Mohamed Salah maintained his magnificent form by scoring a stunning goal and setting up another in Liverpool's thrilling 2-2 Premier League draw with Manchester City.

City twice came from behind to secure a point as all four goals were scored in a pulsating second half at Anfield on Sunday, Sadio Mane and Salah on target for the Reds, with Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne finding the back of the net for the champions.

Brentford continued their great start to life in the Premier League with a 2-1 London derby win at West Ham, while Tottenham stopped the rot with a win over Aston Villa.

Crystal Palace fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Leicester City in another entertaining game in the capital.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform looks at the key statistics from Sunday's games.

 

Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City: No stopping sensational Salah

Salah has now scored in seven consecutive matches in a row in all competitions, matching his best scoring run for the Reds that he also achieved in April 2018.

The Egypt forward has either scored (9) or assisted (3) in eight of his nine games in all competitions for the unbeaten Liverpool this season, having a direct hand in more goals so far in 2021-22 than any other Premier League player (12).

Foden (21 years and 128 days) is the youngest player to score in three consecutive Premier League appearances against Liverpool since Romelu Lukaku in November 2013 (20y 194d).

City conceded more goals on Merseyside than in their previous seven top-flight games combined beforehand (1).

Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa: Spurs end losing streak

Spurs had been smarting from three consecutive defeats in the Premier League, but they edged out Villa.

Tottenham have won 11 of their past 13 top-flight games against Villa, scoring at least two goals in each of those victories.

Harry Kane was unable to find the back of the net, though, and the England captain has not scored in any of his past six Premier League matches - his longest scoreless streak in the competition since failing to net in his first six games of the 2015-16 campaign.

Villa suffered their 72nd away Premier League defeat in London; only Newcastle (81), Everton (79) and Southampton (74) have lost more in the capital.

West Ham 1-2 Brentford: Bees provide a sting in the tail

Brentford are sitting pretty in seventh spot in their first Premier League campaign after Yoane Wissa stunned the Hammers with a last-gasp winner.

West Ham have lost four of their past seven home Premier League matches, as many as they lost in their previous 20 at London Stadium (W11 D5 L4).

Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo has scored five goals in his past seven away league matches (excluding play-offs) – he had only scored six in his first 40 on the road for the Bees.

Crystal Palace 2-2 Leicester City: Battling Palace thwart Foxes

Palace are unbeaten in the Premier League at Selhurst Park since Patrick Vieira took charge (P4 W1 D3). The Frenchman is the first Eagles manager to avoid defeat in his first four home games in the competition.

Leicester failed to win a Premier League game in which they were ahead at half-time by two or more goals for the first time since October 2003 (4-3 defeat v Wolves).

Foxes striker Jamie Vardy has scored 90 goals in the Premier League since turning 30, just three fewer than Ian Wright (93) as the player with the most goals in the competition after his 30th birthday.

Nuno Espirito Santo cut a relieved figure after seeing Tottenham end their losing streak by beating Aston Villa 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday, the Portuguese coach thrilled with the team's character.

Spurs went into the match having lost three on the bounce in the top flight and another defeat would have seen them hit a 17-year low.

Unsurprisingly, Nuno's future has been called into question lately as a result of their struggles, with Spurs' performances largely underwhelming even when they have won.

Prior to the weekend, Spurs' 56 shots in the Premier League was the lowest of all clubs, yet they managed 17 against Villa, the most Tottenham have attempted in a single game this term.

Nuno will be able to rest a little easier over the international break because of this win and he was much more satisfied with the performance in general, particularly their reaction to being pegged back by Ollie Watkins' equaliser.

Asked if he was happy with Spurs' mentality, Nuno told reporters: "Definitely, yes. It's something we've improved from previous games. The reaction was really, really good.

"Definitely a better reaction. Much better. Previously we became a little bit flat and today was immediately reacting.

"After that moment we continued to create chances and I honestly believe there were more goals there for us today.

"But the production and the way we produced, the way we created was much, much better."

Son Heung-min was the key man for Spurs, the South Korea international setting up Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's opener before then playing the decisive pass for Matt Targett's own goal shortly after Watkins had levelled.

His assist for Spurs' first goal took Son on to 11 goal involvements in his last 12 home league matches, but Nuno was reluctant to shower any individual with much praise.

