Donny van de Beek believes his deployment in a deeper role worked well as Manchester United thrashed Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.

United won 4-1 at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with Bruno Fernandes' early double added to by strikes from Marcus Rashford and substitute Daniel James.

With the superb Fernandes causing havoc in the number 10 role, Van de Beek played as a holding midfielder alongside Fred.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's use of the Netherlands international has been a subject of intense debate given he is yet to start a Premier League game but the 23-year-old has played in all four continental matches, starting three.

Van de Beek had two key passes, completed 33 passes in the opposition half – second only to Fred – and boasted an 87.5 per cent passing accuracy against Basaksehir.

While he enjoys playing in a more advanced position, Van de Beek also feels comfortable in a deeper role and believes the system was a good one.

"It worked really well," Van de Beek, a £40million signing from Ajax, said to MUTV.

"Some games I play number 10 and sometimes the coach needs me in the control position.

"That is fine for me because before, when I played at Ajax, I was playing in those positions, so it is okay.

"It was a good reaction from the away game. To win 4-1 at home I think you can be happy. The first half was really good especially the first 30 minutes and we played nice football and scored nice goals.

"In the second half we lost too many balls and gave them some chances but the last five minutes we controlled the game again."

A third straight win in all competitions for United avenged their defeat in Turkey earlier this month and put them three points clear at the top of Group H.

They have now won their last seven home games in European competition by an aggregate score of 24-2.

"It is not finished but we are in a good position," added Van de Beek, with United sitting ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.

"We need to keep working and everything will be fine. We now have eyes on the weekend [against Southampton]."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Bruno Fernandes after his scintillating brace inspired a 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.

Fernandes scored twice as United routed Turkish champions Basaksehir at Old Trafford on Tuesday to remain top of Group H ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig through four matchdays.

United star Fernandes scored twice in the opening 19 minutes, including a stunning half-volley – the Portugal midfielder directly involved in 34 goals in 35 appearances (21 goals, 13 assists) since debuting in February, 16 more than any other player at the club in that period.

Of Fernandes' goals, 12 have come from penalties in all competitions, and Solskjaer insisted there is more to the 26-year-old than spot-kicks.

"Not really, no [on whether Fernandes continues to surprise him]," Solskjaer said during his post-match news conference, after substitute Daniel James also became the first Welshman to score a Champions League goal for United since Ryan Giggs in 2011.

"Of course, we see him every day in training. We knew what we were going to get when we got Bruno to the team.

"He's a player who likes to take risks. He likes to create chances. He likes to score goals. He's a winner. He wants his team to win.

"He wants the team to do well. And I think it showed today that he can do more than just take penalties."

Asked when to rest Fernandes – who passed up an opportunity to complete his hat-trick after allowing Marcus Rashford to convert a 35th-minute penalty – Solskjaer replied: "You take him off. Of course I was thinking at half-time to maybe take a couple more players off, but you don't want to give the impression that we can just relax and the game is – we don't take the second half seriously.

"Bruno is very important for us, if the game is won at half-time or at 60 [minutes] then it's easy to rest him."

New signings Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek, who both started in Manchester, impressed for United as Solskjaer's men avenged their 2-1 loss to Basaksehir in Istanbul on matchday three.

Van de Beek – with Paul Pogba absent from the matchday squad for the second consecutive match – created two chances, boasted an 87.5 per cent passing accuracy and won three duels.

"Edinson and Donny did really well, both of them," Solskjaer said. "Of course, I thought the whole team played really well. We found our positions and the tempo on the ball was really good.

"So, we deserved the win, of course, after that first half. The second half was a little bit – it's always different and more difficult to keep the tempo up when you're winning 3-0."

Bruno Fernandes gave up a penalty while on a hat-trick against Istanbul Basaksehir in order to help Marcus Rashford remain one of the Champions League's leading goalscorers this term.

Manchester United beat Basaksehir 4-1 at Old Trafford to remain in charge of Group H ahead of their final two matches against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.

