Last-gasp City beat Palace to stay top

TEEN SENSATION::There was plenty for United fans to celebrate at Old Trafford, with Anthony Martial signaling his arrival with a superb goal against archrivals Liverpool

AP, LONDON

Mon, Sep 14, 2015 - Page 18

Manchester City enjoyed the perfect ending to Saturday in the English Premier League on a day when nothing went right for title rivals Chelsea.

City produced a 90th-minute winner to beat Crystal Palace 1-0 and secure a fifth consecutive victory from as many matches after champions Chelsea slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Everton that sealed their worst start in the Premier League.

To round off a miserable day for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, there were victories for two other title hopefuls.

The most expensive teenager in soccer history, Anthony Martial, scored on his debut in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Liverpool, while Arsenal comfortably beat Stoke City 2-0.

Martial, whose fee from AS Monaco could rise to US$90 million, was not the only teenager to make headlines.

City’s 18-year-old Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench in the 89th minute and poked the ball into the Palace net a minute later. The Nigerian forward played competitively for City only once before, and that, too, was as an 89th-minute substitute against Watford last month.

The game also witnessed a promising debut for club record signing Kevin de Bruyne from the bench, albeit after striker Sergio Aguero left the pitch with what seemed a worrying injury.

Aguero later took to Twitter to allay fears over his fitness, saying: “Thanks everyone for your concern. I got a hard hit and it prevented me from playing more. It doesn’t seem to be a serious injury though.”

Off the field, there was a mild altercation between the managers following Yaya Toure’s late tackle on Palace’s James McArthur, with City’s Manuel Pellegrini tugging back Palace’s Alan Pardew. The exchange finished with a handshake.

Chelsea are 11 points behind City, who were also reveling in a five-point lead over United and Arsenal.

There was plenty for United fans to celebrate at Old Trafford, with David de Gea making his first appearance of the season in goal after signing a new contract and Martial signaling his arrival with a superb solo goal to make it 3-1.

Daley Blind and Ander Herrera had United up 2-0 when Christian Benteke pulled one back with a stunning overhead-kick in the 84th minute. Martial then weaved through the Liverpool defense to seal the result.

“He scored a marvelous goal and I have seen also, physically, he can play in the Premier League,” United manager Louis van Gaal said.

After some mediocre early season form, Arsenal dominated Stoke at the Emirates Stadium and could easily have won by a tennis score.

Instead, just two goals from strikers Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud sealed the points.

Walcott ran onto a perfect through-ball from Mesut Ozil and Giroud went on as a substitute to seal the result in the 85th minute.

Watford won their first league match of the season, 1-0 over Swansea City, despite being reduced to 10 men. Striker Odion Ighalo scored in the 59th minute, but five minutes later Valon Behrami was sent off for a violent tackle on Andre Ayew.

Wes Hoolahan inspired Norwich City to a comfortable 3-1 first home league win, making one goal and scoring another against AFC Bournemouth, while West Bromwich Albion drew 0-0 at home to Southampton.