Vinicius Junior spared Real Madrid's blushes on Sunday as his sublime 85th-minute strike secured a pulsating 3-3 draw against Levante.

Los Blancos kicked off their LaLiga campaign with a 4-1 victory over Alaves last weekend and they looked like they would cruise to back-to-back wins when Gareth Bale gave them an early lead at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia.

The hosts had other ideas, though, and went ahead thanks to goals from Roger Marti and Jose Campana inside the opening 12 minutes of the second half.

Substitute Vinicius drew the visitors level in the 73rd minute, yet it appeared Levante would claim a memorable three points when Rober Pier slotted home from close range six minutes later.

However, Brazil international Vinicius ensured a share of the spoils with a wonderful strike from the tightest of angles, while Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez received a straight red card for handling the ball way outside his penalty area in the closing stages as he bid to stop a Madrid counter. 

Diego Simeone revealed Atletico Madrid remain in the market for a forward after defeating Elche 1-0 win on Sunday.

Angel Correa's third goal in two games at the start of the new season proved decisive as Atletico battled to back-to-back opening victories – the fourth time they have done so under Simeone.

The makeshift striker's 39th-minute finish marked his eighth goal in his last 10 games across all competitions, having previously scored seven in his last 63 for the LaLiga champions.

Luis Suarez appeared after the hour mark for the hosts, but Atletico are still trying to sign a forward, with a reported move for Dusan Vlahovic most recently falling through.

Asked for an update on the forward situation, Simeone responded: "When we prepare a squad we do it thinking of having two players per place.

"If in the end it cannot arrive, we will look for a solution as we have always done."

On the upturn of Correa's form, Simeone added: "First he is playing where he feels most comfortable.

"In the centre of the attack he is fast, he is dynamic, he turns better than anyone. And now he is having more forcefulness, that gives him peace of mind and confidence. That allows him to have more confidence."

 

Cristiano Ronaldo was at the centre of transfer rumours after failing to make the Juventus starting XI at Udinese – but Massimiliano Allegri insisted there was an innocent explanation.

Ronaldo and drama go hand in hand and the superstar forward came off the bench to snatch what looked to be a stoppage-time winner in his team's opening game of the Serie A season.

A VAR ruling meant the clinical header was ruled out, however, and Juventus had to settle for a 2-2 draw, with two glaring errors from goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny costing them.

Szczesny might have been grateful for the spotlight to be shone on Ronaldo, because it took some of the attention away from his regrettable performance.

The team announcement from Allegri, embarking on his second spell as Juve head coach after last term's failed Andrea Pirlo experiment, sent shudders through football when it emerged Ronaldo was only a substitute.

It was swiftly reported by major Italian news outlets that Ronaldo had requested to be benched and was hoping to secure a move from Juventus before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Allegri said after the game that it had been a decision taken purely with the player's interests, and those of the team, in mind.

"Cristiano is fine, I had talked to him with a view to everyone's conditions at the beginning of the season, also thinking about the game especially at the beginning, and I said to him, 'Come to the bench, in the second half we will need you to come on'," Allegri said.

"He made himself available, he also did well: he also scored a goal, then unfortunately he wasn't good by a centimetre."

Allegri led Juventus to five Serie A titles in his first spell at the club, from 2014 to 2019, and had two years out of the game before accepting an offer to return.

The Scudetto is again the target for Juventus, whose nine-in-a-row title sequence ended last season as rookie coach Pirlo struggled to coax the best out of the team.

Allegri had a win percentage of 70.48 across 271 games in his first spell at Juve, but may find success this time around is harder to come by, judging by how his team started impressively but allowed Udinese to control much of the second half.

Early goals from Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado had put Juve in charge, but Szczesny carelessly gave away a penalty after letting a shot squirm from his grasp and then committed a worse error in the 83rd minute that allowed Gerard Deulofeu to fire into an empty net.

Juventus have now conceded eight penalties in Serie A since the beginning of 2021: only Udinese (13) have conceded more in this calendar year in the competition.

"Unexpected things happen: this is football too," Allegri said, quoted on the Juventus official website.

"In the first half we were in control, and we had to control the ball better. Then we didn't know how to manage the unexpected, and this is a lesson that we must take home with us.

