Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City went odds-on for the Premier League title for the first time following a 6-0 rout of Watford at Vicarage Road. Aguero laid on a goal for Gabriel Jesus while Nicolas Otamendi and Raheem Sterling also scored in another stunning performance by Pep Guardiola’s men. Victory means City have now scored 15 goals without reply in their last three games after big wins over Liverpool last week and Feyenoord in midweek.
Watford had started the day hoping to reach the summit themselves but a quickfire double by Aguero either side of the half-hour mark soon erased that unlikely prospect. Jesus made it three before the break, Otamendi headed the fourth just past the hour mark and after Aguero completed his hat-trick, Sterling wrapped things up from the penalty spot.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool endured more frustration as the 1/4 jollies were held to a 1-1 draw by battling Burnley at Anfield. Scott Arfield – a 25/1 shot for the opening goal – struck the Clarets ahead with their first shot on target and although Mohamed Salah quickly restored parity, Klopp’s men failed to turn their dominance into further goals.
Philippe Coutinho, welcomed back to Anfield despite handing in a transfer request, was one of a number of home players who came close as they finished with 35 shots but just nine on target. Liverpool are out to 20/1 for the title and are now even money to finish in the top four – with four sides at shorter odds.
Those teams include Tottenham (at 4/5) who were also held at home – they could not find a way past Swansea as Paul Clement’s side held out for a goalless draw at Wembley. Despite a convincing victory over Dortmund on their return to the Champions League earlier in the week, Spurs remain winless at their temporary home in the Premier League and will have to wait almost a month to end that run, their next home league game scheduled for October 14.
Roy Hodgson’s first game as Crystal Palace manager ended in a 1-0 defeat to Southampton and lumbered the Eagles with another unwanted record. Steven Davis scored the only goal of the game after just six minutes when he tucked the ball home after Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey palmed a Dusan Tadic cross into his path.
Their defeat means Palace become the first top-flight team in history to lose each of their opening five league fixtures without scoring a goal. bar in the second half which was the closest Spurs came to breaking the deadlock.
Conor Lynott – Sports Editor