London: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Joao Cancelo’s controversial goal in Tuesday’s 5-0 win at West Bromwich Albion showed the importance of playing to the whistle.
Cancelo’s 20th minute strike came as several West Brom players stopped in anticipation of the referee blowing for offside after the assistant’s flag was raised in the build up.
But after checking with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the referee allowed the goal to stand.
“I understand the complaints from the West Brom players and the manager,” Guardiola told reporters. “But with this rule you have to follow the action until the end. Don’t stop because with VAR it can be disallowed.
“It is a good lesson for us. Today it happened to West Brom, but it could happen to us.” Ilkay Gundogan scored twice, and Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling also got on the scoresheet to seal City’s seventh straight Premier League win.
City have moved top of the table for the first time this season on 41 points, one ahead of Manchester United, who play bottom club Sheffield United later on Wednesday.
Make it seven straight wins in the league - and 11 in all competitions - for City in an ominous run of results. City became the ninth side to finish a day in first place this season, the most within a single top-flight campaign since 1986-87.
Even if Manchester United reclaims the lead on Wednesday by beating Sheffield United, City - on its longest winning run in more than three years - looks to be the team to beat.
Arsenal, meanwhile, avenged a defeat to Southampton in the FA Cup at the weekend by beating the Saints 3-1 in the league.
Arsenal rally hard
Arsenal came from behind to win for the first time in a Premier League game this season, having trailed after three minutes. Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka replied before halftime, and Alexandre Lacazette made sure of the points with a third in the 72nd.
The win moved Mikel Arteta’s side above Southampton and up to eighth in the standings.
Newcastle’s winless run extended to 11 games in all competitions with a 2-1 home defeat to Leeds, piling the pressure on manager Steve Bruce.
Jack Harrison clinched three points with a swerving 61st-minute strike with the outside of his left foot, four minutes after Miguel Almiron cancelled out Raphinha’s first-half opener for Leeds.
Leeds ended their three-game losing streak in all competitions. Newcastle has taken only two points from the last 27 in the league and has dropped to 16th.
Newcastle 1 Leeds 2
Crystal Palace 2 West Ham 3
West Brom 0 Man City 5
Southampton 1 Arsenal 3
Spanish Copa del Rey
Valladolid 2 Levante 4
Girona 0 Villarreal 1
Real Betis 3 Real Sociedad 1