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Aguero and Rooney just the trick for title rivals

WAYNE ROONEY and Sergio Aguero fired Premier League hat-tricks yesterday as the two Manchester clubs continued their blistering start to the season, which has seen them score a combined total of 33 goals in their first four games.

United completed their best start ever to a Premier League season by smashing five goals past a helpless Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

Earlier in the day, Manchester City went top for two and a half hours thanks to a 3-0 defeat of Wigan at the Etihad Stadium. The Argentina forward Aguero has had no trouble adapting to life in England and his three goals means he has scored six times in four games since his move from Atletico Madrid.

His effort contrasted with Carlos Tevez, who missed a penalty to add to being stripped of the captaincy last week.

Wayne Rooney scored his second successive hat-trick to take his personal tally to eight in four games, part of an overall team tally of 18, 13 of which have come in the last two matches.

Twelve months ago, the United forward was in the middle of his own personal hell. Now it is as though all that trouble never happened.

Aside from Manchester City, Rooney has now scored more league goals on his own this season than any of the clubs attempting to keep pace with this unbelievable start, in which one city appears to have annexed the entire championship between them.

"It could have been more," Rooney declared. "We always know Bolton is a difficult place to come. We got an early goal and kicked on from there and it could have been more. First start with Chicharito (this season) and both scoring, that's great."

"I had a long time to rest and get a good pre-season under my belt. I've stayed free of injuries and it's helped me for the start of the season."

Javier Hernandez marked his first start of the season with two goals, although on a night when everyone in red played their part, it was a dazzling run from teenager Phil Jones to create Rooney's second which sparkled the most.

Indeed, the only downside for Alex Ferguson ahead of another Champions League quest getting under way against Benfica on Wednesday was the suspected broken foot midfielder Tom Cleverley sustained in an early collision with Kevin Davies, and an injury to Jonny Evans.

Although he endorsed David de Gea yesterday, it was claimed Ferguson was having extreme doubts over whether to drop the 20-year-old into the maelstrom of the Reebok Stadium, even now Owen Coyle has smoothed off quite a lot of that infamous abrasive edge. As it turned out, the United boss need not have worried.

It was first-half stoppage time before Bolton produced a cross that tested De Gea's mettle, by which time the visitors were three up, with the only doubt over victory concerning how many they would get.

"You just have to concentrate on yourselves," said Ferguson. "It's a difficult start to the season, we've got all the bigger names. We've got Chelsea next Sunday. It's a hectic start and if we come through it, we'll have done well."

Daniel Sturridge was a key figure as Chelsea won 2-1 at Sunderland.

John Terry put the Blues ahead in the 18th minute and they doubled their lead five minutes after the break, when Sturridge ran on to a long ball and back-heeled into the net despite the best efforts of Wes Brown to stop the ball crossing the line.

Sunderland pulled one back through Ji Dong-won in the final minute after he was left unmarked in the area.

Liverpool lost 1-0 through a contentious penalty at Stoke when Jamie Carragher was adjudged to have fouled Irish international striker Jon Walters. It appeared a harsh decision with the Stoke forward going down easily after the former England defender put his arm around him. However, Walters got up to fire down the middle.

Arsenal, meanwhile, fielded all five of their deadline-day signings and beat Swansea thanks to an awful error five minutes before half-time by Michel Vorm. The Dutchman gathered the ball and rolled it out but it hit the heel of Angel Rangel and Andrey Arshavin slid the ball home from a tight angle.

It was all rather irrelevant though with both Manchester clubs still to drop a point in what has already turned into a fascinating duel.

Sunday Indo Sport