Man City win as EPL marks poignant return

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Kevin De Bruyne (c) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (r) kneel ahead of their EPL clash on Wednesday

Manchester City returned to their winning ways as the English Premier League made a poignant return from a 100-day hiatus on Wednesday.

Players from the four clubs in action - City, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Sheffield United - went down on one knee to show support against racism, wearing shirts with Black Lives Matter on their backs.

"We should send a thousand million messages for the black people," City manager Pep Guardiola said.

"I'm embarrassed and ashamed of what the white people have done for the black people.

"All the gestures are good and positive. We have to do a lot of things for the black people which we have not done so far."

City conquered the Gunners 3-0 with Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne (penalty) and Phil Foden scoring.

David Luiz, who was at fault for the first goal, was sent off for conceding the penalty in Gunners manager Mikel Arteta's first outing against his former club where he was Guardiola's assistant.

City's win reduced the gap between themselves and runaway leaders Liverpool to 22 points, meaning Juergen Klopp's side need two wins to secure their first title since 1990.

The only downside for City was an injury to Eric Garcia, who was taken off on a stretcher after colliding with Ederson.

Guardiola said defender Garcia was conscious but needed to be taken to hospital for further checks.

"We are a little bit concerned," he said. "He responds well but we have to wait for the next few hours."

Controversy marked the opening match after the shutdown, with faulty goal-line technology robbing Sheffield United of a legitimate goal against Aston Villa in their 0-0 draw.

Sixth-placed United thought they had scored when Oliver Norwood's free kick late in the first half seemed to have been carried well over the line by home keeper Orjan Nyland, under pressure from Keinan Davis.

But referee Michael Oliver's goal-line technology watch did not signal a goal and the video assistant referee did not overrule what seemed a clear mistake.

In a statement on Twitter, Hawk-Eye Innovations said the match officials had not received a signal to their watch or earpiece and that the seven cameras in the stadium "were significantly occluded by the goalkeeper, defender and goalpost".

"Hawk-Eye unreservedly apologises to the Premier League, Sheffield United and everyone affected by this incident."

The apology didn't appease Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder.

"My issue is obviously one of frustration," he said.

"Seven cameras haven't picked it up - the most technical league in the world - everything we see at every angle and it hasn't seen a goal. That is disappointing from our point of view.

"The statement has come out and it is unprecedented, unbelievable."

Villa remain second-bottom, one point and two places from safety, while the visitors are one point behind fifth-placed Manchester United.