Manchester, England: Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Manchester City hammered Liverpool 5-0 in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday with the visitors forced to play the second half down to 10 men.
The result sends City, temporarily at least, to the top of the Premier League table with 10 points from four games, a point more than local rivals Manchester United who are at Stoke City later on Saturday.
Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane was shown a straight red card in the 37th minute for a high challenge on City’s keeper Ederson, who had raced out of the penalty area and had to be carried off on a stretcher following the clash.
City were already 1-0 up at that stage thanks to a Sergio Aguero goal and they soon made their numerical advantage count when Jesus headed in a De Bruyne cross.
The Brazilian tapped in his second in the 53rd minute after Aguero unselfishly played him in and Leroy Sane made it 4-0 in the 77th after combining well with Benjamin Mendy.
Sane completed the rout in injury time with a brilliant, curling left-foot shot from 25 meters into the far corner.
While the red card was the key moment in the game, Liverpool’s defensive frailties were again exposed as City found it far too easy to open up their back line.
City manager Pep Guardiola opted for a relatively defensive formation with Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy operating as the two wing-backs at the side of a three-man defense.
With Aguero and Jesus operating in tandem in attack, the formation relied heavily on Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne as the source of creative play for City and he delivered in style.
It was De Bruyne’s perfectly weighted pass that found Aguero’s well-timed run and the Argentine opened the scoring after skipping round Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool were asking their own questions however with their speedy Egyptian winger Mohammed Salah beating Nicolas Otamendi twice but both times he was unable to deliver either a testing shot or a precise cross.
Mignolet had to save with his feet in the 35th minute to keep out a low shot from John Stones after the ball fell to the City defender inside the box following a corner.
Then came the crucial incident -- Sane racing towards a long ball forward, Ederson rushing out of his area and stooping towards the ball and the Liverpool striker’s high foot striking the keeper in the head.
Referee Jonathan Moss deemed the challenge reckless and dangerous enough to merit a straight red card and the Brazilian received eight minutes of treatment before medical staff carried him off the field and straight to City’s medical facility for checks.
Jesus had a header from a curling De Bruyne cross from the left ruled out for offside but moments later the pair combined again in almost identical fashion to make it 2-0 at the break.
City had another effort ruled out when Aguero put the ball in the net early in the second half but the Argentine showed generosity when, after latching on to a Fernandinho through ball and facing only Mignolet, he slipped the ball to Jesus for the third.
It was one-way traffic throughout the second half. The fourth goal came when Sane used the overlapping Mendy to his left and got on the end of the low return pass. The German provided a moment of individual brilliance in the final seconds with his superb long-range strike.
Arsenal beat Bournemouth
In another match, Arsenal bounced back from successive defeats with Danny Welbeck’s brace of goals sealing a comfortable 3-0 Premier League win on Saturday against a Bournemouth side who have yet to pick up a point in four games this season.
After defeats against Stoke City and Liverpool, Arsenal started brightly and led inside six minutes when Welbeck headed in, before Alexandre Lacazette fired home a superb second goal after neat link-up play with the England forward.
The in-form Welbeck added his second goal shortly after halftime and the only surprise was that the rampant Gunners, who introduced Alexis Sanchez to a standing ovation midway through the second half, failed to add a fourth.
Victory lifted Arsenal -- who face champions Chelsea next -- to ninth while Bournemouth are languishing in 19th ahead of their south-coast showdown against Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday.
After watching back-to-back defeats and another poor start to the season, Arsenal fans were notably subdued before the kickoff at the Emirates Stadium but the hosts’ rapid start quickly alleviated the tension.
Sead Kolasinac drove down the left wing and crossed for Welbeck to head in at the near post, via a deflection off his shoulder, against a Bournemouth side without a clean sheet so far this season.
Mesut Ozil went close to doubling the Gunners' lead but his curling freekick was well saved by Asmir Begovic before Granit Xhaka fired over.
A second goal seemed inevitable and record signing Lacazette duly obliged, firing into the top corner after neat build-up play involving Ozil and Welbeck.
The Frenchman nearly added a third after an error from Begovic but the Bosnian keeper reacted well to thwart the forward.
The second period was less than three minutes old when Bournemouth’s Jermain Defoe headed against the post but Welbeck struck again for Arsenal soon afterwards, finishing superbly from a tight angle.
Arsenal were utterly dominant thereafter. Welbeck had numerous chances to complete his hat-trick, Ozil fired narrowly wide and substitute Francis Coquelin had a goal-bound effort blocked on his 100th Arsenal appearance.
Substitute Sanchez, a rumored target of Manchester City during the close season, had little chance to make an impact after he was brought on in the 75th minute.