Pep

Manchester City scored three second-half goals to beat Hull 3-0 on Boxing Day at the KCOM Stadium and go second in the Premier League table.

The hosts kept City at bay until Andrew Robertson’s clumsy challenge on Raheem Sterling allowed Yaya Toure to break the deadlock from the penalty spot after 72 minutes.

Toure’s opener, his third consecutive goal on Boxing Day, was followed by City’s second six minutes later as substitute Kelechi Iheanacho tapped home from David Silva’s low centre.

More good work from Sterling created City’s third as the winger’s firm cross was turned into his own net by Curtis Davies.

The result sees City move up to second, seven points behind leaders Chelsea and two ahead of second-placed Liverpool, who face Stoke at Anfield Tuesday.

Meanwhile, defeat for Hull leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table, four points from safety.

Pep Guardiola made four changes from the victory over Arsenal, with Fernandinho returning from his three-match suspension, while Mike Phelan kept faith with the starting XI defeated at West Ham.

The visitors, who lost John Stones to a first-half knee injury, were once again without Sergio Aguero – serving the final match of his four-game ban – and lacked a cutting edge in the first half as they were left frustrated.

Guardiola opted for Kevin De Bruyne, Sterling and Nolito in attack, but the trio were largely restricted to shots from distance.

Hull goalkeeper David Marshall’s one save of note before the break came from Toure’s dipping free-kick after just seven minutes.

Phelan’s relegation battlers started the second half brightly as Harry Maguire hooked a volley over Claudio Bravo’s crossbar before Michael Dawson’s looping header was cleared off the line by Bacary Sagna.

De Bruyne struck the post down the other end and Hull were ultimately made to pay for their failure to capitalize on their best spell of the game when Toure put City ahead.

Sterling drove past Robertson in the Hull box and the Scotland international tripped his England counterpart with a rash lunge, presenting Toure with the opportunity from 12 yards.

Iheanacho, who had replaced Nolito, added a quickfire second, turning past Marshall from close range after excellent work from Silva and De Bruyne.

And Davies’ own goal deep into stoppage time, forced by the lively Sterling, piled on the misery for Phelan’s side.

They must pick themselves up for the visit of Everton on Friday, while City face title rivals Liverpool on Saturday.

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