Soccer

City crush Stoke with magnificent seven while Palace stun Chelsea

15 October 2017 - 00:00 By AFP and Reuters

Manchester City maintained their blistering start to the season as the English Premier League leaders demolished Stoke City 7-2, while reigning champions Chelsea crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at lowly Crystal Palace yesterday.
The champions have now lost three of their first eight league matches and fallen nine points adrift of leaders City, while Palace have three points but remain bottom.
A scrappy Cesar Azpilicueta own-goal handed the Eagles the lead in the 11th minute, but the Blues levelled seven minutes later when Tiemoue Bakayoko headed in a Cesc Fabregas corner.
Palace's Wilfried Zaha, on his return from injury, restored the home side's lead with a close-range shot on the stroke of half time, and a lacklustre Chelsea were unable to equalise.
Palace had made the worst ever start to a top-flight campaign, and sacked Dutch manager Frank de Boer after four matches, but have finally got some points under new boss Roy Hodgson.MANCHESTER CITY JUST BRILLIANT
Record-breaking City opened up a two-point lead at the top of the Premier League table with another demonstration of bewildering brilliance, thrashing visiting Stoke at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola's title favourites looked irresistible as goals from Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and David Silva in the opening half hour put the seal on their dazzling football and made a sixth straight league win a seeming formality.
Yet against all odds, Mame Biram Diouf pulled one back just before the break and soon after half time his header deflected off Kyle Walker's thigh into the net.
The Citizens then went into overdrive, with Jesus - his second goal was his seventh this season - Fernandinho, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva getting in on the act to ensure they scored at least five at the Etihad for the third straight league match.
In the process, while taking their unbeaten record at the Etihad to 20 matches, they also became the first English top-flight team to score 29 goals in their opening eight league matches of the season since Everton achieved the feat in the 1894/95 season.

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