Man City scores three in Southampton

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  • David Silva opens scoring
  • Saints level through Hojbjerg, who is later sent off
  • City scores a minute apart before halftime

Manchester City stopped its rot with a 3-1 win over Southampton at St. Mary’s on Sunday.

David Silva and Sergio Aguero scored to go along a James Ward-Prowse own goal, as City pulled to within seven points of Liverpool ahead of a big match on Thursday at the Etihad Stadium.

Saints are in 17th place, above victorious Burnley on goal differential, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scored a wonderful goal in the first half but was sent off in the second for a high challenge.

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Alex McCarthy stopped an early chance, and Southampton nearly had a gilt-edged opportunity were it not for an off-balance Charlie Austin.

That was when Saints’ hopes to a big hit, with Bernardo Silva finding David Silva alone in the heart of the box for a calm finish past McCarthy. Dave’s done this before.

Riyad Mahrez took a long dribble after City broke the Saints’ high press, but blazed an arrow wide despite the presence of Raheem Sterling to his left for a presumably easier finish.

Saints leveled the score line through Hojbjerg, who took the ball off Oleksandr Zinchenko, dribbled into the City box, kept space from Vincent Kompany, and sweetly struck a ball past Ederson.

Raheem Sterling put City back in front, albeit the own goal route and with no help from McCarthy’s slow reaction to a deflected pass.

Aguero went a more traditional route, nodding home from a cross to make it 3-1 into the break.

McCarthy denied Mahrez a chance at 4-1 in the 80th minute of a mostly quiet second half, which got a little louder when Hojbjerg was shown red in the 85th for a studs-up challenge on Fernandinho.

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Bernardo worried about PL title chances; Pep measured

AP Photo/Rui Vieira
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Bernardo Silva scored to give Manchester City an early lead at Leicester City on Wednesday, but that was the last bit of joy for the reigning champions, who are looking less and less likely to repeat.

[ RECAP: Leicester 1-2 Man City ]

City lost its second-straight game, this time 2-1, and the champs are admitting their problems after slipping third on the table.

“Seven points to Liverpool is starting to be a lot, we are not playing as well as we want at this part of the season,” Bernardo said. “We have to find an explanation. We need to start winning games but we can’t rely on ourselves. Even if we beat Liverpool now it won’t be easy.

“We have lost two games that we shouldn’t do if we are in a race for the title. There are a lot of games left and it’s mathematically possible but we have to be almost perfect from now.”

Manager Pep Guardiola, as expected, was a little more measured.

He’s taken the longview, which is entirely fair.

“Liverpool and Tottenham deserve it, they win games and we don’t, the gap is increased,” Guardiola said. “Last season we had a big gap, this season Liverpool and Tottenham are very good. We have finished the first half of the season, we have enough points to be champions but the other teams make more, they are better than us at the moment.”

That is a good frame for it. Man City lead the field by 11 points after 19 weeks last season. They are seven back of the Reds and one behind Spurs.

Man City slides third with loss to Leicester

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  • Bernardo scores early
  • Albrighton levels it
  • Ricardo wins it for Foxes
  • Delph sent off

Ricardo’s outstanding second half goal gave hosts Leicester City a memorable win as Manchester City lost for the second-straight match and dipped to third on the Premier League table with a 2-1 loss at King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.

Marc Albrighton and Ricardo Pereira scored for Leicester City, who moves 7th with 28 points.

Fabian Delph was given a late red card for Man City, who led 1-0 through a Bernardo Silva goal.

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City broke Leicester down for the first time in the 14th minute, with Bernardo finishing his chance after Aymeric Laporte‘s incisive pass was flicked into his path by Sergio Aguero.

Albrighton surprised Ederson and City to make it 1-1 with a picture perfect header across goal and inside the far post in the 20th minute. Jamie Vardy‘s cross served as the assist.

City had several big chances to make it 2-1, but the biggest threat of the remaining play came when Ederson had to stop Jamie Vardy and Hamza Choudhury.

The 82nd minute found the winner, as Sane cleared a Leicester City corner kick just outside the 18. Ricardo settled it then hit a seeing-eye rocket through a sea of players and inside the far post to give Leicester a fairly deserved lead.

Aguero was particularly wasteful on the day, still finding his rhythm after a break from the team.

By the way, Pep, this stat ain’t that legendary:

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AT HALF: Digne scores another pearler; Man City on pace to drop points (again)

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We’ve had plenty of goals on Boxing Day, following the tune of Fulham’s 1-1 draw with Wolves to start the day.

[ MORE: Weah will go on loan ]

Reminder, Brighton hosts Arsenal at 12:15 p.m. ET, while Watford stages a “late” match with Chelsea at 2:30.


Burnley 1-3 Everton [STREAM]

The Toffees were due for a breakout, and Burnley’s continued suffering is the consequence. Yerry Mina scored in the second minute, then Lucas Digne and Gylfi Sigurdsson added markers within 20 minutes of the opener at Turf Moor. Ben Gibson had a late-half answer for the Clarets.

Leicester City 1-1 Manchester City [STREAM]

It looked to be business as usual when Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero teamed up to spring Bernardo Silva for his opener inside of 15 minutes, but Marc Albrighton‘s picture-perfect header leapt inside the far post to have it level within minutes.

Liverpool 1-0 Newcastle United [STREAM]

The Reds are looking to make it 20 Premier League matches without a loss, and there’s only been a hint of Newcastle finding a goal here. Instead, the Reds are up via a Dejan Lovren rip, and it could well be 3- or 4-0 at Anfield.

Crystal Palace 0-0 Cardiff City [STREAM]

Nothing cooking yet at Selhurst Park.

Spurs 3-0 Bournemouth [STREAM]

Red-hot Heung-Min Son and equally-heated Christian Eriksen have the North London outfit easily out-gunning their South Coast visitors. Kyle Walker-Peters has hand a foot in all three goals, cueing up Lucas Moura for Tottenham’s third.

Manchester United 1-0 Huddersfield Town [STREAM]

Nemanja Matic has the opener in Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s first home match in charge of his beloved Red Devils.

Man City finds groove to topple Bournemouth

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  • Leaders remain unbeaten
  • City with 73 percent possession
  • Bournemouth out shot 16-4

Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, and Ilkay Gundogan scored as Manchester City broke a halftime deadlock to beat Bournemouth 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Callum Wilson scored for Bournemouth, which sinks ninth with 20 points.

League-leading City is up to 38 points, with Leroy Sane producing another fine display in the win.

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City, as expected, had most of the ball and missed the frame or were denied by Asmir Begovic on their early chances.

The goal came in the 16th through Bernardo. Oklesandr Zinchenko sent Leroy Sane through to Begovic, who parried the German’s shot to Bernardo.

Bournemouth scored before halftime after a solid spell of possession, with Wilson leaping to nod a Steve Cook cross beyond the reach of Ederson.

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Raheem Sterling’s dribble across the box saw his strike deflect off the post, and Gabriel Jesus couldn’t geto the 54th minute rebound.

Sterling got his goal two minutes later, darting to poke a rebound past Begovic. And Gundogan completed the scoring with just over 10 minutes to play.