• Liverpool twice squander the lead in a pulsating 3-3 draw at promoted Brentford; Burnley draw with Leicester
Manchester City ended their Chelsea hoodoo yesterday, beating the European champions 1-0 while Bruno Fernandes missed a last-gasp penalty in Manchester United’s shock 1-0 Premier League defeat by Aston Villa.
Liverpool failed to take full advantage of those results, twice squandering the lead in a pulsating 3-3 draw at promoted Brentford, where Mohamed Salah scored his 100th goal in the English top-flight.
Elsewhere, Jamie Vardy netted twice at the right end against Burnley after scoring an early own goal in a 2-2 draw for stuttering Leicester while Norwich slumped to their sixth consecutive league defeat.
Gabriel Jesus’ second-half strike proved decisive for Pep Guardiola’s City, who gained a measure of revenge for three consecutive defeats by Chelsea last season, including a painful loss in the Champions League final in Porto.
Guardiola said this week that his side lacked a “weapon” to match Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku or United’s Cristiano Ronaldo to decide games inside the box. But Jesus ultimately made the difference for City, who could have won more convincingly but for a combination of wasteful finishing and some impressive last-ditch defending.
The Brazilian forward got the break City deserved in the 53rd minute as his effort deflected off Jorginho to leave goalkeeper Edouard Mendy flat-footed. The visitors had chances to double their lead, with Jack Grealish drawing a sharp save before Jesus was denied a second by Thiago Silva’s goal-line clearance while Thomas Tuchel’s team failed to muster a single shot on target.
“Sometimes we believe we need a proper striker to finish, but the important thing is the way we play,” Guardiola said. “The most important thing is doing it as a team and as a unit. It’s like last season. Sergio (Aguero, who has left the club) was injured all year and we won the Premier League.”
Villa arrived at Old Trafford with a woeful record of one win in their previous 45 Premier League games against Manchester United, including 33 defeats. The home side, boasting a star-studded attack including Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood had 28 shots in all but Villa missed some gilt-edged chances of their own.
Just when it appeared the game was drifting towards a draw, Villa defender Kortney Hause flicked a near-post header beyond David de Gea from a Douglas Luiz corner in the 88th minute. Moments later he went from hero to villain when he handled Fernandes’ cross but the United playmaker skewed his spot-kick high over the bar – just the second time he has failed to score from a penalty in 23 attempts for the club.
It was a second home defeat of the week for United and a first in the Premier League this season, while they also lost Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to injuries in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side have lost three of their past four matches in all competitions, criticised the way Fernandes was surrounded before his penalty. “First of all the way they get round the penalty spot, get round Bruno and that, that’s not to my liking,” he said. “Bruno is usually very good in those positions and unfortunately he missed this one. It doesn’t get in Bruno’s head. He’s strong mentally and he’ll step forward again. The decision (on who takes penalties) is made before the game.”
In the evening kick-off, Liverpool, who had only conceded one goal in their opening five Premier League games, shipped three against an enterprising Brentford side. Ethan Pinnock opened the scoring for the home side but Diogo Jota equalised and Salah scored his 100th goal in 151 Premier League games for Liverpool in the 54th minute.
The prolific Egyptian has reached a century of goals in the top-flight in fewer appearances than any other player in the club’s history. Brentford equalised through Vitaly Janelt before Curtis Jones hit a thunderbolt to restore Liverpool’s lead but substitute Yoane Wissa hit back to earn a 3-3 draw.
Earlier, Everton saw off bottom-side Norwich 2-0 to move level on 13 points with City, Chelsea and United. West Ham overcame struggling Leeds 2-1 with a late Michail Antonio goal while Watford had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Newcastle after having a late goal ruled out for offside.
Premier League results
Brentford 3 (Pinnock 27, Janelt 63, Wissa 82) Liverpool 3 (Jota 31, Salah 54, Jones 67); Chelsea 0 Manchester City 1 (Jesus 53); Everton 2 (Townsend 29-pen, Doucoure 77) Norwich 0; Leeds 1 (Raphinha 19) West Ham 2 (Firpo 67-og, Antonio 90); Leicester 2 (Vardy 37, 85) Burnley 2 (Vardy 12-og, Cornet 40); Manchester United 0 Aston Villa 1 (Hause 88); Watford 1 (Sarr 72) Newcastle 1 (Longstaff 23)
Playing today: Southampton v Wolves (1300), Arsenal v Tottenham (1530)
Tomorrow: Crystal Palace v Brighton (1900)
Brentford’s striker Yoane Wissa celebrates after scoring against Liverpool at Brentford Community Stadium in London yesterday. (AFP)
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