"The performance was good, but in football the only thing that counts is winning and knowing how to read the match moments. In the second half, we lost two or three too many balls in midfield, perhaps also due to the heat and the conditions at the beginning of the season."

For the first time since he joined Juventus, Ronaldo has now started two games in a row on the bench: against Udinese and in May against Bologna.

If the substitute trend continues in next Saturday's clash with Empoli, familiar rumours will return. His steadying influence over the closing half-hour of Sunday's game, as a replacement for the misfiring Alvaro Morata (three goal attempts, zero on target), suggests Juventus should do all in their powers to retain him.

Liverpool and Lyon have agreed a deal in principle for Xherdan Shaqiri, with the attacking midfielder set for a medical on Monday.

The Switzerland international joined the Reds in July 2018, but remained on the fringes of the first team throughout his time at Anfield.

Shaqiri featured 63 times for Liverpool in all competitions and confirmed earlier this window that he was interested in a move away from the Premier League side.

Lyon were one of a number of teams linked with Shaqiri and the Ligue 1 outfit confirmed the former Bayern Munich and Inter player's arrival on their official website on Sunday.

 

Shaqiri featured 45 times for Liverpool in the Premier League, including 18 starts, scoring seven goals and assisting five more in his three seasons on Merseyside.

While Shaqiri struggled for minutes at club level last season, he impressed for Switzerland at Euro 2020 with three goals and an assist, including a strike in his nation's quarter-final exit at the hands of Spain.

He was directly involved in four goals at the Euros, with only the Czech Republic's Patrik Schick (five) and Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo (six) involved in more.

Thomas Tuchel was delighted with Romelu Lukaku's second Chelsea debut, but tempered praise, insisting it is "not the time for too much celebration".

Lukaku scored the opening goal in Chelsea's 2-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday, with Reece James grabbing the second.

The Gunners had won their past three games against Chelsea in all competitions, but were outclassed as £97.5million signing Lukaku had an instant impact.

He had eight attempts and created a further three chances, having only previously been involved in more than 11 shots in a single match in Europe's top five leagues (13 for Everton v West Ham, 2015).

Lukaku continued his outstanding Inter form, with 13 goals and eight assists in his past 19 league games, and appeared to solve Chelsea's biggest problem after a wasteful 2020-21 campaign.

But Tuchel, despite talking up the forward's role, was not getting carried away with just two matches of the Premier League season played.

"I certainly think that nobody likes to play against him," the Chelsea coach told a news conference.

"Everyone is aware of his physicality but also of his strengths in link-up play and his strengths to attack the space, so he gives a dimension, another dimension to our game.

"But now it is our job also not to lose our strengths, lose the work rate, the team effort, the intensity against the ball, so we have to bring everything together.

"It's not only about the qualities and the skills from Romelu, it's the package that made it so promising for us.

"It's the age, it's the experience, it's that he's a Chelsea fan and was always a Chelsea fan and his dream was to make it at this club. So, this is what we feel from day one from him. 

"He has this personality and he grew in his personality in his clubs where he played; he played for big clubs, he scored for big clubs. And he has this genuine trust in himself.

"Like I said, I hope that it takes pressure off our young guys' shoulders.

"Now it's his first game played and we have a lot more to do and it has only just begun. So, it's not the time now for too much praise and it's not the time for too much celebration. We need to keep on going in the start of the season."

Lukaku is Chelsea's only high-profile signing so far in this transfer window, but Tuchel suggested he was not looking for further additions, keen to protect the "strong bond" and "great team spirit".

"I'm absolutely happy with our squad and the alternatives we have," he said.

"It's not too big a squad, like we were missing Christian Pulisic today and that meant that everybody else was straight in the squad, in the 18-player squad plus the goalkeepers.

"That means we have not the biggest squad, but we have a very, very competitive squad in all positions, which is I think on one hand necessary because we play a lot of competitions and have the World Cup coming up in December and we have a pretty unique situation that we played very long and had the Euros and the Copa America.

"So, if we want to compete, we need this kind of level.

"But at the same time, it's also that we believe that we are a strong group, because this was maybe the key in the last half a year, that we played with a strong bond and with a great team spirit.

"This will be the challenge for me and for the team, that we create this atmosphere again and that everybody is ready to take our positions and still keep pushing the team. If we do this, we can achieve more than if we don't."

