Rolling Stone India Pitch: Liverpool Stay Unbeaten, Lampard Gets First Win, United Lose Late
We also look ahead to this weekend’s North London derby
Last week, we spoke about how Arsenal had strengthened their defence this season but it was an all too familiar sight for the Gunners at Anfield. Losing once again to European Champions Liverpool–who ran away 3-1 winners with goals from defender Joël Matip and a brace by talisman Mohamed Salah. Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira scored a late consolation, but the game was already done and dusted by then.
Although Arsenal had early chances in the first half through quick counter-attacks by forwards Nicolas Pépé and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it was their new defender David Luiz who angered fans for tugging on Salah’s shirt to concede a penalty. The Egyptian slotted his spot-kick away calmly and helped his team take control of the game with a 2-0 lead.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports after the game, “It was a performance full of power, energy, greed and passion, which I think you need against a team like Arsenal.” He added, “The last 10 minutes I saw the possession–53 to 47 percent or something like that–but over 80 minutes it must have been completely different. We were completely in charge of the game.” By defeating Arsenal, the Merseyside club remains the only team in the Premier League with a 100 percent win record this season.
Over at Carrow Road, Norwich City and Chelsea put on quite a thriller. Frank Lampard’s men–who were looking for their first win of the season–took the lead on three occasions over the course of the match to seal the victory. A brace from striker Tammy Abraham and a goal by Mason Mount secured the win after Norwich’s Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki (who now has five goals in three games) had leveled the match earlier. On Abraham, who had faced racial abuse recently, Lampard said, “I spoke to Tammy before the game today and I said to him that I felt today was the day. He has had a tough little period for the reasons we all know and strikers get judged purely on goals at times which is sometimes slightly unfair, but when you ask about character and enthusiasm to play for this club then he is right up there.”
Manchester United’s penalty woes continued into matchday three. After midfielder Paul Pogba missed a spot-kick a week ago against Wolverhampton Wanderers, it was his teammate Marcus Rashford who failed to convert his penalty against Crystal Palace this past weekend at Old Trafford resulting in United’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Palace. After United’s new Welsh recruit Daniel James canceled out Palace’s Jordan Ayew to make it 1-1 in the 89th minute, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might have thought his team was going to walk away from the game with a draw.
But it was in stoppage time when Palace’s full-back Patrick van Aanholt scored late to give the London club their first win at Old Trafford since 1989. United defenders Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (bought for a collective £130m) failed to cover the Palace forwards, which led to conceding their first goal. One defender that did impress though was former Chelsea player Gary Cahill who made his debut for Palace, his fourth Premier League club, at Old Trafford. For Solskjaer, it’s back to the drawing board.
Tottenham Hotspur was handed a surprise 1-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle United at home. Geordie fans would have been pleased to see club-record signing Joelinton get off the mark with his first goal for the club and give Steve Bruce his first points as manager. Throughout the game, Spurs lacked creativity and were unable to get star striker Harry Kane more involved in the match. With Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen being linked with a move away from the club, manager Mauricio Pochettino said after the game, “I cannot find excuses about the transfer window being open to justify that performance or the result. I am going to be happy in 10 days after we play Arsenal [on September 1st] when the transfer window closes in Europe.”
The North London derby between Arsenal and Spurs cannot come any quicker for both teams. The game is a must-win for both clubs to keep pace with Liverpool and Manchester City and also for finishing the season in the top four. After Pochettino and Arsenal manager Unai Emery were handed defeats this past weekend, they will be looking to get back to winning ways and what better stage to do it than by defeating your fiercest rival.
Also, this weekend will see United travel to Southampton, Chelsea host newly-promoted Sheffield United, Manchester City are at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool head to Turf Moor to face Burnley and more.
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