Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he never doubted Leroy Sane’s quality after he opened the scoring in the 3-0 win over Fulham, but reminded the winger he must stay professional.
Sane, making his first league start for Guardiola’s side this term, netted after one minute and 36 seconds as the defending champions maintained their unbeaten start to the season.
David Silva doubled the hosts’ lead before the break, with Raheem Sterling all but securing the win two minutes into the second half.
A fourth win in five games keeps City within touching distance of league leaders Liverpool and Chelsea, who have taken maximum points so far.
Guardiola said he was impressed by 22-year-old Sane’s performance at Etihad Stadium, having restricted the Germany international to substitute appearances before the international break.
“We never had doubts about Leroy’s quality,” said the Spaniard. “He shows us many times in the last season and today he played again so good.
“We cannot forget sometimes this kind of thing happens, he is 21, 22. Sometimes he has to realise what, like a professional, he has to do.
“I am delighted for his performance and so confident.”
City were rarely troubled by the newly promoted Cottagers, restricting the visitors to handful of half chances at Etihad Stadium.
The hosts, perhaps with one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League opener against Lyon, eased off the pace in the second half but could have added to their lead with a number of opportunities falling to substitute Gabriel Jesus.
United overcome Watford
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho said Romelu Lukaku epitomised his team’s performance as they withstood a spirited fightback from Watford to claim a 2-1 victory and condemn the Hornets to a first loss of the season.
United scored twice in three first-half minutes as Belgium striker Lukaku diverted Ashley Young’s cross in via his chest before Chris Smalling fired home Marouane Fellaini’s knock-down.
Watford pulled a goal back midway through the second half through Andre Gray, but despite putting Mourinho’s side under heavy pressure for the final 20 minutes, they were unable to find an equaliser.
Nemanja Matic was sent off after a mistimed challenge on Will Hughes saw him pick up his second booking in the closing minutes, but United were able to hold on to claim their 15th victory over Watford in their past 16 meetings.
Mourinho was particularly impressed with Lukaku’s defensive work-rate, after the striker chased down and tackled Watford substitute Adam Masina in the right-back position late on.
“I think that last Romelu Lukaku tackle as a right-back shows everything,” Mourinho said.
“I think he is the image of the team, a team that played very well in long periods in the first half. But we had the experience also here last season where they don’t give up and when the game is open they believe.”
The result leaves Watford fourth, while United climb to eighth.
Gunners revival continues
Arsenal manager Unai Emery urged Mesut Ozil to contribute more goals after the German’s strike secured them a 2-1 win over Newcastle who remain without a win.
Despite being frustrated in the first half, Granit Xhaka opened the scoring for the Gunners with an excellent long-range free-kick after the break, before Ozil followed up Alexandre Lacazette’s blocked effort to double the advantage.
Ciaran Clark responded in stoppage time for the hosts, however Newcastle remain 18th in the table with one win in their past 10 league games.
Ozil – making his 200th appearance for the club – ensured Arsenal won consecutive away league games for the first time since May 2017.
“His quality helps the team. It is important he scored. I want not only for him to assist, we need him to go in the box and score like today,” said Emery – who had challenged the midfielder to “do more” before the game.
“I see the players are the same, each has quality. I will work with every player and continue our process to create the team as we want.” By BBC