"All the players are very important, all the players," he continued. "Not only Sonny did a good game, overall the team did very well.

"Sonny, the way he took the team forward and the way he imbalanced them in one-on-one situations was very important, but all the team, there were a lot of good individual performances and when this happens the team plays better, it is natural, so I am pleased."

Emerson Royal was another Spurs player to catch the eye, the Brazilian right-back working tirelessly on the flank as he won 66.7 per cent of his 15 duels – a total bettered only by Harry Kane (25) among the Tottenham team – and making a match-high four interceptions.

But again, Nuno was keen to not go overboard with any praise, adding: "I think we have to be very patient with all the players. I honestly think he has to improve.

"He had a good game. He was stable, especially in the way that he controlled the width. He was really good going forward. I think he had moments when he should have decided better when he was in the box, but not only Emerson."

Nuno also confirmed his South American internationals will join up with their national teams as normal next week despite potential quarantine restrictions upon their return in England, though he expects minimal disruption to training due to the club's onside accommodation.

"I can update, they will go and they will return and they will return on different situations," Nuno said. "They will have to isolate, but we are fortunate enough to have the Lodge [Tottenham's training base] and work normally with the team."

Tottenham ended a three-match Premier League losing streak with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, Son Heung-min playing a decisive role with two assists.

Spurs had lost their previous three league games by an aggregate scoreline of 9-1 and another defeat would have seen them reach a 17-year low, but Nuno Espirito Santo's men got the job done despite the temporary disappointment of being pegged back by Villa.

Harry Kane was unable to end his dry spell despite going close from the halfway line, meaning he has gone six league games without a goal for the first time in six years.

But Son set up Hojbjerg for the first-half opener before providing the ball that Matt Targett turned into his own net under pressure from Lucas Moura for the winner, with Ollie Watkins having equalised for the visitors.

After a lively start without threatening the Villa goal, Spurs first troubled Emiliano Martinez in the 22nd minute as Kane spotted him off his line from about 50 yards, the goalkeeper forced into a desperate save.

Martinez was helpless soon after, though.

Villa squandered possession in midfield and Spurs broke with Son, who passed across the edge of the box to Hojbjerg, the Dane placing his effort into the bottom-right corner.

Chances arrived at both ends early in the second half, but Cristian Romero made an important block to thwart Matt Targett and Son volleyed just over following fine work by Emerson Royal.

Watkins made Spurs pay for not making the most of their superiority, the striker tapping in from Targett's pass.

But Spurs got the winner four minutes later, Son cleverly beating his man before firing across goal for Lucas, whose presence forced Targett to put into his own net.

 

Could Darwin Nunez be the next Benfica star to make a big move?

Portuguese sensation Joao Felix swapped Benfica for Atletico Madrid in a club-record deal in 2019.

Now, Uruguay international Nunez is attracting interest from across Europe.

 

TOP STORY – CITY FRONT OF QUEUE FOR NUNEZ

Manchester City are leading the race to sign Darwin Nunez from Portuguese giants Benfica, according to the Daily Star.

Premier League champions City are desperate to sign a forward amid links with Tottenham's Harry Kane, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic.

Nunez has also reportedly attracted interest from BarcelonaLiverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

– United forward Edinson Cavani could join Real Madrid in January, claims Mundo Deportivo. It comes as Cavani finds himself battling Cristiano Ronaldo for regular game time at Old Trafford, where the club's hierarchy are concerned amid their form under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

- The Daily Star reports Arsenal are weighing up a move for out-of-favour City forward Raheem SterlingBarca are also believed to be interested in Sterling, according to The Sun, as they face the prospect of missing out on Leipzig's Dani Olmo. The Spain international has been linked with United, Juventus and Bayern.

Liverpool are eyeing Pogon Szczecin midfielder Kacper Kozlowski, says the Mirror. The 17-year-old has been linked with Bayer Leverkusen, Milan, RB Leipzig and Salzburg.

Paul Pogba has been the subject of constant speculation over the past 12 months.

Manchester United's French midfielder is into the final year of his contract.

Pogba has been in excellent early season form, with seven assists in the league already.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID MOVE LOOMS FOR POGBA

Real Madrid are Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba's most likely destination at the end of this season, claims El Nacional.