United need just one point from those two games to secure progress to the last 16 and they never looked in danger of being on the end of another upset on Tuesday.

Fernandes scored twice in the first 19 minutes – the first a scorching half-volley – and looked to have a golden chance to add a third just past the half-hour mark when Boli Bolingoli fouled Rashford in the area.

The Portugal international, United's usual penalty taker, initially held the ball but then turned to Rashford, who duly slotted in.

That was the England forward's fifth goal in the Champions League this season, with Erling Haaland – who scored a brace on Tuesday – the only player to have netted more (six), and Fernandes revealed he was trying to help his team-mate's cause.  

"Of course, every player wants a hat-trick, but after the game in the Premier League [against West Brom on Saturday] I told Rashford that he could take the next one," Fernandes told BT Sport.

"So, I remembered that and also he's one of the top scorers in the Champions League, so I think it will be important for him to keep going there and taking that confidence.

"But as I say, it doesn't matter who takes the penalty as long as the team scores. When the team scores, I score too."

Those five goals for Rashford have come from just four matches – he needed 18 games to score his first five in the competition.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to have no issue with Fernandes' decision to delegate, acknowledging United do have numerous players who are confident from the spot.

"Marcus is a very good penalty taker and Bruno is very confident," Solskjaer said. "If Bruno wants to give it to Marcus then why not?

"Anthony Martial took one against Leipzig too - why not share it around?"

The only sour notes for United from an otherwise encouraging performance were the injuries to Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, though Solskjaer stressed neither were serious problems and both could play against Southampton on Sunday.

"Hopefully they'll be ready for the weekend but we're not sure," he said. "It's back problems for Victor and Aaron had an ankle problem, so there was no point taking any more chances and risk more swelling."

Bruno Fernandes was integral for Manchester United yet again as he scored a brace in Tuesday's 4-1 Champions League win over Istanbul Basaksehir, taking them a step closer to the last 16.

United had suffered a shock 2-1 defeat in Turkey prior to the international break that provided Group H rivals RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain with encouragement, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men bounced back at Old Trafford.

It was not entirely plain-sailing early on for United, who did afford Basaksehir a few chances, but the hosts were clinical in the first half as Fernandes netted twice – the first a glorious strike – to take his goal-involvement tally to 34 in 35 games for the club.

Marcus Rashford converted a penalty before United appeared a little more conservative in the second period, and Basaksehir pulled one back via a Deniz Turuc free-kick before seeing Edin Visca hit the crossbar, but the Red Devils sealed victory nevertheless as Daniel James struck a much-needed late goal.

It took United just seven minutes to begin the scoring, and they did so in style, Fernandes lashing a ferocious half-volley in off the crossbar from just outside the box after Basaksehir partially cleared a corner.

The Portugal star was in the right place at the right time 12 minutes later, on hand to tap in from close range when Basaksehir goalkeeper Fehmi Mert Gunok inexplicably spilled a routine cross.

Fernandes might have had a hat-trick just past the half-hour mark, but he allowed Rashford – who earlier had an effort disallowed for offside – to take the penalty that the England international had won following a foul by Boli Bolingoli.

United lost Victor Lindelof to an apparent injury at the break and Basaksehir quickly looked to put a bit of pressure on them, with Visca forcing David de Gea to tip a fine effort around the post.

Basaksehir enjoyed more pressure late on, with Turuc's free-kick crossing the line despite De Gea's best efforts as he became the first player to score direct from a set-piece in the Champions League against the Red Devils since March 2010.

Visca then rattled the bar from distance as United began to flag but a turnaround was beyond the visitors, with James making certain in injury time as Mason Greenwood set him up for a simple finish.

Edinson Cavani was handed his first start for Manchester United for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Istanbul Basaksehir.

The experienced Uruguayan striker was named at the spearhead of an attack that also included Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Teenager Mason Greenwood was among the substitutes, having not played since the 2-1 defeat in Turkey three weeks ago.

Paul Pogba, who has been nursing a knock, was not included in the squad.

