Champions Manchester City slipped to a shock first Premier League defeat of the season at Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Manchester United’s campaign of woe continued with a loss to Crystal Palace.
There were no such troubles for Arsenal who closed the gap to leaders City to one point with a rampant 4-0 win at Bournemouth and newly-promoted Luton Town earned their first success of the season at Everton.
United slumped to their fourth loss of the Premier League season as an early Joachim Andersen strike gave Palace a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.
Having tasted defeat in their previous home league match, against Brighton & Hove Albion, the below-par hosts again found themselves behind in the 25th minute when Andersen arrowed into the top corner.
With plenty of time to find a leveller on home turf, clear-cut chances remained few and far between in the Manchester rain, with Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone enjoying a quiet afternoon and boos ringing around the stadium upon the final whistle.
With nine points and a minus four goal difference, this is 10th-placed Manchester United’s worst-ever start to a Premier League season after seven games. The last time they suffered a worse start to a top-flight campaign was in 1989-90, in the old First Division.
“When we play at home or away and we play Crystal Palace, we have to win,” coach Erik ten Hag said. “With all respect, I know every game is very difficult, you have to play your best and I understand fans expecting a win and we didn’t win. We lost.”
United’s rivals City had been having no such bad luck this term and made the trip to Wolverhampton having won all six of their opening league games.
However, a Ruben Dias own goal put Wolves 1-0 up in the 13th minute, Pedro Neto’s cross deflected in off the Portuguese player’s knee, but Julian Alvarez levelled the score with a bending free kick past Jose Sa in the 58th.
Hwang Hee-chan restored the home side’s lead on the counter-attack and against the run of play in the 66th by firing into the net from close range after a Matheus Cunha pass found him unmarked, a strike which proved to be the winner.
Having been beaten at Newcastle United in midweek in the League Cup, City have lost back-to-back games in all competitions for the first time since January last season; they had lost only two of their 41 matches prior to this.
“We were well set up but we did not defend properly these situations. They beat us in the one versus one and that is not good and we have to do it properly,” City coach Pep Guardiola said.
“We have to do more but even when we win we have to do more.”
Arsenal maintained their unbeaten start to the season on the south coast as Kai Havertz opened his account for the London club and Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Ben White also scored.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, who have yet to concede away from home this season, climbed to second with 17 points, one behind the champions.
Andoni Iraola’s winless Bournemouth side dropped into the relegation zone and are 18th with three points from seven games.
Luton have had to wait seven games to get their first Premier League victory that helped them move out of the bottom three.
Everton created 23 chances, but only five of them were on target, as Luton keeper Thomas Kaminski enjoyed his quietest game since his side were promoted back to the top flight.
Boos rang around the ground at the final whistle as Everton’s lack of scoring prowess allowed the visitors to hang on for a historic win that lifted them to 17th in the table on four points.
The success was Luton’s first away victory in the top tier in 30 such games since a 2-1 success at Aston Villa in March 1991.
Villa enjoyed a more successful afternoon on Saturday as an Ollie Watkins hat-trick inspired them to a 6-1 thrashing of Brighton & Hove Albion that moved them up to fourth in the standings, three points behind leaders City.
Newcastle United also continued their winning streak with a 2-0 victory over Burnley, while West Ham United beat Sheffield United 2-0 at London Stadium.
Tottenham were hosting Liverpool in Saturday’s late game.