Tottenham went five points clear with 2-1 win at Palace
Tottenham Hotspur opened a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace as their unbeaten start to the season continued on Friday.
Ange Postecoglou’s side were matched by London rivals Palace throughout an even opening period but took charge once a Joel Ward own goal gave them the lead shortly after the break.
Spurs captain Son Heung-min then tapped in his eighth league goal of the season after 66 minutes to effectively seal the points and the visitors were in cruise control until Jordan Ayew struck in stoppage time for Palace.
James Maddison was involved in both goals with the former Leicester City player again outstanding for the visitors.
Tottenham’s eighth win from 10 games put them on 26 points — their best start to a top-flight season since 1960-61.
They are five points clear of champions Manchester City, who visit Manchester United on Sunday, and Arsenal, who welcome bottom side Sheffield United on Saturday.
Shot-shy Palace are in 11th place with 12 points.
Postecoglou was critical of his side after their 2-0 win over Fulham on Monday but apart from a tricky opening few minutes and some late jitters they were dominant at Palace.
With 10 games gone, albeit the majority of them against sides in the bottom half, Spurs are beginning to look like a side capable of an extended challenge at the top.
It is the biggest lead they have held at the top since the final day of the season in 1961 when they last won the title.
“Every week is a different challenge. The key for us was to be disciplined, focused and persistent in our play and we did that,” former Celtic manager Postecoglou said.
“I think the spell between the first and second goal we were dominant and played some really good football and then I still think the lads handled (the end of the match) well.”
Despite plenty of slick possession the visitors had failed to really trouble goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in the first half while Palace had early efforts by Ayew and Odsonne Edouard saved by Tottenham’s Guglielmo Vicario.
Maddison was at the heart of the Spurs attacks and the tenacious playmaker eventually earned his side the lead.
When Pape Matar Sarr’s attempted cross was blocked the ball fell for Maddison who drove the ball into the danger area where it rebounded off the leg of Ward and into the net.
There was nothing lucky about Tottenham’s second goal as Maddison linked superbly with Brennan Johnson down the left and the substitute squared for Son to convert with what turned out rather surprisingly to be his side’s only effort on target.
Spurs threatened a third but had to endure an anxious climax after Pedro Porro mistimed his jump trying to clear a cross and Ayew controlled the ball with his chest and arm before thumping a shot past Vicario — the goal standing after a long VAR check.
“I am not going to talk about handball. I have no idea what is a handball,” Australian Postecoglou said.
Further good news for Tottenham was a late appearance off the bench for their Uruguay midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur after nine months out with a knee injury.
Brentford snatched a 2-0 win away at Chelsea on Saturday as the expensively assembled Blues failed to turn possession into goals once again and were punished by a thumping header from defender Ethan Pinnock and a last-minute breakaway goal by Bryan Mbeumo.
The west London derby defeat was yet another setback for Chelsea coach Mauricio Pochettino, whose side had shown signs of putting a poor start to the season behind them recently with two wins out of three and a 2-2 draw against Arsenal last weekend.
Eddie Nketiah scored his first Premier League hat-trick as Arsenal extended their unbeaten start to the season with victory over Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium.
He opened the scoring with a deft touch and swivelled finish after Declan Rice’s threaded ball caught out the United defence.
Nketiah’s thumping effort into the roof of the net increased Arsenal’s lead against bottom-of-the-table United.
A sensational strike from 25 yards completed a perfect afternoon for the England forward Nketiah, who has five league goals this season, all of which have come at home.
Fabio Vieira scored a late penalty after the video assistant referee (VAR) adjudged Oliver Norwood to have fouled him inside the area.
Takehiro Tomiyasu got on the end of a flick from Mohamed Elneny and poked home from a corner in stoppage time.
Philip Billing’s stunning second-half strike helped Bournemouth claim their first Premier League win of the season against fellow strugglers Burnley.
After collecting the ball just inside the visitors’ half, Billing spotted goalkeeper James Trafford off his line before sending a looping 40-yard effort over the head of the 21-year-old, who got a hand to the shot but was unable to keep it out.
Charlie Taylor’s first goal for Burnley – a fierce strike past goalkeeper Andrei Radu from the edge of the area – had given the visitors an early lead at the Vitality Stadium.
But Bournemouth responded well and restored parity when Antoine Semenyo robbed Taylor of the ball and sent a low finish across Trafford into the far corner.
Marcus Tavernier had missed a glorious opportunity to level moments before Semenyo’s equaliser, while Chris Mepham, Billing and Dominic Solanke all spurned good openings as the Cherries threatened.
