Man City win to keep perfect Liverpool in their sights

LONDON (AFP) – Manchester City clung onto the coat-tails of Premier League pacesetters Liverpool with a hard-fought win against Everton last Saturday night after Jurgen Klopp’s men extended their perfect start to the season.

Elsewhere, 10-man Tottenham put their recent wobbles behind them to clamber into the top four with victory against Southampton while Chelsea grabbed their first home league win under new boss Frank Lampard.

In the early match, Liverpool won their seventh Premier League game out of seven thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum’s fortunate

strike in a 1-0 victory at Sheffield United. The European champions looked short on invention against the well-organised Blades until Wijnaldum’s shot from the edge of the box 20 minutes from time trickled between the legs of United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Liverpool, who have won 16 consecutive league games, finished a single point behind champions City in the Premier League last season but are now setting a searing pace as they chase their first top-flight title since 1990.

“For us it was important to win, we had unbelievably big chances,” Klopp told BT Sport.

Manchester City players celebrate. PHOTO: AP

“In the first half we had two big chances and in the second one, which we scored from. These games, they are not all beauties and you have to work hard for the results.”

City were under huge pressure to respond in the late kick-off at Goodison Park and took the lead through Gabriel Jesus midway through the first half.

But while Pep Guardiola’s men were irresistible going forward, they looked shaky at the back, with makeshift centre-back Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi in central defence.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised and both sides had further chances to score before a Riyad Mahrez free-kick and a late Raheem Sterling goal sealed a 3-1 victory, which moved City back to within five points of Liverpool.

“It’s always difficult here,” said Guardiola. “First half we started incredible, the first 20-25 minutes, then we had problems to control Gylfi Sigurdsson in that position.

“But we created from wide areas in the second half and we had the quality of Riyad Mahrez for the goal.

“Everton have fast players, they caused a lot of problems at the back, so I’m delighted because we want to go for this league and try to win it again.”