Atletico Madrid made it two wins from two to start their LaLiga title defence as they beat Elche 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday.

A stylish first-half finish from Angel Correa was all that separated the sides in a game of few clear-cut chances in the Spanish capital.

With temperatures still pushing 35 degrees Celcius in the second half, it was a relatively sedate contest, albeit one lit up by the display of new Atleti signing Rodrigo de Paul during the first hour.

It was the Argentina international's pass that led to the only goal via an error from Kiko Casilla and he could have had a second assist after the break had Yannick Carrasco been more clinical.

Atleti mustered little more than speculative efforts from Saul Niguez and Thomas Lemar in the opening half-hour, as the champions allowed Elche more of the ball but denied them any real openings.

The visitors ultimately gifted Atleti the lead 39 minutes in. Casilla raced off his line to clear De Paul's clever throughball and missed, allowing Correa to take his time before burying his fourth goal in three LaLiga games.

It was almost 2-0 a minute after half-time, Jose Gimenez's powerful header from a corner beaten away by Casilla, and Carrasco could not beat the Elche keeper after being picked out by De Paul.

Elche continued to have more of the ball, but Jan Oblak had largely hopeful shots from outside the box to deal with, while home substitute Luis Suarez could have done better from a Carrasco cut-back.

Suarez was booked for lashing the ball away after a tight offside call, but there was little to worry the home fans in the closing minutes.

What does it mean? Atleti keep up Elche expectations

Atletico have now won nine consecutive LaLiga games against Elche and kept clean sheets in six of them, while their unbeaten home run against Fran Escriba's side – already a club record – stands at 23 games in the top flight.

This was another controlled if not overly inspiring performance from the champions, who have started a season with back-to-back wins for the fourth time under Simeone.

For Elche, the wait for a first goal of the season goes on.

De Paul the pick of the bunch

This was a performance of real class from De Paul on his full debut in front of the Wanda Metropolitano crowd, showing what a good signing he could prove to be.

It was his outside-of-the-foot pass that led to Correa's opener, one of two chances created, while he led the way for opposition-half passes with 22 before being taken off 62 minutes in.

Suarez's welcome return

Atleti's title win in 2020-21 was built on the clinical form of Suarez in attack and the Uruguay striker was given a rapturous reception off the bench here.

Correa looks increasingly confident in attack, but Carrasco is not a long-term option as his strike partner. Keeping Suarez fit could be key to their season.

What's next?

Atleti are at home to Villarreal next Sunday, while next up for Elche is the visit of Sevilla in six days' time.

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves after his side made unwanted club history with their defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.

The Gunners went down 2-0 to their London rivals at Emirates Stadium through first-half goals from returning Blues striker Romelu Lukaku and lively wing-back Reece James.

Arsenal lost their opening Premier League game of the season to Brentford by the same scoreline, making it the first time in their 118-year history in England's top four tiers they have opened a campaign with two defeats from two without scoring.

It is also the first time the north London side have ended a day in the relegation zone with more than one game played since August 1992, with the pressure growing on manager Arteta after spending a reported £129million on new recruits.

The Spaniard accepts Arsenal can have no complaints with the defeat to Chelsea and has called for a swift response from his side when they face West Brom in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, three days before travelling to Manchester City.

"Chelsea were the better team. When they play at their best, which I think they did today, they are champions of Europe, have world-class players and to match at that level is difficult," Arteta told Sky Sports.

"You can always do things better. In the first half it took us a long time to regain the ball in wide areas. We conceded two goals but the way the team responded and the crowd never gave up, it gave us hope in the second half.

"I see a lot of positives with the crowd. The way they supported the team from the beginning. I saw a good reaction. It is one of the difficult moments. The circumstances are difficult and unprecedented. 

"Feeling sorry for yourself doesn't help. You have to win football matches, keep it together and show spirit. Starting tomorrow in training with the players who did not play. We need to win the game midweek and that will help against City next weekend."

The defeat for Arteta was his 20th as Arsenal manager in the Premier League in what was his 60th match, compared to 20 defeats in his first 116 matches in the competition for legendary Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal's preparations for Arteta's second full campaign in charge have been hampered by five players testing positive for coronavirus, with big-money signing Ben White the latest to be ruled out of the Chelsea match after testing positive.

