Manchester City ended their Chelsea hoodoo on Saturday, beating the European champions 1-0 while Bruno Fernandes missed a last-gasp penalty in Manchester United’s shock 1-0 Premier League defeat by Aston Villa.
Liverpool failed to take full advantage of those results, twice squandering the lead in a pulsating 3-3 draw at Brentford in the evening kick-off.
Elsewhere, Jamie Vardy netted twice at the right end against Burnley after scoring an early own goal in a 2-2 draw for stuttering Leicester while Norwich slumped to their sixth consecutive league defeat.
Gabriel Jesus’ second-half strike proved decisive for Pep Guardiola’s City, who gained a measure of revenge for three consecutive defeats by Chelsea last season, including a painful loss in the Champions League final in Porto.
Guardiola said this week that his side lacked a “weapon” to match Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku or United’s Cristiano Ronaldo to decide games inside the box.
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But Jesus ultimately made the difference for City, who could have won more convincingly but for a combination of wasteful finishing and some impressive last-ditch defending.
The Brazilian forward got the break City deserved in the 53rd minute as his effort deflected off Jorginho to leave goalkeeper Edouard Mendy flat-footed.
“Sometimes we believe we need a proper striker to finish, but the important thing is the way we play,” Guardiola told the BBC.
“The most important thing is doing it as a team and as a unit. It’s like last season. Sergio (Aguero, who has left the club) was injured all year and we won the Premier League.” – Fernandes miss –
Villa arrived at Old Trafford with a woeful record of one win in their previous 45 Premier League games against Manchester United, including 33 defeats.
The home side, boasting a star-studded attack including Ronaldo, Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood, had 28 shots but Villa missed some gilt-edged chances of their own.
Just when it appeared the game was drifting towards a draw, Villa defender Kortney Hause flicked a near-post header beyond David de Gea from a Douglas Luiz corner in the 88th minute.
Moments later he went from hero to villain when he handled Fernandes’ cross but the United playmaker skewed his spot-kick high over the bar — just the second time he has failed to score from a penalty in 23 attempts for the club.
It was a second home defeat of the week for United and a first in the Premier League this season, while they also lost Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to injuries.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side have lost three of their past four matches in all competitions, criticised the way Fernandes was surrounded before his penalty.
“First of all the way they get round the penalty spot, get round Bruno and that, that’s not to my liking,” he said. “Bruno is usually very good in those positions and unfortunately he missed this one.
“It doesn’t get in Bruno’s head. He’s strong mentally and he’ll step forward again. The decision (on who takes penalties) is made before the game.”
In the late kick-off, Liverpool, who had only conceded one goal in their opening five Premier League games, shipped three against an enterprising Brentford side.
Salah scored his 100th goal in 151 Premier League games for Liverpool in the 54th minute after Diogo Jota cancelled out Ethan Pinnock’s opener in the first half.
The prolific Egyptian has reached a century of goals in the top-flight in fewer appearances than any other player in the club’s history.
Brentford equalised through Vitaly Janelt before Curtis Jones hit a thunderbolt to restore Liverpool’s lead but the home side were not to be denied and substitute Yoane Wissa levelled with eight minutes to go.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was disappointed that Liverpool had missed chances and twice let their lead slip.
“We’re an intense team as well but there’s a lot of room for improvement for us today,” he told Sky Sports.
“We controlled it a little bit better in the second half but unfortunately we couldn’t hold on for the win.” Earlier, Everton saw off bottom-side Norwich 2-0 to move level on 13 points with City, Chelsea and United, one point behind Liverpool.
West Ham overcame struggling Leeds 2-1 while Watford drew 1-1 with Newcastle.
FULL PL RESULTS:
Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City
Manchester United 0-1 Aston Villa
Leicester City 2-2 Burnley
Everton 2-0 Norwich City
Leeds United 1-2 West Ham
Watford 1-1 Newcastle United
Brentford 3-3 Liverpool
Police investigate Serie A incident, Fiorentina vs Empoli
Police have launched an investigation into an incident where a female TV presenter was allegedly “molested” by a football fan on live TV.
Italian journalist Greta Beccaglia appeared to be slapped on the backside while reporting from outside a stadium when the camera captured the moment a spectator in a green jacket, camo-styled trousers and purple beanie walked up behind her.
A visibly annoyed and shocked Beccaglia responded with a fright before wagging her finger at the fan, The Sun reports.
Her verbal response has been translated into English as: “Sorry, you can’t do this, I’m sorry.”
Shortly afterwards, another supporter stopped next to Beccaglia before swearing into the camera with a hand gesture.
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The timing of the footage will be particularly concerning for the Italian football authorities.
The spiteful Tuscan derby between Fiorentina as Empoli had been promoted as a designated ‘Violence Against Women’ event that was supposed to raise awareness of an anti-stalking hotline.
The match was the centre piece of a campaign branded: “Give violence against women the red card”.
It has since emerged that police are aware of the incident and have launched an investigation to identify the fan.
Local reports have suggested Empoli police are reviewing video surveillance and speaking to witnesses to try and catch the fan.
One report also indicates police will speak with Beccaglia to get her side of the story.
The incident has also raised questions about the response from the panel of TV studio presenters after they failed to show serious concern for their colleague.
Host Giorgio Micheletti has been criticised for responding to the incident by saying: “Don’t take it”.
The Order of Journalists of Tuscany condemned the incident and the response from Micheletti.
A statement from the guild described the actions against Beccaglia as “molestation”.
“Those in the studio, instead of condemning the gesture and the molester, invited the colleague to ‘not take it’. No words of solidarity were heard towards her from the conductor,” a translated statement claimed.
“The Order reiterates that the time has come stop minimising and remember that violence against women is above all a cultural and social problem.”
The statement said the organisation stands with Beccaglia in solidarity.
“The Order of Journalists of Tuscany today denounces the very serious episode of harassment against a journalist which took place on live TV at the end of the Empoli-Fiorentina match, in the days in which the greatest attention is paid to combating violence against women,” the statement read.
Serie A has also released a statement to show its support for the reporter.
“Violence is expressed in many forms. We condemn them all, today and forever,” the league posted on Twitter.
“Solidarity with Greta Beccaglia.”
Beccaglia on Sunday liked a series of posts on Twitter, which refered to her ordeal as “intolerable” and “aberrant”.
Over the weekend, players in Serie A had sported a red mark on their cheeks to promote a message against domestic violence and to spread awareness of an anti-stalking hotline.
Empoli came from behind in the contest with a late goal snatching a 2-1 victory.
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