Liverpool are brilliant at Burnley to take control at the top

Press Association Sport 23:40 31/08/2019
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Liverpool cruised back to the top of the Premier League by extending their 100 per cent record to four matches with a 3-0 win at Burnley.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were knocked off top spot for a few hours by Manchester City‘s routine 4-0 home victory over Brighton.

But Liverpool leapfrogged City by claiming a club-record 13th straight league win at Turf Moor, while it was also the first time they have won their opening four matches in back-to-back season.

An own goal by Chris Wood, deflecting in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, was added to by Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as Burnley were swept aside.

City never looked back after Kevin De Bruyne smashed them ahead after 71 seconds and Sergio Aguero doubled the advantage three minutes before half-time.

Aguero brilliantly curled home his second after 55 minutes and substitute Bernardo Silva wrapped up victory for the champions.

Manchester United were held 1-1 by 10-man Southampton as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side dropped more Premier League points.

United went ahead through Daniel James’ 10th-minute stunner, the Wales winger’s third goal since his summer move from Swansea.

But Saints levelled after 58 minutes when Danish defender Jan Vestergaard rose above Victor Lindelof and scored his first goal for the club with a towering header.

Kevin Danso was sent off 17 minutes from time for a second bookable offence, but United failed to take advantage and have taken only two points from their last three games.

Tammy Abraham kept his fine scoring run going with another double, but Chelsea were stunned as Sheffield United fought back to draw 2-2 at Stamford Bridge.

Abraham scored twice at Norwich last weekend and pounced on a Dean Henderson error to give Chelsea a 19th-minute lead.

He scored again just before half-time, but Callum Robinson turned home his first goal for the Blades seconds after the re-start.

Sheffield United bagged an unlikely point when Kurt Zouma put through his own net in the final minute.

Jamie Vardy scored twice as Leicester overcame Bournemouth 3-1 to maintain their unbeaten record.

Vardy put Leicester ahead after 12 minutes with a stunning 25-yard lob, but the Cherries quickly equalised through Callum Wilson.

Leicester regained the lead four minutes before the break when Youri Tielemans stabbed home Vardy’s cross.

Tielemans escaped a VAR red card check for a high challenge on Wilson and Vardy punished Bournemouth again with his third goal of the season after 73 minutes.

West Ham claimed a second successive league win with a 2-0 home victory over Norwich.

Sebastien Haller converted Arthur Masuaku’s 24th-minute cross for his third goal in two games.

Andriy Yarmolenko volleyed the second after 56 minutes, the Ukrainian’s first goal in nearly 12 months after a long injury lay-off.

Crystal Palace beat 10-man Aston Villa 1-0 in a controversial clash at Selhurst Park.

Villa were reduced to 10 men with Trezeguet shown a second yellow card after 54 minutes for a late foul on Wilfried Zaha

Jordan Ayew scored in Palace’s shock win at Manchester United last week and repeated the act by curling home 17 minutes from time.

Villa were denied an equaliser in stoppage time as Henri Lansbury’s strike was ruled out, with referee Kevin Friend penalising Jack Grealish for a dive in build-up.

Watford claimed their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw at Newcastle but remain bottom.

Will Hughes gave the Hornets a second-minute lead before Fabian Schar equalised just before half-time.

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Aymeric Laporte injury takes the shine off another slick Man City show

Press Association Sport 22:55 31/08/2019
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Manchester City fear Aymeric Laporte could face a lengthy lay-off after suffering a serious-looking knee injury in the champions’ 4-0 victory over Brighton on Saturday.

The Frenchman was carried off on a stretcher after going down in agony following a challenge on Adam Webster late in the first half of the Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

City have already lost winger Leroy Sane, to a long-term knee problem this season and the club are anxious Laporte has not suffered the same fate.

City manager Pep Guardiola, who described Laporte as the world’s best left-sided centre-back only on Friday, said: “I think he is in hospital. It doesn’t look good but I don’t know exactly what he has done. Tomorrow, or tonight, we will know exactly what he has.

“He didn’t feel good. The doctor is going to call me and tell me what he has but I think, for a while, he will be out. Hopefully it is not as long as Leroy but we will see.”

Laporte’s injury seems set to deprive the 25-year-old of the chance to make his France debut in his country’s upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania and Andorra.

With John Stones still sidelined, Laporte’s exit also forced midfielder Fernandinho into emergency action as a centre-back, highlighting City’s shortcomings in the area after Vincent Kompany’s departure.

Guardiola, however, has no doubts Fernandinho can fill the position.

He said: “He is a holding midfielder, everyone knows it, but I think he has the conditions to play there.

“The problems we have right now, we have a situation, and he is going to adapt. He is going to help us because he is intelligent, fast, strong in the headers, in the build-up. He has the quality to see what happens in front. He can play in both positions.”

City’s victory was comfortable with Sergio Aguero striking twice after Kevin De Bruyne had opened the scoring with just 68 seconds gone. Substitute Bernardo Silva added a late fourth.

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Frank Lampard defends selections as Chelsea waste two-goal lead to draw with Sheffield United

Press Association Sport 21:20 31/08/2019
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Frank Lampard said his Chelsea side’s second successive capitulation at home is nothing to do with the youthful nature of his side.

A fortnight after squandering a first-half lead against Leicester, the Blues blew a 2-0 half-time advantage against Sheffield United to be held to a 2-2 draw.

Tammy Abraham’s first-half double had looked like giving Lampard a first home win in charge, but Callum Robinson’s effort less than a minute after the restart and Kurt Zouma’s 87th-minute own goal handed the Blades a deserved point.

Lampard, who has been forced to turn to youth this season owing to the club’s transfer ban, named the youngest side in the club’s Premier League history, with an average age of 24 years and 158 days.

He handed a first start to 21-year-old Fikayo Tomori and brought on 18-year-old midfielder Billy Gilmour for his first appearance.

But for all their youthful energy, their soft underbelly was exposed, though Lampard says the two are not related.

“I don’t put that together and I couldn’t care less that we had the youngest team in (Chelsea’s) Premier League history,” he said.

“It was a real plus last week. The fact that it is young today, I don’t think it relates at all.

“The lack of concentration caused mistakes for the goals, but you defend as a team as much as attack.

“We concede because we switch off in a game we should be comfortably seeing out at 2-0 up. That’s not disrespecting to Sheffield United, 2-0 is not the end of the story.

“I was clear with the players at half-time that it could 3-0 and be nice or a potential 2-2 on our hands so the disappointing fact is the first goal because that allowed it. We can only look at ourselves as a group.”

Lampard defended his decision to bring on Gilmour for his first senior appearance when the game was in the balance.

Abraham saw his spot kick saved by Adrian.

“It wasn’t bold. (Mateo) Kovacic was on his haunches, obviously tired and Billy Gilmour is a midfield player I have got on the bench,” he said.

“Other people can make what they want of that, but I wasn’t trying to be clever, I was trying to see the game out.

“I have got faith in Billy I think he is going to have a big future, but we have any injury in midfield, with N’Golo (Kante) who is a good player. But we have a ban, the squad is what the squad is.”

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