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City opens the gap by winning an instant classic

City opens the gap by winning an instant classic

Much has been written about Boxing Day. From its origins and the most memorable quotes throughout history. The day of 1963 stands out, when 66 goals were scored in the ten games of that December 26. That day, Manchester City achieved their biggest win on such an important date. In the second division, they beat Scunthorpe United 8-1. The 6-3 against Leicester, already in 2021, would not have been out of tune that day. Nine goals in an instant classic. One of those duels that will be remembered for years to come. A Christmas feast that allowed City to, taking advantage of Liverpool’s postponement of the commitment, to extend their advantage at the top of the standings. It is already six points. The cityzens escape.

Foxes are in free fall. Their growth in recent years received a new reward when last season they won their first FA Cup in their history. Those of Brendan Rodgers had even more reason for optimism when they prevailed in the Community Shield in summer to, precisely, Manchester City. But they only have two victories in 13 league games and arrived at the Etihad Stadium after being eliminated from the Europa League and the League Cup. They could not with the start or with the rhythm of Pep Guardiola’s. They were nauseating. Stunned The celestial ones imposed their dominion. From the beginning. No compassion for his rival. And at 25 minutes they had already struck four times. At five, Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring. He had time to turn and arm his left leg against three rivals in the area. Youri Tielemans committed two penalties, which Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling transformed. Ilkay Gündogan scored between maximum penalty and maximum penalty, punishing Kasper Schmeichel for leaving a ball on a plate to the German international inside the area.

The reigning Premier League champion seemed to have it done. His pressure and intensity in the first half left the three points practically on a platter. But Leicester City scored three goals in ten minutes to get back into the game. Make no mistake, the local team did not lower their arms. They kept looking for the rival goal, and kept accumulating men at the top trying to intimidate an already damaged rear. It happened that the visitors caught them off guard, and in three counterattacks they found the goals of James Maddison, Ademola Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho. Aymeric Laporte calmed the spirits at Etihad Stadium by scoring from a corner three minutes after Iheanacho’s goal. For the first time in the entire duel, half an hour was played without anyone scoring, but Sterling was in charge of closing the game with the ninth goal of the afternoon. He took advantage of a bad shot from Dias on a corner kick, and a poor defensive action from Leicester City, another one from set pieces, to score his second goal of the day.

Southampton ‘bitter’ Christmas at West Ham

Southampton came out of the pothole, met again with the victory and took their rival, West Ham, out of the European zone of the Premier after winning 2-3, in the match played at the London Stadium, on ‘Boxing Day’.

Ralph Hasenhutti’s team had been six games without a win. He added the three points again against an opponent who has lowered his level. David Moyes’ team, revelation of the season at the beginning, has declined. He has a draw and two losses and is already out of the top five. Southampton was always ahead on the scoreboard, which took the lead in the eighth minute thanks to Norwegian Mohamed Elyounoussi who took advantage of a pass from Kyle Walker-Peters.

But the London team reacted early in the second half. Michael Antonio beat Fraser Forster on a Craig Dawson corner. At game time the visitors regained the advantage with a penalty converted by James Ward Prowse, the man of the match, although five minutes later, the Algerian Mohamed Said Benrahma received a ball from Jarrod Bowen and equalized the score again.

It was twenty from the end when the final result was established. Ward Prowse reappeared to assist the Polish Jan Bednarek, who beat his compatriot Lukasz Fabianski for the third time. Southampton breathes, which rises to fourteenth place in the table with the same points as eleventh although still far from West Ham, which falls to sixth place, outside the European zone.

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