MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester City offered a gleeful reminder of the gulf in class between themselves and Manchester United with a dismissive 3-0 win at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday.
The weekend's big clash turned out to be painfully one-sided as Erling Haaland struck twice to move into double figures for Premier League goals this season while Phil Foden was also on target for Pep Guardiola's side.
Liverpool consolidated their place in the top four with a 3-0 home victory against Nottingham Forest while fifth-placed Aston Villa racked up a 12th successive home league win as they cruised to a 3-1 defeat of struggling Luton Town.
Everton enjoyed a poignant 1-0 victory at West Ham United, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring the only goal at the London Stadium, at the end of a week in which chairman Bill Kenwright died at the age of 78. The win moved Everton up to 15th.
In the day's other match, Brighton & Hove Albion drew 1-1 at home to Fulham as their winless run extended to four games.
|Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Nottingham Forest - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - October 29, 2023 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their third goal with Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott. Photo: Reuters|
City's victory lifted the champions to 24 points, the same as Arsenal who thrashed Sheffield United 5-0 on Saturday and two points behind surprise leaders Tottenham Hotspur who beat Crystal Palace on Friday.
United are eighth -- nine points behind City and on the evidence of Sunday that gap will only get bigger.
"It's different levels. The United players are just short in every aspect. Technically and tactically. It's a long way back for this team," former United captain Roy Keane told Sky Sports.
Erik Ten Hag's side had appeared to have turned a corner with narrow league wins over Brentford and Sheffield United and a Champions League victory against FC Copenhagen.
But those wins papered over the cracks and City exposed them with ruthless efficiency in a dominant display that left United sucking up a fifth defeat in their opening 10 Premier League games of the season -- the most since 1986-87.
Haaland's first goals at Old Trafford
The match began with moving tributes to Manchester United great Bobby Charlton who died last weekend but any sense that the hosts could produce a display the iconic Charlton would have been proud of soon vanished.
Haaland scored with a 26th-minute penalty -- his first goal at Old Trafford -- after United striker Rasmus Hojlund was penalised for dragging down Rodri.
The Norwegian then rammed home a header from Bernardo Silva's cross to make it 2-0 shortly after the break, his 11th league goal of the season, and he turned provider to set up Foden to complete United's misery as the rain tumbled down.
"It is definitely one of the best wins. To win 3-0 away with this crowd, I think it is definitely one of the best performances," Haaland said.
Goals by Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah eased Liverpool to victory over Forest although the win was overshadowed by events off the field.
|Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v Luton Town - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - October 29, 2023 Aston Villa's Moussa Diaby scores their second goal past Luton Town's Thomas Kaminski. Action Images via Reuters|
After scoring the opener, Jota held up the shirt of team mate Luis Diaz, who missed the game following the kidnapping of his parents in his native Colombia.
"Luis was with us in the hotel, then he went home. It's a very hard situation and I don't know how anyone would react if it happened to you," Jota told the BBC.
While the victory was welcome, manager Juergen Klopp also said his thoughts had been with Diaz.
"Preparation was the most difficult I had in my life. Didn't expect it, couldn't prepare for it, We try to help Lucho (Diaz) as much as we can," he said.
Aston Villa are turning their stadium into a fortress and Luton were the latest team to succumb there.
John McGinn gave Unai Emery's side the lead in the 17th minute and Moussa Diaby rifled in a shot four minutes into the second half before a Tom Lockyer own goal just past the hour mark put Villa in cruise control.
The only blot on Villa's copybook was a bizarre own goal when a defensive header hit the crossbar and rebounded into the net off keeper Emiliano Martinez.