without talisman Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City had absolutely no problems taking revenge on West Bromwich Albion away from home. The Citizens put up a massive number to end the day top of the Premier League level on games played at the exact halfway point of the season.
WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) – Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League for the first time this season after thrashing West Bromwich Albion 5-0 on Tuesday.
İlkay Gündoğan continued his wonderous renaissance of a season, scoring two more to make it seven in his last eight league matches, while Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez each scored and assisted each other. As João Cancelo continues to emerge as City’s best fullback, scoring and assisting as well, this team is absolutely clicking.
City climbed a point above Manchester United – which can reclaim first place by beating Sheffield United on Wednesday – after an 11th straight victory in all competitions and seventh in a row in the league.
It is City’s longest winning run for more than three years and it sent an ominous message to the team’s title rivals, even with Kevin De Bruyne’s absence through injury.
In contrast, West Brom has now lost its last five top-flight home games – its worst run at The Hawthorns in the Premier League in 17 years – while conceding 22 goals in the process.
West Brom remain second from bottom and six points from safety, with recently hired manager Sam Allardyce yet to see his side score at home, having overseen an overall score line of 0-17 in those four matches.
West Brom actually started well enough before Phil Foden, making his 100th appearance for City, forced Sam Johnstone to turn his low drive onto the post after a quick break.
It was the early warning before City grabbed the lead after six minutes thanks to Gundogan´s sixth goal in 10 games.
Cancelo´s searching pass was expertly collected by the midfielder and he turned before curling a fine effort into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
It was the cue for City to take control, and Cancelo and Mahrez fired over.
Here’s how we rated the players after a dominant performance…
Ederson – 8/10
Joao Cancelo – 10/10 (MOTM)
John Stones – 8.5/10
Ruben Dias – 9/10
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 8/10
Bernardo Silva – 9/10
Rodrigo – 8.5/10
Ilkay Gundogan – 10/10
Riyad Mahrez – 8.5/10
Raheem Sterling – 8.5/10
Phil Foden – 8.0/10
Ferran Torres – 7.5/10
Aymeric Laporte – 7.5/10
Gabriel Jesus – 6.5/10