Controversial Costa fires Chelsea to another late win
Liverpool crashed to an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at Burnley on Saturday, while Manchester City crushed Stoke City 4-1 to extend Pep Guardiola’s perfect start in the English Premier League.
While Liverpool stumbled and City strolled, champions Leicester City are still awaiting the first win of their title defence after being held to a 0-0 draw by Arsenal.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool enjoyed the most eye-catching result of the league’s opening weekend when they won 4-3 at Arsenal.
But the Reds suffered a nightmare in their second match as Welsh forward Sam Vokes opened the scoring for Burnley in the second minute.
Liverpool were condemned to a first league loss at Turf Moor since 1973 when Andre Gray punished slack marking to fire home in the 37th minute.
“How can I be happy with this? After we gave away the first goal Burnley defended for their lives,” Klopp said.
At Stoke’s Bet365 Stadium, City striker Sergio Aguero netted twice in the first half to take his goal tally to six in three games.
He opened the scoring with a 27th-minute penalty, awarded for a Ryan Shawcross tug on Nicolas Otamendi, and bagged his second in the 36th minute with a header from Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick.
Stoke got one back in the 49th minute when Raheem Sterling was penalised for a slight push on Shawcross and Bojan Krkic stepped up to convert the spot-kick.
But the visitors held firm and Spain forward Nolito scored with a pair of close-range efforts in the 86th and 90th minutes to give Guardiola a third consecutive victory in all competitions.
City’s romp took them above Manchester United, who beat Southampton 2-0 on Friday.
At the King Power Stadium, Leicester, beaten by Hull City last weekend, saw two penalty appeals turned down by referee Mark Clattenburg.
Asked about the penalty controversy, Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri said: “My philosophy is it’s a penalty when the referee blows his whistle and that’s it. The manager makes mistakes, the referees make mistakes.”
Diego Costa fired Chelsea to another late victory as the Spain striker secured a 2-1 win at Watford just days after his last-gasp heroics saw off West Ham.
Etienne Capoue broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when Watford’s French midfielder lashed his shot into the top corner.
But Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to equalise for Antonio Conte’s side in the 80th minute.
The goal sparked Chelsea into life and Costa, fortunate to still be on the pitch after avoiding a second booking for diving, rifled in from a Cesc Fabregas assist in the 87th minute.
Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama headed home from close-range in the 83rd minute for Tottenham Hotspur to clinch a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane.
Gareth Barry’s first goal since January 2014 gave Everton a 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion.
Troubled Hull continued to make light of their difficult pre-season with a 2-0 win at Swansea City.