Sergio Aguero’s exquisite solo strike and late goals by Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho earned Manchester City a 3-0 win over Chelsea in the first heavyweight showdown in the Premier League, compounding the defending champions’ early-season problems.
Aguero made amends for a slew of early misses by exchanging passes with Yaya Toure, twisting inside his marker and placing a pinpoint shot inside the far post in the 32nd minute.
Such was City’s dominance and attacking threat in the first half that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho substituted captain John Terry at halftime to shake up his team.
A hungry-looking City kept the initiative, though. Kompany headed in David Silva’s corner in the 79th minute and Fernandinho drove in a third six minutes later for a victory that could have a big psychological effect in the title race.
Earlier, Damien Delaney’s own-goal allowed Arsenal to belatedly kickstart their league season with a 2-1 away victory in the London derby against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal, in need of a quick response after being beaten 2-0 at home by West Ham United on the opening weekend of the season, dominated the early exchanges and deservedly took the lead with Olivier Giroud’s 16th-minute volley.
The hosts equalised against the run of play 12 minutes later when Joel Ward drilled home a low shot from outside the area.
Palace had recovered from an early mauling by a fired-up Arsenal and had started the second half brightly only for Irishman Delaney to turn Alexis Sanchez’s downward header into his own net after 55 minutes.
Palace struck the woodwork through new signing Conor Wickham shortly after the break but once Arsenal went back in front they assumed control and limited Palace to a late flurry.
“I’m very pleased with the three points. If we had gone two games and zero points it would be absolutely difficult and we knew this would be a tricky one,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the BBC.
“Last week we had a bit of a stroll and thought we would win the game. Today we played real Premier League football from the first minute to the last.”