The France international is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of this season and could leave on a free transfer.

Pogba's agent Mino Raiola is trying to persuade Pogba to join Madrid, despite interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool target Karim Adeyemi is being chased by German pair Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg, reports Sport Bild. RB Leipzig are also monitoring the 19-year-old Salzburg striker.

Marco Asensio appears destined to leave Madrid given his current role, with Sevilla hoping to sign the midfielder, according to El Gol Digital.

– Fichajes reports that Milan are plotting a January move for out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek.

– The Sun claims that Tottenham have revived their interest in West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone as they seek a successor to Hugo Lloris.

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho wants to reunite with Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele by signing him, reports Calciomercato.

– Marca claims that Manchester City are considering tabling an offer to sign Villareal forward Pau Torres .

Harry Kane insisted now is the time for Tottenham to rally behind Nuno Espirito Santo and get their Premier League season back on track. 

The England striker came off the bench to score a hat-trick and lead his side to a 5-1 win over Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thursday. 

Kane became the first Spurs player to score a hat-trick as a substitute since Ronny Rosenthal in the FA Cup back in 1995, while he is only the third man to hit three goals in a game in three separate major UEFA club competitions. 

Spurs fans will hope he can continue that form against Aston Villa on Sunday, Kane having failed to find the net in any of his first five Premier League appearances in 2021-22. 

With pressure mounting on head coach Nuno after three consecutive league losses and nine goals conceded, Kane said the Villa game will be key to turning around their fortunes. 

"Us as players and staff need to stick together and work hard," he told BT Sport. "Our recent form has not been great, but we need to try to turn it around next game. 

"Every striker wants to score goals. I probably wasn't expecting to come on today, but it's nice to get the minutes. Whenever you see the ball hit the back of the net it's a good feeling. Hopefully, we can take it into the weekend." 

Spurs were 2-0 up after only eight minutes but Nuno opted to bring on Kane, Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura after Ziga Kous scored a stunning volley for Mura early in the second half. 

"We started the game really well, went two ahead, but we lost our way a little bit. They scored a great goal," said Kane. 

"We made it harder than we needed to. The momentum shifted in their favour. It was about coming on and doing a job for the team." 

Nuno himself was happy enough with his side's performance, saying: "We started very well, our dynamic was good. 

"The beginning of the second half, they scored. After that, we played good. A good game. 

"It [the triple substitution] was needed. The best way to prepare the players is to play. The minutes were important for the boys. 

"[There were] a lot of positives." 

Harry Kane scored a hat-trick off the bench to help Tottenham to a 5-1 Europa Conference League win over Mura. 

The England striker was summoned along with Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura to settle some nerves after Spurs had allowed their early grip on the game to slip. 

Dele Alli's penalty and a fine strike from Giovani Lo Celso had put Nuno Espirito Santo's men in control early on, but a stunning volley from Ziga Kous gave the Slovenian side a lifeline and made things a little nervy for the hosts. 

That was until Kane's clinical finishes killed the contest and ensured no further pressure was applied to the Spurs boss, whose position has come under scrutiny in the wake of a humbling 3-1 loss to Arsenal. 

Spurs were in control with just eight minutes on the clock. Alli converted from the spot after being felled by goalkeeper Matko Obradovic, and Lo Celso's fine run and finish into the net from a tight angle made it 2-0. 

They did little to build on their advantage in front of a sparse crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and Mura sensed the chance of a shock comeback 53 minutes in when Kous blasted in a superb strike from the edge of the box that bounced back out of the net. 

Nuno then made the telling change, Lucas sliding the ball into the box to meet the run of Kane, who toe-poked a good finish past Obradovic. 

Kane got a second with 14 minutes remaining, duly side-footing home after Son skipped into space and cut the ball back from the left, and he completed his treble by firing low across Obradovic's goal after Lo Celso's precise throughball. 

Gareth Southgate backed Harry Kane to return to form with England as they prepare for October's World Cup qualifiers.

Southgate's side are set to face Andorra and Hungary but their captain Kane comes into next month's internationals out of form with Tottenham.

Despite collecting the Premier League Golden Boot last campaign, the 28-year-old has struggled this term, failing to score or assist in 378 top-flight minutes - attempting just nine shots and creating only four chances.

