What did we learn from the Premier League?

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What did we learn from the eight Premier League games on Saturday?

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Week 6 gave us plenty of gifts (noticeably lopsided wins) as three big boys eased to victory, while another stumbled.

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Below is a look at the key takeaways.


Mohamed Salah shaking off some rust
He scored a tap-in against Southampton on Saturday and almost scored an audacious back heel, but there are signs that Mohamed Salah is still shaking off some rust after his shoulder injury at the end of last season. The Egyptian magician looked frustrated in a more central role against Saints with Roberto Firmino switched out to the flank. Salah scored a goal when offside late on and seemed to rush a few chances where last season he was calmness personified. Salah has scored three goals in the current PL campaign but he hasn’t quite looked himself thus far with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino stepping up and delivering.

Jurgen Klopp won’t be too concerned about giving Salah a rest in the League Cup against Chelsea this week, especially with Xherdan Shaqiri impressing in a 45 minute cameo on Saturday too. Salah isn’t at his marauding best, as we pointed out following Liverpool’s win at Tottenham last week, but the fact that is the case and Liverpool have won their opening seven games of the season (in all competitions) is testament to how solid the rest of the team have been. At times last season you could accuse Liverpool of being a one man team. Not anymore. That’s a good thing, even if Salah isn’t firing on all cylinders. Liverpool changed up their system against Saints in the first half and Klopp wasn’t too happy with the way it was working so changed things back to a 4-3-3 in the second half. The team, and Salah, looked more comfortable in that system and ahead of a huge few weeks with games against Chelsea, Man City and Napoli coming up, the Reds are on fire. Even if their star man isn’t. Yet.


Wolves the real deal

They’ve played Manchester City and Manchester United this season and drawn with both 1-1. And on both occasions after those draws with the Manchester giants Wolves have felt a little hard done by that they didn’t nab all three points with David De Gea forced to make several key saves to keep Wolves at bay. Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men have brought in plenty of top class players over the summer, including Raul Jimenez, Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho, and it was the latter who curled home a beauty after Jimenez’s layoff to grab Wolves a deserved point at United.

There is a serious debate to be had that the runaway winners of England’s second-tier last season could be one of the best newly-promoted teams in history. Of course, nothing will beat Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest who won the top-flight in 1978, the season after they were promoted. Wolves aren’t going to win the title this season but they have shown they can easily be the best of the rest in the PL and finish in the top seven. The depth in their squad is impressive and so too is the understanding of what Santo wants them to do each week. They have a settled squad littered with quality and a solid 3-4-3 system which suits them. Name a better newly-promoted team in the PL era. I’ll wait.


Tottenham ease the pressure. For now…

It has been a rough few months for Tottenham Hotspur. After three-straight defeats, they needed a response at Brighton & Hove Albion. They got it. Harry Kane‘s first half penalty kick and a second half strike from Erik Lamela got Mauricio Pochettino‘s men back to winning ways after plenty of critics suddenly poked their heads over the fence to tell them what has been going wrong. Of course, a lot of the issues at Spurs are nothing to do with Pochettino and his players. With no money spent on new signings this summer and a long delay to their new stadium at White Hart Lane, chairman Daniel Levy has a lot to answer for.

On the pitch, Spurs showed plenty of grit to get by Brighton in the pouring rain on the South Coast with the bright lights and the TV cameras fixated on their every move and waiting for them to slip up and lose a fourth-straight game. They were in control throughout, with the only moment of worry when Anthony Knockaert didn’t make the most of a glorious opportunity in the second half. After a narrow defeat at Watford, a loss to red-hot Liverpool by one goal and a late collapse against Inter Milan at the San Siro, the narrative around Spurs seemed to shift from ‘they’ll get it right and prove their doubters wrong’ to ‘well, that is it they’re finished’ in a matter of days. Pochettino’s side reminded everyone not to write them off and even though Kane and Co. don’t seem anywhere near their best (we can save the tiredness debate for another week), they did what they had to do to silence their doubters. At least for another few days.


