City, Liverpool record easy wins, Chelsea settle for draw

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Manchester, Sep 1 (IANS) Manchester City routed Brighton & Hove Albion 4-0 and Liverpool eased past Burnley 3-0 in Matchday 4 action in England’s Premier League, while Chelsea had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Sheffield United.

Pep Guardiola’s men wasted no time taking control of the proceedings at City of Manchester Stadium, with Kevin de Bruyne scoring off a pass from David Silva in the game’s second minute on Saturday.

Manchester City, the two-time Premier League defending champions, then continued to control the action against a Brighton side that could only seek out chances on the counter-attack, Efe news reports.

The Citizens got some bad news when key defender Aymeric Laporte, who had recently received his first call-up to France’s national side, suffered a knee injury in the 35th minute and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher.

But just minutes after the injury, Manchester City made the score 2-0 when Sergio Aguero received a pass from De Bruyne, dribbled to his right and fired a shot into the upper part of the goal.

The home side’s dominance continued in the second half, with the third goal coming in minute 55 on a spectacular shot from the penalty arc by Aguero past Brighton net minder Mathew Ryan.

The Argentine then set up the last goal for teammate Bernardo Silva, who scored on a cross-shot in the 79th minute.

Chelsea, meanwhile, fell further behind the top Premier League clubs with a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge against Sheffield United.

The loss was an especially tough pill to swallow considering the Blues had grabbed a 2-0 lead at halftime on the strength of a second consecutive brace by Tammy Abraham.

The 21-year-old English striker scored the first of his goals on a header off a pass from Cesar Azpilicueta in the 19th minute and then took advantage of Sheffield’s defensive indecision to notch the second just before halftime.

The Blades, however, pulled one back just after halftime on a goal by Callum Robinson, while an own-goal by Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma shortly before second-half stoppage time left the teams knotted at two.

In Saturday’s final Premier League match, Champions League holders Liverpool knew they needed a road win over Burnley to stay ahead of Manchester City in the Premier League standings and took the field at Turf Moor with the requisite intensity.

After one shot hit off the woodwork and Mohamed Salah failed to convert a one-on-one opportunity, Liverpool scored in the 33rd minute courtesy of a lucky bounce when a cross by Trent Alexander-Arnold deflected off of Burnley forward Chris Wood, traveled high in the air and entered the goal out of the reach of net minder Nick Pope.

Four minutes later, Burnley defender Ben Mee tried to start his team’s attack from the back but instead fed the ball directly to Roberto Firmino, who set up Sadio Mane for the Reds’ second goal.

Liverpool padded their lead in the second half when Firmino scored off a pass from Salah to make the score 3-0 and become the first Brazilian in Premier League history to tally 50 goals.

With the win, Liverpool continue to lead the Premier League with a perfect record of 4-0-0 (12 points) after four matches.

Manchester City are second with 10 points, while Chelsea find themselves in ninth place with just five points. Manchester United also have five points after playing to a 1-1 draw Saturday against Southampton.

Arsenal will have the chance to climb into third place when they square off against last season’s Champions League runner-up, Tottenham, on Sunday.

–IANS

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