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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Jesus scored 4 goals, Man City lead by 4 points in EPL

LONDON ( Associated Press) – Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus on Saturday scored more goals in 53 minutes in the English Premier League than in the previous eight months.

Becoming the first player in the league to score four goals in a game this season, Jesus helped City beat Watford 5–1 to take a four-point lead over second-placed Liverpool in the title race.

Liverpool could return a point with five matches to spare after beating Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

There has been some thought of Jesus at City this season, scoring only three goals in the league before coming to Watford next-to-last for a match that resembled a training exercise.

The Brazil international scored twice in the first half and twice in the opening eight minutes of the second half – one of which was a penalty for completing his hat-trick.

Rodri scored the second goal – a long-range shot after taking a pass from Jesus for City, who used the match to rest key players before traveling to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday.

While City remained on course for the title, fierce rivals Manchester United likely crashed out of the race for Champions League qualification.

Losing 3–1 at Arsenal, United fell six points behind their top four rival and manager Ralph Rangnick, but sought time in his team’s season.

“I don’t think it’s very realistic to dream and think about the top four,” Rangnik said at the end of a week when United also lost 4-0 at Liverpool and a new manager for the start, Ajax’s Eric Ten. Haig appointed. of next season.

Arsenal dropped to fourth place, three points above north London rivals Tottenham, who visited Brentford late.

In other games, last-placed Norwich moved closer to relegation with a 3–0 loss at home to Newcastle. This saved Norwich eight points from safety with only five games remaining.

Mid-table teams Leicester and Aston Villa drew 0–0.

Ronaldo’s return

An emotional scoring comeback for Cristiano Ronaldo was not enough for United.

The Portugal star mourned the death of his newborn son in a midweek loss to Liverpool but was back in the starting lineup against Arsenal.

Ronaldo raised his left hand and pointed it skyward after scoring in the 34th minute, in which Nuno Tavares and Bukayo Saka had already netted for Arsenal.

Ronaldo turned down the chance to take a penalty for missing compatriot Bruno Fernandes, with United manager Ralph Rangnick saying: “He didn’t feel like he should take it.”

Granit Xaka sealed the win for Arsenal with a sweet hit shot from long distance in the 70th minute, completing an excellent week for Mikel Arteta’s side after a 4-2 win at Chelsea on Wednesday.

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More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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