EPL Gameweek 5, Saturday Report: Manchester City pull clear, debutant Islam​ Slimani lifts Leicester

Gundogan also found the net for Guardiola`s City, who have made their best ever start to a season with eight consecutive wins in all competitions.

AFP| Last Updated: Sep 18, 2016, 00:15 AM IST
EPL Gameweek 5, Saturday Report: Manchester City pull clear, debutant Islam​ Slimani lifts Leicester
Courtesy: Twitter (@ManCity)

London: Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho shone as Manchester City crushed Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday to provisionally go five points clear in the Premier League.

League debutant Ilkay Gundogan also found the net for Pep Guardiola`s City, who have made their best ever start to a season with eight consecutive wins in all competitions.

Full debutant Islam Slimani scored twice as champions Leicester City won 3-0 at home to Burnley and there were also wins for Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion.

"Our high pressing was not perfect today. We had problems with controlling the Bournemouth build-up, but we created a lot of counter-attacks," said City manager Guardiola, who lost Nolito to a late red card.

"We are so lucky that we have Kevin De Bruyne with us. It was a fantastic performance."

Guardiola made four changes to the team that had outclassed Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Nolito and Iheanacho coming in.

Jack Wilshere, on loan from Arsenal, made his first Bournemouth start, but it was to prove an afternoon to forget for the England international.

He gave away the free-kick that led to City`s 15th-minute opener, De Bruyne cleverly stroking the set-piece beneath the jumping wall and into the bottom corner.

The Belgian was involved in the hosts` second goal 10 minutes later, moving Nolito`s pass on to Sterling, who unselfishly teed up Iheanacho -- deputising for the suspended Sergio Aguero -- to score.

Sterling added a third early in the second half, squeezing a shot over the line after Iheanacho had returned the favour, before De Bruyne set up Gundogan for City`s fourth.

The only disappointment for Guardiola was the late dismissal of Spanish forward Nolito for leaning his head into Adam Smith`s face.

Later, Everton trimmed City`s lead back to two points with a comfortable 3-1win over Middlesbrough at Goodison Park. The match witnessed Everton vice-captain and midfielder Gareth Barry celebrating his 600th league appearance with a goal, which set the tone for their fourth successive win.

Everton have won four and drawn in five matches so far for their best start to a new season, since 1978. Ronald Koeman's side concede the first goal the visitors thanks to a controversial own goal involving goal-keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

But they have fought back with goals from Seamus Coleman and Romelu Lukaku.

Liverpool and Chelsea also trail City by five points following the Merseyside club`s impressive 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Friday. Arsenal are on 10 points as well after Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez scored twice and squandered a penalty in a 4-1 success at Hull City.

Sanchez claimed Arsenal`s first goal when Alex Iwobi`s shot flicked off him and into the net, only to then see his spot-kick saved by Eldin Jakupovic after Jake Livermore had been sent off for handball.

After Theo Walcott had chipped in to make it 2-0, Robert Snodgrass reduced the arrears with a 79th-minute penalty following a foul on Hull debutant Dieumerci Mbokani by visiting goalkeeper Petr Cech.

But Sanchez made the game safe four minutes later by lashing home after Jakupovic had saved from Walcott. Substitute Granit Xhaka added a stunning late goal from long range.

"I feel overall it was a positive performance after playing away in the Champions League and away again today," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side drew 1-1 at Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

"We started well, dominated and were fluent."

Leicester are three points back in ninth place after Slimani put paid to Burnley at the King Power Stadium.

Algeria international Slimani was making his league debut after his 28 million pounds ($36.4 million, 32.6 million euros) transfer from Sporting Lisbon.

He scored a pair of headers either side of half-time, nodding in a Christian Fuchs free-kick in first-half stoppage time and then heading home from strike partner Jamie Vardy`s flick.

Ben Mee`s own goal from Riyad Mahrez`s cross completed the scoring in the 78th minute.

"It`s important Slimani continues to score because if he only scores in the first match, we have a problem," said Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri.

"He is a good lad and very happy."

In the day`s remaining match, West Brom withstood a late West Ham United fightback to record an entertaining 4-2 win at The Hawthorns.

New signing Nacer Chadli scored twice and helped create goals for Salomon Rondon and James McClean as the hosts raced into a 4-0 lead by the 56th minute.

West Ham replied through Michail Antonio`s header -- his fifth goal in four games -- and a Manuel Lanzini penalty, but West Brom saw out the rest of the game in relative serenity.