City start off with a bang

They dom­i­nate Gun­ners from the start as Reds show they are in top form too

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - REUTERS

MANCH­ESTER City be­gan the de­fence of their ti­tle with an im­pres­sive win away to an Arse­nal side play­ing un­der new man­ager Unai Emery yes­ter­day.

At­tempt­ing to be­come the first team since Manch­ester United in 2009 to re­tain the ti­tle, the cham­pi­ons were good value with goals by Ra­heem Stirling and Bernardo Silva.

Ster­ling went past two weak chal­lengers to put City ahead in the first quar­ter of an hour with his 50th league goal.

Soon af­ter debu­tant Riyad Mahrez from Le­ices­ter City was sub­sti­tuted, Bernardo Silva added the se­cond in the 65th minute.

Mean­while, last sea­son’s Premier League top scorer Mo Salah was on tar­get again as Liver­pool be­gan their cam­paign with an easy win at home to West Ham United.

The Egyp­tian gave Juer­gen Klopp’s side the lead af­ter 19 min­utes from Andy Robert­son’s pre­cise low cross.

West Ham’s new man­ager Manuel Pel­le­grini gave de­buts to five of their 10 close-sea­son sign­ings, but his re­vamped team rarely threat­ened Liver­pool’s ex­pen­sive new Brazil­ian goal­keeper Alis­son.

Poor de­fend­ing cost them a se­cond goal just be­fore the in­ter­val, to Sa­dio Mane, who added a third af­ter 53 min­utes from an off­side po­si­tion.

Sub­sti­tute Daniel Stur­ridge made it four­just sec­onds af­ter com­ing on.

Salah’s goal fea­tured an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion from new sign­ing Naby Keita.

Guinea’s Keita was ex­cel­lent through­out. Liver­pool’s other debu­tant, Alis­son, was much less in­volved as the Lon­don side strug­gled to make chances.

Their best one fol­lowed a lucky bounce off the ref­eree but Marko Ar­nau­tovic mis­cued his shot.

By the in­ter­val they had con­ceded again af­ter leav­ing three at­tack­ers un­marked in front of goal. Mane was the one who knocked in James Mil­ner’s pull-back.

He scored Liver­pool’s third, which might have been dis­al­lowed for off­side, and Stur­ridge came off the bench in the fi­nal few min­utes to score at the far post from a cor­ner with his first touch.

Pel­le­grini gave de­buts to Lukasz Fabi­an­ski, Ryan Fred­er­icks, Fabian Bal­buena, Felipe An­der­son and Jack Wil­shere, then in­tro­duced a sixth new­comer An­driy Yar­molenko as a sub­sti­tute.

An­der­son and Yar­molenko had their mo­ments but over­all the vis­i­tors were com­pre­hen­sively out­played.

Else­where, Southamp­ton were held to a goal­less draw at home to Burn­ley with Joe Hart mak­ing some key saves on his league de­but for the Clarets.

Burn­ley dom­i­nated the first half and thought they had gone ahead in the eighth minute when for­mer Southamp­ton mid­fielder Jack Cork side­footed home, but the ef­fort was ruled to have been off­side.

Southamp­ton looked the more likely to score but Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Hart pro­duced some fine saves to frus­trate Mark Hughes’ side.

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