Konate highlights elevated depth of table-topping Reds

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Mohamed Salah celebrates with Ibrahima Konate after scoring Liverpool’s second objective

What a distinction a season makes. Hard up on the again and barely capable of title the identical defensive partnership twice final season, Liverpool might afford to depart a match Joel Matip and Joe Gomez out of their 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, and hand a debut to Ibrahima Konate on the coronary heart of their backline.
Without knocking January signings Ozan Kobak and Ben Davies, Konate is in a special dialog – as his £36m price ticket confirmed. He loved some shiny moments on his Anfield bow, and some others the place he might want to enhance, however most significantly seemed snug with the tempo and physicality required in his first style of the Premier League.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s win over Crystal Palace

Aside from his efficiency on debut, his inclusion highlighted how issues have modified for Jurgen Klopp since final season. Konate is his solely main summer season signing however, with out the horrific damage issues which dogged 2020/21, he was capable of omit three of his first-choice again 4, primarily utilizing the sport as a welcome probability to rotate, and nonetheless oversee a victory that took the Reds three factors clear on the prime.”Some video games you bear in mind as being enjoyable, some you bear in mind as being essential. This is a vital one,” he mused after full-time, understandably relieved Liverpool had lastly shaken off Palace’s risk with two targets within the remaining 12 minutes.
It was not a glittering efficiency, however to make use of the supervisor’s apt selection of phrases, definitely “hard-fought”. You do not get the sensation Liverpool might have made sweeping defensive modifications final season and come away with this scoreline, deserved or not. And that’s the reason shifting prime of the desk this early within the season feels extra sustainable than it proved this time final season.Ron Walker
Plucky Gunners flip a nook

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over Burnley

It was all arrange completely for an additional Arsenal stumble. Physical Burnley, hungry for a primary victory of the season at Turf Moor, could have licked their lips as Mikel Arteta named an XI which solely had Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes as real bodily presences.
The stage was there for Burnley to devour Arsenal’s smooth underbelly, to take them to locations they seldom go, to use their all-too-familiar defensive flaws, however the Gunners had different concepts.After outplaying Burnley on the ball within the first half and coming in a objective to the nice because of Martin Odegaard’s good free-kick, we noticed a brand new aspect to Arteta’s Arsenal, one which has the starvation and focus wanted to beat the duty positioned in entrance of them.White and Gabriel stifled the specter of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes, and their replacements Maxwel Cornet and Jay Rodriguez, in an assured and gritty defensive show.When the again 4 have been bypassed, Aaron Ramsdale proved an impressed final line of defence within the Arsenal objective, as he stretched his run with out conceding to 5 video games with an imperious efficiency.And, crucially, fortune favoured them as referee Anthony Taylor reversed his determination to award Burnley a second-half penalty.Arsenal made issues onerous for themselves by dropping their first three video games, however the nook has properly and really been turned. Back-to-back victories have lifted the temper and, with Tottenham on the horizon, issues might get even higher.Jack Wilkinson

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Martin Odegaard places Arsenal forward with a free-kick at Turf Moor

Bailey declares himself to the Premier League

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Aston Villa’s win over Everton

Aston Villa’s emphatic ending of Everton’s unbeaten begin to the Premier League season didn’t look seemingly till Dean Smith summoned Leon Bailey from the substitutes’ bench.The sport was meandering in the direction of a stalemate by the hour mark, however Smith was capable of name upon superior reinforcements that have been spearheaded by the membership’s £25m summer season recruit from Bayer Leverkusen.He might not have performed a job in Matty Cash’s opener, however, as Everton buckled, it was Bailey who took the sport away from them.Having seen his devilish nook flicked into his personal internet by Lucas Digne, the Jamaica ahead pilfered a objective of his personal, and a primary in entrance of the jubilant Holte End.

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Leon Bailey was solely on the pitch for Villa for 21 minutes

Bailey informed Sky Sports: “To have my household there watching it, to have the followers chanting my title after I was happening, it is such an important feeling. I really feel I’ve welcomed myself right here as a Villa participant.”His cameo efficiency was curtailed by a thigh damage quickly after, however it’s a signal of his significance that Smith was so keen to stop additional aggravation.Following a blended set of outcomes that had not been reflective of Villa’s performances within the opening month of the season, they’re now within the prime half. You sense it’s the place they may keep.The early indications are that Villa have re-invested properly on the £100m acquired for Jack Grealish. In Bailey, there’s a new darling of Villa Park.Ben GroundsDefensive collapse gives Benitez with actuality verify

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Lucas Digne cuts a dejected determine at Villa Park

Rafa Benitez’s sport plan was clear: sit deep and play on the break.With Richarlison becoming a member of Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the sidelines, Everton sought to include Aston Villa whereas utilizing the tempo of Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray on the counter-attack.But he watched on helplessly, scribbling away frantically in his notepad, as his aspect have been steamrollered by three Villa targets in 9 second-half minutes.This was a job reversal for each groups following final weekend’s outcomes; Villa someway discovered themselves on the flawed finish of a 3-0 loss at Chelsea whereas Everton’s personal second-half blitz overcame Burnley.