Donny van de Beek was selected alongside Fred in midfield, with Alex Telles continuing at left-back for the injured Luke Shaw.

David de Gea was chosen in goal, despite pre-match speculation suggesting Dean Henderson would be involved from the start.

Facundo Pellistri, the 18-year-old signed from Penarol in the previous transfer window, was also among the substitutes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side went into the match as leaders of Group H, with six points from their opening three matches.

All eyes are on a finely poised Group H as the Champions League returns this week following the international break.

Paris Saint-Germain, finalists last season, are in trouble after defeats to Manchester United and RB Leipzig, who they face again on Tuesday.

United's fine early European form took a hit when they lost to Istanbul Basaksehir, however, meaning all four teams are separated by just three points.

Elsewhere, Barcelona will hope their impressive Champions League results continue to provide an effective distraction after their latest LaLiga setback.

Juventus, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund are all also in action as we break down Tuesday's key matchday four fixtures with Opta data.
 

Paris Saint-Germain v RB Leipzig: Milestone in sight for misfiring Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe netted a brace in PSG's 3-2 defeat at Monaco last week and his next goal will be his 100th for the capital club. However, the World Cup winner has not scored in the Champions League in 2020, enduring a seven-game, 529-minute drought in the competition since scoring against Galatasaray last December.

Neymar is set to be fit to start alongside Mbappe, and PSG will need their star pair on form to avoid suffering a second consecutive home defeat in the Champions League for the first time.

Leipzig, who were unbeaten in five away Champions League games before losing 5-0 at United, got the better of PSG last time out, meaning the Ligue 1 side have lost four of their previous six matches against German opposition in the competition - including the 2019-20 final to Bayern Munich.

Manchester United v Istanbul Basaksehir: Martial a man in form

Fresh from enjoying their first home Premier League win of the season, United will look to maintain their strong European run at Old Trafford, where they have six straight victories by a combined scoreline of 20-1.

Anthony Martial scored in the win against Leipzig and the defeat to Basaksehir and could become the first United player to score in three consecutive Champions League appearances since Wayne Rooney in 2010.

But Demba Ba also netted in the sides' previous meeting and has made four previous appearances at Old Trafford, scoring for Newcastle United in a 1-1 draw in 2011. United have lost three of their past four games against Turkish opposition.

Dynamo Kiev v Barcelona: No Leo against luckless Lucescu

Barca are looking to win their first four Champions League group-stage matches for just the second time (also 2002-03), despite this being the fourth occasion in five years they have started the campaign with three victories in a row.

The Blaugrana will welcome the sight of Mircea Lucescu in the home dugout. He has lost six Champions League matches against Barca, a miserable tally against a single opponent only topped by Arsene Wenger (eight defeats v Barca, seven v Bayern).

The Catalan club, who will have to cope without Lionel Messi, have three straight Champions League wins in Ukraine and Lucescu has been the opposition coach for two of them, both with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Juventus v Ferencvaros: Loan man Morata making strides

Cristiano Ronaldo is the man in form in Serie A, but Alvaro Morata has made an outstanding start to the Champions League campaign for Juve. He has four goals in three games, as many as he had netted in his previous 17 appearances across spells with Chelsea and Atletico Madrid.

Expect Ronaldo to be in the thick of the action, too, though, as he aims to nudge ahead of Messi as the competition's leading home goalscorer. He has 69 goals in home games, one behind the Barca man's 70.

Ferencvaros are visiting Italy for a European match for the first time since their 1968 Fairs Cup draw with Bologna. They are winless in three European Cup or Champions League games against Serie A opposition, shipping four goals in both of their defeats (4-0 v Inter in 1966, 4-1 v Juve this season).

 

Other fixtures:

Krasnodar v Sevilla

3 - In the sides' previous meeting on matchday three, Sevilla became only the third team in Champions League history to win a match after having a man sent off when they were losing (also Hamburg against CSKA Moscow in December 2006, Manchester City against Schalke in February 2019).

