A lively Manchester City side thrash Tottenham 5-1 in the English Premier League
City knock Arsenal off the top of the table and now hold a two-point lead
Chelsea are held to a 0-0 draw by a plucky West Ham side
In Germany, Bayern Munich stretch their unbeaten league run to 43 matches
Manchester City brought misery to a rainy Wednesday in north London as they defeated Tottenham to knock rivals Arsenal off their perch at the top of the English Premier League.
A lacklustre Arsenal had dropped valuable points at Southampton and Man City took advantage to move two points ahead of the Gunners with a free-flowing 5-1 victory against Tottenham.
But manager Manuel Pellegrini poured cold water on any talk of City now being title favorites despite the London rout.
“I think it’s too soon to be the favorites – there’s a lot of matches to play,” he was quoted on the club website.
“If we continue to play the way we are, we will have chances to win but it’s early.”
Agile Argentine Sergio Aguero pounced after 15 minutes to give City the lead only to hobble off the pitch with a right leg injury just before half time.
Even without Aguero, who has now scored 50 EPL goals, Manuel Pellegrini’s men found their scoring boots in the second half.
Yaya Toure stroked home the ball from the penalty spot after Danny Rose was shown a red card for a lunge on Edin Dzeko in the penalty area.
Dzeko got in on the act as he clipped in David Silva’s rebounded shot from close range before substitute Stevan Jovetic added to the scoreline with his first league goal. City captain Vincent Kompany polished off the victory over 10-man Spurs late on.
Chelsea missed their chance to close the gap on Arsenal and Man City as they were held to a 0-0 draw by a gutsy West Ham side.
Even with a whopping 39 attempts on goal, Jose Mourinho’s men could not find the back of the net as the relegation threatened Hammers dug in.
It looked as if there might be a reprieve for Chelsea as seven minutes of extra time were added on but Demba Ba, Eden Hazard, Samuel Eto’o and Frank Lampard were all denied.
Lampard clasped his hands to his face in disbelief at the final whistle as Chelsea missed their chance to go second in the table and for now stay third, three points off the leaders.
A frustrated Mourinho commented on Sky Sports: “If I was at home watching for sure I would turn off or change to another match.”
Maybe the match the Portuguese manager should have watched was Aston Villa’s pulsating 4-3 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
It may not be the game that settles the thrilling title fight but it was arguably the match of the night Wednesday.
In Germany, Bayern Munich were back in business in the Bundesliga as they rallied to beat Stuggart 2-1 and stretch their unbeaten league run to an astonishing 43 matches.
Pep Guardiola’s league leaders had Thiago Alcantara and Claudio Pizarro to thank for getting back on terms after Vedad Ibisevic had put the home side ahead.
Bayern’s record run in the German league dates back to October 2012 and, as if one record wasn’t enough, they also notched up their 28th away match in the Bundesliga without defeat.
In Italy, intensity was the key for Rafael Benitez as he watched his Napoli side book a place in the Coppa Italia semi-final, which are staged over two legs.
A solo strike from Gonzalo Higuain was enough to sweep aside holders Lazio and book a last four meeting against Roma. Udinese host Fiorentina in the other semifinal.
There was rain in Spain as Barcelona braved the weather to complete a 5-1 victory over Levante at a soggy Nou Camp to advance to the Copa del Rey semifinals.
Goals from Adriano, Carles Puyol, Alexis Sanchez, who scored twice, and Cesc Fabregas sealed a 9-2 win on aggregate.
Holders Atletico Madrid set up a hotly anticipated semifinal with city rivals Real Madrid after beating Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Wednesday.