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EPL PIX: 10-man Chelsea hold Liverpool; City rout Arsenal

Last updated on: August 29, 2021 00:25 IST
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Images from Saturday's action in the English Premier League.

IMAGE: Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker fails to save the header from Kai Havertz as Chelsea take the lead against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ten-man Chelsea held on for a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday after defender Reece James was sent off just before halftime.

 

Chelsea had taken the lead against the run of play when Kai Havertz met a James corner at the near post and his glancing header looped into the far corner past the helpless Alisson Becker.

But on the stroke of halftime, Liverpool drew level in controversial circumstances when, after a review of the pitchside monitor, referee Anthony Taylor ruled that James had handled on the line as he kept out a Sadio Mane effort and awarded a penalty and sent off the Chelsea fullback.

IMAGE: Chelsea defender Reece James is shown the red card by referee Anthony Taylor. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

The images showed the ball had struck James' thigh before bouncing up against his arm and while Chelsea felt hard done by, Mohamed Salah kept calm amid the protests to drive home the spot kick.

With his side down to 10 men, Thomas Tuchel made two changes at the break with Havertz and the injured N'Golo Kante making way for defender Thiago Silva and midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

The restructure worked well with Chelsea holding firm against a wave of Liverpool attacks to secure a point which maintained the unbeaten start to the season for both teams.

Manchester City thrash hapless 10-man Arsenal

IMAGE: Rodrigo, left, celebrates with teammate Jack Grealish after scoring Manchester City's fourth goal during the English Premier League match against Arsenal at Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester City made light work of thrashing a hapless 10-man Arsenal 5-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, a result that means the Gunners have lost their opening three league games of a season for the first time since 1954-55.

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta, back at the Etihad Stadium where he worked as an assistant between 2016 and 2019, watched in horror as his team fell apart early on, with Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres giving City a 2-0 lead inside 12 minutes.

The visitors remained masters of their own chaotic downfall as Granit Xhaka inexplicably got himself sent off for a two-footed lunge in the 35th minute, making an already difficult task that bit more challenging for Arteta's men.

City could then afford to take their foot off the gas but the goals still flowed as British recording signing Jack Grealish set up Gabriel Jesus for City's third just before halftime.

IMAGE: Arsenal's Granit Xhaka was shown the red card for a two-footed lunge in the 35th minute. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Rodri added a fourth early in the second half, before Torres scored his second late on to complete a miserable afternoon for Arteta and his side.

Another loss means Arsenal are without a point, or even a goal, from their three games so far this season, while City, temporarily at least with rivals in action later in the weekend, are back on top of the standings.

"Arteta knows how I love him," City boss Pep Guardiola said. "In the two or three years he was here he was important to what we built. People want results right away; with the players he had today, Ben White, Thomas Partey were missing, many players they invested in were missing, without that it is difficult.

"I know his awareness as a manager and as a leader, the moment everyone is back he will do an excellent job. I know this because I know him, I know the job he can do.

"Today we scored some goals that we didn’t deserve. We didn’t play that good to score a goal."

City boss Pep Guardiola was adamant on Friday that the club did not need Cristiano Ronaldo as reports circulated that the champions were about to bring in the Portugal forward, before he eventually sealed a return to City’s rivals Manchester United.

Right from the off in the Etihad sunshine, the Spaniard's confidence in his current forward options was understandable as the hosts blew Arsenal away, even if the visitors gave them more than a helping hand.

Jesus was allowed far too much time get a seventh-minute cross into the middle, Calum Chambers then got his angles all wrong as he let the ball float over his head and Gundogan stole in to head home.

IMAGE: Ferran Torres scores the fifth goal for Manchester City. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Things went from bad to worse for Arsenal as a Bernardo Silva cross was then allowed to drift past several defenders before Torres, who could not believe his luck, stroked the ball home.

Arteta cut a frustrated figure on the touchline. Already under pressure after Arsenal finished eighth for the second successive season last term, the Spaniard watched them concede two goals inside 12 minutes for the first time since 2017.

Xhaka's recklessness must have made Arteta consider making an early exit himself. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, no player has been sent off more often in the Premier League than the Swiss midfielder.

Grealish then had an impact as he easily squared for Jesus to make it three, before Rodri drilled a well-placed strike into the net from distance to put City on course for a big score.

Substitute Raheem Sterling should have made it five late on, before Torres arrived right on cue to put the icing on the cake as City made it back-to-back 5-0 wins at home.

Leicester condemn Norwich to third straight loss

IMAGE: Jamie Vardy, right, celebrates with teammates Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho after winning the match against Norwich City at Carrow Road. Photograph: Chris Radburn/Reuters

Leicester City's Marc Albrighton struck a 76th minute winner as the visitors condemned promoted Norwich City to a third straight defeat with a 2-1 win at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Jamie Vardy had fired Leicester ahead with a superbly taken goal in the eighth minute before Teemu Pukki brought the home side level from the penalty spot just before the break.

