Sports Desk, Apr 23 (EFE).- Gabriel Jesus scored four goals Saturday to lead Manchester City 5-1 over Watford and put some more distance between the defending Premier League champions and second-place Liverpool.
City go to 80 points, while Liverpool have 76 ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Everton. Watford remain second from the bottom with 22 points, 7 from safety with five games left in the season.
Jesus, who started the match at the Etihad with just three Premier League goals for the season, put the hosts on the board in the 4th minute and made it 2-0 in the 23rd.
Improbably, Hassane Kamara halved the lead five minutes later, beating City goalkeeper Ederson with one of the two shots on target the Hornets would manage in the course of the contest.
But Rodri restored the two-goal margin for City in the 34th minute with a blast from 25 yards out.
Barely two minutes into the second half, Jesus broke through the Watford defense and keeper Ben Foster opted for a desperate challenge that ended with the Brazilian on the ground and the referee pointing to the spot.
Jesus converted to complete the hat trick, his third in City colors. And the Brazil international wasn’t finished, scoring in the 53rd minute with an assist from Kevin de Bruyne.
In Saturday’s early match, Arsenal kept alive their Champions League hopes with a 3-1 victory over Manchester United.
The Gunners got off to a good start, taking the lead three minutes into the game, when Nuno Tavares collected and fired home a ball deflected off goalkeeper David de Gea after a Bukayo Saka hit.
Arsenal doubled their lead shortly after the half-hour mark when Saka delivered from the 12-yard spot following a VAR review.
Referee Craig Pawson was initially checking a goal scored by Eddie Nketiah from close range off a pass from Saka, who was downed in the penalty area. Nketiah’s goal was disallowed for offside, but the Gunners were awarded a penalty.
Cristiano Ronaldo got his team back into the game in the 34th minute, when he punished Arsenal for some poor defending.
The Portuguese star, who missed United’s 4-0 midweek loss to Liverpool after his newborn child’s death, scored his 100th Premier League goal.
The Red Devils had a chance to equalize but Bruno Fernandes’ penalty hit the woodwork.
With 20 minutes to spare, Granit Xhaka put the game out of United’s reach with a powerful shout from outside the area.
After the victory, Arsenal are fourth with 60 points, 2 behind third-place Chelsea, and 3 ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who managed only a 0-0 draw Saturday against Brentford.
Manchester United are sixth with 54 points. EFE msg-ta/jt/dr