4 - Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui has only lost four of his 22 Champions League matches (W13 D5), although his last defeat in the competition was away in Russia, losing with Real Madrid at CSKA in October 2018.

Rennes v Chelsea

5 - It is five years since Chelsea won three consecutive Champions League matches, while they are looking to win three in a row without conceding for the first time since November 2013.

1 - Rennes have given at least one teenager a Champions League debut in each of their three games in the campaign so far. They have used five teenagers in all (Eduardo Camavinga, Jeremy Doku, Adrien Truffert, Brandon Soppy, Yann Gboho), two more than any other club.

Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge

12 - Erling Haaland was the joint-fastest player to score five Champions goals (three games, level with Didier Drogba), the fastest to score 10 goals (seven games) and will be the fastest to 15 goals if he scores in this game - his 12th appearance. The record is held by Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roberto Soldado (19 games).

20 - Lucien Favre will become the second coach to take charge of 20 Champions League matches with Borussia Dortmund after Jurgen Klopp (37). Favre's win rate of 53 per cent (P19 W10 D2 L7) is the third-best for Dortmund in the competition, behind Nevio Scala (60 per cent) and Ottmar Hitzfeld (58 per cent).

Lazio v Zenit

3 - Lazio have avoided defeat in their opening three Champions League group-stage matches (W1 D2) for the first time since 1999-00, when they went on to top the table unbeaten.

13 - Including qualifiers, Zenit are winless in 13 away European matches (D3 L10) since a 3-1 victory at Real Sociedad in December 2017 in the Europa League.

Forget Lionel Messi and Harry Kane, Manchester City reportedly want Jack Grealish.

Grealish, 25, has starred for Aston Villa this season and also impressed with England during the international break.

And the playmaker seems to have impressed City manager Pep Guardiola.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY TARGET GREALISH OVER MESSI, KANE

Guardiola wants Manchester City to make a move for Villa star Grealish, according to The Independent.

The report says Barcelona star Messi and Tottenham forward Kane were discussed as potential signings, but Guardiola is an admirer of Grealish.

Only Kane (nine) has more Premier League assists than Grealish (five) this season, while the latter has also netted four times.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City may soon have good news to report about Kevin De Bruyne. TodoFichajes reports De Bruyne has agreed to a new contract at City until 2025.

- Still linked with a move to Barcelona, Lautaro Martinez's future at Inter is unclear. However, FC Inter News says there is optimism Martinez will re-sign at Inter, who want to extend the forward's deal through to 2025.

- Having conceded 14 goals in eight Premier League games this season, Manchester United are reportedly considering moves for defenders. 90min reports Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres has moved top of their shortlist alongside RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano.

- As he struggles for game time at Inter, Christian Eriksen is being linked with a move. Tuttomercatoweb reports Borussia Dortmund are keeping an eye on the midfielder's situation, with the Bundesliga club having apparently been interested in the Denmark international during the previous transfer window too.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has denied Dean Henderson wants a move in January and revealed Paul Pogba could return against Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday.

It was reported by The Sun at the weekend that goalkeeper Henderson is eager to make another loan switch to give himself every chance of being selected in the England squad for Euro 2020 next year.

Henderson was outstanding for Sheffield United in the Premier League last season but signed a new long-term deal with United after returning to Old Trafford.

The 23-year-old has been limited to two EFL Cup appearances and one Champions League outing in Istanbul in the 2019-20 campaign, with David de Gea Solskjaer's first-choice keeper.

Henderson is thought to be set to start when Group H leaders United go in search of revenge against the Turkish champions and Solskjaer says further opportunities will come his way.

He said in a press conference on Monday: "Dean wants to stay at Man United and play for Man United.

"I can't see the logic in [Henderson making] only one more appearance before Christmas. Do you know how many games we have?

"He is training well, he has potential to be one of the best. I don't buy the argument it is make or break for him [on Tuesday]."

There was further speculation over Pogba's future after the midfielder was not included in the squad for a 1-0 win over West Brom on Saturday, an absence Solskjaer revealed was due to a knock.

