Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored against former club Arsenal on Saturday in a 4-2 victory that maintained the expensively revamped squad’s winning start to the Premier League season.
While City made it four wins out of four, the Gunners were condemned to a second straight loss in Manchester, having been beaten by United before the international break.
Florent Malouda scored in stoppage-time as Chelsea rallied to win 2-1 at Stoke to register a fifth straight win, while Yossi Benayoun scored a hat trick for Liverpool in a 4-0 rout of Burnley.
Adebayor and Kolo Toure appeared for City against Arsenal for the first time since their big-money off-season transfers from the Gunners. Adebayor was loudly booed by visiting fans as Arsenal dominated early on, but it was the Togo striker’s new side that took the lead.
Micah Richards met Gareth Barry’s cross with a looping header that hit the post but goalkeeper Manuel Almunia diverted back into his own net.
Arsenal was more of a threat after the break when Tomas Rosicky replaced Denilson, and the Czech international collected Bacary Sagna’s short pass and fed the ball calmly through to Robin van Persie to equalize in the 62nd minute.
City was back in front 12 minutes later when Richards squared to Craig Bellamy, who swept the ball home.
Adebayor was booked after his headed goal for racing the full length of the field to celebrate right in front of the Arsenal fans.
“I’m very sorry for all this. Sometimes, the emotion takes over,” Adebayor said. “I was very happy to score the goal. Before the game, people have been saying and writing things and the emotions took over. People who love me and know me know how I behave.”
City’s lead survived a frantic conclusion, which saw Shaun Wright-Phillips score a fourth before Rosicky pulled one back.
A mistake by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech allowed Stoke to take the lead in the 32nd minute. Cech was stranded when Abdoulaye Faye’s header from Glenn Whelan’s cross looped over the Czech Republic international.
But Didier Drogba struck into the top corner just before the break to equalise and Malouda left it late in the second-half to produce the winner that made it five wins out of five for manager Carlo Ancelotti.
At Anfield, Benayoun put Liverpool in front in the 27th minute, chasing a pass from Glen Johnson and racing past Graham Alexander before sidefooting home.
And when Benayoun’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Brian Jensen, Dirk Kuyt slotted home the loose ball to put the Reds on course for their second straight win.
After the break, Steven Gerrard set up Benayoun to tap in the third before substitute Andriy Voronin played the Israeli in for his third and Liverpool’s fourth with eight minutes to go.
“It was a good day for me but the most important is the three points and we played some good football,” Benayoun said. “I started off on the right but Rafa told me to come in and work in between the lines.”
Also Saturday, Darren Bent scored twice as sixth-placed Sunderland beat Hull 4-1, Blackburn won its first home game of the season by defeating Wolverhampton 3-1 and Hugo Rodallega’s goal gave Wigan a 1-0 victory over West Ham.
Bolton earned its first points by winning 3-2 at Portsmouth, leaving the home side at the bottom of the table with zero points.