PIX: Villa maintain perfect start; Schalke end losing run


IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale in action with West Ham United’s Aaron Cresswell Pool during their Premier League match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain, on Sunday. Photograph: Matt Dunham via Reuters

Aston Villa preserved the Premier League’s only 100% record as Ross Barkley’s late goal earned them a 1-0 win at Leicester City on Sunday to move into second place, one point behind early leaders Everton whose perfect start ended on Saturday.

Gareth Bale’s first appearance for Tottenham Hotspur for seven years, following his loan move from Real Madrid, was eclipsed by West Ham United who scored three times late on to draw 3-3 in the London derby.

Brighton and Hove Albion scored late to earn a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace. Sheffield United and Fulham also drew 1-1 as both teams picked up their first points.

 

Villa’s dream start to the new season, following last season’s narrow escape from relegation, continued as Barkley sealed a generally dour Midlands derby in stoppage time — his second goal since joining from Chelsea.

Dean Smith’s side have won four out of four, the first time Villa have done that in the top flight since the 1930-31 campaign when they went on to finish second.

“An important win today,” Barkley, who also scored in the 7-2 win over champions Liverpool before the international break, said.

“I dedicated that goal to the physio because I was 50-50 in the week and he did a really good job getting me right.”

Villa are one point behind Everton who drew 2-2 with Liverpool in a controversial Merseyside derby on Saturday which left Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk with a serious knee injury that will require surgery.

While the Premier League goal rush slowed a little on Sunday, it did not in north London where Tottenham and West Ham battled out an extraordinary derby.

Son Heung-min put Tottenham ahead inside a minute and two goals from Harry Kane had Spurs three up after 16 minutes.

Bale, back at the club he left in 2013 to start a trophy-laden career at Real Madrid, came off the bench in the 72nd minute for his eagerly-awaited homecoming, but the script was not written for the Welsh winger.

Fabian Balbuena’s 82nd minute header and Davinson Sanchez’s own goal set up a nervy finale and then in the fourth minute of stoppage time Manuel Lanzini fired an unstoppable shot from outside the area to spark wild celebrations from the visitors.

Aston Villa's Ross Barkley celebrates with Bertrand Traore Pool on scoring their first goal at  King Power Stadium, Leicester

IMAGE: Aston Villa’s Ross Barkley celebrates with Bertrand Traore Pool on scoring their first goal at King Power Stadium, Leicester. Photograph: Jon Super/ via Reuters

Bale missed a great chance when the score was 3-2.

“That’s three matches at home and two draws that could perfectly be two victories, and it’s a big punishment because we look to the table and it’s difficult to believe after scoring so many goals and playing so well that we only have eight points,” Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said.

West Ham are the first team in Premier League history to avoid defeat in a game having trailed by at least three goals as late as the 81st minute.

“We are playing against a team everyone is talking about and after 10 minutes I was thinking ‘is this going to be six or seven?’ We changed and it made us better,” West Ham manager David Moyes said.

Palace had hung on to the lead given them by Wilfried Zaha’s 19th-minute penalty but three points would have been more than they deserved against their arch-rivals Brighton.

Substitute Alexis Mac Allister netted in the 90th minute to give Brighton a point although they had Lewis Dunk sent off in stoppage time for a poor tackle on Gary Cahill.

Sheffield United substitute Billy Sharp converted a late penalty to earn his side a point against Fulham who had taken the lead shortly before when Ademola Lookman marked his first start with an excellent solo effort.

Dzeko off the mark with a brace as Roma thump Benevento

AS Roma forward Edin Dzeko scored his first two goals of the season as his side came from behind to thump Benevento 5-2 in Serie A on Sunday, while Carles Perez crowned their performance with an outstanding solo goal.

Roma have seven points from four games and are still unbeaten on the pitch. Their only defeat, 3-0 to Verona, was decided by a disciplinary panel after they irregularly fielded Amadou Diawara in the game that ended 0-0.

Benevento, who have six points, went ahead in the fifth minute with a shot from Gianluca Caprari which took a deflection and looped over Antonio Mirante.

Pedro levelled in the 31st minute from Lorenzo Pellegrini’s pass and Roma took the lead with a Route One goal four minutes later.

Mirante’s long goal kick found Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the Armenian sent a diagonal pass between two defenders for Dzeko to sidefoot into the far corner.

Mkhitaryan himself had another goal chalked off following a long VAR review for offside in the buildup.

Roma midfielder Jordan Veretout clumsily gave away a penalty early in the second and, although Giancarlo Lapadula’s effort was saved by Mirante, he equalised from the rebound.

Veretout put Roma back in front from another penalty and Dzeko finished off a counter-attack for the fourth before Perez completed the win in style.

The substitute collected the ball in his own half, charged forward, slipped between two defenders and rifled home from the edge of the area.

Schalke snap losing run with 1-1 draw against Union Berlin

Schalke 04 came from a goal down to snatch a 1-1 draw against visitors Union Berlin on Sunday, snapping their six-game losing run in the Bundesliga and earning their first point of the season.

