LONDON (REUTERS) - Manchester City's impressive 2-0 victory at Everton on Sunday equalled a club record of nine successive Premier League wins but more importantly sent an ominous warning to their rivals.
City have yet to drop a point since a humbling 4-2 defeat away to bitter local rivals United in early April.
Given last season's underwhelming campaign, which ended with an eight-point deficit to champions Chelsea, few had talked about City as title favourites in the build-up this time.
Three successive wins, however, including a 3-0 victory at home to Chelsea, has catapulted City to the top of the fledgling table and sent an ominous warning that they mean business.
"Before the game someone told me that if we win today it is a new record after so many years," manager Manuel Pellegrini, whose side have scored eight goals and conceded none, told Sky Sports.
"That is secondary but they are always important. But it is more important to be top of the table and the most important thing is to see the team playing the way we are doing.
"I am pleased because it was a very professional performance against a very difficult team here at Goodison Park.
"In the first half and the second half we were very consistent and we had more chances to score goals than Everton.
"We scored two goals and again we kept a clean sheet so I think we are working very well as a team in attack and defence."
Crucial to their impressive start, which has put them two points clear on nine, is the form of their leading quartet Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero.
Kompany, who has guided City to three clean sheets and scored twice, and Yaya Toure appear back to their dominant best following a disappointing season last year.
Silva and Aguero have also been in mesmerising form, carving open opposition defences and creating chances at will.
Close-season signing Raheem Sterling from Liverpool has already formed a strong partnership with fullback Aleksandar Kolarov, scorer of the opening goal on Sunday, and the pair have been central to much of City's best play this year.
"We have a good squad," Pellegrini added after substitute Samir Nasri had scored a late second goal. "We have all the players involved in our target which is to play in the way we are doing so far.
"Now after Watford (at home on Saturday) we are going to start playing eight games every month so it is important to have the whole squad involved in our targets this year.
"It is very important to understand we are just starting the season and it is just three games."