And Arteta believes his side can turn things around once they return to full strength, though the Spaniard confirmed he does not expect White to be available for selection at the Etihad Stadium.

"It's really challenging at the moment. We're missing nine players and the majority of them are big senior players," he said at his post-match news conference.

"The players we put out are trying their best but at the moments it's not enough to win football matches. We try to explain when we can what we are facing but the expectation for this club is always that we will win. 

"When the players are back and they will need some time to get back as well, hopefully it can be different. The good thing is the narrative in football changes really quickly."

Arsenal squandered their only big chance against Chelsea when Rob Holding headed wide on the hour mark, but the hosts had a big penalty appeal rejected in the first half when James tangled with Bukayo Saka in the box.

Asked if he felt his side should have been awarded a penalty, Arteta replied: "Yes. Clear."

Julian Nagelsmann insists Bayern Munich have a lot of room for improvement after narrowly defeating Cologne 3-2 on Sunday.

Serge Gnabry's brace, coupled with Robert Lewandowski's opener, ensured Bayern's new head coach his first Bundesliga win at the second time of asking.

The reigning German champions failed to win in their opener for the first time in 10 years, having drawn 1-1 with Borussia Monchengladbach, and Nagelsmann compared the two opening fixtures.

"The result is good," the 34-year-old told reporters. "It was a wild game that had parallels to the game against Gladbach.

"We still have a lot to do and improve. We lost the ball too often and we could have done better.

"Football is a sport of results, and in the end the result was good from our point of view today."

Gnabry's double was his fourth multiple-goal return against Cologne, while Lewandowski equalled his own record 12-game Bundesliga scoring run with a close-range finish.

However, Leroy Sane was hauled off at half-time amid first-half jeers from the crowd.

"We didn't play a good game in the first half as a whole team," Nagelsmann continued.

"I heard the whistles [from the crowd towards Sane]. The fans should support their own players – anything else does not help."

Sane's half-time replacement, Jamal Musiala impressed to create Lewandowski's tap-in and Nagelsmann hailed the Germany international's "outstanding game offensively" and lauded his one-on-one abilities to attack.

Asked whether Bayern would be active in the transfer window, having only spent money on Dayot Upamecano, Nagelsmann responded: "Transfers? We'll see what's possible. If there's something, then we will announce it. If not, then we will work with what we have."

Romelu Lukaku suggested he can improve further after a "dominant" second Chelsea debut in the 2-0 win at Arsenal.

Lukaku, appearing for the first time since his £97.5million (€115m) move from Inter, opened the scoring at Emirates Stadium, nine years and 360 days on from his first Blues bow.

Reece James, the creator of the first, then thrashed in the second before half-time and Chelsea were in complete control thereafter.

Lukaku could not add to his 15th-minute strike but finished with eight attempts worth a combined 1.41 expected goals – the highest such non-penalty total for a Premier League player in a match this season.

The 28-year-old also contested 15 duels in an outstanding all-round display.

Asked if the day could have gone any better, Lukaku told Sky Sports: "No, no, no. I'm very happy with the win. We played very well, we dominated, we could have scored more.

"To be honest, coming here with this performance, it's good, we have to continue like that."

Describing his own performance, the forward added: "Dominant, I would say. Dominant. I try to improve every time. I have a long way to go.

"But today was good, to win and to start well, and now we have to keep working, keep building, keep getting stronger.

"The Premier League is a very competitive league, but we're ready for the challenge and hopefully we can improve on this."

Lukaku also created three chances for his team-mates and was keen to praise them, too.

"You want to work hard for the team," he said. "You want to win, you want to score, you want to create chances.

"It's something that I've learned, that I've worked on really hard, and I keep working on it.

"This team is very, very talented – they're the European champions but they want to keep building and I want to continue winning. We have to keep fighting, keep working hard and keep delivering performances like this."

Lukaku has transformed his reputation by leading Inter to the Serie A title after leaving Manchester United, but he believes there is more to his game than he was able to show on Sunday.

"I think you saw parts," he explained. "You saw a lot, but not only from me. The team adapted really well.

"I asked a lot of questions to the players and they helped a lot, they made life very comfortable for me.

