RNZ – A shock loss for Manchester City has handed Liverpool an early buffer at the top of the English Premier League.
While Liverpool continued their perfect start with a 3-1 home win over Newcastle United, defending champions City have suffered a 3-2 defeat away to Norwich.
The Canaries are one of the three teams promoted from the second tier Championship after last season, and had 11 players unavailable through injury.
Elsewhere on a frantic day of action, Manchester United earned a first victory since the opening weekend by beating Leicester City 3-1, with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur registering emphatic wins.
Having seen Liverpool come from behind to beat Newcastle, the Reds’ 14th consecutive league victory – thanks to goals from Sadio Mane and Mo Salah – in the day’s early kick off, champions City travelled to Norwich five points off the top.
Unbeaten in their last 25 games against newly-promoted sides, City were expected to close the gap back to two points with another victory, but Norwich stunned their illustrious opponents with two goals inside 29 minutes to lead 2-0.
Sergio Aguero edged City back into it just before the break, before a defensive error from Nicolas Otamendi enabled Teemu Pukki to restore Norwich’s two-goal advantage.
Rodri got City back in it late on, but the champions could not find an equaliser as they slipped to a first league defeat since January.
“Congrats to Norwich,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “It is what it is. We have to learn from this and carry on.”
Liverpool looked like they were in for a difficult afternoon after Anfield was stunned into silence early on as Jetro Willems thundered Newcastle into a shock lead.
Going behind does not faze a relentless Liverpool side that had won each of the last four league games in which they had conceded first, and soon enough Mane had brilliantly restored parity in the Merseyside sunshine.
Roberto Firmino came off the bench to replace the injured Divock Origi to set up Mane for the second goal, before the Brazilian delightfully flicked the ball through for Salah to seal a fifth season win from five for the hosts.
“Wonderful goals,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. “The first goal was sensational, nice pass Robbo (Andy Robertson), sensational finish Sadio.
Manchester United have suffered from the penalty spot this season, having missed two spot kicks already with Marcus Rashford the last of those against Southampton.
However, the young striker stepped up from 12 yards against Leicester City after he was felled in the penalty area in the eighth minute at Old Trafford to put United in front.
Unbeaten Leicester had more possession and forced some fine saves from United goalkeeper David de Gea, but they could not find a way through, as the hosts held on for a victory that moves them up to fourth in the table.
Chelsea had endured a difficult start to the season ahead of a tough trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, but three goals in 10 first-half minutes put them in command at Molineux.
Tammy Abraham completed his first Premier League hat-trick in the second half to take his goal tally to seven atop the Premier League scoring charts alongside Aguero, but his eventful afternoon was not over there as he then put through his own net.
Wolves’ Patrick Cutrone further reduced the deficit late on, only for another Chelsea youngster, Mason Mount, to wrap up the 5-2 win in stoppage time.
Spurs were another side without a win since the opening weekend ahead of the visit of a Crystal Palace team who had won their last two league games, but a Son Heung-min double helped the hosts race into a 3-0 lead inside 24 minutes.
Argentine forward Erik Lamela added a fourth before the interval as Tottenham strolled to a 4-0 success.
Moussa Djenepo’a strike gave Southampton a 1-0 win at promoted Sheffield United, while a last-gasp equaliser from Jeff Hendrick earned Burnley a 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion.