Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri were on target as Manchester City beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park to equal their club record of nine consecutive top-flight wins.
Not since 1912 had City reeled off nine victories in a row in the top tier, but Kolarov’s second-half strike and substitute Nasri’s fine late finish ensured they achieved that feat on Sunday to make it three wins out of three at the start of the new Premier League season.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side made a statement of intent by outclassing champions Chelsea in a 3-0 victory last weekend and were hugely impressive once again seven days on.
The outstanding David Silva struck the post and, although Romelu Lukaku had a goal disallowed for offside and rattled the crossbar with a free-kick in the first half, City were worthy winners as they secured only their fourth league victory at Goodison in their last 19 visits.
Three points ensured City returned to the top of the table, while Everton were brought back down to earth following their 3-0 win at Southampton last weekend as they suffered a first Premier League defeat of the season.
City new boy Nicolas Otamendi was unable to make his debut as he waits for a work permit and Pablo Zabaleta was ruled out due to injury, but fit-again midfielder Fabian Delph was named among the substitutes as Pellegrini fielded the same side that started against Chelsea.
Everton, unchanged following their victory at Southampton, were given a scare after only a minute when Silva’s shot deflected into the path of Sergio Aguero and his strike from a tight angle was well kept out by Tim Howard.
City were zipping the ball around with supreme confidence and Howard again got down well to deny Aguero after a slick, incisive passing move from the visitors nine minutes in.
The home side weathered the storm and Lukaku had the ball in the back of the net midway through the first half, but the striker was ruled to be marginally offside.
Everton defender Brendan Galloway was withdrawn after suffering an injury when challenging Bacary Sagna as he surged into the penalty area, with Tyias Browning replacing him just before half-time.
And there was still time for Lukaku to hit the crossbar with a free-kick in stoppage time at the end of an enthralling first half.
The dangerous Silva was causing all sorts of problems and he rattled the post with a left-foot strike just after the interval following a fine pass from former Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling, who was a real threat on his return to Merseyside.
Sterling then played a key role in the opening goal just before the hour mark, taking a pass from Silva before waiting for Kolarov to overlap and laying the ball off the full-back, who beat Howard at his near post from a tight angle.
Howard was beaten too easily, but the American kept Everton in it soon after when he stood up to thwart Jesus Navas one-on-one after the winger raced into the area.
Vincent Kompany cleared Gareth Barry’s header off the line as Everton attempted to rescue a point, but Nasri sealed the points by lifting the ball over Howard into the net two minutes from time after Yaya Toure picked him out with a clever first-time pass.
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