Tottenham, a rumour appears every day.

"The most important thing is that people need to know that I am focused in Tottenham. I am so responsible with my job, our fans need to know that I am focused in Tottenham working so hard to help the club achieve what we want."

Spurs are 3/4 to win Saturday's game with Palace 15/4 and the draw 5/2.

Pochettino also told the assembled media that Mousa Dembele has suffered ligament damage to his right ankle and will not play again this year, though he hopes to have him back available from the start of January.

He added that Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama have both returned to training while Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose are continuing their rehabilitation.

Spurs go into the weekend's game on the back of a crucial win over PSV Eindhoven in midweek which keeps alive their hopes of progression through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Pochettino added: "We found a reward, fully deserved our victory and we are still alive and with the hope of staying in the Champions League. I am so optimistic, I never give up."

Spurs are fourth in the Premier League and face a Palace side struggling towards the bottom of the table, just three points above the relegation zone.

Spurs are 8/11 to finish in the top four while Palace are 5/1 to be relegated.

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Chelsea stay in hunt

Chelsea kept up the pressure on Manchester City and Liverpool after beating Crystal Palace 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.

City returned to the top of the Premier League table after an emphatic 6-1 win over Southampton earlier on Sunday but the Blues ensured they stay in contention, the win taking them above Liverpool on goal difference and two points behind Pep Guardiola's side.

Chelsea went ahead just after the half hour mark, Pedro finding Alvaro Morata in the area and the striker turned the ball home for his third goal in four games.

Willian almost made it two shortly afterwards but his goal was ruled out for offside and the visitors were perhaps fortunate to be only a goal down at half-time.

Palace were however level after 53 minutes, James McArthur passing for Andros Townsend who did well to control the ball and fire home.

Blues boss Maurizio Sarri made a double change, Mateo Kovacic and Eden Hazard replacing Willian and Ross Barkley and it paid instant dividends with Chelsea regaining the lead a minute later, Hazard's free-kick reaching Morata at the far post, the striker making no mistake for his second of the game.

Five minutes later the home side scored again and Pedro, who had been heavily involved throughout the game, scored after being set up by Marcos Alonso.

Morata could have had his hat-trick just before the end after another fine pass from Pedro but Luca Milivojevic got a touch which enabled Wayne Hennessey to collect the ball in the Eagles goal.

The win moved Chelsea second but Palace remain too close to the bottom three for comfort; they sit 14th in the table, three points clear of the relegation zone.

Chelsea, 1/6 to finish in the top four, are in Europa League action in midweek, with a home game against BATE Borisov before another game at Stamford Bridge next Sunday at home to Everton.

They are 4/11 for another win with Marco Silva's side 15/2 and the draw 15/4. Chelsea are 8/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Lukaku hints at Juve move

Romelu Lukaku says he enjoys watching Juventus and would be interested in joining the club at some point in the future.

The Manchester United striker is in his second season with Manchester United and has been in English football with Chelsea, Everton and now United since leaving Anderlecht in 2011.

With United having had a troubled start to the new campaign and question marks hanging over the future of manager Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba, Lukaku has now hinted that he would be open to the possibility of a move away from Old Trafford.

Questioned by La Gazzetta dello Sport about a move to Italy, Lukaku said: "Why not, I hope so."

Speaking about Juventus in particular, he was full of praise for the club, adding: "Juve have a great project in place and they just keep going. Every year they try to get stronger.

"Without doubt, Juve are one of the two-three best teams in Europe. They've got a great coach on the bench and extraordinary players in every area of the team.

"Cristiano Ronaldo stands out, but watch out for the others too. Paulo Dybala is already impressive and getting stronger, while I love Douglas Costa. He's an exceptional signing and his career shows he always makes the difference."

Lukaku is currently away on international duty with Belgium, scoring twice in their recent win over Switzerland in the Nations League.

He is also in line to face the Netherlands in a friendly in midweek before a return to United who face Juventus in the Champions League group stages in just over a weeks' time.

Before that they face a crucial Premier League game away at Chelsea next Saturday. They are 4/1 to win away at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea 4/6 and the draw 11/4.

United are 9/4 to finish in the top four in the Premier League.

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Stalemate at Anfield

The top of the table clash between Liverpool and Manchester City ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw at Anfield.

Chelsea's win earlier in the day put them temporarily top but the winner at Anfield would have replaced them.

As a result of the goalless draw City go back to the top on goal difference but the champions had a golden opportunity to claim all three points, Riyad Mahrez missing a late penalty.

Mohamed Salah had the first chance of the game, shooting wide after just three minutes but, despite Liverpool edging the opening exchanges, it was far from the anticipated classic.

The home side were hampered by James Milner's withdrawal after half an hour, the midfielder, who has been in such good form for the Reds, hobbling off to be replaced by Naby Keita.

The Anfield crowd were struggling to create the atmosphere befitting a genuine top of the table clash with neither side creating much in front of goal.

The second half began in a similar fashion with chances few and far between. City did have a penalty appeal turned down when Virgil van Dijk was ruled not have handled the ball in the area, then Mahrez showed good skill and control to get a shot in that went narrowly wide.

At the other end Salah also had a shot, the first on target in the game, but it was comfortably saved by Ederson.

The game entered its latter stages with both sides looking happy to collect a point only for City to have a golden late chance to snatch all three.

With just four minutes of normal time remaining they were awarded a spot-kick after Van Dijk fouled Leroy Sane in the area.

Mahrez took the penalty but it was a poor kick, going over the bar to the relief of the majority of the crowd.

Mahrez has now missed five of his last eight Premier League penalties and his latest miss means that the points were shared and both teams, along with Chelsea, remain unbeaten and go into the international break on 20 points from eight games.

Both teams are next in action on 20th October, Liverpool travelling to Huddersfield and City at home to Burnley.

City are 4/6 to win the Premier League title with Liverpool 9/4 and Chelsea 9/1.

Liverpool are 12/1 to not finish in the top four while City are 28/1.

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