Manchester United put eight goals past Arsenal, while Manchester City scored five at Tottenham as both clubs yesterday maintained their winning starts to the season to sit atop soccer’s Premier League after three games.
Wayne Rooney led United to an 8-2 win against the Gunners with a hat-trick at Old Trafford which takes him past 150 goals for the Red Devils. Edin Dzeko scored four times in City’s 5-1 victory at the Spurs.
“The performance was incredible and we deserved the result,” Rooney told Sky Sports. “They had some players out but that should take nothing away from us.”
United and City both have a maximum nine points, with the champion topping the standings on goal difference. Liverpool, Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle have seven points. Last-place Tottenham has no points from its two games, with fellow north London team Arsenal 17th in the 20-team division on one point.
Newcastle beat Fulham 2-1, while Stoke City won 1-0 at West Bromwich Albion in yesterday’s other games.
United manager Alex Ferguson defended his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger after the match at Old Trafford.
“It’s a cynical world now and when you lose a few games the judges come out,” Ferguson told Sky Sports.
It took 22 minutes for the first goal, Danny Welbeck scoring for a second straight game as he headed into the net past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny under pressure from Johan Djourou.
Chance to Tie
Arsenal had a chance to tie the game four minutes later as the visitors were awarded a penalty kick. Goalkeeper David de Gea dived to his right to turn Robin van Persie’s low kick wide of the post.
United then extended its lead on 28 minutes, Ashley Young cutting inside onto his right foot and curling the ball into the far corner of the net from about 25 yards.
De Gea was forced to make a couple more saves before Rooney netted his first goal of the game, from a free kick 20 yards out. It was his 150th for the club. Theo Walcott reduced the arrears with an injury-time goal for the Gunners.
“A lot of my milestone goals have come against Arsenal,” Rooney said. “My first goal when I was at Everton was against them and my first United goal in the Premier League came against them too.”
Rooney scored again at 64 minutes, with Nani chipping Szczesny three minutes later, before Ji-Sung Park added the sixth goal. Van Persie replied soon after, but Arsenal was to give up two more goals and lose defender Carl Jenkinson after he received a second yellow card in the 76th minute.
Rooney completed his hat-trick with an 82nd-minute penalty and Young curled another long-range effort into the net in the final moments.
It was Arsenal’s biggest defeat under manager Arsene Wenger, surpassing a 6-1 loss at United in February 2001. The London club said it will pay for a ticket for a future away game for its fans who attended the match to thank them for their “fantastic” support.
“Of course it hurts, it’s humiliating,” Wenger told Sky Sports.
In recent weeks, Arsenal has lost Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona, Samir Nasri to Manchester City and Emmanuel Eboue to Galatasaray. The Gunners haven’t won a trophy since the F.A. Cup in 2005.
Earlier yesterday, Dzeko helped City to a win at White Hart Lane.
The striker, signed from Wolfsburg in January for 27 million pounds ($44 million), was set up by new signing Nasri to score from close range after 34 minutes.
Dzeko Gets Four
Dzeko then headed his second goal four minutes before halftime and completed his hat-trick at 55 minutes as he converted a Yaya Toure cross.
Sergio Aguero clipped the ball over Brad Friedel after 60 minutes to put City in total control, before Younes Kaboul got the only Tottenham goal by heading in from a corner.
Tottenham played more than 15 minutes with 10 men as Rafael van der Vaart left the field with a leg injury and Dzeko rounded off City’s win in injury time.
“We played today like a fantastic team and I hope this will be a fantastic year for us,” Dzeko told Sky Sports.
Elsewhere, Leon Best got both Newcastle goals against Fulham at St. James’ Park. Clint Dempsey got a goal late on for the visitors.
Stoke substitute Ryan Shotton scored a late winner at West Brom, which along with Blackburn and Tottenham has yet to earn a point this season.
Two days ago, Chelsea defeated Norwich 3-1, Liverpool beat Bolton 3-1, Wigan won 2-0 against Queens Park Rangers, and Everton won 1-0 at Blackburn. There were no goals in the matches between Aston Villa and Wolves, and Swansea and Sunderland.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at email@example.com