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Everton supervisor Rafael Benitez believes their 3-0 loss in opposition to Aston Villa might have been a special consequence after he feels they squandered just a few probabilities with the rating at 0-0

Here, their defensive errors weren’t one thing often related to a Benitez aspect, however the Everton again line seemed unsettled with out the presence of Jordan Pickford and captain Seamus Coleman.Benitez rued missed alternatives and revealed it might be “no less than one or two weeks minimal” earlier than the pair are again obtainable.”What we can not overlook about us is that we’re a workforce who completed tenth final season with a brand new supervisor,” he rightly identified.With 10 factors from 5 video games and in fifth spot, there is no such thing as a have to panic, however Benitez might be involved with the style his aspect crumbled within the absence of key first-team members.It is essential those that are match study from this impolite awakening if Everton’s positive begin is not going to go to waste.Ben GroundsNo have to panic with Dyche on the helm

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Burnley supervisor Sean Dyche claims the Clarets’ poor file of being awarded penalty kicks meant he anticipated the one they acquired in opposition to Arsenal defeat to be overturned

If my reminiscence serves me properly, there was a interval in every of Burnley’s Premier League campaigns the place their top-flight standing has not solely been questioned however has been given a stern evaluation. Five video games into the present season, that second seems to be to be right here already.Defeat to Arsenal confirmed a fourth Premier League loss for Sean Dyche’s winless Clarets, who sit second-bottom within the desk, only one level above pointless Norwich.It took Burnley eight video games to get their first victory on the board final season and a equally gradual begin is with out query a trigger for concern at Turf Moor. And but, whereas different golf equipment in the same place can be coming into disaster mode and probably making rash choices, Burnley calmly go about their enterprise secure nearly within the data that they may get out.Contrast that sense of safety and religion to ideas circling round Carrow Road for the time being, and you get a reminder – in the event you wanted it – of simply how essential Dyche is to this Burnley undertaking.Yes, Burnley are winless and haven’t scored a objective from open play in 5 video games this season, however with Dyche on the helm, now will not be the time for concern.Jack Wilkinson’Guilty’ Pep laments City’s lacklustre show

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s draw in opposition to Southampton

A complete of 52,698 have been in attendance on the Etihad Stadium however the majority of them finally left dissatisfied on Saturday as Manchester City recorded simply the one shot heading in the right direction of their goalless draw with Southampton.”I really feel a bit responsible as a result of we did not play good,” Pep Guardiola admitted in a match the place VAR drama denied Southampton a penalty and then City a late winner.It was an emphatic halt to a run of three 5-0 wins at residence for City within the Premier League, whereas the flash factors took the eye away from Guardiola’s pre-match feedback when he known as for a better attendance following the Champions League turnout in midweek.City followers current on the Etihad on Saturday chanted Guardiola’s title simply earlier than and after kick-off, and with the attendance greater than it was in opposition to Norwich (51,437) and Arsenal (52,276), Guardiola will hope this matter is now put to mattress.It was an undesirable distraction for City within the build-up, and Guardiola might be reluctant to debate it additional given City’s upcoming run of video games.After a Carabao Cup match at residence to Wycombe, City face journeys to Chelsea, PSG and then Liverpool – three video games which might have a serious say in how their season ultimately performs out.Michael HincksToney is Premier League high quality

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brentford’s win at Wolves

Ivan Toney’s confidence was by no means in query going into his first correct Premier League season. “I can not wait to close individuals up,” he stated after Brentford’s play-off remaining win in May. Asked about Brentford’s targets this 12 months he informed Sky Sports in August: “Winning the league.”The latter could also be a attain, however he’s attaining the previous already. A objective and an help in Brentford’s 2-0 win at Wolves means he has scored 33 for the reason that begin of final season, greater than some other participant within the prime 4 tiers of English soccer.And these doubters who questioned whether or not he might lower it within the Premier League are awfully quiet – Toney is a Premier League striker with layers to his sport.He has picked up Sky Sports’ man-of-the-match award 3 times in Brentford’s 5 Premier League video games and his participant scores learn 8/10, 7/10, 7/10, 7/10 and 8/10, although Thomas Frank described his Molineux efficiency as 10/10. Even when Brentford haven’t received, he has been efficient.Toney will not be the kind of striker who touches the ball a handful of occasions and has to take his probability; he touched the ball 45 occasions in opposition to Wolves, the fourth-highest in Brentford’s workforce, a rarity for a striker, helped by successful most of his 25 duels.He comes quick as Bryan Mbeumo runs off him, prompting Frank to check the duo to Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke. High reward certainly.But Toney’s work will not be restricted to the ultimate third; successful a match-high 4 fouls in opposition to Wolves, he contributed to Brentford’s administration of the sport – his numbers have been the identical in opposition to Arsenal on opening evening – slowing it down, even with Wolves’ numerical benefit.Brentford have each probability of surviving comfortably with Toney and Mbeumo on the town.Gerard ModelFarke’s inflexibility is damaging Norwich’s survival probabilities

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Watford’s win over Norwich

Against Watford, Norwich boss Daniel Farke opted for a extra attacking line-up than the one he put out in opposition to Arsenal the earlier weekend with Josh Sargent and Milot Rashica lining up alongside Teemu Pukki in a entrance three. It didn’t work.Norwich’s lacklustre efficiency in opposition to Watford was typical of how the Canaries have performed this season. Very blissful to push ahead in numbers, however seemingly equally blissful to depart gaps in behind, which performed straight into Watford’s palms. Pacey wingers Emmanuel Dennis and Ismaila Sarr unsurprisingly thrived within the open area they have been afforded.Farke stated post-match he’s totally conscious his aspect want to enhance defensively, however maybe throwing Ozan Kabak straight into the beginning XI for his Norwich debut was not the most effective concept when there’s a League Cup fixture in opposition to Liverpool on Tuesday which seemed a extra appropriate time to ease him in.There is not any doubting Norwich have proficient attacking gamers and have good depth alongside the ahead line, however Farke should be much more pragmatic if his aspect are to face any probability of survival this season.James Kilpatrick

https://www.skysports.com/soccer/information/11095/12411158/premier-league-hits-and-misses-ibrahima-konate-bow-plucky-arsenal-and-guilty-pep-guardiola

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