Manchester City maintained their perfect start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 home win over Liverpool on Monday.
Stevan Jovetic punished debutante Alberto Moreno after the summer signing’s sluggish reaction to a loose ball to smash home the opener few minutes to the break.
The striker completed his brace rounding off a fine team move he created ten minutes after the restart.
Sergio Aguero scored one of the fastest goals in the English Premier League history within 23 seconds of coming on for Edin Dzeko on 69 minutes.
Pablo Zabaleta gifted the visitors a consolation late on, diverting the ball into his own goal after goalkeeper Joe Hart had managed to keep out a Rickie Lambert header.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini decided to name Sergio Aguero on the bench for a successive time, but the striker’s countryman Pablo Zaballeta returned to the squad in place of Alexader Kolarov.
Fresh from acquiring his work permit, defender Moreno got his debut while fresh signing Mario Balotelli only watched from the stand after missing out on registration for what would have been a chance to face his former club.
Memories of Steven Gerrard’s slip in the crucial loss to Chelsea last season lingered in the Etihad Stadium’s atmosphere. The circumstances with which the trophy table flicked in the direction of the ‘Citizens’ was inconceivable, and on that note Daniel Sturridge carved open a space wide enough to drive a thunderous effort towards the near post which Hart saved.
Liverpool were up for business after producing a disciplined defensive performance in the opening 40 minutes, but one mistake from the very unlikely source pegged them back a minute later.
Moreno oozed like sweat trickling down the flesh to react to a loose ball after a weak Dejan Lovren’s headed clearance, only for Jovetic to steal and bury the ball inside the net from close range.
After enjoying plenty of possession for much of the first-half, Jovetic’s goal had Brendan Rodgers’ men trailing at the break.
Sturridge had the ball at the back of the net 3 minutes after the restart but was ruled offside.
Jovetic doubled his tally few minutes later. The striker sent Samir Nasri clear on the right with his flick and then received the Frenchman’s cut-back from across before clinically smashing home.
Liverpool never gave up but the hosts were equal to the task, shoving off their opponents’ threats.
Just like last weekend at Newcastle, Aguero completed scoring for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, this time he struck a quick-fire effort six seconds shy of the fastest-ever goal by a sub in the English League history credited to ex-Everton marksman Apostolos Vellios against Chelsea in the 2011-12 season.
City assumed complete control of the proceedings after the third goal, while fatigue began creeping at the other end.
Lambert had a chance to make a vital impact on the scoreline three minutes after Zabaleta turned the ball into his own net for Merseysiders’ only goal, but made the wrong decision, allowing Vincent Kompany to slide the ball to safety.
In the end, Liverpool’s strong start never mattered, as the champions held on to seal a vital three point.