A round-up from the Premier League games involving the two Manchester clubs with polar opposite results during Week 2.
Man City 6 v 1 Huddersfield
Last night, I felt my first earthquake. Ok, maybe a tad dramatic – it was an aftershock. But the house rumbled. The key wouldn’t stop jangling in the door.
I felt completely and utterly small.
I didn’t know what to do.
I imagine that’s what David Wagner’s side felt like during the 90-minutes that Pep Guardiola’s champions stomped all over them.
A new season.
The same old season.
Man City ended the last one at the top after a riotous romp, and they’ve begun this season the same way.
After beating Arsenal 2-0 in the opener, the champions, and favourites to retain their title, smashed six passed a hapless looking Huddersfield at The Etihad.
The Citizens are an immovable force at home. It doesn’t matter the eleven Guardiola sends out, they swarm and sting like a plague of mosquitoes – 104 goals in 39 home games under the savvy Spaniard no less.
Each player in blue played a part in the romp but there was one man who stood out as a Titan amongst Titans, and that was Sergio Aguero. The stocky star, who couldn’t get into the Argentina World Cup lineup, scored his 13th hat-trick for Manchester City; ninth in the Premier League and only Alan Shearer has more (11).
It’s a record that won’t stand the test of time.
“He is in the best condition I have ever seen him in,” said Guardiola.
His first came in the 25th minute.
Ederson smashed a goal kick to the front lines, and Aguero reacted quicker than a Terrier. Ben Hamer made the rash decision to sprint to the edge of the box to meet the mighty man, and his decision looked as daft as Daffy Duck with Aguero chipping the ball into the back of the net with his left peg.
Six minutes later, and City were two to the good when Gabriel Jesus scored from the edge of the box with a sweet left foot strike, and it was 3-0 five minutes after that when Benjamin Mendy swung in a low cross that was too hot to handle for Hamer, and Aguero bagged a brace.
Huddersfield went into the half-time break with a glimmer of hope. A long throw-in found the head of Steve Mounie at the near post, and Jon Gorenc Stankovic finished his flick from four yards.
Half-time: 3 – 1.
It was a great day for the Silva family.
David Silva’s baby boy, born prematurely at 25-weeks, was the mascot for the day, and the Spaniard commemorated his 250th game for the club with a world-class free kick despatched into the top corner with only three minutes of the second half played.
Then we had the Aguero hat-trick.
Mendy, who missed most of last season through injury, flung in another beautiful cross, and Aguero flicked it in with the outside of his right foot. The rout ended on 84 minutes when Leroy Sane broke down the left, zoned in on goal, and his shot squirmed into the net off the shins of Terence Kongolo.
City sits at the top of the table with maximum points, eight goals scored, with only one conceded. Huddersfield are the polar opposite lying at the bottom with zero points, one goal scored and nine conceded (only Wigan in 2010-11 with ten have ever conceded more in the opening two games).
“We faced a City side absolutely on it,” said David Wagner.
Most clubs do, David.
Brighton 3 v 2 Man Utd
The shock of the day came at the Amex Stadium where Brighton beat Man Utd 3-2.
It’s the second successive time the Seagulls have beaten the Red Devils at home having won 1-0 in a crucial tie back in early May, but this win was far more impressive.
Brighton broke the back of United in the first half hour, scoring twice in quick succession thanks to a neat near-post flick by Glenn Murray, and a goalmouth scramble-special converted by Shane Duffy.
United pulled one back on 34-minutes thanks to a close-range Romelu Lukaku header before Eric Bailly conceded a penalty that Pascal Gross converted to send Chris Hughton’s men into the dressing room with a three-goal lead.
It stayed that way until the 95th minute.
Shane Duffy upended Marouane Fellaini inside the box, and Paul Pogba despatched the penalty kick into the roof of the net.
“They had more anger than us,” said captain Pogba after the game.
The only person who seemed angry in the United ranks was the Man Utd manager, who once again prowled the touchline looking like a man in the wrong job.
Jose Mourinho is the 4/1 favourite to be the first Premier League manager to leave his position, with Zinedine Zidane is the 2/1 favourite to replace him.
Brighton, on the other hand, will be spurred on by this win. They are imperious at home netting 29 points from 40 at home last season, and if they can repeat that sensational run of form, they may well secure their nest for another season.
Results in Full
Spurs 3 v 1 Fulham
West Ham 1 v 2 Bournemouth
Chelsea 3 v 2 Arsenal
Man City 6 v 1 Huddersfield
Burnley 1 v 3 Watford
Brighton 3 v 2 Man Utd
Cardiff 0 v 0 Newcastle
Leicester 2 v 0 Wolves
Everton 2 v 1 Southampton
To Be Played (Mon20 Aug)
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Premier League Table
1. Man City – 6
2. Chelsea – 6
3. Watford – 6
4. Spurs – 6
5. Bournemouth – 6
6. Everton – 4
7. Liverpool – 3
8. Crystal Palace – 3
9. Leicester – 3
10. Man Utd – 3
11. Brighton – 3
12. Newcastle – 1
13. Southampton – 1
14. Wolves – 1
15. Burnley – 1
16. Cardiff – 1
17. Arsenal – 0
18. Fulham – 0
19. West Ham – 0
20. Huddersfield – 0
Premier League Winner Odds
Man City 8/15
Man Utd 20/1
Premier League Relegation Odds