The France international may be back at Old Trafford for a crunch encounter with a side that beat them 2-1 earlier this month.

Jesse Lingard is unavailable as he has gone into self-isolation after coming into contact with an individual who tested positive for coronavirus.

Asked about Pogba's fitness, Solskjaer said: "We hope he is going to be available. We will see when we report tomorrow. [Luke] Shaw, [Phil] Jones out. Lingard is self-isolating after contact with a positive case."

After an international break that seemed to go on for months rather than days, the Premier League was back with typical gusto this weekend.

Tottenham and Liverpool earned impressive wins over Manchester City and Leicester City respectively to sit top of the pile on 20 points, with Chelsea and the Foxes hot in their wake.

But away from the more obvious facts and figures there are always some hidden gems that you may have missed.

With help from the geniuses at Opta, we have delved into some of the quirkier things to emerge from the Premier League these past few days.


Reds pass the test

Diogo Jota made history by becoming the first Liverpool player to score in each of his first four home top-flight appearances for the Reds.

More impressively, his goal in the beating of Leicester came at the end of a sequence of 30 passes – the first time they have tallied so many in the build-up since Opta began collecting such data in the 2006-07 season.

In that same period, the most a team has had leading to goal was Tottenham when Nacer Chadli netted against QPR in August 2014 with a whopping 48 passes.

Manchester United (Juan Mata 45 versus Southampton), Manchester City (Ilkay Gundogan 44 versus Manchester United), Southampton (Morgan Schneiderlin 40 versus Newcastle United), and Manchester United again (Ashley Young 37 versus Blackburn Rovers) complete the top five in the metric.

Relief for Ole

A poor run of form had seen the pressure grow on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United but back-to-back Premier League wins has helped his cause a little.

Saturday's 1-0 win over West Brom – secured by Bruno Fernandes' second-half penalty – ended a run of 323 minutes without a Premier League goal at Old Trafford.

Only twice have United gone longer without celebrating at home in the competition, the longest being 361 minutes between March and August 2002, while they went 334 minutes between April and August 2007.

Worryingly for Solskjaer, he has another streak in the top five with United going 235 minutes without a Premier League home goal between January and February earlier this year.

Grim reading for the Steel City

Chris Wilder and his Sheffield United side have little to smile about right now as a 1-0 home defeat to West Ham on Sunday left them with just one point from their opening nine matches.

Only three teams have ever accrued such a paltry sum at the same stage of a Premier League season.

Coincidentally, Steel City rivals Sheffield Wednesday did so in 1999-00, while Manchester City are the other unfortunate side in 1995-96. In a potentially bad omen for the Blades, both sides went on to be relegated.

With Wednesday mired in relegation trouble of their own in the Championship, both sides of the Sheffield divide will hope for a boost in fortunes as we edge towards Christmas.

Own goal-woe for Fernandez and Evans

Come on admit it…we all love it when a player ends up with egg on their face and scores past their own goalkeeper. In fact, the more comical the own goal the better.

Over the weekend, two particularly luckless players continued their rotten luck in this regard.

Federico Fernandez was on the scoresheet for the wrong team as Newcastle United were beaten by Chelsea. Since his Premier League debut in 2014, no other player has more own goals than his five – level with Lewis Dunk.

Jonny Evans racked up a sixth Premier League own goal as Leicester City were outclassed by Liverpool. Only Richard Dunne (10), Jamie Carragher (7) and Martin Skrtel (7) have put more in their own net.

Fulham paying the penalty

There are never any guarantees that a penalty will bring a goal…just ask poor Fulham fans.

Ivan Cavaleiro's miss from 12 yards in the 3-2 loss to Everton on Sunday means the Cottagers have missed five of their past eight Premier League penalties, with three different takers in that time.

Both Arsenal and Leicester City have missed five in a row in the competition before (the Gunners between October 1992 and November 1993, and the Foxes August 1994 to September 1996).

The most recent example of a side failing with four in a row was Manchester City last season.

