24 Aug 2015

Man City begin season in ominous form

11:09 am on 24 August 2015

Manchester City's impressive 2-0 victory at Everton this morning equalled the English football club's record of nine successive Premier League wins but more importantly sent an ominous warning to their rivals.

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Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero Photo: Photosport

City have yet to drop a point since a humbling 4-2 defeat away to local rivals Manchester United in early April.

Given last season's underwhelming campaign, which ended with an eight-point deficit to champions Chelsea, few had talked about City as title favourites in the build-up this time.

Three successive wins, however, including a 3-0 victory at home to Chelsea, has catapulted City to the top of the fledgling table and sent an ominous warning that they mean business.

"Before the game someone told me that if we win today it is a new record after so many years," manager Manuel Pellegrini, whose side have scored eight goals and conceded none, said.

"That is secondary but they are always important. But it is more important to be top of the table and the most important thing is to see the team playing the way we are doing."

"I am pleased because it was a very professional performance against a very difficult team here at Goodison Park."

Crucial to their impressive start, which has put them two points clear on nine, is the form of their leading quartet Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero.

Kompany, who has guided City to three clean sheets and scored twice, and Yaya Toure appear back to their dominant best following a disappointing season last year.

Silva and Aguero have also been in strong form, opening up opposition defences and creating chances at will.

Close-season signing Raheem Sterling from Liverpool has already formed a strong partnership with fullback Aleksandar Kolarov, scorer of the opening goal this morning, and the pair have been central to much of City's best play this year.

"We have a good squad," Pellegrini added after substitute Samir Nasri had scored a late second goal. "We have all the players involved in our target which is to play in the way we are doing so far.

"Now after Watford (at home on Sunday NZT) we are going to start playing eight games every month so it is important to have the whole squad involved in our targets this year.

"It is very important to understand we are just starting the season and it is just three games."

New signing scores first up for Chelsea

The Spanish forward Pedro has already made his presence felt at the Premier League champions Chelsea with a goal and an assist in an eye-catching performance in the London club's 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion.

Twenty-eight-year-old Pedro, apparently bound for Manchester United, signed instead with Chelsea last week for a fee of $50-million, and he immediately impressed with incisive running and deft touches in the first half.

Team-mate Cesc Fabregas described Pedro's performance as fantastic.

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In Monday's other game, Watford and Southampton were both left waiting for a first win after a drab 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road.