MAN CITY STUNNED AS CHELSEA, LIVERPOOL CRUISED TO VICTORY

LIVERPOOL 3 NEWCASTLE 1 Mane and Salah on target after
Willems stunner as Liverpool maintain 100 per cent start vs Newcastle
 

mane

 

LIVERPOOL are still 32 WINS from
finally ending their title drought.
That is the
reality after an eventually comfortable victory over Newcastle made it 14
Premier League triumphs in a row.
A
pair of goals from the irresistible Sadio Mane and one from the similarly
prolific Mo Salah maintained Liverpool’s 100 per cent start to the
season.
The trouble
is, they will probably have to remain all but perfect to stop City making it
three Premier League triumphs in a row.
In
any other league they would be overwhelming favourites to finish as top dogs
this season and probably for a few to come.
But Jurgen
Klopp’s team learnt to their cost last year, anything other than the relentless
gathering of three points is not enough against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester
City.

BLUE ALL OVER Wolves 2 Chelsea 5: Lampard formation change has Blues rampaging as
Abraham bags hat-trick and fellow kids Mount and Tomori get in on act.

TAMMY ABRAHAM wrecked Molineux’s 130th
birthday party but did leave them a little present.
Tammy Abraham reuters

The in-form
Chelsea striker smashed a stunning hat-trick in 21 minutes but also scored an
own goal to make Wolves feel a little better at the end of a big day.
He is the first player
since the Premier League kicked off in 1992 to manage that peculiar feat.
Even so, the
festivities to honour Wolverhampton Wanderers’ grand old stadium instead became
an awkward celebration of Chelsea’s blossoming youngsters as the hottest shot
in the land struck gold.
No wonder boss Frank
Lampard looked so concerned when his red-hot rookie limped off with 14 minutes
to go suffering from what looks like cramp.
Abraham had just
nicked his manager’s record as the last Englishman to score three in one game
for the cosmopolitan Londoners.
Former Chelsea
midfielder Lampard last did it against Bolton back in 2011.
Abraham, 22 in less
than a month, is also the youngest player in the Premier League era to score a
hat-trick for Chelsea.
TACTICAL CHANGE
But beyond the stats
there is way more to see in a rampaging away performance at what has been a
particularly tough ground in recent months.
Fluid up front, rigid
at the back, Lampard has worked quickly to try to iron out the problems in
defence which had undone so much of the good work being done up front.
The head coach
tinkered with his line up and his formation. Adopting a back three for the
first time he was overtly mindful of the fact that his team had leaked nine
goals in the four previous games.
The return of muscular
centre half Antonio Rudiger for the first time this season added much-needed
aggression and strength. It’s no big surprise that Chelsea only started leaking
goals once he went off at half time.
For
while the robust German was busy building brick walls around his goal, his
team-mates got on with the job of dismantling Wolves’ big anniversary..
A 130th
birthday party is hardly expected to be a riotous affair but Lampard’s young
gatecrashers made it one hell of an occasion for them at least.
At one point
it looked as if the visitors were hell bent on joining in the mood by scoring a
goal for each year such was their rampant domination of a shockingly wobbly
Wanderers.
Abraham’s
stellar work up front should not overshadow the team play, nor the goals from
his equally fresh-faced mates Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount.
Tomori’s
stunning goal in particular will still be around on video collecting hit after
hit and like after like in 2149 and rightly so.
Each replay
stops the same amount of breath as his spectacularly curling right foot shot
struck with just the right power and swerve zeroes in on the back of the net.
Mount’s late
goal was the icing on the cake for Lampard and his party-poopers.

Man
Utd 1 Leicester 0: Rashford penalty eases pressure as Maguire shuts out old side
.

rashf
Harry Maguire simply
did not give his former Leicester teammate Jamie Vardy a sniff of goal.

