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.
Salah: I’ll be at Liverpool next season for sure
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah said he will be at Anfield next season “for sure” but would not be drawn over whether he will sign a new contract.
Salah’s deal ends in June 2023, leading to speculation he could be sold if he did not sign a new one as he would leave on a free in a year’s time.
“I just want to see Hendo [Jordan Henderson] with the trophy.”
“I am staying next season for sure.”
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Salah’s team-mate Sadio Mane said he would announce his decision on his own future after the final against Real Madrid in Paris.
The Senegal international, who has scored 120 goals in 268 games for the Reds, will also enter the last 12 months of his contract from June.
He told Sky Sports News: “This question [about my future] I will answer after Champions League. If I’m staying or not, I’m going to answer after [the] Champions League.”
“No, not at all,” he said. “What, if we win it they want to go? We are in talks with all the players, it is just not the moment to talk about the results of these talks. None of them are sitting there not knowing what we are planning.
“There is just not the time, we play every three days. The players have this idea, we have this idea, sometimes they match immediately, sometimes not and then we work together.
“We have known each other for ages.”
Salah joined from Roma in 2017 and has scored 156 goals in 253 games for Liverpool.
He has helped the club win the Premier League in 2019-20, the 2019 Champions League, the FA Cup and League Cup this season plus the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup during his time at Anfield.
Falcons’ Nnadozie wins top French Women’s league award
Super Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie has been awarded with the Bruno Martini Award for Goalkeeping Revelation of the Season in French women’s football, reports soccernet.ng.
The French Association of Professional Football Goalkeeper Coaches awarded the Paris FC goalkeeper for her excellent performance in the league. She helped Paris FC finish third in the league, as the capital team also qualified for a place in next season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League.
The award is voted for by other goalkeepers, professional football goalkeeper coaches, and members of the goalkeeper coaches’ association.
Nnadozie was nominated alongside Stade de Reims goalkeeper, Emily Alvarado and Issy GPS goalkeeper, Colette Morche.
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The goalkeeper was elated with her recognition in the award given by the AEGB and thanked the association and her club for the laurel.
“I want to use this opportunity to say a big thank you to the AEGB Football Association France, for this great award. A special thanks to Paris FV, you guys made it possible.”
It was Nnadozie’s second nomination and she has now won one of them. She was also selected as one of the best five goalkeepers in the French Women’s league by UNFP, Ligue 1 organisers but missed out on the biggest prize.
Nnadozie has been invited to the Super Falcons ahead of the camping for the Women African Cup of Nations.
Asisat Oshoala also selected her as her favourite Super Falcons goalkeeper and described her as “a very good goalkeeper” in a FIFA Plus TV interview.
Breaking: Man City win EPL in dramatic comeback despite Liverpool beating Aston Villa 3-1
Manchester City on Sunday clinched their sixth English Premier League title coming back from 0-2 against Aston Villa to a surprising 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium on the final day of the league.
The title chaser Liverpool although won their game against Wolves but it was not enough to lift the league trophy.
The City’s three goals came in five minutes to seal the title.
The win on Sunday sees Pep Guardiola’s Man City successfully defend their EPL title.
Matty Cash and Philipe Coutinho had given Aston Villa a 2-0 advantage before Man City scored three times in five minutes late in the second half.
A brace from Ilkay Gundogan, a substitute, and Rodi helped City snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and with it the EPL title.
A nervous Man City fell to Cash’s header in the 37th minute before Coutinho doubled Steven Gerard’s side’s lead in 69 minutes.
The introduction of Gundogan changed the dynamics of the encounter, with the German international heading into the net before Rodri drilled in the equalizer two minutes later.
Gundogan completed the comeback from Kevin de Bruyne’s cross to send the fans into frenzy mode as Guardiola’s side clinched the club’s fourth title in five years, punctured by the 2020 triumph of Liverpool, who finished second.
The final day final scores are:
Arsenal 5-1 Everton
Brentford 1-2 Leeds United
Brighton 3-1 West Ham
Burnley 1-2 Newcastle (Burnley are relegated)
Chelsea 2-1 Watford
Crystal Palace 1-0 Manchester United
Leicester City 4-1 Southampton
Liverpool 3-1 Wolves
Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa
Norwich 0-5 Tottenham
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