Manchester City will reportedly opt against making a move for Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Messi, 33, sensationally requested to leave Barca during the close season, but ended up staying with the LaLiga giants.

Still, talk about his future continues, with City the most strongly linked.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY WON'T TRY TO SIGN MESSI

Manchester City will not try to sign Barcelona star Messi, Spanish football expert Semra Hunter told Sky Sports News.

The report says Messi's age and wage demands are a major reason the Premier League giants will not pursue him.

Messi, a six-time Ballon d'Or winner, is out of contract at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Are Real Madrid looking for a replacement for 35-year-old midfielder Luka Modric? Fichajes.net reports Madrid see Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as the ideal replacement for Croatia star Modric.

- Barcelona will try to sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia in January amid an injury crisis in defence, according to Sport. Gerard Pique (knee) and Sergi Roberto (thigh) are both set for spells on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Marca says Barcelona are set for a meeting to decide whether they should sign a replacement for Pique.

- Fabian Ruiz has impressed for Napoli, leading to interest from elsewhere. CalcioMercato reports Paris Saint-Germain are still targeting the midfielder.

- Amid uncertainty over his future at Inter, Christian Eriksen is linked with a return to the Premier League. Corriere dello Sport reports Manchester United and Arsenal are considering the former Tottenham star.

- With Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele linked with moves, Lyon may be eyeing replacements. Le 10 Sport says Reims and Senegal forward Boulaye Dia and Leicester City forward Islam Slimani are both targets.

Nemanja Matic wants Manchester United to kill opponents off when they have the chance after struggling West Brom made them work for a 1-0 victory on Saturday.

The win was United's first in the Premier League at Old Trafford since July and came with a slice of VAR fortune after an incident-packed start to the second half.

Bruno Fernandes was penalised for a foul on Conor Gallagher in the United box, only for the decision to be overturned when referee David Coote reviewed replays on the pitchside monitor.

Fernandes then had the chance to score from the spot himself, at which point the Portugal midfielder earned another reprieve.

Replays showed West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone came off his line to save Fernandes' initial effort and the United playmaker made no mistake from the retake.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were unable to build upon that slender advantage against an Albion side still without a win nine games into their top-flight return.

Johnstone was in inspired form against his former club, making six saves over the course of the 90 minutes, but Matic feels his team-mates could show more cutting edge.

"When we score first, we have to go on and kill the game as soon as possible, especially in the Premier League. We have to improve on that," he told MUTV.

"Every team has quality, every team is dangerous. One-nil is not enough. They almost scored, they had one [shot] hit the crossbar. So, they were always dangerous.

"We have to make sure that next time we have more concentration in attack and make sure we try to kill the game early."

On Opta's big chance conversion metric this season, United actually perform fairly well, converting 57.1 per cent – the seventh-best return in the Premier League and only half a percentage point shy of reigning champions Liverpool.

Leaders Tottenham have netted 62.1 per cent of their big chances, while out-of-sorts Manchester City, who United leapfrogged as they moved into the top half on Saturday, rank 19th with 26.7 per cent.

United's numbers suggest Matic might soon be more impressed by their efforts in front of goal, although the Serbia international insists there is only one statistic that truly interests him.

"Wins are the most important, of course, because at the end of the season nobody will ask you how you played, if you were amazing. The most important is you collect points," he added.

"Manchester United want to win titles and our aim is to be in first position and we will do everything for that. We can do that only as a team."

Pole position in this unpredictable Premier League season changed hands twice on Saturday as Jose Mourinho's Tottenham moved to the summit.

Leicester City – not in action until Sunday – started the day on top of the pile, but victories for Chelsea and then Spurs saw the Foxes nudged down to third.

Elsewhere, Manchester United belatedly got up and running at Old Trafford, while Brighton and Hove Albion also triumphed.

We reflect on another topsy-turvy day of top-flight action with the aid of Opta data.

 

Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea: Tammy and Timo team up

Chelsea had taken top spot in the day's early fixture thanks to a 2-0 success at St James' Park, their 26th Premier League win over Newcastle United.

