Premier League Report: Sergio Agüero hat-trick cuts Liverpool lead, Gonzalo Higuaín opens Chelsea account and Marcus Rashford seals another Manchester United win

A big double gameweek of Premier League action concluded over the weekend with Manchester City cutting Liverpool's lead at the summit to two points, though the Reds do not play until today.

Having only managed a 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Wednesday, Jürgen Klopp's side head to West Ham United at 3pm ET and will look to restore their lead five-point lead at the summit.

That after the Citizens breezed past Arsenal 3-1 with a hat-trick from record goalscorer Sergio Agüero. Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur left it late against Newcastle United while Chelsea enjoyed a statement win over Huddersfield Town thanks to a brace from one of their new signings.

We've got it all covered in the latest edition of the Premier League Report.

Agüero closing in on yet another record

The Argentine is Manchester City's record goalscorer and if anyone is to overhaul Alan Shearer's 260 Premier League goals it will, surely, be Agüero. However, there's a much closer milestone the 30-year-old will be keen to overhaul having recorded his tenth top-flight hat-trick in Sunday's 3-1 win over Arsenal.

Shearer recorded 11 trebles for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle but Agüero is now just one behind the Magpies legend after putting Arsenal to the sword.

On Tuesday Agüero broke the deadlock at St. James' Park, of all places, after just 25 seconds but City were eventually beaten 2-1. There was to be no repeat on Sunday, though, as Agüero put the home side ahead after 52 seconds, adding another before half time and completing the job after an hour.

Speaking afterwards, City coach Pep Guardiola told BBC Sport: "I understand pressure, pressure to win the games. After the game in Newcastle, Liverpool were seven points ahead and now they are two.

"Of course they have to play, they have quality, but West Ham [who Liverpool face on Monday] are a good side.

"Now we have tomorrow to start again and think about Everton and after Chelsea. It is a tough week for us and we go game by game."

Rashford and United continue fine form

Two of the biggest beneficiaries of José Mourinho's Manchester United exit have been Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford. And the duo combined to score the only goal of the game as the Red Devils beat Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

A perfectly weighted ball over the top from the French playmaker found the run of Rashford who killed the ball dead with his first touch before coolly dispatching beyond Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel for his sixth goal since Ole Gunnar Solskjær took charge in late December.

Since then almost all of his key per-90 metrics in the Premier League have shot up (above) and Solskjær was pleased with the England international's finish.

“I think we started brilliantly,” Solskjær said. “Marcus had a great chance from Luke’s cross and finished the ball fantastically when Paul played him through. I told him through Schmeichel’s legs because he opens up but it was a great finish so I can’t complain can I?"

Tottenham keep themselves in the title race

Tottenham's part in the title race has been an ongoing subject of debate for much of the season but, like it or lump it, the 2018 International Champions Cup winners are only two points behind second-placed Manchester City.

It could have been a very different story, though, had Heung-min Son not secured a second last-gasp victory in a week. After inspiring the North Londoners to a 2-1 win over Watford on Wednesday, the Korean got a fortuitous winner against Newcastle seven minutes from time at Wembley.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino is not a man to be drawn into the furore around the title race and instead praised matchwinner Son."Sonny is like a battery that you have – you work, work, work until the battery is gone," Pochettino told BBC Sport.

"He is like this. He gives you everything and when he is exhausted he says he needs to rest. On the pitch he is always 100 per cent in every action."

Higuaín announces himself in style

 

After an inauspicious debut in Chelsea's 4-0 humbling at AFC Bournemouth in the week, Gonzalo Higuaín showed his new supporters exactly why coach Maurizio Sarri was so keen to bring him in from Juventus.

The 31-year-old Argentine enjoyed the best season of his career under Sarri at Napoli, scoring a Serie A record 36 goals in 2014/15, and quickly begun repaying his boss' faith with a brace in Saturday's 5-0 thrashing of bottom side Huddersfield Town.

His first had an element of fortune about it, lashing past Terriers keeper Jonas Lössl from a tight angle, but his second was a real treat. N'Golo Kanté's laid the ball off for the Argentine who wrapped his foot around it and curled home from the edge of the penalty area.

Eden Hazard also got a brace while David Luiz added the fifth and, speaking to BBC Sport, Sarri was encouraged by the prospect of Hazard and Higuaín playing together. 

"Higuain is improving," he said. "He wasn't physically at the top when he arrived, because he had a back problem and wasn't involved, so only played a few matches.

"He is a great player. Apart from the goals, he is really very suitable to play very close to Eden."

Cardiff pay perfect Sala tribute

He never got the chance to pull on a Cardiff City jersey but there is no chance of Emiliano Sala being forgotten by Bluebirds supporters. The Welsh side's first home fixture since the flight carrying the club's record signing disappeared over the English Channel saw them host Southampton at Cardiff City Stadium.

An emotionally charged occasion was guaranteed but Cardiff played the occasion perfectly with Bobby Reid opening the scoring with an early penalty, marking the goal by running to the touchline to hold aloft a shirt with Sala's photo on it.

Reid added a second and, speaking afterwards, coach Neil Warnock told BBC Sport: "I'm really proud and I'm sure he would have been," he said.

"Knowing the lad, Emiliano, as I did, I knew he would be with us today. I said to the lads 'We have got to perform'. I thought the whole club was amazing.

"I was really pleased for the chairman, Mehmet (Dalman), and for (chief executive) Ken Choo.

"I was the proudest man to be manager of the whole football club today. The fans were just amazing."

Premier League results, matchday 25: 

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Newcastle United

Chelsea 5-0 Huddersfield Town

Crystal Palac 2-0 Fulham

Everton 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Watford 

Burnley 1-1 Southampton

Cardiff City 2-0 AFC Bournemouth

Leicester City 0-1 Manchester United

Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal

 


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