"So, I wasn't stressed when I came into the game, I was very focused and there was one thing on my mind: just win the game. We did today and I'm very delighted for the club, for the fans, and let's keep building.

"It's good to start like this. I worked hard throughout the week, the team worked hard throughout the week. We knew it was a big, big game for us, everybody was watching us, and we did well.

"As an individual, I try to help the team. I said I want to add something different to the team – hopefully I did – and I was to continue doing that to help the team win. That's the most important thing."

Coach Thomas Tuchel said of his new number nine: "I'm very happy with how he has integrated already. He's a very smart guy. He is a very democratic leader, talks to everybody as a leader and is very humble and competitive.

"He gives something to our game we didn't have as he protects the ball so we can play direct.

"You can't start better than with a goal and almost scored a second but it was a big save from [Bernd] Leno. It's a good start but we have to improve from here.

"I didn't expect too much. I wanted to be open to watch him to see his strengths and capability to adapt and link up with [Kai] Havertz and [Mason] Mount. The guys like to play with each other."

Surprise substitute Cristiano Ronaldo was denied a winner by VAR deep into stoppage time as Juventus drew 2-2 at Udinese following a pair of Wojciech Szczesny blunders.

Impressive early strikes from Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado looked to have paved the way for a season-opening Serie A success, and a first win of head coach Massimiliano Allegri's second spell in charge of Juventus.

But a mistake by goalkeeper Szczesny was punished from the penalty spot early in the second half, and a desperate clanger in the 83rd minute allowed Gerard Deulofeu to net a dramatic leveller.

In a ripsnorting finish, Udinese almost sneaked a winner, Mato Jajalo firing over in the 90th minute, before Ronaldo headed in a Federico Chiesa cross in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The celebrations were wild, and a euphoric Ronaldo was booked for removing his shirt, before he was left stunned to see the goal disallowed for offside.

Ronaldo and Dybala have contracts that run to the end of this season, and there seems scant prospect of both staying in Turin. Dybala is seemingly keen to remain, Ronaldo less so, and his omission from the starting XI here sparked fresh speculation about his future. 

Juventus took just two minutes and three seconds to surge ahead, their earliest goal in a season opener during the three-points-for-a-win era, which began in 1994-95. 

Giorgio Chiellini was on the bench so Dybala captained the team, and it was the Argentine forward who produced a special finish to catch the hosts cold. Rodrigo Bentancur slid in a low ball from the right and Dybala cleverly flicked the ball across goal into the left corner. 

Dybala then played a key role in the second Juventus goal, which came in the 23rd minute, looping a long pass to Cuadrado, who took his first touch just a couple of strides outside the Udinese penalty area. The Colombian shuffled skilfully past flummoxed Udinese captain Bram Nuytinck and lashed a low shot into the same corner that Dybala had earlier found. 

Juventus looked practically home and hosed at the break, but conceded a penalty in the 50th minute when Szczesny made a poor parry of Tolgay Arslan's shot before bringing down the Udinese man as he chased down the rebound. 

Former Juve man Roberto Pereyra fired the spot-kick into the right corner, before Alvaro Morata headed against the left post at the other end a couple of minutes later, from a chance he would expect to tuck away. 

Allegri saw the game potentially slipping away and sent on Ronaldo, Chiellini and Dejan Kulusevski on the hour mark, Morata among those to make way. Ronaldo soon teed up Bentancur to smash a shot against the right post, and then came the late drama, Juventus left smarting on day one of the new campaign.

"Dream? I'm not dreaming. One day I'll play here, you'll see."

One cannot have escaped the viral clip shared by former club Anderlecht, as he completed his £97.5million transfer, of Romelu Lukaku visiting Chelsea's Stamford Bridge as a child.

Of course, Lukaku kept that promise in 2011 when he replaced Fernando Torres for the final seven minutes of a 3-1 home win over Norwich City. That was among eight outings at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea blue, but few could blame the forward for feeling a little unfulfilled.

One of the world's best strikers left the club he supported as a boy after 15 games, 466 minutes, 19 shots and zero goals.

There was more to Lukaku's desire to turn out for Chelsea than the badge on the chest, though; he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Didier Drogba, the Blues legend whose shirt he wore in that Anderlecht clip.