Legends return: Sir Alex Ferguson and Clint Dempsey
It was wonderful to see returns for two legendary figures on Saturday who have both been struggling with health issues over the past few years. Firstly, Sir Alex Ferguson seems to have made a superb recovery from a brain hemorrhage in May which required surgery and time in intensive care. The most successful manager in British history returned to Old Trafford on Saturday for the first time since April and Fergie received a warm welcome back and looked emotional to return to Theatre of Dreams.

And another legendary figure (okay, not quite on Fergie’s level, but still a hero) returned to the Premier League with Clint Dempsey heading back to Fulham for their draw against Watford. Dempsey, 35, retired late last month and Fulham’s all-time leading goalscorer in the Premier League was on hand to head back to Craven Cottage to see his former team.

Deuce looked as chilled as ever and Fulhamerica is still going strong.

Spurs snap skid at rain-soaked Brighton

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  • Murray concedes PK
  • Kane converts it
  • Lamela put it away
  • Spurs skid ends

Harry Kane and Erik Lamela score on a rain-soaked Amex Stadium pitch as Tottenham Hotspur put an end to its losing ways with a 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Paulo Gazzinaga made his first start since last season’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, and came within a Anthony Knockaert stoppage time goal of another clean sheet.

Spurs move fifth with 10 points, ending their three-match losing streak in all competitions. Brighton is 13th with six points.

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Clad in their green kits, Spurs nearly went ahead in the first few moments but Toby Alderweireld‘s inspired ball bounded through the box.

Spurs had most of the ball but little danger when Kieran Trippier‘s free kick was blocked by the raised arm of Glenn Murray inside the box.

That sent Kane to the spot, and the big Englishman did not miss his chance.

A sleepy, sloppy match opened up a bit with Christian Eriksen‘s promising curler that missed far post in the 54th minute.

Lamela made it 2-0 with a pinpoint low shot in the final 15 minutes, and Brighton’s hopes for a draw were dashed on a rainy day at the Amex.

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Knockaert made it 2-1 in the third minute of stoppage, and then was saved by Gazzaniga a minute later.

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Southampton 2-2 Brighton: Set-pieces bring Seagulls level

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Southampton nearly earned its second win of the season, but visiting Brighton & Hove Albion erased a two-goal deficit to earn a point as the teams shared the points at St. Mary’s on Monday. Piere-Emil Hojbjerg’s howitzer put Southampton in front past the half-hour mark, and Danny Ings buried a penalty to double the home lead. However, Shane Duffy headed home to put Brighton on the board just moments after Southampton’s second, and Glenn Murray scored from the spot as regulation expired to draw back level.

The teams went back and forth in the opening 20 minutes, but only one shot on target was produced. Southampton had the best early opportunity on 21 minutes, as a corner swung into the danger area and somehow stayed out of the back of the net. Danny Ings’ effort was the most egregious, fired on goal from point-blank range but blocked before it even reached the goalkeeper.

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The Saints came close again in the 27th minute as Mohamed Elyounoussi headed a Nathan Redmond cross just wide to the right after jumping in front of his defender.

Southampton would finally make good on its attacking presence in the 35th minute and go in front at home. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg picked up the ball 10 yards outside the top-right corner of the penalty area and blasted a shot that knuckled through the legs of Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and past Matthew Ryan for the game’s first goal.

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The home side was buoyed by the lead, pressuring the Brighton defense for more and earning nine shots (three on target) to Brighton’s two (none on target) by halftime. After the break, the visitors seemed more intent to go forward. Anthony Knockaert forced a big save from Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, and the visitors their first corner in the 52nd minute, although it came to nothing.

Despite the Seagulls’ bright start to the second half, Southampton nearly doubled its lead as a brilliant long ball over the top from Shane Duffy sprung Shane Long, but the Saints striker put his effort wide with Ryan charging out of his net to contest. The Saints would eventually go up 2-0 after Ings drove into the penalty area and was cut down by Gaetan Bong, a clear penalty. Ings stepped up and buried the spot-kick to put Southampton through.

