Man City starting to look real deal
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.