London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Stevan Jovetic scored twice to lead Premier League defending champion Manchester City to a 3-1 win over Liverpool Monday at Etihad Stadium.
With the victory, Manchester City made it a four-way tie for the lead, joining Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea with six points apiece.
Jovetic opened his account for the season in the closing minutes of the first half with a close-range finish and doubled his tally in the 55th minute for a commanding 2-0 count.
Minutes after replacing injured Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero scored in the 69th minute, striking a low shot out of Simon Mignolet’s reach.
Pablo Zabaleta’s late own goal, which came after Joe Hart had parried substitute Rickie Lambert’s close-range header, was scant consolation for Brendan Rodgers’ men.
“I think up until the 40th minute we were the best team but we switched off in final period. We didn’t defend it well enough and were 1-0 down. At 2-0 it is difficult for us, but to our credit we kept going,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said.
“I felt we needed to be quicker in our actions in the final third, we needed to be more dynamic, but we looked a threat, which is important,” he added.
With new signing Mario Balotelli watching on after completing his move from Milan, Rodgers gave a debut to Alberto Moreno, while Joe Allen returned for Lucas in midfield.
Earlier, Balotelli completed his to Liverpool from AC Milan, subject to registration, for an undisclosed fee.
The 24-year-old, who will wear the No 45 shirt, has completed his switch to Anfield from San Siro after passing a medical and agreeing a long-term deal to become the Reds’ ninth signing of the summer.
“I’m very happy,” Balotelli said. “We’ve been talking about coming here and now I’m happy to be here.
Balotelli joins Liverpool after a year-and-a-half with Milan, where he scored 26 goals in 43 Serie A appearances.