Kane's international form, by contrast, has not dropped, with the forward netting in 15 consecutive games across the World Cup and European Championship qualifiers.

However, Southgate remained firm on his stance about his star striker as he expressed his support for Kane, who is on his longest drought since August 2016.

"I can only talk from an England perspective," Southgate responded to reporters when asked about Kane's lack of form on Thursday after announcing his 23-man squad.

"Every couple of months I sit here and have to answer similar questions, and then Harry goes out and scores a lot of goals for us.

"That's the life of a high-profile player - you have to accept there's going to be that speculation and intensity, that analysis of performances.

"Last month we had three games, he played in all three and scored goals in all three. He's still a critical part of what we do and I'm sure he's going to be highly motivated when he comes to see us next week.

"He's closing in on a number of incredible goalscorers. We had the sad news of Jimmy Greaves in the last couple of weeks, and Harry is in that echelon of incredible names."

Tottenham were most recently downed 3-1 by fierce rivals Arsenal, with Kane making just five passes and recording 25 touches across 90 minutes at Emirates Stadium.

Youngster Emile Smith-Rowe was on the scoresheet for the Gunners and, despite impressing, Southgate wants the Arsenal academy product to maintain his form if he is to earn a place in the England squad.

"[Smith-Rowe] is a player we like a lot and was very close to making this squad," Southgate answered when asked about a potential call-up for the 21-year-old.

"At this moment in time I don't want to bring in any more younger players out of the Under-21s. They have got to earn that right over a longer period.

"I thought his performance against Tottenham was very good. We know how he finished last season as well. I can only say he is a player we really like and he was close."

Teddy Sheringham is "amazed" Harry Kane did not leave Tottenham in the transfer window and believes his below-par performances show the England captain is "unhappy".

Kane finished last season with the Premier League Golden Boot and also supplied the most assists in the division before starring in England's run to the Euro 2020 final.

That form has continued in a Three Lions shirt this term, with the forward now having netted in 15 consecutive World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, but he is still to get off the mark for Spurs in the Premier League.

Despite three goals in three games across the EFL Cup and Europa Conference League, Kane has looked out of sorts in Tottenham's biggest matches.

Without a goal or assist in 378 minutes in the Premier League, he has attempted just nine shots and created only four chances. He is averaging a touch in the opposition box once every 29 minutes, too often too deep to have an impact in the final third.

Kane has endured slow starts to seasons previously, although this is his longest drought since August 2016.

Former Tottenham and England striker Sheringham told Stats Perform he is a "lover" of Kane, who has "everything as a centre-forward" and is "still the best" in the Premier League.

But Sheringham feels a failed transfer to Manchester City continues to hamper the Spurs number 10.

"I'm amazed that he's still there," he said. "I must admit, when he came out with the interview with Gary Neville about saying that he wanted to go and play with [Kevin] De Bruyne, I thought the writing was on the wall and that he would be leaving that summer.

"For me, looking on the outside, I don't know, but he must have had some sort of assurances from the chairman that he would be able to leave. That has changed.

"And I think that's showing in his performance now that he's not happy with something. He's definitely not firing on all cylinders.

"And that's not like Harry Kane, because when he's fit and raring to go, he is one of the best players in the world, the best number nine in the world, for me.

"But he's not showing that at the moment, so he must be unhappy with something."

Arsenal are set for a shake-up after missing out on European football for the first time in 26 years.

Mikel Arteta's side started the new Premier League campaign slowly.

But three wins in a row have offered hope and rumours are swirling about transfer activity.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL PLOT SWAP FOR EN-NESYRI

Arsenal will offer Alexandre Lacazette as part of a deal to land Youssef En-Nesyri from Sevilla, according to La Razon.

Morocco international forward En-Nesyri has sparked Arsenal's interest after netting 24 goals in all competitions in the 2020-21 season.

Lacazette has only made one league appearance for the Gunners this term and was reportedly shipped around during the off-season.

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano reports Lorenzo Pellegrini is set to sign a new long-term contract with Roma, which will remove his €30million release clause. Pellegrini was previously pursued by Liverpool and Tottenham.

