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Wild Chelsea win capitalizes on Man City slip-up

LIVERPOOL, England -- Chelsea showed off its new-found attacking sparkle in a 6-3 win over Everton on a day Manchester City lost its cutting edge to slip to a surprise first defeat in its Premier League title defense.

City's 1-0 home loss to Stoke on Saturday was exacerbated by its title rival's wild victory at Goodison Park, in which Spain striker Diego Costa scored in the first and last minutes to continue the superb start to his Chelsea career.

Another big-money arrival in English football, Angel Di Maria, made a promising debut for Manchester United but its 0-0 draw at promoted Burnley left Louis van Gaal's side with just two points from three games — despite a spending spree of 130 million pounds (US$215 million) this summer.

Chelsea has no such problems, with a third straight win leaving the team top of the early standings on goal difference from surprising Swansea.

In Costa, Chelsea also has arguably the standout player so far this season with four goals already since joining from Atletico Madrid.

“He's literally got everything,” Chelsea captain John Terry said. “He's been brilliant, and he's off to a flying start.”

With Costa in such electric form and Cesc Fabregas picking up two more assists, Chelsea has an attacking swagger it lacked last season.

“I want the team to play the way we did, to be positive,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. “We were killers in attack.”

Goals by Costa — after just 34 seconds — and Branislav Ivanovic put Chelsea 2-0 ahead inside three minutes, only for Kevin Mirallas to reduce the deficit for Everton just before halftime.

Seamus Coleman's own goal in the 66th minute sparked a rush of five goals in a chaotic 11-minute spell during which both defenses were carved open to the dismay of the team's managers.

Steven Naismith made it 3-2, Nemanja Matic regained Chelsea's two-goal lead in the 74th but Everton came back again through Samuel Eto'o's header on his debut, against the club that released him in the summer. Ramires put Chelsea 5-3 ahead and Costa wrapped up a madcap second half with a low finish after a back-heel from substitute Didier Drogba.

In an all-action display, Costa was booked for a tussle with Coleman, and then goaded the defender provocatively after the right back's own goal — sparking a melee with Everton's American goalkeeper Tim Howard.

“There are certain players who come to the Premier League who need to understand the ethics and the culture,” Everton manager Roberto Martinez said.

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 Atletico Madrid hang on to sneak by Eibar 
Chelsea's Diego Costa, left, is thwarted by Everton's goalkeeper Tim Howard during their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park Stadium, Liverpool, England, Saturday, Aug. 30.

(AP)

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