Multiple goals scored, no goals conceded, and three points locked up. That seems to be the formula for Manchester City in the early stages of the 2015-2016 Premier League campaign, as they locked up their third win in as many chances with a 2-0 victory over Everton. Here are five thoughts from a match that started out slowly, picked up in the second half, and saw City remain atop the Premier League heap after three weeks.
1. More Defender Goals!
Aleksandar Kolarov opened the scoring for City from an incredibly tight angle, on a shot that Everton keeper Tim Howard probably should have done better on. And while Howard's performance on that passage of play can be debated, what can't be debated is how effective City's back line has been offensively so far.
With Vincent Kompany scoring twice and Kolarov scoring as well, City defenders are averaging a goal per game, and their three goals are more than clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool, and the Manchester Junior Varsity Red Team have scored as a whole in three games.
Kolarov especially has been a breath of fresh air this season, using his ability to get forward judiciously, without the tendency to get caught out on the counter attack as some of City's other outside backs have.
2. Let The Clean Sheets Continue
Everton is a group with the potential to be explosive on the attack, as they showed with five goals in their first two games. But City's defense did a nice job of preventing them from having opportunities to keep their run of offensive form going, holding the Toffees to just one shot on goal for the match.
This is a great job of building on the strong performance against Chelsea by the City defense. After all, with every dominant showing they put forward, the larger the sample size becomes and the more legitimate their body of work becomes. While they have a long way to go to turn a few good shifts into a full season of them, clean sheets against the defending champions and an explosive Everton is a nice start.
3. Speakers Going Samir
If you ask your miserable friend who supports Arsenal (everyone has one, and they all criticize City and Chelsea supporters even though many of them started watching Arsenal during The Invincibles' run) about Samir Nasri, you'll get a rant about how he doesn't care about playing time and just wants to make tons of money before retiring to some lavish French lifestyle.
For all we know, that could be entirely true. But for someone who allegedly cares as little as Nasri does, the guy sure has made the best of a bad situation, scoring to put this game away despite seeing limited time as one of the reserves among City's loaded midfield. Taking a moment to ignore your bitter Gooner friend, positive contributions from Nasri will be essential when the time comes for City to juggle Premier League, Champions League, and cup fixtures.
4. I Guess You Can Walk Alone
Monday's clash between Liverpool and Arsenal gave City a chance to become the only team in the league not to drop points, which became the case once Liverpool dropped their first points of the season in the 0-0 draw. This is completely meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but it's easier to win the league from the top of the table than it is to win it from the bottom, I guess. Something tells me none of us will complain about this ultimately trivial, but still kind of nice distinction.
5. Another Golden Opportunity
City now face another great opportunity over the next few weeks, with a very favorable schedule that can allow them to build a lead in the Premier League table. The Blues host new boys Watford next week, followed by a Crystal Palace side that has to face Chelsea the week before, followed by a home match with West Ham. Three very winnable games that can put City on 18 of a possible 18 points heading into a road test against Tottenham. Those points are far from guaranteed and will need to be earned, but a better script could not have been written for City to start this season.
You surely have thoughts on this week's win and the matches to come. Let us have them below.