Premier League: Aguero hat-trick sinks Arsenal, Man Utd edge Leicester
CGTN

Sergio Aguero's hat-trick led Manchester City to a 3-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday and back into second place in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Liverpool.

The victory put the pressure on Liverpool ahead off their trip to West Ham United on Monday. Juergen Klopp's side have 61 points with champions City on 59 and Tottenham Hotspur on 57.

City were utterly dominant after going in 2-1 up at the break, keeping Gunners keeper Bernd Leno busy as they peppered his goal with shots from distance while the Londoners, looking bereft of self-belief, did not manage a shot on target in the second half.

Pep Guardiola's side needed a positive response after Tuesday's surprise defeat at Newcastle United and within a minute any nerves among the home crowd vanished.

It took 48 seconds for Aguero to open the scoring with a stooping header after Aymeric Laporte had robbed a far-too-casual Alex Iwobi and whipped in a cross.

Sergio Aguero scored all three of City's goals in a 3-1 win over the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium, February 3, 2019. /VCG Photo

Sergio Aguero scored all three of City's goals in a 3-1 win over the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium, February 3, 2019. /VCG Photo

City were dominant but the Gunners got back on level terms in the 11th minute when Nacho Monreal flicked on a Lucas Torreira corner and defender Laurent Koscielny headed in from two yards out.

But with Kevin De Bruyne beginning to put his injury troubles behind him and looking like his true self in midfield and Bernardo Silva teasing Arsenal from the right flank, City looked unperturbed by the equalizer.

It was no surprise when Aguero struck again just before the break, tapping in a low cross from Raheem Sterling, who had combined well with Ilkay Gundogan in the build-up.

De Bruyne forced three saves out of Leno in the opening 10 minutes of the second half before City finally made their dominance count.

Elsewhere, Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford celebrated his 100th Premier League appearance with a fine goal to secure a 1-0 win over Leicester City that kept interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's dream start going.

Having missed a simple header early on, 21-year-old Rashford compensated in the ninth minute, skilfully latching on to a lovely dink from Paul Pogba over Leicester's defence to smash the ball past Kasper Schmeichel from close range.

Rashford is the youngest player to reach a century of top-flight appearances for the Red Devils since Ryan Giggs in 1993. /VCG Photo

Rashford is the youngest player to reach a century of top-flight appearances for the Red Devils since Ryan Giggs in 1993. /VCG Photo

“It was a great finish. The kid has improved and improved,” said a delighted Solskjaer, who has enjoyed nine wins and a draw in all competitions since taking over as caretaker manager from the sacked Jose Mourinho in December.

However, Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez was disappointing again, looking miserable when substituted in the second half.

“They won't be too happy. They know they can do better,” Solskjaer said of his team, smiling at the win even so.

The victory moved United on to 48 points, two adrift of Chelsea in fourth place. Solskjaer's men have dropped points only once under him – a 2-2 draw with Burnley on Tuesday – and are now firmly aiming for the top-four spot that would give them Champions League football next season.

Inconsistent Leicester stayed 11th on 32 points after losing their third home game in a row.

Source(s): Reuters