Slick City equals EPL win record

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Manchester City equalled the English Premier League record for most wins in a season as the imperious champion powered to a 4-1 victory at West Ham United yesterday.
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AFP

West Ham United defender Declan Rice (second left) looks on as his failed clearance goes over the line for an own goal during their English Premier League match against Manchester City at The London Stadium, in east London, yesterday. City won 4-1.

Manchester City equalled the English Premier League record for most wins in a season as the imperious champion powered to a 4-1 victory at West Ham United yesterday.

Pep Guardiola’s side now has 30 wins this term, matching the record set by Chelsea last season, and will take sole possession of the milestone with one more success in its last three games.

Sweeping West Ham aside with its trademark swagger, City went ahead through Leroy Sane before an own goal from United defender Declan Rice doubled the lead.

Aaron Cresswell’s free-kick reduced the deficit before half-time, but Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho netted for City after the interval at The London Stadium.

Simply untouchable for most of the season, City is bidding to cement its status as one of the all-time great EPL teams by rewriting the record books.

It has scored 102 league goals in 35 games, making it the fastest English top-flight side to reach the century mark since Everton in 1931-32.

City is one goal short of the EPL record of 103 set by Chelsea in 2009-10.

Guardiola’s team also needs three more points to eclipse Chelsea’s 95-point EPL record from 2004-05.

In contrast, West Ham faces an anxious finale to a troubled season as it fights to avoid the drop in its last three games.

David Moyes’ men have won once in their last eight league fixtures and sit just three points above the relegation zone.

With the title wrapped up two weeks ago, Guardiola has had no problems keeping his players motivated.

Last weekend’s 5-0 mauling of Swansea City showed the champion hadn’t taken its eye off the ball, even if goalkeeper Ederson’s unsuccessful campaign to take a penalty was a sign of the relaxed mood in the City camp.

After being given a guard of honor by West Ham’s players before kickoff, City set about dismantling its generous hosts.

On Saturday, Liverpool’s hopes of virtually securing a top-four EPL spot were frustrated by a battling Stoke City side which restricted the usually free-scoring Reds to a goalless draw at Anfield.

But Stoke’s hard-won point may not be enough to secure the visitors’ survival after Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace all won.

Liverpool, which still has to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, lead the Blues by six points with two games in hand although superior goal difference may prove decisive for Juergen Klopp’s side.

Domestic finishing position would, of course, prove academic if Liverpool wins the UEFA Champions League. It certainly looked like a side with its semifinal second leg in Rome on its mind as it failed to make the most of 72 percent possession against the visitors who had never won a league game at Anfield.

Chelsea kept alive its hopes of finishing in the top four after an early goal from Cesc Fabregas helped it secure a 1-0 win over a Swansea team which is just one point above the bottom three and face a major battle to retain its top-flight status.


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