Manchester sides struggle in English Premier League as Crystal Palace climb


Manchester City's Sergio Aguero is an injury concern after his side's 1-1 draw with West Ham.

Justin Tellis/AP

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is an injury concern after his side’s 1-1 draw with West Ham.

Such are Manchester City’s struggles, not even a trip to West Ham can be relied on any more to rack up the goals – and points.

A 1-1 draw on Sunday (NZ time) left City enduring their worst start to a season in six years – before Pep Guardiola arrived – and the manager facing more doubts about his ability to regain the English Premier League trophy in the final year of his contract.

How different from the last five games at the Olympic Stadium when City scored 22 goals and only conceded once. This latest setback left City with only eight points from five games.

And the point was only rescued by substitute Phil Foden’s second-half strike, after bringing down Joao Cancelo’s cross on the turn.

“It’s not a good point,“ Foden said. “We wanted three but we’re not a team who will sulk a lot. We’ll get over it tomorrow, look at things we can improve on and go ahead.”

Going ahead, in the Champions League on Thursday at Marseille, they could be without Sergio Aguero. Foden replaced Aguero at halftime and, concerningly for Guardiola, the striker is facing another spell on the sidelines with Gabriel Jesus also out injured.

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski denied Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez the chance to grab a winner in east London as West Ham’s resurgence continued after opening the season with back to back wins.

“In the second half they defended so deep,” Guardiola said, “`and then we had chances at the end to score and we could not convert.”

Fresh from grabbing a draw at Tottenham on Sunday, West Ham took the lead through Michail Antonio’s overhead kick in the 18th minute.

Despite conceding six minutes into the second half, West Ham largely managed to nullify the City threat as David Moyes’ team also moved onto eight points.

Manchester United's Harry Maguire shows his frustration during the goalless draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Michael Regan/AP

Manchester United’s Harry Maguire shows his frustration during the goalless draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Manchester United were held by Chelsea to 0-0 to leave the host without a win at Old Trafford from the opening three matches their for the first time in 48 years.

United striker Marcus Rashford was denied the chance to grab a late winner when Edouard Mendy’s flying save kept out a curling shot. Chelsea’s new goalkeeper also produced fine saves to thwart Rashford and Juan Mata in the first half in heavy rain.

Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani made his United debut off the bench in the second half and almost scored with his first touch when he flicked a corner goalward at the near post.

Chelsea had a penalty overlooked before halftime after United captain Harry Maguire threw Cesar Azpilicueta to the ground when heading away a free kick.

Chelsea are sixth with nine points from six games while United have two points fewer – having played a game less – and are 15th.

Crystal Palace extended their promising start and heaped more misery on Fulham in a 2-1 win.

Wilfried Zaha set up Jairo Riedewald for the opener in the eighth minute and netted himself in the 64th as Roy Hodgson’s side moved up to fifth in the standings.

Hodgson’s former side, Fulham, has lost five times in six games. A disappointing afternoon was made worse in the 86th when substitute Aboubakar Kamara was sent off for a challenge on Eberechi Eze, with referee Graham Scott changing his decision after checking the pitch-side monitor._