Saturday, April 13, 2024

Burnley shock City, Arsenal romp to victory

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Manchester City’s Premier League football title defence was dealt a further blow Saturday with a first loss to Burnley in 41 years.

George Boyd clinched a 1-0 victory for relegation-threatened Burnley after meeting City captain Vincent Kompany’s clearance from Kieran Trippier’s free kick with a half-volley in the 61st minute.

City, which have lost two of their last three league games, remain five points behind Chelsea with nine games to go. The leaders have two games in hand on the champions, and host Southampton on Sunday.

City’s domestic difficulties come ahead of a trip to Barcelona where Pellegrini’s side will be trying to overturn a 2-1 deficit in the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday.

Arsenal prepared well, though, for their trip to Monaco to turn around a 3-1 first-leg loss by easing to a 3-0 victory over West Ham.

Olivier Giroud inspired Arsenal’s fifth straight league victory by scoring one and setting up Aaron Ramsey’s goal at Emirates Stadium. Mathieu Flamini also netted as Arsene Wenger’s team tightened their grip on third place and moved within a point of Man City.

Aston Villa ended their barren scoring run away from home in spectacular style at Sunderland.

Villa had taken seven months to score four away goals in this season’s league campaign, only for the team to double that amount in the first 45 minutes in a 4-0 win at Sunderland. Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor both scored twice.

The glut of goals sparked unrest and a mini-exodus among home fans at half-time, with some supporters confronting Sunderland manager Gus Poyet close to the dug-out. With ten minutes left, the Stadium of Light appeared half-empty.

Crystal Palace beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 at home in a match marked by an outrageous 40-metre consolation strike by Matt Phillips for the visitors. West Bromwich Albion overcame Stoke 1-0 and Leicester drew 0-0 with relegation rival Hull.

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