Man City start­ing to look real deal

The Advertiser - - SPORT -

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 English Pre­mier League with a re­sound­ing 6-0 vic­tory at Vicarage Road.

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 off­sea­son of sig­nif­i­cant per­son­nel changes ap­pears to be pay­ing div­i­dends.

“It was so good, es­pe­cially after an away game in the Cham­pi­ons League,” Guardi­ola said.

“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 with a win over Ever­ton.

How­ever Liver­pool failed to shake off the ef­fects of last week’s thrash­ing by City, let­ting Burn­ley leave An­field with a 1-1 draw.

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.

Sum­mer re­cruit Mo­hamed Salah’s ty­ing goal se­cured a point for the Reds but even he can’t match the bril­liance of Mane, who is serv­ing a three­match sus­pen­sion after be­ing sent off against Manchester City last week­end.

Else­where Crys­tal Palace be­came the first club in league his­tory to lose its open­ing five games with­out scor­ing.

And 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.

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