Man City shows its Pep

Ottawa Sun - - SPORTS - SOC­CER ROUNDUP — Post­media Net­work wires — Post­media Net­work wires

Al­though it has 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 on Saturday.

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 div­i­dends.

“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 on Sun­day with a win over Ever­ton.

Else­where, Liverpool failed to shake off the ef­fects of last week’s thrash­ing by City, let­ting Burn­ley leave An­field with a 1-1 draw. Cana­dian in­ter­na­tional Scott Ar­field scored for Bur­ley.

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

Roy Hodg­son’s first match in charge of Crys­tal Palace looked like the team’s pre­vi­ous four matches. In a 1-0 loss to Southamp­ton, Steven Davis’ early goal proved de­ci­sive.

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.

Atletico Madrid de­buted its new sta­dium and beat Malaga 1-0 on Saturday. An­toine Griez­mann scored the first goal at the state-of-the-art Wanda Metropoli­tano.

The nearly 68,000 fans at the in­au­gu­ral match in the sta­dium on the out­skirts of the Span­ish cap­i­tal erupted when Griez­mann con­verted a low cross by An­gel Cor­rea from the right an hour in.

“I’m proud to have writ­ten my name in the his­tory of the sta­dium and in the his­tory of the club,” Griez­mann said. “Hope­fully there will be many more goals like this in this sta­dium.”

The vic­tory capped a day of fes­tiv­i­ties cel­e­brat­ing the sta­dium’s open­ing game, at­tended by King Felipe VI. Af­ter­ward, play­ers went around the field greet­ing the fans in the stands. A show with fire­works and mu­sic en­sued.

“I’ve never seen any­thing like this as a player or a coach,” Atletico coach Diego Sime­one said. “With all the flags fly­ing at the same time, the fans were re­ally into it, as if they wanted to be play­ing. It was mov­ing.”

Atletico moved to within four points of Barcelona, which came from be­hind to de­feat Getafe 2-1 and stay per­fect af­ter four matches.

In­ter Mi­lan stayed per­fect in Serie A with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Cro­tone, which re­mained on Saturday the only team yet to score a goal in the league.

In­ter won its pre­vi­ous three matches com­fort­ably but found it harder than ex­pected Manch­ester City striker Ser­gio Aguero cel­e­brates scor­ing his third goal — and the fifth of his team — dur­ing a 6-0 vic­tory over Wat­ford at Vicarage Road Sta­dium yes­ter­day. at Cro­tone un­til eight min­utes from time when de­fender Mi­lan Skriniar broke the dead­lock.

Ivan Perisic sealed the re­sult in stop­page time.

Fed­erico Chiesa scored a goal his fa­ther would have been proud of to set Fiorentina on its way to beat­ing Bologna 2-1.

Alessan­dro Florenzi marked his come­back with a won­der­ful as­sist to help Roma beat newly pro­moted Hel­las Verona 3-0.

Bay­ern Mu­nich shrugged off a cou­ple of lack­lus­tre per­for­mances by rout­ing Mainz 4-0 to start its tra­di­tional Ok­to­ber­fest cel­e­bra­tions on Saturday.

Robert Le­wandowski marked his 100th league ap­pear­ance for Bay­ern with his 81st and 82nd goals, which came on the first day of the 184th beer fes­ti­val. Bay­ern play­ers tra­di­tion­ally go on an an­nual team visit to Ok­to­ber­fest, which ends on Oct. 3.

There was bizarre own­goal in Schalke’s 2-1 win at Werder Bre­men. Both Mi­los Veljkovic and Lamine Sane wanted to clear the ball — Sane with a bi­cy­cle kick and Veljkovic with his head. In­stead, Sane kicked his team­mate in the head and the ball ended in their own net.

De­spite the de­par­ture of many key play­ers, Monaco’s strike force re­mains in­tact.

Monaco, which had Europe’s most po­tent at­tack last sea­son when it dethroned Paris Saint-Ger­main in the French league and made it to the Cham­pi­ons League semi­fi­nals, al­ready has 17 goals in six league matches.

Monaco’s dis­play on Saturday in a 3-0 win over pro­moted Stras­bourg was not as flam­boy­ant as last sea­son, but Leonardo Jardim’s side re­cov­ered from a shock 4-0 loss at Riviera neigh­bour Nice last week­end with re­mark­able ef­fi­ciency.

“It was not easy for us af­ter the loss in the derby and this match re­ally mat­tered,” Monaco de­fender Kamil Glik said. “We’re still in the mix.”

Monaco moved level on points with leader PSG, which hosts Lyon on Sun­day.

As much as Marc Leish­man has been through, es­pe­cially off the golf course, it takes a lot to get to get un­der his skin. He tells his wife that even af­ter a par­tic­u­larly bad round, give him 10 min­utes and he’ll be fine.

His last tour­na­ment, when Leish­man lost a two-shot lead on the back nine at the TPC Boston, was an ex­cep­tion.

“That one prob­a­bly took a day,” he said. “It stung a bit.”

Leish­man’s round Saturday at the BMW Cham­pi­onship at Lake For­est, Ill, brought him to the verge of re­demp­tion.

Leish­man got up-and-down from a tough lie be­hind the 18th green for one last birdie that gave him a three-un­der 68 and ex­tended his lead to five shots over Ja­son Day and Rickie Fowler go­ing into the fi­nal round at Con­way Farms.

Leish­man, who was at 19-un­der 194, gets an­other chance to win a FedEx Cup play­off event and grab one of the top five seeds at the Tour Cham­pi­onship next week. The top seeds have a clear path to claim the $10 mil­lion bonus.

Macken­zie Hughes of Dun­das, Ont., is the low Cana­dian at 9 un­der af­ter a 69. Adam Had­win (70) of Ab­bots­ford, B.C., is 1 un­der.

Moriya Ju­tanu­garn of Thai­land shot a three-un­der 68 to lead the Evian Cham­pi­onship sec­ond round on Saturday in Evian-les-Bains, and could join her younger sis­ter Ariya in golf’s record book.

Seek­ing to be the first sis­ters to win a ma­jor ti­tle, Moriya’s nine-un­der to­tal left her one shot ahead of Ayako Ue­hara of Ja­pan, who had seven birdies in her round of 66.

The lead­ing group on Sun­day is com­pleted by Kather­ine Kirk of Aus­tralia, who carded a 69 to trail Moriya by two strokes. All three play­ing part­ners will seek their first ma­jor.

Vic­tory for the Moriya — who as a ca­reer-best fin­ish of 10th at a ma­jor — would make the Ju­tanu­garns the first sis­ters to win a Grand Slam ti­tle since the U.S. LPGA Tour was founded 67 years ago.

Ariya, who was top-ranked this sea­son, won the 2016 Women’s Bri­tish Open.

Brooke Hen­der­son shot a 71 to sit at three-over.

AFP/GETTY IM­AGES

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