It was
an object lesson in how to keep one of the Premier League’s hottest strikers
quiet.
With the aid
of Victor Lindelof they did an absolute job on the Leicester forward.
When Vardy
got the ball one would be on his heels while the other dropped off in case the
forward’s superior pace gave him the edge.
It did only
once when Vardy got into the box and crossed into an empty six yard box in the
first half.
The rest of
the time he painted a frustrated figure as the Foxes suffered their first
defeat of the season.
The
£85million spent on Maguire, nicknamed Slabhead by Vardy for his big bonce, was
deemed to be too much for Champions Manchester City who also wanted him.
How they
could do with him now with Aymeric Laporte now out for six months with a knee
cartilage injury.
United
certainly needed him which is why they paid so much.
They have
bemoaned the lack of this kind of player since both Nemanja Vidic and Rio
Ferdinand bid farewell.
A commanding
figure at the back who can read the game, win headers and calmly bring the ball
out.
He did all
that yesterday to the frustration of the travelling faithful who chose to boo
his every touch.
He almost got
a goal too when he got forward to meet a corner with a downward header.
In the lead
up the game manager Solskjaer had marked him out as a future captain here. He
certainly lead by example.
For
while this was not the most convincing team display it was earned from a fine
defensive display with Maguire at the heart of it.
The only time
the pair looked uncomfortable was when a long punt from Kasper Schmeichel in
the fourth minute evaded both of them and De Gea made a great save from James
Maddison.
Steptoe
meanwhile, nicknamed for his resemblance to the comedy rag and bone man, had no
answer.
One fan took
it upon himself to scream ‘Harold’ at him for a sustained period during the
second half much to the bemusement of a young fan sat next to the chap.
He was of an
age to remember Steptoe and Son and the old man’s cry.
Vardy’s were
ones of anguish as time and again he got the ball and could do nothing with it.
This was a
striker who since Brendan Rodgers took over at Leicester last February had 12
goals from 14 games before this game. That is best scoring run in that period
in the Premier League.
Still the
watching Gareth Southgate will have left Old Trafford not bemoaning Vardy’s
decision to retire from international football as much as before he arrived.
So Marcus
Rashford’s eigth minute penalty would split the teams. Yes United scored a
penalty.
It is the
fourth they have been awarded this season but only the second they have
converted.
Andreas
Pereira did superbly to help win it, sliding in to dispossess Hamza Choudry and
force the ball into the box.
Rashford got
ahead of Caglar Soyuncu who caught his heels and the United forward went down.
Having missed
his last kick in the 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace the pressure was on, but
he stayed cool and slotted the kick away.
He almost had
a second goal late in the second-half with a 25 yard free kick that crashed off
the angle.
Daniel James
had his now customary efforts on goal, but on this occasion their would be no
reward to match his work.
Still every
time he gets on the ball you can sense the anticipation in the crowd of
something special happening such has been his impact.

Norwich
3 Man City 2: Champions stunned as Pep’s men lose for first time in NINE months
and five points behind Liverpool in title race
.

norw
NORWICH produced one of the biggest
shocks in recent Premier League history – and dropped a spectacular
hand-grenade on Manchester City’s title dreams.
The Prem
newboys, missing half of their first team through injury, were not supposed to
upset the formbook like this.
Yet
they courageously battered the Champions into submission – leaving punters in
Norfolk and Merseyside in dreamland and Pep Guardiola one frustrated viewer.
It also left
shell-shocked City, particularly the irate Kyle Walker, arguing among
themselves, devastated by the comic, schoolboy defending involving John Stones
and Nicolas Otamendi, that gifted the Canaries this momentous victory.
Okay so it
might only be mid-September but unstoppable Liverpool lead by five points – and
considering that last season’s championship was decided by one point, this
could prove to be one hell of a costly loss.
Within the
City boardroom, there are genuine worries about the fitness of the players
long-term as they embark on four competition fronts.
They might be
the richest club in the world but City find themselves in a remarkably perilous
position now that the transfer window has slammed shut.
The long-term injury
to Aymeric Laporte – the Frenchman is out for up to six months with a serious
knee injury – has left Guardiola’s defensive troops are down to the bare bones.
Stones, back from a
thigh issue, started alongside Otamendi but those two are the last centre-backs
standing with the ranks.
Essentially City
cannot afford any further medical disruptions until January.
Farke can certainly
sympathise with Guardiola’s treatment room plight.
The German has had
several conversations with his medical staff in recent weeks and he is
currently without seven players through injury – while the creative Patrick
Roberts was ineligible due to the terms of his City loan move.
The pragmatic Farke
has described trying to avoid Prem relegation like “climbing Mount Everest
without the tools”.
However, to his
credit, Farke said his players would refuse to “park the bus”, knowing that
would be suicide against probably the best attacking unit in world football.

Refreshingly,
despite the calibre of opposition they were facing, Norwich were not afraid to
knock it about when in possession and stuck religiously to their principles.
And against
all the odds, Norwich took the lead on 18 minutes thanks to a well-drilled
corner.
Emiliano
Buendia delivered the pinpoint cross from the right and the alert Kenny McLean
raced clear of nearest markers Raheem Sterling and Rodri to head home past
Ederson at the near post.
Ten minutes
later and the lead was doubled. After a Sergio Aguero header from a tight angle
blazed over, Krul launched the ball forwards.
Teemu Pukki
steamed forward, played onside by Stones, and found local lad Todd Cantwell in
space to score the simplest of tap-ins. Walker vented his frustrations but it
was all wasted breathe.
Norwich
thought they would be awarded a first-half penalty when Stones handled in the
penalty area but a quick VAR check decided he did not have his hands in an
unnatural position.

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