– Liverpool scouts kept a close eye on Villarreal's Arnaut Danjuma at Wednesday's Champions League game against Manchester United as they plan for Sadio Mane's successor, claims the Daily Mirror.

– Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio remains in Arsenal's sights, reports the Daily Star.

Inter are not considering signing Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, with Ajax's Andre Onana their preferred acquisition, claims Fabrizio Romano.

Tottenham coach Nuno Espirito Santo insists he has the backing of his players despite mounting scrutiny over their recent form.

Spurs made an excellent start to life under their new head coach, winning four of their first five games in all competitions while conceding just one goal.

Their recent form has taken a dramatic turn for the worse, however. Consecutive 3-0 Premier League defeats to Crystal Palace and Chelsea came as they also drew 2-2 with Rennes and Wolves in the Europa Conference League and EFL Cup.

Last weekend, Tottenham suffered a humbling 3-1 loss to north London rivals Arsenal, a result made all the more eye-catching given it came just under a month after top-flight history was made when Spurs ended the day top of the table while the Gunners were at the bottom.

Such has been the reversal of their fortunes – only Everton in 1993-94 have ever won their opening three Premier League games of a season only to lose the next three – that doubts are already being cast over Nuno's future.

However, the former Wolves boss says the players believe in his methods and that criticism does not concern him.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's game against Mura, he said: "Yeah, [they] totally believe. There are no doubts about that because we work together every day, we prepare together and these moments we need to stick together and the belief is the first step to do things, and we have it.

 

"You have to realise sometimes it's not possible. Sometimes opponents are better than you, and you have to be humble to give credit, and sometimes you don't perform. Sometimes the plan is no good. The belief in all of us is here.

"I'm not worried about the judgements. What I'm worried about is how we can play better. The judgement and the criticism and the opinion and all of that is all part of it. And we have to deal with that.

"That doesn't interfere with the way we work, it can only distract us. I'm very simple, telling you: my focus is how can we improve, how can we improve. In terms of the fans, now is not the moment to ask them. Of course, we need their support, because the players and the team need the support of the fans. But it's not the moment to ask them, it's the moment to deliver.

"We don't panic because we know that this is football. It's how you react to the bad moments. It's something that you cannot avoid. Every team goes through a moment like this. History shows that. Sticking together is the only way to do it."

Nuno believes Spurs' three consecutive wins at the start of the season disguised the fact he is still getting used to working with his squad.

"Since day one, we are knowing each other better, we are realising our strengths and weaknesses, so we can improve. The moment that we were winning was only disguising to the outside," he said.

"Inside, we knew we still had things to improve. Now it's obvious that we have things to improve. In terms of what I'm seeing, I'm seeing players that want to achieve, that work hard to achieve it, but we are not able to be consistent to do it.

"We are still having problems when we concede a goal. We lose our focus. We lose our solidity and how compact we are and that we must avoid. So, a lot of analysis is going on. A lot, but with the tools and the belief that we have a talented team with quality players to get out of this situation and play much better football."

Youri Tielemans has not yet committed his long-term future to Leicester City.

Tielemans is only contracted with the Foxes until the end of the 2022-23 season.

And Leicester may consider selling their FA Cup final hero at the end of this season if they cannot strike a new deal.

 

TOP STORY – SPANISH GIANTS KEEN ON TIELEMANS

Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are circling for Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, reports The Athletic.

The 24-year-old Belgium international publicly said he is "keeping his options open" as he negotiates a new Leicester deal.

Barcelona and Madrid would be interested in Tielemans, who has also been linked with Liverpool, should he become available next off-season.

 

ROUND-UP

– Football Insider reports Tottenham are still planning to sell Dele Alli, although they will wait until the end of this season. Spurs are hoping Alli's value will rise throughout the season to land a significant transfer fee.

– Everton are considering moves for Real Madrid pair Isco and Luka Jovic in January on six-month loan deals, according to Defensa Central.

– Liverpool are keeping an eye on Porto's Colombian star Luis Diaz, reports The Independent, with the two sides having met in the Champions League on Tuesday.

– Juventus have joined Chelsea in showing interest in Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, claims the Daily Mail.

– Newcastle attacker Allan Saint-Maximin has interest from Chelsea and Liverpool, according to the Express.

Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala have both been included in Argentina's squad, as well as three Premier League players, for World Cup qualifying fixtures in October. 

