Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho shone as Manchester City crushed Bournemouth 4-0 yesterday to provisionally go five points clear in the Premier League.
League debutant Ilkay Gundogan also found the net for Pep Guardiola’s City, who have made their best ever start to a season with eight consecutive wins in all competitions.
Full debutant Islam Slimani scored twice as champions Leicester City won 3-0 at home to Burnley and there were also wins for Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion.
At the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola made four changes to the team that had outclassed Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League, with Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Nolito and Iheanacho coming in.
Jack Wilshere, on loan from Arsenal, made his first Bournemouth start, but it was to prove an afternoon to forget for the England international. He gave away the free-kick that led to City’s 15th-minute opener, De Bruyne cleverly stroking the set-piece beneath the jumping wall and into the bottom corner.
The Belgian was involved in the hosts’ second goal 10 minutes later, moving Nolito’s pass on to Sterling, who unselfishly teed up Iheanacho — deputising for the suspended Sergio Aguero — to score. Sterling added a third early in the second half, squeezing a shot over the line after Iheanacho had returned the favour, before De Bruyne set up Gundogan for City’s fourth.
The only disappointment for Guardiola was the late dismissal of Nolito for leaning his head towards Adam Smith.
Everton were to face Middlesbrough at home in the late game with a chance to trim City’s lead back to two points by winning.
Liverpool and Chelsea also trail City by five points following the Merseyside club’s impressive 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Friday.
Sanchez on target
Arsenal are also on 10 points after winning 4-1 at Hull City to register a third consecutive league win for the first time since last December.
Alexis Sanchez claimed his first goal of the afternoon when Alex Iwobi’s shot flicked off him and into the net in the 17th minute. After Theo Walcott had chipped in to make it 2-0, Robert Snodgrass reduced the arrears with a 79th-minute penalty following a foul on Hull debutant Dieumerci Mbokani by visiting goalkeeper Petr Cech. But Sanchez made the game safe six minutes later by lashing home after Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic had saved from Walcott and substitute Granit Xhaka added a stunning late goal from long range.
Leicester are three points back in ninth place after Slimani put paid to Burnley at the King Power Stadium.
Algeria international Slimani was making his league debut after his £28 million transfer from Sporting Lisbon. He scored a pair of headers either side of half-time, nodding in a Christian Fuchs free-kick in first-half stoppage time and then heading home from strike partner Jamie Vardy’s flick. Ben Mee’s own goal from Riyad Mahrez’s cross completed the scoring in the 78th minute.