Raheem Sterling has a share of top spot in the Premier League scoring charts after netting Manchester City’s opener against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. Sterling put City into an early lead, but Spurs hit back twice to earn a point at the Etihad Stadium and keep the champions off the summit of the league table.
Substitute Gabriel Jesus thought he’d won it for City in injury time, only for VAR to rule the goal out several seconds later after the ball was judged to have struck Aymeric Laporte on the arm in the build-up.
City’s slip means Liverpool are top on goal difference above Arsenal after last season’s runners-up won 2-1 at Southampton. Sadio Mane scored his first league goal of the season and set up another against his old club.
Liverpool have put the early pressure on City in the title race, while Teemu Pukki is keeping pace with Sterling among the division’s top scorers. He bagged a hat-trick to help Norwich City thrash Newcastle United at Carrow Road and take his tally to four goals.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the day by scoring the Gunners’ winner against Burnley at the Emirates Stadium. The player who shared last season’s Golden Boot with Mane and Mohamed Salah has made a prolific start to this campaign, scoring two in as many matches.
Aubameyang has been impressive, but he still trails Ashley Barnes after the Clarets’ front man netted his third goal of the young season in a losing cause.
Elsewhere, Bournemouth and Everton won, while West Ham United earned a creditable point away to Brighton & Hove Albion.
- Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
- Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth
- Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 West Ham United
- Norwich City 3-1 Newcastle United
- Everton 1-0 Watford
- Southampton 1-2 Liverpool
- Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Sterling was on the end of De Bruyne’s cross in the 20th minute, finishing with a precise downward header across Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
His prolific start to the new campaign has many predicting a record season for Sterling:
He isn’t the only City player to start fast, though, as Sergio Aguero added to the penalty he tucked in as a substitute against West Ham United last week. The Argentinian reacted quickest to De Bruyne’s cross aimed for the near post.
City’s problem was that Spurs made the most of the two attempts they mustered in the first hour. Both were on target and yielded goals, with Erik Lamela scoring from distance in the first half and substitute Lucas Moura heading in a corner after the break.
The late intervention from VAR was reminiscent of the technology-inspired controversy back in April that led to Spurs eliminating City and advancing to the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.
Earlier, Mane waited for the stroke of half-time to break open a tight game with a true wondergoal.
Many might have expected Mane to be rested after his two-goal performance during the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea on Wednesday. Liverpool lifted the trophy but only after the match went to penalties, with Mane playing the full 120 minutes after a busy summer that saw him reach the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final with Senegal.
There didn’t appear to be anything wrong with Mane’s fitness against the Saints, though. His rapid start to the season is great news for a Liverpool squad still heavily reliant on the forward line for goals and creativity.
The latter quality was shown by the way Mane teed up one of his strike partners, Roberto Firmino, to score the Reds’ second. Former Liverpool striker Danny Ings got one back for Southampton after a horrible error from Adrian in the Liverpool goal, but it wasn’t enough.
Like last season, the Gunners had their two star strikers to thank for three points at home. Alexandre Lacazette opened his account with a 13th-minute goal amid a scramble in the box.
Burnley stayed strong despite going a goal behind, and the Clarets’ set pieces caused Arsenal a host of problems in the air. The pressure eventually told, with Barnes profiting from close range after nerves took over in the Gunners’ box.
The 29-year-old may be an unfashionable striker, but it’s a credit to Barnes’ talent that he is keeping pace with some of the division’s deadliest marksmen during 2019.
Arsenal regrouped well after the break, gaining confidence after the introduction of club-record signing Nicolas Pepe from the bench. Pepe’s direct running and the impressive passing of Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos piled the pressure on Burnley.
The visitors buckled in the 64th minute, falling victim to a familiar tormentor:
Aubameyang already looks in the mood to again lead the race for the Golden Boot. Once Lacazette and Pepe are up to speed, Arsenal’s best finisher will profit from even more chances.
Opportunities aren’t in short supply for Pukki, who added to his tally after scoring in last week’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. The Finn, whose 29 goals fired the Canaries to promotion last season, has retained his scoring touch in the top flight and put away a superb volley to stun the Magpies:
There was much more to come. Pukki added to his tally twice after the restart, played in on both occasions by Todd Cantwell, with the midfielder’s second assist helping Pukki achieve a rarity for the Canaries at this level:
Jonjo Shelvey opened Newcastle’e account for the season in stoppage time, but it was hardly any consolation after another disappointing display followed last weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal.
As for Norwich, the Canaries face an uphill battle to beat the drop, but being able to still rely on Pukki’s goals is a huge boost for their chances.
Bournemouth provide hope for Norwich, having played a similarly enterprising brand of football and maintained their Premier League status in recent seasons.
The Cherries were on their way to a notable win away to Aston Villa once Callum Wilson was felled in the box by Tom Heaton. Joshua King stepped up to convert the penalty before Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson added a second for the visitors.
Douglas Luiz reduced the deficit 19 minutes from time, but it was as close as Villa got.
Everton are far from free-scoring, but the Toffees remain defensively sound after keeping a second-straight clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Watford at Goodison Park. Bernard settled the match in the 10th minute after being played in by left-back Lucas Digne.
Finally, Brighton and West Ham shared the spoils after Javier Hernandez put the Hammers in front only for Seagulls new boy Leandro Trossard to equalise. The latter, who arrived from Genk in the summer, had already seen one remarkable strike chalked off by VAR, but he made no mistake with his 65th-minute effort to preserve Brighton’s unbeaten start.
Copied from |Bleacher