Haaland and De Bruyne back in tandem as City keeps the pressure on Liverpool in EPL title race


Watch out, Premier League. The competition’s most lethal attacking combination is back in tandem.

Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne — both recently back from long injury absences — linked up for the clinching goal in Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Everton on Saturday in what will be a worrying sight for the defending champions’ rivals.

Liverpool remained in first place after a 3-1 victory over Burnley but City is ominously placed on the leader’s shoulder, two points behind with a game in hand, and with its superstar attackers back in the groove.

Make it 12 times that De Bruyne has set up Haaland for a goal since they started playing together at the beginning of last season following the striker’s move to England. No other Premier League partnership has delivered that many goals in this period.

And there was something so familiar with the way De Bruyne collected the ball in center-field and slid in Haaland, who bundled his marker off the ball and opened his body to steer home a finish in the 85th minute. It was Haaland’s second of the game, after breaking Everton’s stubborn resistance in the 71st by pouncing on a loose ball following a corner.

City has won six games in a row in the league, and 10 straight in all competitions.

Still, Liverpool is holding strong at the top, with Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez — the starting front three while Mohamed Salah is out injured — all scoring at Anfield. Vincent Kompany, the Man City great in charge of Burnley, couldn’t do his old club a favor.

Liverpool bounced back from only its second league loss this season, at Arsenal last weekend, though there might be concerns over the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold after he came off at halftime, when the score was 1-1.

Son Heung-min marked his return from Asian Cup duty with South Korea by setting up Brennan Johnson for the stoppage-time winner as Tottenham beat Brighton 2-1. In other results, Fulham beat Bournemouth 3-1, Ivan Toney scored again as Brentford won 2-0 at Wolverhampton and last-place Sheffield United won for just the third time this season, 3-1 at relegation rival Luton.


Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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