Second-half substitute Jay Rodriguez thought he had salvaged a point for Burnley late on, but his effort was ruled out for the narrowest of offsides after a lengthy review by the video assistant referee.
Radu then did brilliantly to deny Sander Berge at the back post deep into stoppage time – although Burnley were adamant Taylor’s right-wing delivery struck Mepham on the hand as he attempted to challenge the Norwegian midfielder in the air.
The win eases some of the pressure on Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola, whose side climb above their opponents and out of the relegation zone.
Wolves extended their Premier League unbeaten run to five matches with a hard-fought draw at home to Newcastle United.
Newcastle, who haven’t lost in their last six league games, twice led through Callum Wilson goals, but Wolves came from behind to secure a point.
Wilson stepped up as the replacement for the injured Alexander Isak with an acrobatic opener, burying a hooked effort into the net after Toti failed to clear the Newcastle striker’s initial close-range effort.
Wolves showed significant promise going forwards and regularly threatened the visitors, with keeper Nick Pope being called into action to beat away efforts from Matheus Cunha and Pedro Neto.
There was nothing Pope could do, though, when Neto – later carried off with a hamstring injury – whipped a pinpoint delivery into the box from a corner and Mario Lemina rose to thunder home a diving header.
Manchester City offered a gleeful reminder of the gulf in class between themselves and Manchester United with a dismissive 3-0 win at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday.
The weekend’s big clash turned out to be painfully one-sided as Erling Haaland struck twice to move into double figures for Premier League goals this season while Phil Foden was also on target for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Liverpool consolidated their place in the top four with a 3-0 home victory against Nottingham Forest while fifth-placed Aston Villa racked up a 12th successive home league win as they cruised to a 3-1 defeat of struggling Luton Town.
Everton enjoyed a poignant 1-0 victory at West Ham United, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring the only goal at the London Stadium, at the end of a week in which chairman Bill Kenwright died at the age of 78. The win moved Everton up to 15th.
In the day’s other match, Brighton & Hove Albion drew 1-1 at home to Fulham as their winless run extended to four games.
City’s victory lifted the champions to 24 points, the same as Arsenal who thrashed Sheffield United 5-0 on Saturday and two points behind surprise leaders Tottenham Hotspur who beat Crystal Palace on Friday.
United are eighth — nine points behind City and on the evidence of Sunday that gap will only get bigger.
“It’s different levels. The United players are just short in every aspect. Technically and tactically. It’s a long way back for this team,” former United captain Roy Keane told Sky Sports.
Erik Ten Hag’s side had appeared to have turned a corner with narrow league wins over Brentford and Sheffield United and a Champions League victory against FC Copenhagen.
But those wins papered over the cracks and City exposed them with ruthless efficiency in a dominant display that left United sucking up a fifth defeat in their opening 10 Premier League games of the season — the most since 1986-87.
HAALAND’S FIRST GOALS AT OLD TRAFFORD
The match began with moving tributes to Manchester United great Bobby Charlton who died last weekend but any sense that the hosts could produce a display the iconic Charlton would have been proud of soon vanished.
Haaland scored with a 26th-minute penalty — his first goal at Old Trafford — after United striker Rasmus Hojlund was penalised for dragging down Rodri.
The Norwegian then rammed home a header from Bernardo Silva’s cross to make it 2-0 shortly after the break, his 11th league goal of the season, and he turned provider to set up Foden to complete United’s misery as the rain tumbled down.
“It is definitely one of the best wins. To win 3-0 away with this crowd, I think it is definitely one of the best performances,” Haaland said.
Goals by Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah eased Liverpool to victory over Forest although the win was overshadowed by events off the field.
After scoring the opener, Jota held up the shirt of team mate Luis Diaz, who missed the game following the kidnapping of his parents in his native Colombia.
“Luis was with us in the hotel, then he went home. It’s a very hard situation and I don’t know how anyone would react if it happened to you,” Jota told the BBC.
While the victory was welcome, manager Juergen Klopp also said his thoughts had been with Diaz.
“Preparation was the most difficult I had in my life. Didn’t expect it, couldn’t prepare for it, We try to help Lucho (Diaz) as much as we can,” he said.
Aston Villa are turning their stadium into a fortress and Luton were the latest team to succumb there.
John McGinn gave Unai Emery’s side the lead in the 17th minute and Moussa Diaby rifled in a shot four minutes into the second half before a Tom Lockyer own goal just past the hour mark put Villa in cruise control.
The only blot on Villa’s copybook was a bizarre own goal when a defensive header hit the crossbar and rebounded into the net off keeper Emiliano Martinez.