Messi has been sidelined with a knee injury of late, forcing him to miss two games for Paris Saint-Germain, but could be set to feature against Manchester City in Champions League action on Tuesday. 

Argentina's captain scored a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Bolivia back on September 10, though he has yet to register either a goal or assist for new club PSG. 

Dybala was on target for Juventus on Sunday before having to come off in the 22nd minute of his side's 3-2 win over Sampdoria. 

The Serie A club announced on Monday that the 27-year-old will miss both the Champions League clash with Chelsea and also the derby against Torino due to injury, ruling him out of action until after the international break. 

However, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has included Dybala in a 30-man squad ahead of upcoming qualifiers against Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru. 

Tottenham duo Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero have also been called up, along with Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. 

Argentina remains on the red list for countries for the United Kingdom amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with updated government rules on travel declaring any individual entering the UK from such a destination must undertake a 10-day quarantine period.

Villa are due to host Wolves on October 16 when the Premier League season resumes, while Spurs travel to Newcastle United the following day. 

Argentina squad in full:

Franco Armani (River Plate), Juan Musso (Atalanta), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa) Esteban Andrada (Monterrey); Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Nahuel Molina (Udinese), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Lisandro Martinez (Ajax), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla); Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Nicolas Dominguez (Bologna), Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla); Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Lucas Alario (Bayer Leverkusen), Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lautaro Martinez (Inter), Joaquin Correa (Atletico Madrid), Julian Alarez (River Plate). 

Manchester City made something of a statement in their 1-0 win over potential title challengers Chelsea on Saturday, whereas Manchester United seemed to take another step back as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign stuttered again.

But Solskjaer is certainly not the only top-flight manager feeling the heat – Nuno Espirito Santo's honeymoon period as Tottenham boss is well and truly over, with the Portuguese now among the favourites to be the first Premier League boss sacked this season following a 3-1 defeat in the north London derby.

Without any further ado, here are some of the more curious facts and stats from across the Premier League this past weekend…

City defence putting the 'guard' in Guardiola

It may not have been the thrill ride neutrals were likely hoping for, but City's 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge was another impressive indicator of just how good Pep Guardiola's team is as a unit.

Of course, they won the Premier League only a few months ago, so saying City are "good" probably won't cut it for analysis – but what is really making people sit up and take note at the moment is how their unity and cohesion is translating into defensive solidity.

City have conceded just one goal in their six Premier League games this term, the fewest they've ever shipped at this stage of any league campaign.

Let's not forget that Chelsea had been widely praised for their own start to 2021-22, yet on Saturday they were prevented from having a single shot on target in a home league game since November 2012, which coincidentally was also against City.

But even more impressive from City's perspective was the fact Chelsea's expected goals (xG) value was just 0.2, the worst they've recorded in a home Premier League game since Opta records began in 2008-09.

While Chelsea fans will understandably be frustrated, it would seem their struggles on Saturday were more down to City being in a groove defensively.

They've only faced six shots on target this season, a record no Premier League has bettered over the first six matches in a campaign since at least 2003-04. If they keep this up, the title will surely be staying at the Etihad Stadium.

Fernandes' penalty miss not Man Utd's big issue

It was another day to forget for United on Saturday as they lost 1-0 at home to Aston Villa.

They were presented with a great opportunity to equalise in second-half stoppage time, but Bruno Fernandes sent his penalty over the crossbar.

Much of the focus afterwards was on Fernandes and his miss, though it would be unfair to pin the blame on him – after all, of the 23 spot-kicks he has taken since his United debut, he's only failed to convert two.

In the same time period, Cristiano Ronaldo – seemingly Fernandes' main penalty rival now – has taken 22 and missed four. This is not a problem that United need to dwell on much.

Instead, they'd be wise to look into their glaring tactical inefficiencies, with Solskjaer's team sorely lacking identity, cohesion and a defined playing style. Too often they are bailed out by moments of individual brilliance, which is an unsustainable approach to solely rely on in a title challenge.

Against Villa, those instances of individual excellence never arrived, despite United mustering 28 shots. That was the most efforts attempted by United without scoring in a home league game since October 2016 (38 shots in 0-0 draw with Burnley).

