EPL PIX: Man CIty, Palace win; Villa blanked

EPL PIX: Man CIty, Palace win; Villa blanked


IMAGES from the Premier League matches played on Saturday

Manchester City continue their winning ways at Leicester

De Bruyne

IMAGE: Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne in action with Leicester City’s Nampalys Mendy. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

A stunning free kick from Kevin De Bruyne earned Manchester City a 1-0 victory at Leicester City on Saturday, a win that moved the champions back to the top of the Premier League.

With top goalscorer Erling Haaland missing a Premier League game for the first time since arriving at City through injury, the visitors lacked a cutting edge in the first half, with Leicester containing them with ease.

It was clear it would take something special to unlock the determined hosts, with Belgian midfielder De Bruyne stepping up, firing an unstoppable free-kick into the net four minutes after the break to put City in front.

Leicester responded well and had a chance to level through a stunning volley from De Bruyne’s Belgium teammate Youri Tielemans, but City goalkeeper Ederson brilliantly tipped the thunderbolt of a strike onto the crossbar.

The hosts kept coming, putting City under plenty of late pressure, but the champions held on to climb back to the top of the standings on 29 points, one clear of Arsenal who play Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Leicester stays 17th.

“The free kick goes perfectly, luckily it’s 1-0. Ederson has been great, sometimes we only talk about his distribution but he’s a great keeper and he proves it every week. We have proved we can win with or without Erling Haaland,” De Bruyne told BT Sport. “


Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers could not hide his delight that Haaland, who has 17 league goals from just 11 starts this season, was missing.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sliding on my knees when I heard he (Haaland) wasn’t playing,” he said pre-match, before seeing his side keep City at bay in the opening period.

The hosts came into the contest on the back of three successive clean sheets, and restricted City to half chances early on. With Bernardo Silva’s angled shot well saved, it was the champions’ only real opening of note before the break.

There was absolutely nothing anyone could have done to keep De Bruyne’s third league goal of the season out, however, as he curled an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner.

“It’s not about the assist that Kevin always has or the free kick. I know he has these qualities, the last few games he was not himself. He needs his dynamic, where he can move in different pockets. What can I say about Kevin? Everyone knows him,” City boss Pep Guardiola said.

City were comfortable in their lead and never looked in danger of suffering a second league loss of the season. City have now kept a clean sheet in six of their 12 games this season, which is better than all other Premier League teams.

“There were times where you felt like you didn’t touch the ball for 10 minutes but that’s what it’s like when you play against one of the best teams in the world. The difference was a moment of brilliance from probably the best player in the Premier League,” Leicester’s James Maddison told BT Sport.

Crystal Palace narrowly edge out Southampton

Crystal Palace's Odsonne Edouard shoots at goal 

IMAGE: Crystal Palace’s Odsonne Edouard shoots at the goal. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

French forward Odsonne Edouard’s first-half strike was enough for Crystal Palace to earn a narrow win over struggling Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Palace dominated the opening period and deservedly went into the break in front after Edouard steered home the ball from close range in the 38th minute following an earlier effort ruled out by a VAR review.

Southampton were a much-improved side in the second half, with Che Adams missing two glorious chances to level, while Stuart Armstrong’s low drive came out off the post.

The visitors could not find an equaliser, however, and Southampton stayed 16th in the standings, two points above the relegation zone, while Palace moved into the top half with their fourth victory of the campaign.

Edouard has netted three goals in his last six Premier League appearances, as many as he managed in his previous 29 in the competition, helping Palace to three successive home wins.

“Strange game because we started well in the first half, and managed to score,” Edouard said.

“The second half was difficult, Southampton pushed a lot. But we won the game and stayed solid. We deserved the win, we scored first and kept a clean sheet. we deserved the win. Unlucky for the first one (offside goal) but the second one I was onside so all good,”

The Saints lost for the first time in four Premier League games and have now suffered defeats in six of their last 10 in the competition.

“The opponent started aggressively and we had a few problems with the build-up in the first half. In the second half, we made one change and we were much better. When you see our chances in the second half, we know that we have to score in these moments.” Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl told Sky Sports.

Newcastle blank Aston Villa 4-0

Newcastle United's Callum Wilson scores their first goal from the penalty spot

IMAGE: Newcastle United’s Callum Wilson scores their first goal from the penalty spot. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters

Newcastle United forward Callum Wilson scored twice and Miguel Almiron netted a sensational second-half strike as the fourth-placed Magpies thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 at St James’ Park in the Premier League on Saturday.

Newcastle had a couple of early chances against a Villa side that thrashed Brentford 4-0 last week after sacking manager Steven Gerrard but the joy of that result was quickly forgotten.

The visitors’ afternoon got off to a bad start when goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was struck in the head by teammate Tyrone Mings’ knee in the 18th minute and had to be replaced by Robin Olsen 17 minutes later.

Olsen pulled off a good save to deny Almiron but there was little he could do when Villa’s Ashley Young conceded a penalty deep into first-half stoppage time and Wilson blasted the spot kick down the middle to give Newcastle the lead.

Wilson thought he had put his side 2-0 up in the 10th minute of added time when he rounded Olsen and slotted home, but the offside flag went up and the goal was chalked off.

With England manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stands, Wilson got his second with a header after an excellent short corner in the 56th and three minutes later Joelinton added another, pouncing on a rebound from a Wilson shot to score.

