Guardiola magic finally starts to work on City
ALTHOUGH it’s taken a year longer than many expected, Manchester City is finally beginning to resemble a Pep Guardiola-coached team.
City remained in rampant form as it ended Watford’s unbeaten start to the EPL with a resounding 6-0 victory at Vicarage Road yesterday.
Guardiola’s side has scored 15 goals in three matches since the international break, following 5-0 and 4-0 wins over Liverpool and Feyernood respectively.
City stuttered to a thirdplace finish in Guardiola’s debut season while failing to produce the stylish play of its manager’s former sides, but a second straight off-season of significant personnel changes appears to be paying off.
“It was so good, especially after an away game in the Champions League,” Guardiola said.
“I was lucky to manage Barcelona with many outstanding performances but this week has been a lot of goals. We have found our game, we can make short passes, and we have a lot of energy from our full backs.”
Sergio Aguero scored a predatory hat trick and laid on an assist for Gabriel Jesus, while Nicolas Otamendi headed in, and Raheem Sterling added a late penalty.
The victory took City to the top of the table, but Manchester United can join it should its bitter rival overcome Everton overnight.
Elsewhere, Liverpool failed to shake off the effects of last week’s thrashing by City, letting Burnley leave Anfield with a 1-1 draw.
Crystal Palace became the first club in league history to lose its opening five games without scoring when they fell 1-0 at home to Southampton.
Swansea brought Tottenham back to earth in a scoreless draw at Wembley, three days after Spurs tore apart Borussia Dortmund.
Newcastle made it three league wins a row by beating Stoke 3-1, Leicester and Huddersfield drew 1-1, and West Brom and West Ham played out a goalless draw.
Having struggled at times last season, Aguero appears to have been revitalised by his partnership with Jesus and completed the sixth Premier League hat trick of his career.
The Argentine forward is just three goals away from breaking Eric Brook’s 177-goal record at Manchester City.
Philippe Coutinho made his first start of the season for Liverpool after failing to force a summer move to Barcelona, but his return wasn’t enough to fill the void left by the suspended Sadio Mane.
Liverpool struggled at times last season without Mane and it appears little has changed.