Man City stay serene in title charge on wild night in EPL

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The fastest goal of the season. A six-goal thriller with a touch of Brazilian magic. An impressive late comeback.

It was a wild night of action in the Premier League. Except, yes, in Manchester City, whose march towards the defense of his title could not be more serene.

City never lost control in a routine 2-0 win over Brentford that saw the champions open a 12-point lead in the title race.

Control was what Tottenham lacked as they conceded two late goals in a chaotic 3-2 loss at home to Southampton that hurt their top-four ambitions.

More frenetic and from end to end was the 3-3 draw between Aston Villa and Leeds in which Philippe Coutinho was the protagonist. The Brazil playmaker scored a goal and assisted two others to push Villa 3-1, only for Leeds to battle to an equalizer to keep the team from relegation danger.

The other game of the night was also not without incident, as Norwich scored inside 39 seconds _ through Teemu Pukki _ for the fastest goal scored this season in a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, for whom Wilfried Zaha he scored a superb solo. equalizer before missing a penalty with a scraped effort that went well wide.

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Brentford at the City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. (Photo AP/Jon Super)

CRUISE THROUGH THE CITY

It is 14 games unbeaten for Man City, who will now see if second-place Liverpool can reduce the gap to nine points with a victory over Leicester on Thursday. Liverpool have played two fewer games.

Riyad Mahrez, with his eighth goal in his last seven games for City, and Kevin De Bruyne, who scored for the fourth successive home game in the league, were the scorers for the champions.

Mahrez converted a penalty in the 40th after Raheem Sterling was brought down, and De Bruyne hit a low shot into an unprotected net in the 69th after Sterling had saved a shot.

TOTTENHAM’S TRIP

Southampton seemed to be fueled by a sense of injustice in their comeback against Spurs after Son Heung-min’s 70th-minute goal put the hosts ahead. In the build-up, Emerson Royal appeared to have fouled Armando Broja in the air, leading to some heated exchanges between players and coaches.

The visitors surged forward and after Mohamed Elyounoussi equalized in the 79th, Che Adams headed in an almost identical goal for the winner in the 82nd.

Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton Tottenham’s Son Heung-min scores against Southampton during the English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Broja had previously disallowed Tottenham’s first goal by a Southampton player, when Jan Bednarek slipped and deflected a cross into his own net under pressure from Son.

Tottenham remained seventh, four points off the Champions League places. West Ham are fourth but have played three more games than Tottenham.

COUTINHO CLINIC

Having just scored a brilliant long-range goal for Brazil last week, Coutinho pulled the strings for Villa in a dizzying first half against Leeds, where he canceled out Dan James’ opening goal in the ninth minute by scoring on his own low shot in the 30th. .

The playmaker then provided the assists for midfielder Jacob Ramsey’s goals in the 38th and 43rd minutes, one of them an impressive pass that split the defense after spinning freely in the middle of the pitch.

James made it 3-2 in first-half stoppage time and Diego Llorente ensured a pulsating game ended level by scoring from close range after Villa defender Tyrone Mings failed to clear.

The tie moved Leeds six points clear of the relegation zone and denied Villa a place in the top half of the league.

MISS ZAHA

Wilfried Zaha went from the sublime to the ridiculous in Carrow Road.

In his first appearance for the club since Boxing Day, having played for Côte d’Ivoire in the African Cup of Nations, Zaha cut in and curled in from the edge of the box to equalize on the hour mark.

Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha misses a penalty during the English Premier League match between Norwich City and Crystal Palace at Carrow Road, Norwich, EnglandWednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

That canceled out Pukki’s goal, his first in over 11 hours of play, but Norwich couldn’t hold out for a fourth successive win that would have lifted the team out of the relegation zone.

He might even have lost only for Zaha to graze a tame penalty just wide of the left post after Max Aarons fouled Tyrick Mitchell.

Norwich are in the relegation zone in penultimate place, one point from safety.

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