Mohamed Salah strikes as Liverpool cruise to victory over Southampton

As Jürgen Klopp is fond of telling it takes greed, aggression, talent and a phenomenal work-rate to execute his gameplan, yet Liverpool are making victories look routine. His team returned to the top of the Premier League with their seventh straight win of an as-yet flawless season, dispatching Southampton with ease at Anfield. Liverpool were home and hosed after only 45 minutes against Mark Hughes’ visitors as a Wesley Hoedt own goal, Joël Matip header and Mohamed Salah tap-in established an emphatic first-half lead. Klopp’s team now have two points more than Manchester City did at the corresponding stage of last season’s record-breaking title success. Not that anyone at Anfield is looking too far ahead, of course. Continue reading...

Liverpool v Southampton: match preview

The momentum of the stoppage-time win over Paris Saint-Germain should outweigh any Champions League fatigue for Liverpool, who are seeking a seventh consecutive victory from the start of the season and have not conceded a goal in their last seven home league games. Jürgen Klopp has played down concerns over Mohamed Salah’s form but changes are likely with a demanding run underway. Mark Hughes’ side won at Crystal Palace on their last away trip but will need something special to record only the sixth league win at Anfield in the club’s history. Andy Hunter Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

Brighton peg back Southampton thanks to Glenn Murray’s last-gasp penalty

Southampton have grown used to suffering choking disappointment on their own patch in recent times, when the panic so often grips late to leave confidence shredded. Mark Hughes’ team had led a sloppy Brighton by two goals midway through the second half, only to ship an equaliser in stoppage time. Only once since last November have they claimed a home league win, a record which is tempering ambitions. This all felt horribly familiar. Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Ryan Fraser ran Leicester ragged; Neil Warnock will not tolerate more Cardiff mistakes; and Rafael Benítez needs a new plan Jürgen Klopp was asked to describe his emotions during stoppage time in the 2-1 victory at Tottenham. His dominant Liverpool team had led 2-0 going into it but they conceded to Érik Lamela in the 93rd minute to set up a nervy finale. “I would love to say it is the first time in my life I have been in a situation like that but it happens so often,” Klopp said. “My wife hates it.” The Liverpool manager would not have gone through the wringer if some of his players – Sadio Mané, in particular – had played in a teammate when they ought to have done. If there was one criticism of Liverpool’s best performance of the season it was the lack of ruthlessness and, even, traces of Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Southampton v Brighton & Hove Albion: match preview

Brighton, last season’s worst Premier League travellers, head along the south coast to take on a Southampton side with just five home league wins since January 2017. Both league meetings finished 1-1 last season, and a draw could be on the cards again with both sides facing tough fixture this month. Charlie Austin and Shane Long face fitness tests as they battle to partner the resurgent Danny Ings up front. Southampton have already beaten Brighton this season – at the Amex in the Carabao Cup – but Chris Hughton will back his own in-form forward, Glenn Murray, to add to his four previous goals against Southampton. Niall McVeigh Monday 8pm Sky Sports Premier League Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Emery should change his tactics or his keeper, Sarri is getting his message across at Chelsea and it’s been a rough start for Burnley and West Ham Unai Emery must have known the question was coming, and the answer, a bit like Petr Cech’s goalkeeping, was not wholly convincing. Arsenal’s manager was asked after their victory over Cardiff whether he is still confident that Cech, at the age of 36, can develop and adapt to the style of play that he is determined to introduce, namely passing the ball out from the back at every opportunity. Cech had looked uncomfortable with the ball at his feet against Manchester City, prompting the manager to be quizzed about whether he would turn to Bernd Leno, the new No 2 from Germany, and that debate is unlikely to go away after another afternoon that threatened to turn into an ordeal for Cech. Either Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Danny Ings stuns Crystal Palace as Southampton claim first league win

Southampton deservedly won their first three points of the season as they capitalised on the surprise absence of Wilfried Zaha to turn Crystal Palace over. Sharp finishing from first Danny Ings and then Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in added time gave Mark Hughes respite after a winless August. Zaha, meanwhile, was missing after the talismanic forward suffered a groin strain in training on Friday. There is perhaps no single player more important to any Premier League club, and Palace remain winless without the forward since September 2016. Continue reading...

