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UPDATE – Ten-man Chelsea hold on for point at Liverpool

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LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) – Ten-man Chelsea held on for a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday after defender Reece James was sent off just before halftime.

Chelsea had taken the lead against the run of play when Kai Havertz met a James corner at the near post and his glancing header looped into the far corner past the helpless Alisson Becker.

But on the stroke of halftime, Liverpool drew level in controversial circumstances when, after a review of the pitchside monitor, referee Anthony Taylor ruled that James had handled on the line as he kept out a Sadio Mane effort and awarded a penalty and sent off the Chelsea fullback.

The images showed the ball had struck James’ thigh before bouncing up against his arm and while Chelsea felt hard done by, Mohamed Salah kept calm amid the protests to drive home the spot kick.

With his side down to 10 men, Thomas Tuchel made two changes at the break with Havertz and the injured N’Golo Kante making way for defender Thiago Silva and midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

The restructure worked well with Chelsea holding firm against a wave of Liverpool attacks to secure a point which maintained the unbeaten start to the season for both teams

West Ham top Premier League after 2-2 draw with Palace

With his side down to 10 men, Thomas Tuchel made two changes at the break with Havertz and the injured N’Golo Kante making way for defender Thiago Silva and midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

Midfielder Conor Gallagher scored the first two league goals of the season for Crystal Palace as they held West Ham United to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining derby at the London Stadium on Saturday.

The point lifted the Hammers to first place in the Premier League table, though David Moyes’s side will feel that they could have taken all three points against a Palace side that struggled to deal with their high press.

West Ham took the lead six minutes before the break with a brilliantly-worked goal as Said Benrahma set Michail Antonio free through the middle and he and Pablo Fornals exchanged some intricate passes in the box before Fornals scored with a simple finish.

After two goalless outings for Palace so far this season, Gallagher finally got his side’s first league goal under new boss Patrick Viera 13 minutes into the second half, scooping the ball home from a tight angle.

The Hammers went back in front when Joachim Andersen was out-muscled under a high ball by Antonio, who slammed the ball home to register his 50th Premier League goal.

The lead lasted only a couple of minutes as Gallagher levelled again with a beautiful turn in the box and a low finish to the bottom left-hand corner to make it 2-2 and grab a share of the spoils

Manchester City make light work of thrashing hapless 10-man Arsenal

Manchester City made light work of thrashing a hapless 10-man Arsenal 5-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, a result that means the Gunners have lost their opening three league games of a season for the first time since 1954-55.

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta, back at the Etihad Stadium where he worked as an assistant between 2016 and 2019, watched in horror as his team fell apart early on, with Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres giving City a 2-0 lead inside 12 minutes.

The visitors remained masters of their own chaotic downfall as Granit Xhaka inexplicably got himself sent off for a two-footed lunge in the 35th minute, making an already difficult task that bit more challenging for Arteta’s men. 

City could then afford to take their foot off the gas but the goals still flowed as British recording signing Jack Grealish set up Gabriel Jesus for City’s third just before halftime.

Rodri added a fourth early in the second half, before Torres scored his second late on to complete a miserable afternoon for Arteta and his side.

Another loss means Arsenal are without a point, or even a goal, from their three games so far this season, while City, temporarily at least with rivals in action later in the weekend, are back on top of the standings.

Gray strikes as clinical Everton sink Brighton

New signing Demarai Gray scored his second goal in as many Premier League games for Everton and Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted a penalty as the Toffees continued their good start with a 2-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

Gray, who joined the Merseyside club from German side Bayer Leverkusen in July, gave the visitors a 41st-minute lead when he beat goalkeeper Robert Sanchez with a crisp low shot into the far corner after darting run.

Everton dominated and Sanchez kept out a low Andros Townsend drive midway through the first half while his opposite number Jordan Pickford parried a Pascal Gross free kick after Gray had silenced the home fans.

Halftime substitute Joel Veltman gave away a clumsy penalty when he clattered into Seamus Coleman and Calvert-Lewin drilled in the spot kick in the 58th minute but not before a tussle with team mate Richarlison.

The Brazilian forward grabbed the ball and refused to let first-choice penalty taker Calvert-Lewin proceed before he was restrained and ushered away by several Everton players.

Sanchez spared Brighton, who had won both their opening two matches, a bigger defeat when he denied Abdoulaye Doucoure from close range but Everton were well worth their win which put them on seven points from three games.

Villa and Brentford play out feisty 1-1 draw

Aston Villa and Brentford played out an entertaining 1-1 draw as the visiting promoted side continued their impressive start to the Premier League season at Villa Park on Saturday.

Brentford started brighter, opening the scoring after seven minutes when Ivan Toney found himself unmarked in the box and fired home an unstoppable strike following a low cross from the left by Sergi Canos that was flicked on by Pontus Jansson.

Villa hit back six minutes later through Emiliano Buendia after smart work by Danny Ings on the left, the new signing feeding the ball on the edge of the box to the Argentine who finished emphatically.

The hosts had a terrific chance to take the lead after 20 minutes but a snap Ings effort from an Anwar El Ghazi cross was brilliantly kept out by Brentford goalkeeper David Raya.

The second half started much like the first, with both teams taking the game to each other though clear chances were hard to come by.

Brentford defender Ethan Pinnock came closest after 82 minutes but his tame header was saved by Emiliano Martinez.

The match got a bit feisty towards the end as both sides desperately searched for a winner, with six players seeing yellow cards — three for each team.

For Villa, a major cause of concern came with an injury to central defender Ezri Konsa, who was forced off due to a knee problem just before the final whistle.

The draw leaves Villa in 11th place on four points from three games, with Brentford two spots higher on five.

Leicester condemn Norwich to third straight loss

Marc Albrighton struck a 76th minute winner as Leicester City condemned promoted Norwich City to a third straight defeat with a 2-1 win at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Jamie Vardy had fired Leicester ahead with a superbly taken goal in the eighth minute before Teemu Pukki brought the home side level from the penalty spot just before the break.

The penalty came after Caglar Soyuncu was ruled, after a lengthy VAR review, to have fouled Pierre Lees-Melou and Pukki kept his cool after the delay to slot home.

But Leicester grabbed their second when Vardy set up Albrighton whose deflected shot flew past Norwich keeper Tim Krul.

Kenny McLean headed in a corner for what Norwich thought was a late equaliser but VAR ruled that team mate Todd Cantwell had been in an offside position.

Photo Ilkay Gundogan (R) of Manchester City celebrates with Ruben Dias (C) after scoring a goal during the English Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal London in Manchester, Britain, 28 August 2021. EPA-EFE/TIM KEETON