It was a familiar sinking feeling for Newcastle and Federico Fernandez, who put through his own net for the opener. The former Argentina defender has scored a joint-high five own goals since his 2014 top-flight debut, while this was the Magpies' fifth home defeat in seven.

Tammy Abraham wrapped up victory with his 23rd goal in all competitions since the start of last season, 11 more than any other Chelsea player.

Timo Werner could not get on the scoresheet despite a host of chances but teed up Abraham's strike, his 11th goal involvement in his past 10 appearances in all competitions.

Edouard Mendy was scarcely troubled at the other end and kept his seventh Chelsea clean sheet in nine games. The Blues have three in a row away in the Premier League.

 

Aston Villa 1-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: More Welbeck woe for hosts

Brighton landed their second Premier League win of the season and just their fifth in 27 attempts as Aston Villa went down 2-1 at home.

It should have come as no surprise to see Danny Welbeck break the deadlock, however, as he netted his fifth top-flight goal against Villa, a career high. Only Robbie Fowler (five) has more Premier League strikes at Villa Park as a visiting player than Welbeck's four.

Ezri Konsa responded, a league-high ninth set-piece goal conceded by Brighton this term, before Solly March's fine strike earned the points despite Tariq Lamptey's late red card.

England's Jack Grealish was the subject of praise during the international break and of Brighton's attentions on Saturday. He was fouled seven times and has earned at least one foul in each of his past 102 league appearances.

 

Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City: A night for Spurs to savour from the summit

Tottenham finished a day on top of the Premier League for the first time since August 2014 after beating Manchester City 2-0 at home.

And not since January 1985 had Spurs enjoyed the view from the summit overnight in the top flight after at least nine games of a season.

They were set on their way by Son Heung-min's fifth goal in his past five games against City in all competitions, arriving after just four minutes and 19 seconds – the earliest City have conceded in the Premier League since Theo Walcott netted after four minutes and six seconds in December 2016.

The second – created by Harry Kane's ninth assist of the campaign – came courtesy of Giovani Lo Celso, just 35 seconds after his arrival as a substitute. The only other Tottenham player to score within a minute of coming off the bench in the league since 2006-07 was Lucas Moura in August 2019, also against City.

City lacked the same clinical touch and have lost consecutive games against Spurs without scoring despite attempting 41 shots across the two fixtures.

 

Manchester United 1-0 West Brom:  Home comforts return for Red Devils

United were aided by penalty controversy as they defeated West Brom 1-0 to finally win at home in the Premier League this season, their first such victory in seven attempts going back to last term.

An apparent foul on Conor Gallagher looked to have given the Baggies a chance from 12 yards, but that decision was overturned on review and United instead had a spot-kick following a handball. Bruno Fernandes' attempt was saved, only for a re-take to be granted and dispatched.

That strike was United's first home league goal in 324 minutes – since Fernandes' penalty against Tottenham – and proved enough for a much-needed success.

It was perhaps inevitable a spot-kick should provide the Red Devils' salvation, as 16 per cent of their Premier League goals since the start of last season – including seven of Fernandes' 14 – have been penalties.

West Brom had not been beaten on their previous two trips to Old Trafford but have now failed to win any of their opening nine games to a league season for the first time since 1985-86.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed referee David Coote for making "three right decisions" in Manchester United's controversial win over West Brom.

Bruno Fernandes' retaken 56th-minute penalty at Old Trafford proved to be enough for United, who claimed a first home win in the Premier League since July.

Fernandes retook his penalty after West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone saved the first but came off his line, while the visitors thought they had a spot-kick of their own early in the second half, only to see Coote overturn his original decision following a VAR check.

Happy to end a wait for a first home league win this season, United manager Solskjaer also backed Coote's decisions.

"We're delighted to get three points of course, first [home] win in the league this season and a clean sheet, we're happy with that," he told a news conference.

"Very tight calls and I think probably made the two right decisions with the pens, even three right decisions because Sam was off the line."