That second Stamford Bridge bow is still to come, but Lukaku needed only 15 minutes of his Chelsea return to emulate Drogba.

Of the 164 goals Drogba scored as a Chelsea player, 13 came against Arsenal – four more than he mustered against any other side. There were braces in triumphs in the 2005 Community Shield and 2007 EFL Cup final, as well as a winner in the 2009 FA Cup semi-final, on top of his eight Premier League strikes.

Drogba bullied Arsenal; therefore on Sunday, determined this time to take his chance at Chelsea, so did Lukaku.

Nine years and 360 days after that debut against Norwich, Lukaku made up for lost time with an opener that displayed many of the talents that look set to make Chelsea genuine challengers for the Premier League title.

The 28-year-old was allowed to face the goal at Inter far more often than during an ultimately frustrating spell at Manchester United, carrying the ball 3,040 metres in Serie A last season, but he also continued to link the play, involved in 34 goal-ending open play sequences. He was the beneficiary this time.

Mateo Kovacic fired a pass into Lukaku's feet 30 yards from goal and he held on to the ball just long enough to have four Arsenal players around him by the time he offloaded it back to the former Real Madrid midfielder.

Thomas Tuchel had spoken of how Chelsea wanted a replacement for Olivier Giroud with "the kind of profile who likes to play with his back to goal, who likes to hold up balls, who creates space for Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, who is ready to fight physically with defenders". It was Reece James, rather than Werner, Havertz or Pulisic, who found himself all alone thanks to Lukaku's distraction.

When Kovacic snapped a pass outside to James, the race was on in the middle and there was only going to be one winner. After Arsenal's awful defeat at Brentford, there had been debate about how Ben White would deal with Lukaku's physical presence. With White laid low by COVID-19, it was Pablo Mari who was swatted aside by Lukaku to leave a simple finish.

Arsenal sought to learn their lesson, challenging Lukaku as quickly as possible thereafter, but even that went against them. Granit Xhaka's lunge on Lukaku 10 minutes before half-time saw the ball run instead for Mount, who found James unmarked again to score himself.

As with Drogba, Arsenal never looked comfortable attempting to contain Lukaku, who did not add to his early goal but created three chances, contested 15 duels, won two fouls and counted a 77th-minute header that Bernd Leno instinctively touched onto the crossbar among eight efforts.

The last Chelsea forward to have seven or more shots against Arsenal in a league encounter was, of course, Drogba (in 2006).

Tuchel has spoken at length about how Lukaku's signing can benefit Werner. Up first was a lesson from the sidelines, however, with the much-maligned Germany attacker dropped for the new man and only introduced in the final minute of the 90, providing just a fleeting glimpse of a fearsome front two.

For Arsenal, meanwhile, the scant positives largely came from the same men as last season – Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney, at least in an attacking sense before his injury – when they stunned Chelsea 3-1 on Boxing Day, having entered the game 15th in the table and winless in seven.

That result inspired a vastly improved run of form, but their progress pales next to Chelsea's under Tuchel. Their signings do not compare to Lukaku either.

"We are trying to bring the players that we can afford, that in this moment can help us to achieve what we want," Mikel Arteta said this week, asked if Arsenal were operating on a "lower level". "Chelsea would have a different plan," he added.

The goal was Lukaku's fourth against Arsenal, but he will back himself to add to that total based on the apparent trajectory of the two teams.

Only two years older than Drogba was when he arrived in England, there is plenty of time to close on his idol's tally in a fixture he dominated.

Nuno Espirito Santo was happy with Harry Kane's display as a substitute in Tottenham's 1-0 victory over Wolves on Sunday.

Dele Alli's penalty – the midfielder's first Premier League goal since March 2020 – proved decisive at Molineux as Nuno got one over on his former club.

Spurs talisman Kane, a transfer target for Manchester City, missed the opening two games of the season – a win over the champions and a defeat to Pacos de Ferreira in Europa Conference League qualifying – but returned to a rapturous welcome from the travelling support.

Kane came on in the 72nd minute, and perhaps showed just why Nuno has been reluctant to call on him so far, away from the transfer speculation.

It has been widely reported that Kane would like to join City, but the 28-year-old has also only had one week of training since returning from an extended break following Euro 2020.

