LONDON: Premier League leaders Manchester City emphasised their status and form by inflicting a seven-goal hammering to Leeds, the visitors’ heaviest Premier League defeat.
Kevin De Bruyne struck twice as City sent manager Pep Guardiola’s Premier League goal tally hurtling past 500.
Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, John Stones and Nathan Ake joined the Belgian on the scoresheet as the champions swatted aside the West Yorkshire outfit with embarrassing ease.
In the process they registered their 500th Premier League goal under Guardiola in just the Spaniard’s 207th game. It was a new record for the competition, eclipsing the previous fastest mark of 234 games by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
More importantly for Guardiola, it was a seventh successive victory that extended City’s lead at the top of the table to four points, applying pressure to rivals Liverpool and Chelsea ahead of their games on Thursday.
Elsewhere Aston Villa inflicted more misery on old boss Dean Smith after goals by Jacob Ramsey and Ollie Watkins consigned Norwich to a 2-0 defeat at Carrow Road.
Smith, sacked by the Midlands club in November, was looking to get one over his former side and boost the Canaries’ survival hopes but the hosts suffered a third Premier League defeat in a row.
Ramsey, who had been given his Villa debut by the Norwich boss, opened the scoring in the 34th minute and Watkins wrapped up the victory late on to make it four victories out of six under their new boss Steven Gerrard.