Manchester clubs march on with more goals
Manchester United stole Manchester City's thunder again when a Wayne Rooney treble sparked a 5-0 rout of Bolton Wanderers after their neighbours had breezed past Wigan Athletic 3-0 with a hat-trick from Sergio Aguero on Saturday.
Champions United were three goals up after 25 minutes thanks to one from Javier Hernandez, making his first start of the season, and two from Rooney who has scored in every Premier League game this term.
Hernandez added another for the visitors in the 58th minute before Rooney struck his third 10 minutes later to complete back-to-back league hat-tricks.
"They (Rooney and Hernandez) are a constant threat. Their movement and the pace they play at was really first class for us today," manager Alex Ferguson told ESPN television.
Like two weeks ago, when City recorded a 5-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur only to be trumped by United's 8-2 thrashing of Arsenal, Ferguson's side outgunned Roberto Mancini's team to sit top of the table above City on goal difference.
Image: Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring against Bolton Wanderers
Aguero hat-trick sinks Wigan
City prospered against Wigan thanks to Argentina forward Aguero who has six goals in four games for his new club but any headlines he might have received were soon overtaken by United's masterclass at Bolton.
Hernandez opened the scoring in the fifth minute with the type of finish that was a hallmark of his debut season last year, making a fantastic run into the box to get an outstretched leg to Nani's cross from the right.
Two quick goals by Rooney, both deft touches set up by defender Phil Jones, put United three up at the break as Bolton's defence fell apart.
Image: Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring a hat-trick against Wigan
Hernandez opens the scoring for Man Utd
Hernandez, who missed the start of the campaign after suffering concussion on a pre-season tour, showed last term's great form was no fluke as he slotted in from close range after Bolton failed to clear in the 58th minute.
Rooney completed his hat-trick with a superb first-time drive after a pull-back from Nani while Hernandez missed a couple of chances to snatch his own treble.
While Rooney and Ferguson said United were concentrating on their own game rather than worrying about City, fans from the blue side of Manchester will find it galling that their excellent start to the season is being eclipsed.
Image: Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring against Bolton Wanderers
Photographs: Getty Images
Displaying a more attacking brand of soccer than last season's more conservative approach, Mancini's men took just 13 minutes to get off the mark at home to Wigan with David Silva and Carlos Tevez combining well to put Aguero through.
Tevez missed a penalty and City wasted several other chances before substitute Samir Nasri, playing with a broken finger, put Aguero through with his first touch of the ball in the 63rd minute.
Six minutes later Aguero completed his hat-trick when he tucked in another through ball from Silva to give his side plenty of confidence before they make their Champions League debut at home to Napoli on Wednesday.
"Sergio is a fantastic striker, he is an incredible player, he is young, he scored three fantastic goals. He has scored always in his career and I hope it can continue here," manager Mancini told Sky Sports.
Image: Carlos Tevez misses a penalty
Arsenal get off the mark
In other results on Saturday, Arsenal bounced back from their humiliating defeat against United in their last outing to record a badly needed 1-0 win over Swansea at the Emirates Stadium.
An Andrey Arshavin goal on 40 minutes secured Arsenal's first Premier League win this season, the Russian international punishing a dreadful blunder by Swans goalkeeper Michel Vorm to finish from a tight angle.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his side had suffered an attack of nerves as they sought to hang on for the victory in the second half.
"When you get a big score against you, the confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly," Wenger said.
"You could see that because we had a nervous second half when we didn't score the second goal. We started well and slowly the nerves took over," he added.
Image: Andrey Arshavin
Photographs: Getty Images
Chelsea overcome Sunderland challenge
Chelsea moved up to second place after recording their third win in a row with a 2-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Blues skipper John Terry drove a deflected shot into the net to put Chelsea ahead on 18 minutes after Sunderland failed to clear.
Chelsea doubled their lead on 51 minutes when striker Daniel Sturridge latched onto a ball over the top from new signing Raul Meireles to score.
Sunderland's South Korean international Ji Dong-Won gave the Black Cats hope with a goal in stoppage time but Chelsea held on.
Image: Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring a goal against Sunderland
Stoke stun Liverpool
Liverpool's recent revival ground to a halt as they crashed to an unexpected 1-0 defeat at Stoke.
Stoke edged ahead against the run of play on 21 minutes after Jamie Carragher was adjudged to have hauled down City striker Jon Walters, who stepped up to convert the penalty himself.
Tottenham recovered from their 5-1 home mauling by Manchester City with a 2-0 victory over Wolves at Molineux.
Emmanuel Adebayor, who joined Spurs on loan from Manchester City last month, struck on 67 minutes to put Tottenham ahead after being played in by fellow debutant Scott Parker. Jermain Defoe then made the game safe for Spurs on 80 minutes.
Everton and Aston Villa shared the points in a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.
Image: Stoke City's Jonathan Walters shoots and scores a penalty against Liverpool