Kane had 14 touches, attempted nine passes and had one shot during his time on the pitch – Jose Sa closing down a close-range effort from the England captain.

The opportunity, teed up brilliantly by Steven Bergwijn, had an expected goals (xG) estimation of 0.336, making it the second-best chance of the game from open play, after an attempt which Adama Traore drilled straight at Hugo Lloris at the other end.

While a fully firing Kane would no doubt have converted the opportunity, Nuno was nevertheless pleased with what the striker showed in his cameo.

"I think he did well. He helped the team. He had a good chance," Nuno told a news conference. 

"Harry is still in the process of increasing and improving his level of fitness, but because he's one of the best players in the world you could see the way he helped the team in terms of possession and the fine lines. We need everybody, we need everybody."

Asked if Kane would be involved on Thursday, in the home leg of Spurs' tie with Pacos de Ferreira, Nuno replied: "I cannot answer that, it's too soon.

"Now we are going to recover and prepare for the next one. Like we always do the same way and make the decisions that we should take."

While Kane made his comeback, it was Alli who was the difference. After an impressive showing against City last week, the midfielder coolly converted the ninth-minute spot-kick that he won.

Tottenham have now only lost one of their 45 Premier League games in which Alli has scored (W35 D9 L1), and Nuno hailed the 25-year-old's performance.

"He's working very hard. I think all the team is working hard," Nuno said.

"We still have a long way to go and are working very hard to improve, the relationship between players and being very versatile enough.

"He scored in the beginning of the game and in the last minutes of the game he was running all over the pitch so that shows the level of fitness that he has and the belief that he has. A huge, huge help."

Julian Nagelsmann picked up his first Bundesliga win with Bayern Munich on Sunday as they edged past Cologne 3-2 courtesy of a Serge Gnabry brace.

Robert Lewandowski broke the deadlock in the 50th minute, scoring in his 12th consecutive Bundesliga appearance, and Gnabry inflicted further damage eight minutes later.

Cologne refused to surrender, though, Anthony Modeste heading home before Mark Uth equalised to cap off three goals in four chaotic second-half minutes.

Gnabry, however, netted his second to restore Bayern's advantage, arrowing into the roof of the net and sealing three points for the hosts.

Thomas Muller spurned the first chance of the game, poking a sliding finish wide after a driving run by Lewandowski down the right.

Niklas Sule then enjoyed a rare foray forward, twisting and turning inwards before firing towards goal, where Timo Horn reacted acrobatically to tip over.

The hosts failed to make their 62 per cent of first-half possession pay but a double half-time change proved vital, Jamal Musiala – introduced for Leroy Sane – creating the opener.

The substitute roamed forwards before pulling back for Lewandowski to tap-in, the finish equalling his personal record of 12 consecutive Bundesliga appearances with a goal, previously achieved with Borussia Dortmund in 2012-13.

Gnabry made matters worse for the visitors, collecting his 10th goal in eight appearances against Sunday's opponents by arriving at the back post to convert Josip Stanisic's low cross.

However, Cologne pulled a goal back with their first shot on target, Modeste redirecting a header past Manuel Neuer from Jonas Hector's delivery.

Uth shocked the home crowd with his 62nd-minute equaliser, diving to prod low past Neuer after Kingsley Ehizibue's curler from the right.

The visitors remained level for only eight minutes, though, Gnabry firing powerfully past Horn before Lewandowski almost added a fourth, only to be denied by the crossbar.

What does it mean? Nagelsmann on the board as control over Cologne continues

Nagelsmann became the first Bayern boss in 10 years not to win on the opening day of a new Bundesliga season with a 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach.

However, the former RB Leipzig coach picked up the DFL-Supercup with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in midweek and now has his first Bundesliga win with his new side.

The hosts have now won each of their past eight games against Cologne and are undefeated in 15 such Bundesliga fixtures, too – their longest winning streak and the longest unbeaten run against any current team in the top flight.

Lewandowski marches on

Lewandowski's opener means he has now scored a goal in every one of his past 12 Bundesliga games.

However, the Poland forward's link-up play was also excellent – making a game-high two key passes and competing for the joint-most duels (17) as he embroiled himself in a battle with Jorge Mere and Rafael Czichos.

