11 Sep 2016

City too good for United

6:56 am on 11 September 2016

Pep Guardiola got one over his old rival Jose Mourinho as Manchester City edged an absorbing derby clash against Manchester United 2-1 to go three points clear at the top of the English Premier League.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The victory on their rivals' home turf maintained their 100 percent start to the season and inflicted a first defeat on United, who looked second best for most of the encounter at Old Trafford.

Arsenal were lucky to escape with three points from a home clash with Southampton as Santi Cazorla held his nerve to score a 94th-minute penalty in a 2-1 win, while Son Heung-min scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur won 4-0 at Stoke City.

Liverpool beat Leicester City 4-1, while Watford completed a superb comeback to beat West Ham United 4-2 away.

City's Kevin de Bruyne was at his scintillating best and returned to haunt Mourinho, his former manager at Chelsea, by opening the scoring when he met a flicked header from Kelechi Iheanacho.

He then created City's second goal when his shot deflected off the post into Nigeria striker Iheanacho's path.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic reduced the deficit just before the break during a breathless first half after City's new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo dropped a high cross at the Swede's feet, one of several errors during an unconvincing debut.

City held firm, however, to wrap up the points and hand Guardiola first blood in the latest installment of his simmering rivalry with Mourinho.

"We were the team trying to change the result," a defiant Mourinho told reporters. "We had the courage and the honesty and the dignity to go and chase with pride."

Bravo could have given away a penalty with a studs-up challenge on an infuriated Wayne Rooney, while Ibrahimovic had a goal ruled out when he deflected the ball home from a clearly offside position, but United never really got the upper hand in the match.

Arsenal enjoyed much of the possession against Southampton but lacked a cutting edge and needed Cazorla's late penalty to take all three points after Jose Fonte was harshly penalised for tangling with Olivier Giroud.

"He did very well to score because he felt a heavy mental weight for the team," Arsene Wenger told reporters. "It's a relief because we missed many chances and they had one or two opportunities having thrown everything forward."

Laurent Koscielny's overhead kick had earlier cancelled out Petr Cech's own goal.

Tottenham's Son scored either side of halftime after fine interplay with the impressive Christian Eriksen as Spurs rediscovered the fluid attacking football that made them such an irresistible offensive threat last season to outclass Stoke.

Dele Alli and Harry Kane opened their accounts for the season after the break as Spurs moved fourth with eight points.

"What was most important was that we started a very difficult run of seven games in 20 matches with a win," said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. "It was the perfect result for us."

Two first-half goals from Michail Antonio put West Ham United in control against Watford, but the hosts drew level when Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney hit a quickfire double at the end of the first half and Etienne Capoue and Jose Holebas completed a remarkable comeback with second-half strikes.

Roberto Firmino scored twice and Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana also found the net in an eye-catching attacking display from Liverpool as they beat Leicester City 4-1 at home.

Firmino opened the scoring in the 13th minute after being found by a superb pass by James Milner, taking a touch to evade the defenders before finishing calmly across Kasper Schmeichel's goal. Mane added a second in the 31st minute, chipping home to cap off a delicious team move after being picked out by Daniel Sturridge.

A defensive mix-up gave the champions a lifeline seven minutes later when Jamie Vardy capitalised on Lucas Leiva's mindless ball across goal to tap in from close range, but while Leicester pressed manfully, they struggled to construct a coherent attacking threat.

The hosts restored their two-goal advantage in the 56th minute when Lallana met Giorgino Wijnaldum's lay-off and rifled a fine shot into the top corner, before Firmino added a late fourth from a searing counter attack after Schmeichel underestimated Mane's speed and was caught in no man's land.

Crystal Palace got their first win of the season as they beat Middlesbrough 2-1, while Bournemouth beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 and Burnley and Hull City drew 1-1.