Manchester City breaks club wins record
Breaking a 103- year club record, Manchester City reeled off its 10th straight Premier League victory on Saturday. For Jose Mourinho, a landmark day produced an unwelcome result, with his 100th home league game in charge of Chelsea ending in only a second loss.
City’s fourth success of the new season was a 2-0 victory over Watford, with US$76-million signing Raheem Sterling scoring his first league goal for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, which looks irresistible in its quest to regain the trophy from Chelsea.
Fortunately for City, whose other goal was scored by Fernandinho, Chelsea appears to be imploding.
A 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace left Chelsea with only four points from four games heading into the international break.
Although Radamel Falcao canceled out Bakary Sako’s Palace opener by heading in his first Chelsea goal in the 79th minute, the south London visitors were back in front inside two minutes through Joel Ward.
“I cannot say that I had 11 players performing at the same time,” Mourinho said. “Two or three of them their individual performance was far from good. I blame myself for not changing one of them.”
Already Chelsea is eight points adrift of early leader City. It’s a daunting gap, but Mourinho knows how easy it is to throw away a lead.
Before winning the title by eight points in May, Chelsea recovered from conceding the same advantage over City midway through the season.
Liverpool harbors ambitions of winning a 19th title — the first since 1990 — but could struggle to just return to the top four, as Saturday’s 3-0 home capitulation to West Ham demonstrated.
On the day Palace won at Chelsea for the first time since 1982, West Ham ended an even longer winless run at Anfield stretching back to 1963.
“A lot of it today was self-inflicted,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. “We gave poor goals away and that was the biggest disappointment.”
Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble sent West Ham into a halftime lead. Although Liverpool had Philippe Coutinho sent off at the start of the second half, Noble was also dismissed before Diafra Sakho completed West Ham’s second away win of the season.
“It is one of those games that will be written in the history books of our club,” West manager Slaven Bilic said.
The league campaign started for West Ham under Bilic with a win at Arsenal, which has recovered from that opening day setback to collect seven points from nine.
Arsenal relied on Fabricio Coloccini’s own goal to win 1-0 at Newcastle despite the hosts playing for 75 minutes with 10 men after Aleksandar Mitrovic was dismissed.
There were two red cards at Stoke, shown to two home players — Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam — within seven minutes against West Bromwich Albion. Despite playing with nine men from the 31st, West Brom only edged a 1-0 win through Salomon Rondon’s header.
Like Stoke, Sunderland and Tottenham are still searching for their first wins of the season.
Sunderland was held 2-2 at Aston Villa and Tottenham-Everton ended 0-0.
Bournemouth, playing its firstever season in the top flight, has four points from four after drawing 1-1 with Leicester.
On Sunday, Manchester United is at Swansea and Southampton hosts Norwich. Then attention shifts to late moves in the transfer window, which closes on Tuesday.
(Left) Chelsea’s Diego Costa, center, competes for the ball with Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann, top right, during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Saturday, Aug. 29. (Right) Chelsea’s Diego Costa kneels on the pitch after a challenge during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Saturday.