Mahrez fires City to top spot

Mahrez fires City to top spot

ON TARGET: Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez (right) celebrates after scoring against Bournemouth. REUTERS

Riyad Mahrez fired Manchester City back to the top of the Premier League as the champions won 1-0 against Bournemouth, while Hugo Lloris saved Tottenham Hotspur in their draw with north London rivals Arsenal on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s side sit two points above Liverpool thanks to Mahrez’s second-half winner at Dean Court.

The only frustration for City in a hard-fought victory were injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones, which could significantly impact their bid to win an unprecedented quadruple.De Bruyne hobbled off after the Belgian midfielder suffered a non-contact injury in the first half. He has already been absent for long spells this season because of two different knee injuries.

City, who are already without injured duo Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte, also lost England defender Stones with an unspecified problem just after the interval. But, showing the depth of City’s squad, it was Mahrez, who had come on for De Bruyne, who finally gave the champions the lead in the 55th minute.

Mahrez claimed his first league goal since December, the Algeria winger driving his shot under Bournemouth ‘keeper Artur Boruc.

At Wembley, Lloris saved a 90th-minute penalty as Tottenham salvaged a 1-1 draw in a pulsating derby.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side fell behind in the 16th minute when Aaron Ramsey slotted home from Alexandre Lacazette’s pass.

But Harry Kane won a controversial 74th-minute penalty to equalise for Tottenham.

Arsenal had a golden opportunity to take the points when Davinson Sanchez was penalised for a soft challenge on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

But Lloris came to Tottenham’s rescue as the France star dived to his right to keep out Aubameyang’s low penalty.

Arsenal dropped to fifth place after Manchester United moved one point above them into fourth with a dramatic 3-2 win against struggling Southampton at Old Trafford.

Yan Valery smashed a fierce drive past United goalkeeper David De Gea in the 26th minute.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team equalised in the 53rd minute through Andreas Pereira’s long-range curler.

Romelu Lukaku put United in front six minutes later with a composed finish.

James Ward-Prowse drew fourth-bottom Southampton level with a superb 75th-minute free-kick.

However, in the 89th minute, Belgian forward Lukaku made it four goals in two games with the last-gasp winner.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace pushed Burnley back into relegation danger with a 3-1 win at Turf Moor.

Wolves eased to a 2-0 victory over Cardiff at Molineux that left the visitors stuck in the relegation zone.

Brighton boosted their survival bid as Florin Andone’s 79th-minute winner secured a 1-0 victory over bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield.