The Washington Post Sunday

Man City suffers first EPL defeat of season

Defending champ was unbeaten in previous 21

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Chelsea handed Manchester City its first loss of the English Premier League season Saturday, winning, 2-0, in London as the defending champions were replaced atop the league by Liverpool.

After losing two of its previous three league games, Chelsea was forced to repel waves of City attacks before N’Golo Kante scored on the team’s first shot on target in the 45th minute. Chelsea controlled the second half, and David Luiz headed the hosts further in front in the 78th.

The loss ended City’s 21-game unbeaten run in the league stretching to last season, when Coach Pep Guardiola’s side won the title with 100 points.

“They had minimum chances and scored,” Guardiola said. “It is emotional for me to see these players do what they do every three days. It is the level that it is. We were outstandin­g except for five [or] eight minutes.”

Liverpool moved a point ahead of City after beating host Bournemout­h, 4-0, earlier Saturday with Mohamed Salah posting a hat trick.

For the first time this season, Salah scored more than once in a league game. He broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when he responded to a parried shot. The Egyptian stayed on his feet under a challenge from Steve Cook before drilling home in style three minutes into the second half, and his final goal of the day came in the 77th . . . .

A visit from last-place Fulham allowed Manchester United to end a four-match winless run as Jose Mourinho’s side claimed a 4-1 victory.

Ashley Young struck into the top corner to put United ahead in the 13th minute, Juan Mata slotted in from Marcus Rashford’s cutback in the 28th, and Romelu Lukaku ended his 997-minute wait for a goal at Old Trafford in the 42nd . . . .

With Tottenham playing at Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, Coach Mauricio Pochettino gave Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen some rest by starting them on the bench Saturday at Leicester. It paid off, thanks to the contributi­ons of Son Heung-min.

The South Korean struck the opener from long range just before the first half ended, then provided a cross for Dele Alli to head in the second for a 2-0 win.

SPAIN: Lionel Messi scored twice on free kicks in a league match for the first time in his career, leading Barcelona to a 4-0 rout of host Espanyol in the Spanish league.

Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez also scored in the Catalan derby for Barcelona, which opened a three-point lead over Sevilla and Atletico Madrid. Sevilla drew, 1-1, at Valencia, and Atletico defeated Alaves, 3-0, at home.

Fifth-place Real Madrid visits last-place Huesca on Sunday, only a few hours before River Plate and Boca Juniors meet in the Copa Libertador­es final at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

GERMANY: Jadon Sancho pointed to the sky after scoring Borussia Dortmund’s winning goal for a 2-1 victory at the club’s biggest rival, Schalke, in Gelsenkirc­hen. Then came the tears. Sancho dedicated the goal to his recently deceased grandmothe­r after becoming Dortmund’s youngest goal scorer in the Ruhr derby, Germany’s biggest, at age 18.

“The goal means everything to my family. Sadly my grandmothe­r passed away, so that goal was for her,” the England winger said. “I’m glad that I got the goal and helped the team get three points.”

Sancho’s classy finish kept Dortmund nine points clear of defending Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich, which kept pace and moved into second with a 3-0 win over promoted Nuremberg in their Bavarian derby in Munich.

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