LONDON (Reuters) – Sergio Aguero scored four goals as Manchester City extended their Premier League lead to 16 points and Harry Kane netted again as Tottenham Hotspur beat arch-rivals Arsenal 1-0 on Saturday.
After a sluggish first half in the early kickoff at Wembley, Kane jumped highest to head home his seventh derby goal in seven games and 23rd in the league this season.
Spurs, who would have won by a greater margin but for an inspired performance from goalkeeper Petr Cech, climbed two places to third while Arsenal sit six points adrift of Liverpool in fourth and Juergen Klopp’s side have a game in hand.
At the Etihad Stadium Aguero and the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who added three assists, were in inspired form as City blew away Leicester in the second half to seal a 23rd league victory from 27 games this season.
“I think we played brilliantly today, the boys did really well and of course Sergio Aguero was a different class today,” Raheem Sterling, scorer of City’s opener, told the BBC.
“He’s a phenomenal striker. He scores all different types of goals – tap-ins, cheeky chips and screamers and we’ve seen that today. It was always going to be a matter of time before he overtook my goal tally.”
After Sterling and Jamie Vardy exchanged first-half goals, Aguero took over and effectively ended the game with two strikes within eight minutes after the break.
The Argentine converted De Bruyne’s teasing cross in the 48th minute and collected another pass from the Belgian to fire through Kasper Schmeichel’s attempted save.
The forward completed his hat-trick with a delicate chip before adding a fourth with an unstoppable, dipping drive which crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.
The 29-year-old now has 21 league goals this season and became only the fourth player to score more than 20 times in four successive Premier League campaigns.
In front of a Premier League record crowd of 83,222, Spurs were in the ascendancy for much of the afternoon – particularly in the second half when only a string of saves from Cech kept Arsenal in the game.
Spurs registered 18 shots to Arsenal’s six with Kane, a constant thorn in the visitors’ side, wasting a number of opportunities to seal a more comfortable win.
Arsenal, however, did have late chances to equalise with substitute Alexandre Lacazette – who replaced the ineffective Henrikh Mkhitaryan – twice going close in the closing minutes.
“I am so happy to win,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “We have had three massive games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal and seven points is good.
“Harry Kane is not old-fashioned, he is the present and the future. We are so proud that he is in our side.”
Everton bounced back from a humiliating 5-1 defeat at Arsenal with Gylfi Sigurdsson, Oumar Niasse and Tom Davies on target in a straightforward 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
Everton climbed to ninth and the only negative was Luka Milivojevic’s late consolation for Palace from the penalty spot.
In south Wales, Swansea registered a third Premier League victory in four matches with Ki Sung-yueng’s late strike lifting them to 15th after a tense 1-0 victory over out-of-form Burnley.
West Ham United climbed five points above the relegation zone and ended a run of three league games without victory with a 2-0 win over Watford thanks to goals from Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic.
Stoke City drew 1-1 with Brighton and Hove Albion after Xherdan Shaqiri cancelled out Jose Izquierdo’s brilliant opener for the visitors.
Charlie Adam missed a late penalty for a Stoke side who remained in the relegation zone.