Premier League: Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs Win Boxing Day Games

Manchester City powered six points clear at the top of the Premier League after quashing Leicester’s comeback bid in a pulsating 6-3 win on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola’s rampant side scored four times in the opening 25 minutes of a Christmas cracker at the Etihad Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne struck first before Riyad Mahrez converted a penalty.

Ilkay Gundogan bagged City’s third and Raheem Sterling scored a penalty of his own.

James Maddison, Ademola Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho all netted for Leicester in the space of just 10 minutes early in the second half.

But Aymeric Laporte killed off the visitors’ hopes of an incredible escape act by heading City’s fifth goal before Sterling scored again in the final minutes.

It was the highest-scoring match in the top-flight on Boxing Day since Manchester United won 6-3 against Oldham in 1991.

With second-placed Liverpool’s match against Leeds on Sunday postponed due to the coronavirus, City were able to extend their lead over their main title rivals.

Guardiola’s champions have won nine successive league games, scoring 17 goals in their last three matches as they end 2021 in scintillating style.

City’s 4-0 win against Newcastle last weekend made them the first top-flight team to win 34 league games in a calendar year, beating Liverpool’s 1982 record.

A 36th league victory at Brentford on Wednesday would send City into the new year firmly cemented as title favourites.

Phil Foden and Jack Grealish were again among the substitutes after irking Guardiola with their off-field antics, while Rodri, John Stones and Kyle Walker were absent from the matchday squad altogether.

Guardiola’s rotation worked perfectly as City made a blistering start, taking the lead in the fifth minute.

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Elsewhere, Arsenal secured their fourth Premier League victory in a row as they ran out comfortable 5-0 winners at Carrow Road and heaped more misery on bottom-of-the-table Norwich.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring after six minutes when he guided a low shot past Angus Gunn at the end of a slick Arsenal attack.

The impressive Martin Odegaard, who teed up Saka’s opener, then sent Kieran Tierney through to score the away side’s second just before half-time.
Saka added a fine third before Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty and substitute Emile Smith Rowe’s stoppage-time strike wrapped up a stress-free win for Mikel Arteta’s side.

The win meant the Gunners maintained their six-point lead over fifth-placed Tottenham while Norwich must regroup after a 12th defeat of the season, with boss Dean Smith admitting that he “didn’t see that coming” after watching his side go “toe-to-toe” in defeats by Manchester United and Aston Villa.

“This was just as flat a performance as we have had and it was littered with unforced errors,” said Smith.

The game marked two years since Arteta’s first in charge of the Gunners and the Spaniard can be pleased with where his side are ahead of Tuesday’s home encounter against Wolves.

They were 11th and 14th after their Boxing Day games in 2019 and 2020 respectively, but have improved enough to suggest that a first top-four finish since 2016 is not beyond their capabilities.

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