“I have said many times I will not talk my way into the (England World Cup) squad, I will let my performances do the talking,” Wilson said in a post-match interview.

Paraguayan Almiron made it four in the 67th, taking a couple of touches before curling an exquisite left-foot shot in at the far post as Newcastle ran riot against a ragged Villa defence.

Wilson hit the bar with another header after 76 minutes and Jacob Murphy struck the post two minutes later as Newcastle enjoyed an easy win to remain fourth in the table on 24 points from 13 games, with Villa languishing in 15th on 12.

“It was a great performance. For 35 minutes we were slow and were not really ourselves. It was becoming frustrating. In the second half, we blew them away. To be honest, I was frustrated, It just wasn’t going to happen. Nevertheless, we got three points. I got two goals and one assist. I will take that” Wilson said, wishing he would have gotten his hat trick.

“We don’t get carried away. We have to keep this form going,” he added.

Chelsea go down 4-1 to Brighton

Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga reacts after conceding their third goal

IMAGE: Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga reacts after conceding their third goal. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

Graham Potter’s return to Brighton & Hove Albion turned into a nightmare when he suffered his first defeat since taking charge of Chelsea in a 4-1 loss in the Premier League on Saturday.

Potter left Brighton to succeed outgoing coach Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea last month, returning to the south coast to face his former employers for the first time complete with a nine-match unbeaten record in all competitions at his new club.

But the hosts made a blistering start at the Amex Stadium against Potter’s bewildered side, racing into the lead inside five minutes through a well-taken Leandro Trossard goal.

Breathless Brighton kept coming and soon had a quickfire second after Ruben Loftus-Cheek diverted a corner into his own net, with another own goal from Trevoh Chalobah making it three for Brighton three minutes before the interval.

Chelsea started well after the break and got back into the game three minutes into the second half through Kai Havertz’s header, but the damage had already been done and Potter’s team could not rouse a comeback.

Pascal Gross’s last-gasp fourth goal capped a fine afternoon for Potter’s successor Roberto De Zerbi, with the first win of his reign moving Brighton up to seventh in the standings, while Chelsea stay fifth, eight points behind leaders Manchester City.

“Yes of course the scoreline and the defeat is a painful one. We didn’t really recover,” Potter said.

“Once the crowd were engaged, it was a difficult one for us. The scoreline was painful. We have to take responsibility a bit in the first half,”

Determined to make an impression against the man he succeeded in the Brighton managerial hot seat, De Zerbi set his team up to attack from the off.

Veteran Chelsea defender Thiago Silva had already made two goal-line clearances in quick succession to keep out rampant Brighton before Trossard kept his composure to fire his seventh goal of the season into the far corner.

Loftus-Cheek could do nothing as he diverted a corner into his own net, while Pervis Estupinan’s low cross proved too hot to handle for Chalobah, sending the home fans into delirium.

Connor Gallagher should have got Chelsea back into the game before Chalobah’s unfortunate attempt to clear the low cross went wrong, but the England midfielder made amends when he expertly set up Havertz for Chelsea’s goal.

Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez was forced into several fine saves to keep Chelsea from making a contest of it, but it was the home side who sealed a perfect afternoon with Gross’s close-range finish on the rebound.

Not only was it the first win of De Zerbi’s tenure at the sixth attempt, but it was also Brighton’s first-ever league win over Chelsea.

“Enjoyable game to play in, it’s nice to get the first win under the new manager and thankfully we got the three points today. There’s been a massive impact (since De Zerbi took charge), obviously we are still learning his ways and we are on the training pitch all together working as hard as we can for him and trying to take it on board.” Brighton captain Lewis Dunk told the BBC.

Brentford split points with Wolverhampton

Brentford's Ben Mee celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates

IMAGE: Brentford’s Ben Mee celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates. Photograph: Ian Walton/Reuters

Wolverhampton Wanderers skipper Ruben Neves earned his side a 1-1 draw at Brentford with a stunning equaliser on Saturday but Diego Costa was shown a straight red card and the team stayed in the Premier League’s relegation zone.

Neither side managed a shot on target in a forgettable first half but Brentford defender Ben Mee’s acrobatic volley to open the scoring in the 50th minute sent the home fans into raptures.

The Wolves, still to appoint a permanent manager after the sacking of Bruno Lage, were behind for only two minutes though as Nelson Semedo played the ball across to Neves who curled a stunning effort into the corner.

Striker Ivan Toney then squandered a great chance to put Brentford back in front when he headed wide.

A well-earned point for the Wolves was tarnished in stoppage time when Costa was shown a straight red card after an altercation with Mee in which he appeared to make contact with his head.

“It’s important we showed that we were up for a fight, even at this stage of the season, that we were prepared to come to these sorts of places and fight and battle for something out of it. I was really pleased with that aspect of our game today,” Wolves stand-in manager Steve Davis said.

Former Chelsea striker Costa will miss three games and Davis said the player had apologised after seeing red for the first time in England.

“He’s an unbelievable competitor and players like that play on the edge, so you have to go with that,” Davis said.

“That’s how they get the best out of themselves. Maybe on this occasion, something has occurred, but he has to play on the edge to be the player he is, so you have to accept sometimes that he might get that wrong,”

The result leaves Brentford 11th in the table with 15 points from 13 games, while Wolves are third-from-bottom on 10.


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