Fans return to the EPL as Chelsea, Man U enjoy comeback wins
The fans — 2,000 from West Ham, 2,000 from Chelsea — had contrasting experiences on opposite sides of London. Chelsea’s players treated their select group of attending fans to a comeback of their own at Stamford Bridge. The match saw respective managers Frank Lampard, of Chelsea, and Marcelo Bielsa, of Leeds, meet for the first time in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Guardiola didn’t make a single substitution, at a time when he is pushing the Premier League to increase the number of replacements from three to five for player-welfare reasons. It’s now 11 goals in 11 games for the Everton striker after scoring the equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Burnley.
Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool win as normality returns to EPL
(Peter Powell/Pool via AP)On a day uncertainty reigned in England as the nation prepared to go back into lockdown, the Premier League returned to something resembling normality. Three of the teams expected to contend for the title — Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool — all picked up wins in back-to-back fixtures on Saturday. That’s a goal in three straight games for Jota, an offseason signing who is giving an extra edge to Liverpool’s attack. The latest goal Liverpool let in was avoidable, too, with Joe Gomez heading a clearance straight at Pablo Fornals, who drove a finish into the bottom corner in the 10th minute. A well-controlled 1-0 win at Sheffield United saw City return to the top half of the standings and stay five points behind Liverpool, with a game in hand.
Van Dijk injury causes concern for frustrated Liverpool
Early in what proved to be a painful Merseyside derby for Liverpool, Van Dijk was the subject of a reckless lunge by Jordan Pickford that saw the Everton goalkeeper clatter into the extended right leg of the Netherlands defender. Van Dijk roared in agony and, tellingly, stayed down. There was no official word from Liverpool on the potential length of his absence, but Van Dijk reportedly left hospital on crutches in the evening. Van Dijk might have been marking Keane and Calvert-Lewin for both of those Everton chances. For Southampton’s second goal, Kurt Zouma underhit a back pass before goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made two errors in a matter of seconds to allow Che Adams to score.
Man City slips further behind leader Everton with Leeds draw
Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola, left, talks with Leeds United's head coach Marcelo Bielsa at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Leeds United and Manchester City at Elland Road in Leeds, England, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. What to make of seeing his Manchester City side held 1-1 by Bielsa's Leeds on Saturday? While Leeds had seven shots on target, Raheem Sterling's 16th-minute strike low shot inside the far post was one of only two for City. We must do more and better.”Especially with City already eight points behind Everton, which is the early leader after beating Brighton 4-2 to make it four wins out of four. Fifth-place Leeds, which like Everton has played a game more than City, is still three points ahead of Guardiola's side.
Man United's Bailly taken off after 2nd clash of heads
Manchester United's Eric Bailly receives treatment after a clash of heads during the English FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London, England, Sunday, July 19, 2020. (Andy Rain, Pool via AP)LONDON Manchester United defender Eric Bailly was wheeled off on a stretcher and wearing an oxygen mask after a second clash of heads during Sunday's FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea. Bailly had returned to action after an aerial collision with Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma. But during a lengthy stoppage, Bailly staggered on the touchline before being placed on a stretcher and wheeled off the Wembley touchline on a stretcher by medical staff wearing protective clothing as part of coronavirus prevention measures. There was applause from the few people inside Wembley, where fans are locked out due to the pandemic.