Chelsea showed off their new-found attacking sparkle in a 6-3 win over Everton on a day Manchester City lost their cutting edge to slip to a surprise first defeat in their Premier League title defense.
City’s 1-0 home loss to Stoke City on Saturday was exacerbated by their title rival’s wild victory at Goodison Park, in which Spain striker Diego Costa scored in the first and last minutes to continue the superb start to his Chelsea career.
Chelsea’s third straight win leaves the team top of the early standings on goal difference from surprising Swansea City.
In Costa, Chelsea also has arguably the standout player so far this season, with four goals already since joining from Atletico Madrid.
“He’s literally got everything,” Chelsea captain John Terry said. “He’s been brilliant, and he’s off to a flying start.”
With Costa in such electric form and Cesc Fabregas picking up two more assists, Chelsea have an attacking swagger they lacked last season.
“I want the team to play the way we did, to be positive,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. “We were killers in attack.”
Swansea is tied on nine points with Chelsea after beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0 thanks to two goals from Nathan Dyer and another from Wayne Routledge.
Also on Saturday, Wilfried Zaha scored an injury-time equalizer on his second debut for Crystal Palace in a 3-3 draw at Newcastle, Southampton won 3-1 at West Ham and Queens Park Rangers also earned a first win of the season by beating Sunderland 1-0.
City and United had hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of attacking talent on show, but could not muster a goal between them.