Ram­pant Man City look­ing more like a Guardi­ola team

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

LON­DON (AP): ALTHOUGH IT’S taken a year longer than many ex­pected, Manchester City are fi­nally be­gin­ning to re­sem­ble a Pep Guardi­ola-coached team.

City re­mained in ram­pant form as they ended Wat­ford’s un­beaten start to the English Pre­mier League 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 third-place 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 them to­day 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. Crys­tal Palace be­came the first club in league his­tory to lose their open­ing five games with­out scor­ing.

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 in a row by beat­ing Stoke 3-1, Le­ices­ter and Hud­der­s­field drew 1-1, and West Brom and West Ham played out a goal­less draw.

AGUERO CLOS­ING IN

Hav­ing strug­gled at times last sea­son, Aguero ap­pears to have been re­vi­talised by his part­ner­ship with Je­sus and was at his preda­tory best as he 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 Man City.

“I am very happy,” Aguero said. “I am fo­cused on scor­ing the next goal but what mat­ters is that we won.”

NO MANE, MORE PROB­LEMS

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 three-match sus­pen­sion after be­ing sent off against Manchester City last week­end.

ROY’S RE­TURN

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.

Hodg­son has been out of man­age­ment since Euro 2016, where his Eng­land side was elim­i­nated by min­nows Ice­land.

Hav­ing be­come the first Pre­mier League man­ager to be ap­pointed in his 70s, Hodg­son went for a re­turn to a tra­di­tional four-man de­fence, but it took Southamp­ton just six min­utes to breach it.

Re­sults: Crys­tal Palace 0 Southamp­ton 1; Hud­der­s­field 1 Le­ices­ter 1; Liver­pool 1 Burn­ley 1; New­cas­tle Utd 2 Stoke City 1; Wat­ford 0 Manchester City 6; West Brom 0 West Ham 0; Tot­ten­ham 0 Swansea 0.

AP

Manchester City’s Ser­gio Aguero (right) taps in his side’s se­cond goal against Wat­ford dur­ing their English Pre­mier League match at Vicarage Road in Wat­ford, Eng­land yes­ter­day. Man City won 6-0.

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