EPL: Iheanacho rescues Guardiola
*As Chelsea humiliates Mourinho
By George Aluo
Super Eagles teenage international, Kelechi Iheanacho yesterday saved Pep Guardiola from suffering what would have been another embarrassing defeat when Manchester City played host to Southampton in an EPL clash that ended 1-1.
It would be noted that Guardiola had last week led City to suffer a 3-0 defeat in the hands of Barca in the UEFA Champions League. The coach left out Iheanacho in the game.
In yesterday’s EPL match, City was again down by a goal only for Iheanacho to come in as a second half substitute to level up for City.
City, who recalled Sergio Aguero to the side and handed a first league start of the season to captain Vincent Kompany, looked disjointed and short of ideas in a first half during which the home fans grew increasingly frustrated, even before John Stones gifted Redmond his second goal in as many matches.
Half-time substitute Iheanacho came to City’s rescue on 55 minutes, however, turning home Leroy Sane’s low cross for his eighth goal in 11 league appearances.
City is back on top of the table, but the club is only ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool on goals difference as all three teams are now on 20 points after eight matches.
Meanwhile, in another EPL game yesterday, Chelsea produced a dominant display to ensure Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge ended in a humbling 4-0 defeat.
Mourinho was back at his old stomping grounds for the first time since being sacked by the club he guided to a third Premier League title in 2014-15, but he had no reason to celebrate as Antonio Conte came out well on top in their first meeting in English football.
Mourinho’s team, without captain Wayne Rooney due to injury, was stunned when Pedro rounded David de Gea to score the quickest goal in the Premier League this season after just 30 seconds, and Gary Cahill doubled the lead after 21 minutes.
Chelsea’s width and pressing penned United back inside their own half, but Mourinho may point to referee Martin Atkinson’s decision not to send off David Luiz for a high challenge on Marouane Fellaini with 40 minutes played as a turning point in the match.
With their full complement, Conte’s team extended their lead after the restart, Eden Hazard slotting home after 62 minutes before N’Golo Kante opened his Blues account with a cool finish, sending Chelsea into the top four, just a point off table-topping Manchester City.
With 20 minutes remaining Kante dribbled between the utterly anonymous Paul Pogba and Smalling to send a cool finish past De Gea to put the result beyond doubt.
Sections of the home support subsequently chanted Mourinho’s name, but they were unable to contain their delight – encouraged by an ecstatic Conte – at a victory over their former boss and a club-record eighth consecutive unbeaten meeting with United.
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