They have now conceded in each of their past eight league games at Old Trafford, their worst such run in 49 years, and lost three successive home matches (all competitions) for the first time since 1962.

Norwich set new benchmark for worst start

With every match that passes, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to become ever dimmer for Norwich City.

A 2-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday leaves Norwich pointless and with a -14 goal difference after six matches – that makes their start to the season the worst after six matches in Premier League history.

Only twice before had a Premier League side begun a campaign without a single point from six games, the last of which was Frank de Boer's infamous Crystal Palace team in 2017-18 – the Dutchman was sacked after the fourth match in that sequence.

Norwich have at least been a little more patient than Palace, with Daniel Farke's record of overseeing two promotions seemingly ensuring he retains some good will at the club, even if he now has the highest loss percentage (75 per cent, 33/44) of any manager to take charge of at least 20 games in the Premier League.

Most would already consider Norwich to be doomed for relegation, though perhaps there is some reason for optimism.

There have only been nine teams to start a top-flight season (prior to 2021-22) with six or more successive losses, but four of them – including Palace – have avoided relegation.

Vardy joins exclusive club

Jamie Vardy ended up having a peculiar day when Leicester City drew 2-2 with Burnley on Saturday, the former England striker scoring three of the four goals.

It was his own goal that gave Burnley an early lead, while he also got both Leicester equalisers, including one late in the day.

That was his first own goal ever in 360 appearances for Leicester, while he became the first player to net at both ends for the club in a single Premier League game.

It's happened to some of the best, though. He joins an illustrious list containing 11 others who have scored at least 100 goals but also put past their own goalkeeper, with Harry Kane, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney among them.

On top of that, Vardy is now only one of five players in Premier League history to score at least twice at the right end and an own goal in the same game after John Barnes (Liverpool v Spurs 1995), Niall Quinn (Sunderland v Charlton Athletic 2001), Rooney (Man Utd v Stoke City 2012) and Tammy Abraham (Chelsea v Wolves 2019).

But he is still doing more than his fair share at the other end, his brace in this game taking him to eight goal involvements in his past seven league games, which is 89 per cent (8/9) of Leicester's goals in that time.

Bad omens stacking up for Nuno

After three wins from his first three Premier League games in charge, everything was looking rather rosy for Tottenham boss Nuno.

Three matches and three defeats later, some will doubt whether he'll still be in charge this time next month, let alone this time next season.

Sunday's north London derby was his 10th in charge of Spurs and the 3-1 loss made him the first manager to lose as many as four of his first 10 matches at the helm of the club since Glenn Hoddle in 2001.

Hoddle was also the last Spurs boss to conceded at least three goals in three consecutive league games in September 2003, and he was sacked after that run.

Nuno will probably make it to the next match but the last team to begin a season with three wins and then lost the next three (Everton, 1993-94) finish as low down as 17th.

His future arguably rests on getting something out of Kane, who's failed to score in five straight league games for the first time since August 2016, but things aren't looking great given Spurs' 35 open-play shots is the second fewest in the division and their expected goals (xG) total is just 3.2, only higher than three teams.

While a lack of quality chances might usually be masked by Kane's excellence, he's not bailing them out any longer – if that continues, it's difficult to see Nuno keeping his job for the long term.

Is the end nigh for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford?
 
Wan-Bisakka joined Manchester United in a big-money deal in 2019 but the Red Devils are reportedly ready to replace the Englishman.
 
A talented RB Leipzig defender could be the team's next right-back.

 

TOP STORY – NEW RIGHT-BACK SET FOR OLD TRAFFORD?

Manchester United are eyeing RB Leipzig right-back Nordi Mukiele, according Fichajes.net.

United are reportedly keen to sign a replacement after losing patience with Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be interested in Leipzig's 23-year-old star Mukiele.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims Milan and Juventus are interested in United States and Dallas sensation Ricardo Pepi. The 18-year-old has also been linked with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Inter are willing to let Alexis Sanchez leave the Serie A champions, reports Calciomercato. Marseille, Real Betis and Sevilla are among the possible options for the 32-year-old Chilean.

Tottenham are weighing up a move for Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins, per Fichajes. It comes amid continued uncertainty over Spurs star Harry Kane, who has been linked with Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus as well as United.

 

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