The penalty came after Caglar Soyuncu was ruled, after a lengthy VAR review, to have fouled Pierre Lees-Melou and Pukki kept his cool after the delay to slot home.

But Leicester grabbed their second when Vardy set up Albrighton whose deflected shot flew past goalkeeper Tim Krul.

"I don't score too many goals, but to get off the mark for the season is fantastic for me," Albrighton told the BBC.

"For it to be the winner, it is fantastic for the team. It was a tough game today so to come away with three points, I am delighted for us," he said.

"We played on the front foot for most parts of the second half. Still improvements to be made but I think, overall going into the international break, to get the win was the main thing."

Kenny McLean headed in a corner for what Norwich thought was a late equaliser but VAR ruled Todd Cantwell was offside.

"I'm not too sure about (the disallowed goal), but it didn't affect us, we kept on going and like everyone in the changing room I felt we deserved a draw," Norwich's on-loan Manchester United defender Brandon Williams said.

"At the time I thought it was a perfectly fine goal. I felt (keeper Kasper) Schmeichel had no chance even if Todd was in his way, but I will have to watch it back."

The victory moved Leicester up to eighth place on six points, while Norwich are second-bottom above Arsenal.

Clinical Everton sink Brighton

IMAGE: Demarai Gray celebrates scoring the first goal for Everton against Brighton & Hove Albion. Photograph: Chris Radburn/Reuters

New signing Demarai Gray scored his second goal in as many Premier League games for Everton and Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted a penalty as the Toffees continued their good start with a 2-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

Gray, who joined the Merseyside club from German side Bayer Leverkusen in July, gave the visitors a 41st-minute lead when he beat goalkeeper Robert Sanchez with a crisp low shot into the far corner after a darting run.

Everton dominated and Sanchez kept out a low Andros Townsend drive midway through the first half while his opposite number Jordan Pickford parried a Pascal Gross free kick after Gray had silenced the home fans.

Halftime substitute Joel Veltman gave away a clumsy penalty when he clattered into Seamus Coleman and Calvert-Lewin drilled in the spot kick in the 58th minute but not before a tussle with team mate Richarlison.

The Brazilian forward grabbed the ball and refused to let first-choice penalty taker Calvert-Lewin proceed before he was restrained and ushered away by several Everton players.

Sanchez spared Brighton, who had won both their opening two matches, a bigger defeat when he denied Abdoulaye Doucoure in the closing stages but Everton were well worth their win which put them on seven points from three games.

Everton boss Rafa Benitez praised Gray for a fine performance and had no sympathy for Richarlison's petulance.

"Demarai Gray has been working hard in training, he's improving," Benitez told Sky Sports.

"He has more confidence and he's pushing to play. It's nice having players that train that way, making sure the manager selects them.

"With the penalty, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the first taker, Richarlison knows he's the second one.

"The main thing is that he scored, we won. We have to compete in training to see who scores more penalties, but at the moment Dominic is the first one."

Gray said: "Always good to get a win before the international break. Similarly to last week, we started without much possession, but we've got good structure in the team.

"Before the penalty - I'm not too sure what happened. It's a good thing that all our strikers want to score goals, but Dom (Calvert-Lewin) is the taker and he tucked it away."

West Ham held to 2-2 home draw by Palace

Crystal Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher scored his side's first two league goals of the season as they held West Ham United to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining derby at the London Stadium on Saturday.

The point took the Hammers back to top spot in the Premier League table, though David Moyes's side will feel that they could have taken all three points against a Palace side that struggled to deal with their high press.

West Ham took the lead six minutes before the break with a brilliantly-worked goal as Said Benrahma set Michail Antonio free through the middle and he exchanged intricate passes in the box with Pablo Fornals, who scored with a simple finish.

After two goalless outings for Palace so far this season, Gallagher finally got his side's first league goal under new boss Patrick Viera 13 minutes into the second half, scooping the ball home from a tight angle.

The Hammers went back in front when Joachim Andersen was out-muscled under a high ball by Antonio, who slammed home for a record-extending 50th Premier League goal for the club.

The lead lasted only a couple of minutes as Gallagher, who is on loan at the Eagles from Chelsea, levelled again with a beautiful turn in the box and a low finish into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 2-2.

Despite having had problems with West Ham's physicality all afternoon, Palace almost won the game when Declan Rice conceded a free kick in stoppage time, but defender Marc Guehi headed just over with the goal at his mercy.

Palace's second point in three games lifts them to 14th spot and Viera was delighted with the character his team showed.

"We knew it was going to be difficult. We came here with a really good game plan. In the first half we played with the handbrake on, but we were brave enough to put the pressure on them in the second half," the Frenchman told Sky Sports.

"We deserved the two goals and the point. This game will give us confidence and belief for the rest of the season. There is more to come from this team," he added.

They may have moved back to the top of the table on seven points, but West Ham were not happy with how they performed.

"The players are disappointed in the dressing room, but that tells you the standards we have set ourselves ... we just didn't play to the standards we have reached in recent weeks," manager David Moyes told the BBC.

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