Manchester City 3 Hull City 1: Guardiola's men bring up century with convincing win
Getty Images
Sergio Aguero netted Manchester City's 100th goal of the season in all competitions as they thumped Premier League strugglers Hull City 3-1.

Manchester City solidified their grip on a place in the Premier League's top four as Pep Guardiola's side took advantage of Hull City's poor away form to claim a convincing 3-1 victory.

Despite taking time to get into their stride at a sun-soaked Etihad Stadium, City all-but wrapped-up the points three minutes after half-time when Sergio Aguero netted the hosts' 100th goal in all competitions this term to put the them 2-0 up.

Eldin Jakupovic had been in fine form to keep the scores level early on, though Hull had been undone prior to Aguero's effort by Ahmed Elmohamady's 31st-minute own-goal.

Only Everton, Tottenham and Chelsea had won more points in 2017 than Marco Silva's side heading into Saturday's clash, though the Tigers - having clawed their way out of the relegation zone in midweek - never looked likely to end their 14-match winless streak on the road.

And the result was duly put beyond all out just after the hour mark when Fabian Delph fired in his first goal of the season, although Claudio Bravo, making his first league start since January in an error-strewn debut season at City, did allow a consolation effort from Andrea Ranocchia to squeak in.

The victory extends the gap between City and fifth-placed Arsenal, who face relegation-threatened Crystal Palace on Monday, to seven points - while Hull remain two points above the drop zone.

Short of the injured Harry Maguire, Hull were carved open inside five minutes - David Silva unable to mark his 300th City appearance with an early goal as Jakupovic reacted instinctively to make a fine save.

Jakupovic's work was not done there though, and Hull's goalkeeper was swiftly back on his feet to stop Leroy Sane tucking home the rebound.

With Hull threatening on the counter, Jakupovic remained relatively untroubled until he had to parry over Yaya Toure's goal-bound free-kick.

But Jakupovic could do nothing to prevent City's fortunate opener.

Silva was at the heart of it with a wonderful pass into Jesus Navas, whose looping cross into the six-yard box was turned in by the hapless Elmohamady.

Hull should have restored parity immediately, but Oumar Niasse somehow failed to turn in Kamil Grosicki's deflected cross from point-blank range.

Elmohamady was involved again as City got the second half off to a flying start.

After a brilliant solo run, Raheem Sterling picked out Aguero who, despite the presence of both Elmohamady and Michael Dawson on the goal line, was able to force home a close-range finish.

Jakupovic was required once more to keep out Dawson's header towards his own goal from another fantastic Sterling cross with a terrific save.

Sterling was in inspired form, and soon turned provider again with a neat pass into Delph before the England midfielder thumped in an emphatic third.

Silva's landmark appearance came to an end with a standing ovation as he was taken off soon after, and though poor goalkeeping from Bravo allowed Ranocchia to reduce the arrears, it mattered little as City gave themselves some breathing space in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Article continues below


Key Opta stats:

- No Premier League side has scored more goals in all competitions than Manchester City this season (101, level with Arsenal).
- However, only Hull (1) have kept fewer home clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Man City (3).
- Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in his last 10 games for Man City in all competitions.
- Despite impressive recent home form, Hull have won just two points from their last 45 available on the road (W0 D2 L13).
- No side has scored more own goals in the Premier League this season than Hull (5, level with Swansea).
- Andrea Ranocchia has scored two goals in his last three league games, after a run of 55 without one (for Inter, Sampdoria and Hull).

Comments ()