The Royal Blues, still without a win for 20 consecutive league games, had their keeper Frederik Ronnow to thank for keeping a clean sheet in the first half after denying the visitors several times with superb saves.

He was again on hand to stop Christopher Lenz in the 47th minute but the Dane was helpless when Christopher Trimmel whipped in a low cross and Marvin Friedrich scored with a perfect glancing header in the 55th.

The hosts hit back in almost identical fashion in the 69th with Goncalo Paciencia beating his markers to head in at the near post to the delight of a crowd of just 300 inside the cavernous 62,000-capacity Auf Schalke Arena.

Schalke, who earned their first point in coach Manuel Baum’s second game in charge, moved off last place into 17th. Union are 10th on five.

Frankfurt stumble to 1-1 draw at lowly Cologne

Eintracht Frankfurt missed their chance to go top of the Bundesliga on Sunday, settling for a 1-1 draw at Cologne to stay two points behind leaders RB Leipzig.

Cologne, without a win now in the last 14 Bundesliga matches, conceded a penalty at the end of a low-key first half with Andre Silva putting the visitors in front.

It only lasted seven minutes as Ondrej Duda equalised with a fine shot in what was the hosts’ first chance of the entire game in the 52nd minute.

Frankfurt, unbeaten in the league this season, were the livelier team and both Daichi Kamada and Almamy Toure came close several times.

Duda had a rare good chance for the hosts but his diving header from 12 metres was tipped wide by keeper Kevin Trapp.

The result left Frankfurt in fourth place on eight points. For Cologne it was the first point of the season but kept them in 16th place.

Sociedad go top after win over Betis, Villarreal’s Parejo haunts Valencia

Real Sociedad beat Real Betis 3-0 away to go top of La Liga on Sunday, winning a fiery encounter marked by three VAR interventions which went their way.

Cristian Portu put Sociedad ahead shortly before halftime and Betis thought they had levelled early in the second period through Antonio Sanabria but the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside following a video review.

Sanabria was then denied a penalty following another VAR review after grappling with Sociedad’s Robin Le Normand in the area and having his shirt torn by the French defender.

Betis’s disbelief deepened when Sociedad were awarded a penalty for a challenge by Marc Bartra on Alexander Isak and Mikel Oyarzabal converted from the spot.

Adnan Januzaj put an extra shine on the win with a superb late strike into the roof of the net from a tight angle after latching on to a pass from Isak.

Sociedad lead the standings on 11 points after six games, level with second-placed Villarreal who beat Valencia 2-1 earlier on.

Real Madrid are third on 10 points after five games after their shock 1-0 home defeat to Cadiz on Saturday, while Barcelona are ninth after they were beaten 1-0 at Getafe.

Villarreal midfielder Dani Parejo scored the decisive goal in the win over his former club Valencia which briefly took his side top before Sociedad’s victory.

Parejo, who used to captain Valencia but switched to Villarreal in August, saying he had been forced out, barely celebrated his goal after his shot took a heavy deflection off Mouctar Diakhaby into the net in the 69th minute.

Paco Alcacer, another former Valencia player, had given Villarreal the lead with a penalty in the sixth minute although Goncalo Guedes levelled for the struggling visitors in the 37th.

Villarreal had Japan international Takefusa Kubo sent off in added time for a second yellow card while Parejo then limped off the pitch with a muscle injury.

Lille go top as Lens see red in northern derby

Unbeaten Lille moved top of the Ligue 1 standings as they demolished promoted neighbours RC Lens 4-0 at home in the northern derby on Sunday.

Christophe Galtier’s side, who have conceded only two goals this season, prevailed with efforts from Burak Yilmaz, Jonathan Bamba, Jonathan Ikone and Yusuf Yazici with Lens finishing with nine men after Jonathan Gradit and Clement Michelin were sent off after the break.

Lille have 17 points from seven games and lead second-placed Paris St Germain by two points.

Lens, back in the top flight after a five-year spell in Ligue 2, are fifth on 13 points.

They have not beaten Lille since 2006 in all competitions and it never looked like they were going to end a 14-match winless streak against their fierce rivals.

Lille went ahead after 11 minutes when Yilmaz headed home from Benjamin Andre’s cross for his third goal of the season.

Bamba also scored his third goal of the campaign, three minutes into the second half, firing home from point-blank range after Aleksandar Radovanovic failed to clear Zeki Celik’s cross.

Lens went down to 10 men in the 58th minute as Gradit picked up a second yellow card, but the visitors had long lost the plot.

Ikone added a third with a low shot from just inside the box and Yazici rubbed salt into the visitors’ wounds with a fourth, 11 minutes from fulltime, with the final goal coming after Michelin was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle in the 75th minute.

Earlier, Karl Toko Ekambi’s double earned Lyon a 3-2 victory at Racing Strasbourg as Rudi Garcia’s team jumped up to ninth on 10 points.



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