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Brighton wasn’t phased, and they struck right back on 66 minutes. It came off a set-piece, with a free-kick delivered from the right of the box and Shane Duffy headed it home. The Seagulls pressed hard for an equalizer and put Southampton under pressure through the final 15 minutes. Knockaert had a shot from close range deflected past the post, while Bong sent in a cross from the left that was cleared just before reaching substitute Jurgen Locadia. Brighton nearly had an equalizer as Locadia got his head to a corner near the end of regulation that was saved well by McCarthy, but the Seagulls would get their second on the ensuing corner.

As the ball swung in, James Ward-Prowse shoved down Duffy, earning the spot-kick. Glenn Murray sent his effort straight down the middle past McCarthy for the equalizer in the first minute of added time.

Southampton nearly grabbed a winner on a free-kick down the other end, but Ryan produced a fabulous diving save to keep out Ryan Bertrand‘s curling effort. The final whistle confirmed Brighton’s second two-goal comeback in two weeks, having done the same last weekend against Fulham. With the points shared, both sides move to five points on the season through five matches, leaving both teams at their current places of 13th and 14th behind a trio of teams on six.

Murray’s brace leads Brighton fightback vs. Fulham

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  • Murray scores 25th, 26th PL goals
  • Fulham led 2-0 through Schurrle, Mitrovic
  • Both teams on four points

What a game!

Glenn Murray converted a late penalty kick to complete his brace as Brighton and Hove Albion came back to draw Fulham 2-2 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Andre Schurrle and Aleksandar Mitrovic had put the Cottagers ahead, but the latter went to the doghouse by conceding an unthreatened late penalty.

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Pascal Gross had a PK saved by Marco Bettinelli in the 25th minute.

Jean Michael-Seri pulled the strings for the opener, finding Schurrle for a finish — and combination — that had the Cottagers’ support dreaming.

Lewis Dunk‘s error allowed Mitrovic to make it 2-0, as the Serbian striker darted onto a poor back pass and finished his second bite at the apple after a Mathew Ryan save.

Murray pulled one back for Brighton with his 25th Premier League goal, belting Anthony Knockaert‘s pass into the goal following a giveaway from Fulham’s Maxime Le Marchand.

Mitrovic went from GOAT to goat when he handled a low-pressure ball in the 18, and Brighton’s second penalty kick of the night was a converted one.

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Liverpool tops Brighton to stay perfect

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  • Salah scores second of season
  • Liverpool yet to concede in PL
  • Brighton drop points after big United win

Liverpool remains unbeaten on the season, after a 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield on Saturday.

The Reds earned their third straight victory, while keeping a shutout once again for Jurgen Klopp‘s group.

Despite some good work defensively from Brighton early on, a quick dispossession in the midfield led to Mohamed Salah‘s opener of the match, leaving the visitors baffled.

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Brighton kicked off the second half with more fire, and came inches away from the equalizer through Anthony Knockaert, but his attempt narrowly missed the far post after great work from Glenn Murray to center his cross.

Pascal Gross‘ late header tested Allison at the near post, but the Brazilian goalkeeper did a tremendous job to push the attempt away from danger at the last second.

The Liverpool attack was in full force early on, and nearly broke the deadlock after just five minutes when Salah picked out Sadio Mane inside the Brighton area.

Mane’s shot narrowly missed the near post, after leaving goalkeeper Mat Ryan motionless to watch the attempt go past the goal.

Ryan was tested again in the ninth minute with a tremendous save that denied Roberto Firmino‘s header from point-blank range.

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The Reds kept their pressure up early and often, and Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s free kick was inches away from giving the hosts the lead after it struck the crossbar.

Late chances from Alexander-Arnold and Daniel Sturridge nearly sealed the deal for the Reds, however, the one goal proved to be enough on the day.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Liverpool will take on Leicester next up in the PL, while Brighton will play twice next week, with a League Cup fixture against Southampton before facing Fulham over the weekend.