Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini refuses to blame referees after crashing to 1-4 loss at Tottenham Hotspur; arch-rivals Manchester United take top spot with 3-0 win over Sunderland
London: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini refused to blame the match officials after the Premier League’s early-season pace-setters crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane celebrates after scoring their third goal during an EPL match against Manchester City at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
Spurs came from behind to inflict a third defeat on City in four matches, with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld, Harry Kane and Erik Lamela finding the net after Kevin De Bruyne had put the visitors in front.
Goals under scanner
Kyle Walker was clearly offside in the build-up to Dier’s equaliser and Kane also appeared to have strayed offside when he struck, but Pellegrini said his side’s defending had also been at fault.
“My mentality is not to have excuses,” the Chilean told his post-match press conference at White Hart Lane. “Important goals, maybe the two goals were very important. One was the draw, the other was for 3-1, and it is more difficult to be 3-1 than it is to be 2-1.
“But it’s part of the game and when you have lost 4-1, it’s easy to say it is just about refereeing mistakes, but there are more things involved.”
Dier’s goal, in the 45th minute, saw him drill home from 25 yards after City goalkeeper Willy Caballero, deputising for the injured Joe Hart, had blocked from Son Heung-Min.
Son was set up by Walker, who had strayed at least two yards offside before crossing from the right, but Pellegrini felt that his side should have made a better job of clearing the ball.
Meanwhile, Manchester United exploited Manchester City’s slip by beating Sunderland 3-0 on Saturday to replace their rivals at the top of the Premier League table.
City’s unexpected capitulation opened the door for Louis van Gaal’s side and they strolled through it courtesy of goals from Memphis Depay, Wayne Rooney, who ended a 1,000-minute league scoring drought, and Juan Mata.
Depay made the breakthrough in first-half stoppage time, tapping home after Daley Blind’s fine pass was volleyed across goal by Mata, with Rooney and Mata finishing the job in the second half.
Rooney levels with Law
Rooney’s goal, set up by Anthony Martial, was his first in the league since April and saw him draw level with Old Trafford great Denis Law on 171 league goals.
Victory took United a point above City, who slipped to a second consecutive league defeat — and a third loss in four games in all competitions — at White Hart Lane.
Sanchez ’tricks Arsenal
A hat-trick by Alexis Sanchez fired Arsenal to a 5-2 win as Leicester’s unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign was ended in emphatic fashion at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. Sanchez struck on 33, 57 and 81 minutes after Theo Walcott’s 18th-minute equaliser had cancelled out Jamie Vardy’s opener for the hosts five minutes earlier.
>> Leicester 2 Arsenal 5
>> Liverpool 3 Aston Villa 2
>> Man United 3 Sunderland 0
>> Southampton 3 Swansea 1
>> Stoke 2 Bournemouth 1
>> Tottenham 4 Man City 1
>> West Ham 2 Norwich 2