Crystal Palace v Southampton: match preview

Roy Hodgson’s first game as Crystal Palace manager was almost a year ago at home to these opponents, a contest surrendered to Steve Davis’s solitary goal. The hosts are more cohesive as a unit these days and will offer a sterner test, though recent defeats to Liverpool and Watford have checked the optimism generated through pre-season. Max Meyer, impressive in his cameos to date, could make his first league start, while Southampton fret over the fitness of Danny Ings, a striker who had interested Palace over the summer. Dominic Fifield Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Arsenal’s defence requires urgent attention; Bournemouth cannot keep relying on their powers of recovery; Wolves’ Rui Patricio has produced an early contender for save of the season Arsenal’s defending against West Ham was a shambles. Their back four were constantly disconnected while the midfield in front of them offered as much protection as a piece of tissue in a storm gun fight. West Ham scored once but should have racked up more. These are, of course, early days in Unai Emery’s time at Arsenal and with a new manager comes a period of adjustment. But having conceded six goals in their opening three games of the season, there needs to be notable improvement soon – what is encouraging is the players appear aware of that, too. “When we do not have the ball we have to make fouls. Then we don’t take the counterattack,” the centre‑back Sokratis Papastathopoulos said. It Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Harry Maguire hits last-minute winner for Leicester at 10-man Southampton

After an unforgettable summer, Harry Maguire should no longer be considered an unlikely source of danger and he rifled home from distance in stoppage-time as Claude Puel tasted another happy return to Southampton, who had Pierre-Emile Højbjerg sent off. Ryan Bertrand had opened the scoring but Leicester came from behind to record victory, with Demarai Gray and Maguire, in front of the watching England assistant manager Steve Holland, notching to continue Saints’ woes on home turf. Related: Manchester City rely on Aymeric Laporte to share spoils with Wolves Continue reading...

Southampton v Leicester City: match preview

Mark Hughes has urged his side to start strongly against Leicester after first-half struggles against Burnley and Everton. The winger Mohamed Elyounoussi is battling to overcome a hamstring problem, while fellow arrivals Stuart Armstrong and Jannik Vestergaard are fit again. Jamie Vardy is suspended after his red card against Wolves, with Claude Puel hinting the winger Demarai Gray could challenge Kelechi Iheanacho and Shinji Ozakazi for a place up front. Puel has prevailed in the past two games between the sides at St Mary’s, winning 4-1 with Leicester last December and 3-0 as the home manager in January 2017. Southampton have won only five home league games since then, a statistic Hughes must urgently improve. Niall McVeigh Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Burnley already suffering effects of Europe, the flipside to N’Golo Kanté’s new role and Wolves’s strikers struggling to match team’s midfield talent Brighton upstaged Manchester United, but that they did so without the help of any of their headline summer signings (Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Yves Bissouma and Bernardo, who cost a combined £41m) is proof they are only just getting started. An opening-day defeat by Watford was desperately disappointing but, as poor as United were, Brighton bossed this match from start to finish. Martín Montoya, a deadline-day arrival from Valencia, impressed on his debut but it was the presence of the wily Glenn Murray and the purring Pascal Gross, a £3m buy from Ingolstadt, that again proved pivotal. Better still, Chris Hughton still has a wealth of attacking talent, including the striker Florin Andone, to infuse his team with. This kind of match will not necessarily define Brighton’s season but Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Gareth Southgate to run rule over Southampton’s Alex McCarthy against Everton

• England manager will assess goalkeeper at Goodison Park
• Southgate to attend Crystal Palace v Liverpool on MondayGareth Southgate will attend Southampton’s game at Everton on Saturday to scrutinise first-hand the progress of Alex McCarthy in the visitors’ ranks as the England manager considers his options for the national side’s autumn internationals. The World Cup semi-finalists confront Spain in the Uefa Nations League at Wembley on 8 September, with a friendly against Switzerland at Leicester’s King Power stadium three days later. Southgate is due to name his squad for the fixtures on 30 August but already knows he will be without Burnley’s Nick Pope for the foreseeable future after the England No3 dislocated a shoulder in the Europa League qualifier at Aberdeen last month. Continue reading...

Everton v Southampton: match preview

There was an immediate improvement from last season in Everton’s forward play and work rate in the Premier League opener at Wolves and Goodison Park craves more of the same in Marco Silva’s first home league match having endured Sam Allardyce’s soul-destroying approach last season. Mason Holgate may replace the suspended Phil Jagielka with Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma only starting training with their new club this week. For Southampton, new arrival Danny Ings is pressing for inclusion in an attack thwarted by Burnley’s defence last weekend. Andy Hunter Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Chelsea and Arsenal promise goals and flaws, Fulham need to tighten up at Spurs and will sparks fly again when Benítez meets Warnock? With two teams in flux, Chelsea’s derby with Arsenal is a meeting that promises goals. Both sides are vulnerable in defence and dangerous in attack. Although beaten comfortably in the end, Huddersfield exposed Chelsea’s weakness to attacks down the wings last week and Arsenal may aim to do likewise, while David Luiz, in particular, will likely struggle to keep up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the middle. But Chelsea’s midfield thrusters – who could include Eden Hazard from the start as well as N’Golo Kanté in all-new Roving Mode – could wreak havoc at the other end, especially if certain Arsenal midfielders remain dozy when it comes to defensive duties. That is something Unai Emery needs to change and he could start by picking Lucas Torreira instead Continue reading "Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend"