London: Manchester City, Premier League champions in 2012 and 2014, went to the top of the table with a 3-1 victory over West Ham United on Sunday.
Superior goal difference took them above Chelsea and neighbours Manchester United, who have also won their three opening games.
Having scored twice in the first 18 minutes through Raheem Sterling and Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, Pep Guardiola's team appeared set for an easy three points, only to be pegged back as the London side improved after halftime.
Michail Antonio reduced the deficit in the 58th minute but Sterling scored his second goal in stoppage time from an acute angle.
City could have leading scorer Sergio Aguero banned for the derby match against United next month if retrospective action is taken after he appeared to swing an arm at West Ham's Winston Reid, who had to go off after taking a blow to the throat.
"I did not see the incident," Guardiola told reporters and neither did West Ham's manager Slaven Bilic.
"Reid got a little injured so we took him off," Bilic said.
For his third league game in charge of City, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager again picked Willy Caballero in goal rather than Joe Hart, and the Argentine was not troubled for almost an hour until Antonio's unexpected intervention.
In the meantime, Sterling scored his first goal of the season following a fine move and Fernandinho added his first in the league since the same weekend last year.
He was left completely unmarked to head in Kevin de Bruyne's free kick as goalkeeper Adrian glared at his defence.
Bilic's side, again weakened by injuries and unable to use new loan signing Simone Zaza from Juventus, employed three centre halves plus wing backs, but defended poorly against City's fluent attacking.
In the second half, Bilic pushed Antonio further forward and he headed in a cross by Arthur Masuaku.
City briefly looked nervous but in the last few minutes David Silva hit a post and Sterling made the victory safe.
"You have to win 3-0 or 4-0 to think the game is over," Guardiola told Sky Sports.
"We played a good game. Our fans enjoyed it and we are happy.
"I don't know how many shots we had but the performance in general was real good."
West Ham stayed 12th in the table after their second defeat.
"I wasn't happy at halftime," Bilic said.
"I asked the guys to show character and spirit and a different mentality which they did. Praise for the team for the second-half performance.
"A few will be back after the international break."
West Brom held
Earlier, West Bromwich Albion missed a chance to move into the top six when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Middlesbrough despite making the better opportunities in a dull game.
Albion were the more progressive side but visiting goalkeeper Brad Guzan saved comfortably from James McClean and defender Brendan Galloway.
The home side might have had a penalty when striker Salomon Rondon clearly had his shirt held by Ben Gibson and Albion's Craig Dawson headed narrowly wide from a corner in the second half.
Middlesbrough, promoted last season under Spaniard Aitor Karanka, took 73 minutes to have a shot on target but held on to maintain their unbeaten record after three games.
That took them into joint sixth place with Tottenham, ahead of the later game between Manchester City and West Ham.
It was a generally solid performance but one lacking attacking threat, despite the vigorous efforts of Alvaro Negredo, the former Manchester City striker signed on a season's loan from Valencia.
He set up the one shot on goal, by Cristhian Stuani.
"It was an important point," Karanka told Sky Sports.
"West Brom is a difficult place so I am pleased with the players. The discipline was good and the second half in particular it was not easy to play the way we wanted."
Albion manager Tony Pulis has said he wants five more players before Wednesday's transfer deadline.
"I thought we played really well the first 25 minutes, we didn't get a goal and then it petered out," he said.
"We need that bit of quality, we are working hard and hopefully we can do it. This is a great group of players but we are squeezing everything out of them."