LONDON – Substitutes Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini scored as Manchester United continued their 100% start to the Premier League season by beating Leicester City 2-0 on Saturday.
Leicester threatened to frustrate United when Kasper Schmeichel saved a penalty by Romelu Lukaku early in the second half, but the hosts’ pressure told in the last 20 minutes.
Huddersfield Town’s 0-0 draw with Southampton meant United went two points clear at the summit, although West Bromwich Albion will join them on nine points if they beat Stoke City on Sunday.
“I think we played very well,” United manager Jose Mourinho told BT Sport. “The result was open at 0-0. The ‘blue wall’ was very well organised and I always give credit for that. They defended very well.
“If I have to choose a word to describe my team, I would have to say ‘solid’.”
Earlier, Raheem Sterling scored a dramatic 97th-minute winner to earn Manchester City a 2-1 victory at Bournemouth, but was then sent off after receiving a second yellow card for over-celebrating.
In keeping with their opening 4-0 wins over West Ham United and Swansea City, United dominated the first half against Leicester at Old Trafford, with Juan Mata seeing a goal ruled out for a narrow offside.
Schmeichel, son of United goalkeeping great Peter, pushed aside Lukaku’s 53rd-minute penalty after Danny Simpson had been penalised for handball.
Mourinho turned to Rashford and three minutes after coming on the 19-year-old broke the deadlock in the 70th minute, volleying in Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s corner.
Fellaini added a second goal eight minutes from time by nudging in a cross from fellow substitute Jesse Lingard.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was left scratching his head after Sterling’s dismissal at Bournemouth.
Sterling celebrated his deflected winning goal by throwing himself into the jubilantly celebrating away end and was given his marching orders by referee Mike Dean.
“You can imagine how happy he is, how happy the fans are,” Guardiola said. “If you cannot celebrate with the fans, the best solution is not to invite the fans.”
Newcastle up and running
Guardiola’s side fell behind in the 13th minute at the Vitality Stadium courtesy of a sensational strike from wide on the left by Bournemouth left-back Charlie Daniels that crashed in off the crossbar.
David Silva teed up Gabriel Jesus to equalise eight minutes later and after both sides had hit the post, Sterling claimed the winner.
The five minutes of stoppage time indicated by the fourth official had already elapsed when Danilo crossed from the right and Sterling beat Asmir Begovic via a sizeable deflection off Andrew Surman.
Accompanied by his team-mates, Sterling tore off in celebration and threw himself into the arms of the City fans at the front of the away section, only to then be dismissed by Dean.
After the game, a Bournemouth steward complained to police that he had been struck by Sergio Aguero, who had come on as a substitute, during the celebrations.
City were reportedly confident Aguero had no case to answer.
“Winning in the last minute is always special,” said Guardiola, who had seen Sterling score a late equaliser in Monday’s 1-1 draw at home to Everton.
“It was a tough game. It is always complicated against Bournemouth. We tried, our finishing was not good, but we are there.”
Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United got off the mark at the third attempt after goals from new signing Joselu, Ciaran Clark and Aleksandar Mitrovic secured a 3-0 home win over West Ham, who remain without a point.
Frank de Boer is still waiting for his first point – and goal – as Crystal Palace manager after a 2-0 loss at home to Swansea, who prevailed through goals from Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew.
Watford’s Miguel Britos was sent off for an awful studs-up foul on Anthony Knockaert in a 0-0 draw against Brighton at Vicarage Road. — AFP