Manchester City 3, West Brom 1: Pep Guardiola urges City to hold off Liverpool and Arsenal and ensure third-place finish

 
Ross McLean
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Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring for City against West Brom (Source: Getty)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has set his sights on a third-place finish after comfortably dispatching West Brom and moving ahead of Liverpool in the race for Champions League football.

Goals from Gabriel Jesus, Kevin de Bruyne and Yaye Toure propelled City two points clear of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, who occupy fourth place in the Premier League.

Victory in their final match of the season at Watford on Sunday would guarantee City third place, which in turn would avoid the Champions League qualifying round next term which the team finishing fourth would be required to navigate.

“It was a perfect day for our performance, victory and three points, which help us be closer to our target,” said Guardiola.

“We are third and it’s in our hands to finish third, so we have to travel to Watford and win the game.”

City opened the scoring on 27 minutes when De Bruyne latched onto a cheeky Sergio Aguero flick and picked out Jesus for a simple tap-in.

Seconds later De Bruyne doubled the lead as City poured forward, angling a first-time curling effort from the edge of the penalty area beyond helpless West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster.

The hosts all but settled matters shortly before the hour mark when Toure exchanged passes with Aguero before slotting clinically past Foster.

The Baggies notched a consolation strike on 87 minutes as Hal Robson-Kanu netted from close-range finish following Allan Nyom’s centre.

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