LONDON: Manchester City joined Manchester United on maximum points and climbed to first in the Premier League with a convincing 4-1 win at Stoke.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart again remained a substitute but City’s season and Pep Guardiola’s reign as manager gained a sense of momentum with a third victory in eight days.
Last week’s 2-1 defeat of Sunderland was followed by Wednesday’s 5-0 Champions League win at Steaua Bucharest. At Stoke, two goals each from Sergio Aguero and Nolito brought City’s goals total to 11 in three games.
First-half finishes from Aguero, the first from the penalty spot, had given City a convincing lead.
Stoke’s Bojan Krkic converted a penalty in the 49th minute. Nolito then secured the three points in the 86th before adding his second five minutes into stoppage time.
Burnley impressively earned their first points of the season by defeating Liverpool 2-0. Liverpool’s 4-3 win at Arsenal last weekend suggested they could emerge as title contenders. But for all of their dominance of possession and their many goalscoring chances, they were unable to overcome Burnley’s resilience.
Sam Vokes scored from outside the area in the second minute and Andre Gray added their second in the 37th minute from similar range.
Unlike Liverpool, Chelsea proved capable of recovering from going behind to win 2-1 at Watford.
As with Monday’s 2-1 defeat of West Ham, a late winning goal from Diego Costa from close range secured all three points for new manager Antonio Conte.
Substitute and summer signing Michy Batshuayi had equalised seven minutes earlier in the 80th minute, also from close range. Etienne Capoue had given Watford a 55th-minute lead.
The result left Chelsea in fourth place with six points from two games, behind only City, United and Hull, who won 2-0 at Swansea.
Hull’s lack of a permanent manager and thin squad meant they remained many observers’ favourites for relegation back to the Championship, even after last week’s 2-1 win over champions Leicester.
Substitute Shaun Maloney gave them the lead with a close-range finish in the 79th minute and Abel Hernandez secured all three points in the second minute of stoppage time.
They could yet struggle if they do not strengthen before the transfer window closes, but two wins from two gives them the fighting chance many feared they would not have.
Tottenham climbed to sixth, on four points, with a 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace.
Summer signing Victor Wanyama headed his first goal for the club in the 83rd minute, leaving Alan Pardew’s team with two defeats from two and bottom of the table.
Fifth-placed Everton also moved on to four points after winning 2-1 at West Brom.
Gareth McAuley had headed the hosts into the lead in the ninth minute. Kevin Mirallas then rolled in Everton’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
Ronald Koeman’s first victory as Everton manager was secured when Gareth Barry forced in from close range after a corner on the hour mark.
In the evening’s late kick-off, Arsenal and Leicester responded to losses in the opening weekend of the season by drawing 0-0 at the King Power Stadium.
Laurent Koscielny returned to Arsenal’s injury-hit defence in place of Calum Chambers.
But despite them being the superior team they were unable to secure the goal needed to lift the pressure that has already built on manager Arsene Wenger.
Hull had decent claims for two penalties rejected by referee Mark Clattenburg.
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