Man City shows its Pep
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.