Nagelsmann's star attacker now has four goals across all competitions for the season and he will be hoping he can fire his team to their 10th straight Bundesliga title.

Lost Ljubicic

Dejan Ljubicic set the tone for a poor performance with a needless booking in the first half for not retreating to block Bayern's quick free-kick.

The midfielder completed just 61.5 per cent of his 26 attempted passes, while also touching the ball just 37 times as he struggled against Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in the middle of the park.

What's next?

Bayern travel to Bremer on Wednesday in the DFB-Pokal before hosting Hertha Berlin on Saturday. Meanwhile, Cologne return to RheinEnergieSTADION to face Bochum on the same day.

Romelu Lukaku scored on his second debut for Chelsea to help the Blues to a 2-0 victory over London rivals Arsenal in Sunday's Premier League clash.

The Belgium international rejoined Chelsea for a club-record fee earlier this month and took just 15 minutes to open his account from close range at Emirates Stadium.

Reece James set up that goal and doubled his side's lead before half-time as Thomas Tuchel's men, who also hit the crossbar through a Lukaku header, eased to a second successive win without conceding to begin the campaign.

Arsenal's only real opportunity was squandered by Rob Holding on the hour mark as Mikel Arteta's side remain pointless and goalless after their first two games.

Arsenal had won their last three games against Chelsea in all competitions and started this latest meeting on top, but it was the Blues who took the lead in north London.

Lukaku held up the ball, played in James in behind Kieran Tierney down the right and converted from inside the six-yard box once teed up by his team-mate.

James went from creator to scorer 20 minutes later when again left in plenty of space down the right to thump a shot past Bernd Leno at the end of a flowing move.

Wing-back James was involved in a big incident shortly before half-time when tripping Bukayo Saka, but VAR agreed with referee Paul Tierney's decision not to award a penalty.

Arsenal looked a little more lively early in the second half as Edouard Mendy kept out a deflected Saka drive and Holding sent a free header wide from six yards.

However, it was Chelsea who went closest to adding to the scoring through a Lukaku header from seven yards that Leno did brilliantly to turn against the crossbar.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reiterated his desire to keep Paul Pogba after he once again caught the eye in Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Southampton.

Pogba provided four assists in a 5-1 rout of Leeds United last weekend and the midfielder set up Mason Greenwood's equaliser at St Mary's on Sunday after a Fred own goal gave Saints a first-half lead.

Former Juventus man Pogba became the first player to provide five assists in the opening two games of a Premier League campaign.

The 28-year-old is in the final year of his contract and has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, but Red Devils boss Solskjaer hopes he will extend his stay at Old Trafford.

When asked about Pogba's future, Solskjaer said: "That's going to be the question every week now until he does [sign a new deal].

"As I've said all the time, Paul is a top player and the talks between the club and his representatives I'm not involved in but he knows how much I care about him and we want him to play well for us."

He added: "He's been very good. Paul has come in bright, with his own personality. He's lean, he's been working hard over the summer and he's enjoying himself.

"I think we've seen that Paul wants to contribute. Of course you don't see him in the dressing room or in training, but he's really determined, he shows his winning mentality and I'm very pleased with him."

 

United felt they should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul on Bruno Fernandes by Jack Stephens just before Saints' opening goal.

Solskjaer was puzzled that referee Craig Pawson and the VAR saw nothing untoward and thinks the officials are being too lenient early in the new season

He said: "We should do better. If we don't get the foul, we should make sure we block the shot, put your body on the line and make sure they don't get a shot on target.

"That being said, it's a foul. He goes straight through Bruno with his own hip and his arm across him and I'm a bit, not worried, but we have to look at it because you can't go from one extreme going from volleyball or basketball last year to rugby now.

"I've liked the more lenient way, more men's football but it's still basically a foul. You can see early on they got the crowd going with a few tackles and we did suffer a few tackles, which was their thinking early on it looked like."

Solskjaer also revealed winger Amad Diallo could go out on loan before the transfer window closes.

The former Norway striker said: "He's a top player and what he's done in training in the last week or so since he came back from the Olympics has been really impressive. If we find the right place for him we will probably let him go, if not he will be in the squad very soon.

"He's training with us and doing really well, I'm sure if he stays he will contribute but if the right offer comes for him we have to consider it of course."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.