United are ninth in the Premier League table, seven points behind leaders Tottenham, who have played one more game.

Since the start of last season, 16 per cent of United's Premier League goals have been penalties – 13 of 79 – the highest ratio of any team to have played in both campaigns.

While pleased with the win, Solskjaer said his team's performance was below where he wanted it to be.

"It's definitely not a step forward performance-wise," he said.

"We played really well against Everton last time, that's a performance I was really happy with. This one is way below par, but we got the first win and sometimes three points are more important than the performance, even though we know to get points and to move up the table we have to play better."

Solskjaer added: "We know we can play better than this and we certainly could've made it more comfortable if we'd taken our chances earlier on.

"Towards the end when you don't do that, there's always an edge to the game and we seemed edgy towards the end and it was important for us to get that win of course. You can see that and we never got that composure or quality to get the second goal that would have made it more comfortable."

United continue their Champions League campaign at home to Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday.

Slaven Bilic felt "small West Brom" were hard done by at Old Trafford as they suffered a controversial 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Albion remain in the relegation zone without a Premier League win from nine matches after Bruno Fernandes' retaken penalty gave the Red Devils a first top-flight home victory of the season.

It could have been a different story if David Coote had not overturned his decision to award the Baggies a penalty just after half-time for a foul by Fernandes on Conor Gallagher.

Fernandes appeared to make contact with Gallagher's shin, but referee Coote changed his mind after checking the pitchside monitor.

To add insult to injury, Fernandes scored from the penalty spot at the second attempt soon after, with the brilliant Sam Johnstone superbly saving the midfielder's first spot-kick, only to be punished for coming off his line too soon.

Bilic could not understand why Albion did not have the chance to open the scoring from 12 yards and said his side should have had a free-kick for a foul on Gallagher just before United were awarded a penalty for handball against Darnell Furlong.

"I'm very disappointed with the decision [to overturn the penalty]. It felt like 'small West Brom'. All those crucial decisions went against us. I've watched it a few times and it's a clear penalty. I don't understand why he overturned it." he told BT Sport.

Bilic added on United's penalty: "It's a handball. It's a bit unlucky but it's handball with the rules now. Before that it was a clear foul on Conor Gallagher.

"Instead of 1-0 for us, it's 1-0 for them. When you play against Manchester United away it's a huge difference."

Jurgen Klopp welcomed the news Pep Guardiola has committed his future to Manchester City, but the Liverpool manager is wary of challenges from elsewhere in the Premier League.

Liverpool and City have been England's two leading teams in recent seasons, with Guardiola's men winning consecutive titles before the Reds - narrowly beaten in 2018-19 - took their crown last term.

That battle is set to continue, even with both sides facing problems, after the City manager signed a new two-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

Klopp is looking forward to further tussles with the Catalan coach, yet he does not see a two-horse race resuming at the top of the table.

"I'm happy about Pep signing the new contract, but I'm a little bit afraid that it will be Guardiola versus Klopp, or something like that, over the next few years," Klopp said.

"Because it looks like Frank [Lampard] and Chelsea are building a proper team there, Manchester United will not stay without trying and Arsenal will do the same.

"Tottenham look really dangerous this year, Leicester are already really good and 100 per cent Wolves, too, because I see the development and watch a lot of football.

"I see the stats they are making, that's a threat for all of us. [But] I'm happy that Pep stayed with me for longer."

Klopp's future is similarly secure, despite a potential opening with the Germany national team, where pressure is building on Joachim Low after a sensational 6-0 defeat to Spain.

It is a role that interests the Liverpool boss - just not yet.

"Wow! This is one of the questions I have answered most often in my life," Klopp said when asked about coaching his country. "In the future? Maybe. Now? No.

"I have no time for it; I have a job. I'm not sure if anyone has asked for me, or after me, in public, but if they don't know, I have a job here at Liverpool.

"I am responsible for a lot of things here, so I will not go and search for another challenge out there. I have enough challenges after waking up in the morning, so that's enough."

Page 1 of 121
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.