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EPL stunners as Liverpool lose 7-2 to Aston Villa, Manchester United 6-1 to Spurs

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Premier League champion Liverpool was humiliated 7-2 by Aston Villa to end its perfect start to the title defence on Sunday.

Ollie Watkins scored a hat-trick and Jack Grealish scored twice as Villa made it three wins out of three after only surviving in the league on the last day of last season.

Liverpool became the first reigning Premier League champions to concede seven in a game. The last time it happened in English football’s top division was in 1953.

With Alisson Becker out with a shoulder injury, Adrian was in the Liverpool goal and his mistake allowed Watkins to open the scoring in the fourth minute.

A poor attempt at a pass was pounced upon in the Liverpool box by Grealish, who laid the ball to Watkins for a simple finish.

Villa doubled its advantage when Watkins, again set up by Grealish, cut inside Joe Gomez and fired past Adrian into the top corner.

Liverpool reduced the deficit in the 33rd as the ball came to Mohamed Salah in the box and he cracked it in.

But within moments the visitors had conceded again, with John McGinn’s volley going past Adrian via a deflection off defender Virgil Van Dijk.

Ross Barkley then got his debut goal after joining on loan from Chelsea in the 55th, hitting a shot from outside the box that flew in off Trent Alexander-Arnold, with Grealish again the provider.

Salah fired in at the other end five minutes later to make it 5-2, but Villa was not finished, with Grealish adding a brace.

His first came in the 66th minute, another goal involving a deflection as the Villa skipper’s shot hit Fabinho en route to the net.

Watkins was then denied by Adrian, before Grealish burst clear of the Liverpool defense as he latched onto McGinn’s pass and calmly tucked the ball past Adrian.

With three wins from three games, Dean Smith’s Villa are up to second place in the table, level on points with Liverpool – which has played four matches – plus Leicester and Arsenal.

The quartet is three points behind Liverpool’s Merseyside rival, Everton, which Juergen Klopp’s side faces at Goodison Park in their next match on October 17.

Tottenham tore apart Manchester United for a 6-1 victory at Old Trafford on Sunday, exposing the defensive weaknesses in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side by inflicting the team’s joint-heaviest Premier League defeat at home.

Only once since 1930 has United conceded six at home — to Manchester City nine years ago. Not since 1986 has United opened the league season with back-to-back home losses.

This was a crushing defeat to a Tottenham side managed by Jose Mourinho, who was fired in 2018 to make way for Solskjær. And against a team that has played eight games in 22 days across three competitions and was trailing after two minutes at Old Trafford.

But after Bruno Fernandes’ penalty, United’s wretched defense allowed Tanguy Ndombele to level in the fourth minute and Son Heung-Min to net again inside three minutes.

United can be aggrieved that Erik Lamela’s apparent playacting led to Anthony Martial being sent off in the 28th minute. But the team was already being run ragged by Tottenham.

Harry Kane scored his first on the half-hour, Son netted again in the 37th, Serge Aurier was on target in the 51st and Kane wrapped up the rout from the penalty spot in the 79th.

“Very impressive,” Mourinho said. “The team was phenomenal since the second minute. Losing 1-0, big personality.”

Tottenham’s Harry Kane scores his team’s sixth goal against Manchester United, from the penalty spot. (AP)

Unlike United, which opened the season with 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace. Two more goals were conceded at Brighton last weekend but Fernando came to United’s rescue with a winner from the penalty spot in the 10th minute of stoppage time.

In contrast to that late penalty on the south coast, United was immediately off the mark from the spot against Tottenham.

The game was barely 30 seconds old when Davinson Sanchez tripped Anthony Martial to halt a run into the penalty and Fernandes converted from the spot.

Fernandes can be relied on to score penalties — this was his 18th in a row including at previous club Sporting in Lisbon. What cannot be relied on is United’s shambolic defense despite captain Harry Maguire becoming the world’s most expensive defender when he was signed last year for 80 million pounds.

Twice he weakly headed the ball, unable to clear the danger, before Ndombele prodded in the leveler.

United was carved apart when Kane slipped the pass through for Son who lifted the ball over goalkeeper David De Gea. It was the first time in a decade that three goals had been scored in the opening seven minutes of a Premier League game.

The blot of Tottenham’s day came with Lamela seeming to deceive the referee after being softly struck by Martial in retaliation for a light push on his face by the Argentine. Lamela clutched his face before dropping to the ground — and Martial’s red was upheld by a VAR check.

Tottenham didn’t seem to need the man-advantage it was so ruthless and United was so poor.

Eric Bailly received the ball and passed sloppily to Nemanja Matic, whose failure to control was seized on by Kane. The striker intercepted the ball and played a one-two with Son before netting.

United was torn apart down the right flank for Tottenham’s fourth. After being released by Moussa Sissoko, Aurier put the ball through the legs of Maguire, the center half who had drifted into a left back position, and Son flicked a shot through De Gea.

United was in disarray and fortunate not to concede again until after the break. It was Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s weighted pass that set up Aurier for the fifth.

Pogba compounded a dismal display by fouling Ben Davies to concede the penalty that Kane converted.

The coronavirus pandemic kept fans out of the stadium — sparing Solskjær boos from his own supporters.

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Tokyo Olympics: Australia beat Nigeria 84-67 in Basketball opener

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Australia’s Boomers beat Nigeria’s Tigers 84-67 in a commanding performance on Sunday night in Tokyo with star player Patty Mills scoring 25 points as both nations opened their quest for a first Olympic medal in men’s basketball.

Australia matched its best finish by finishing fourth at the Rio Games in 2016 but is capable of going further this time with a veteran roster full of NBA players.

The Australians, ranked third in the world, pulled away in the fourth quarter of a game that had been evenly matched between teams with the most NBA players outside of the U.S.

Nigeria’s D’Tigers featured eight current NBA players and the Australians seven.

Both teams won exhibition games in Las Vegas against the Americans, who have 12 NBA players on their roster.

Australia opened an 11-point lead midway through the third quarter after holding the Nigerians without a basket for more than five minutes to open the second half.

But the Australians lost momentum soon after when the game was delayed because the horn was malfunctioning, and Nigeria cut the deficit to five early in the fourth.

But Matisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia 76ers made a 3-pointer and then Mills, the San Antonio Spurs guard who was a flag bearer for the Australians in the opening ceremony, helped break it open.

Obi Emegano scored 12 points for Nigeria, led by Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown.

Australia plays Italy on Tuesday in matchup of teams that won in Group B on the opening day. Nigeria faces Germany.

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PHOTOS: Nigeria dazzles in Tokyo Olympic opening parade

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Arsenal agree £50m deal for Brighton’s defender

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Arsenal has agreed on a deal in principle for the £50m transfer of Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White.

White was a late call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England Euro 2020 squad.

It completes a meteoric rise for the 23-year-old, who was released by Southampton as a youngster before being signed by Brighton.

He went on a number of loans from the Seagulls, including to Leeds’ Championship title-winning side in 2019-20.

White’s performances for Leeds attracted the attention of many leading clubs and prompted Brighton to secure him on a new four-year contract last summer.

That deal put the Seagulls in a strong negotiating position this summer and it is understood they rejected two bids from the Gunners before agreement was finally reached amid interest from other Premier League clubs.

White is on holiday so the transfer, including his medical, will not be completed until he returns.

The transfer comes as Arsenal part ways with Brazil defender David Luiz after his contract expired.

The Gunners have also signed 21-year-old left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica for £8m this summer.

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