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Benitez crushes refs for Yedlin red after loss to Wolves

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DeAndre Yedlin‘s controversial red card near the hour mark of Newcastle’s eventual home loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers proved deadly, and left Magpies boss Rafa Benitez fuming.

Benitez was so mad, he let the officials hear it on the field, and then after the match didn’t hold back, calling for VAR to be instituted immediately.

[ RECAP: Late Doherty strike wins it for Wolves ]

“We need the VAR, now. I think we need the VAR,” Benitez told Sky Sports. “You can guarantee to me that the player in the corner of the box can score in the top corner every time? It cannot be a red card [on Yedlin]. We have lost three points today and we deserve to win.”

Yedlin was sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity, but the controversial decision was made by referee Mike Dean despite the presence of a pair of Newcastle defenders in the area and charging, with Jamaal Lascelles the closest. “The ball was far away and he [Lascelles] was close, close enough at least to see that it was not a clear chance.”

Benitez was also furious about an incident where Ayoze Perez took an elbow from Willy Boly in the penalty area with 10 minutes to go. “It’s so obvious. You see the red card [on Yedlin] and you see the elbow in the face of Ayoze. We need the VAR, right now.”

“I think the team was doing well in the game, but it is very difficult in these situations,” Benitez said. “I don’t need to talk too much because you talk well about the referees, and their decisions that are wrong. Just watch the images, that’s it. It is so clear.”

VAR has recently been confirmed for use in the Premier League starting next season. The league voted this summer on instituting the technology for this season, but instead voted to postpone the system’s installment.

Wolves stun Chelsea with amazing comeback win

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  • Loftus-Cheek scores for third-straight PL game
  • Jimenez, Jota scored for Wolves
  • Second defeat in three games for Chelsea
  • First victory in seven for Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Chelsea 2-1 at Molinuex on Wednesday, as they stunned Maurizio Sarri‘s with a four-minute spell in the second half.

Chelsea led through Ruben Loftus-Cheek‘s deflected first half goal, but Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota scored in quick succession to deliver a famous victory for Wolves.

With the win they move up to 12th place on 19 points, while Chelsea slip to fourth place on 31 points and are now 10 points behind leaders Man City who they play on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Chelsea had the majority of the ball but Wolves threatened on the break as N'Golo Kante gave the ball away and a poor touch at a pivotal moment let down Diogo Jota.

But it was Chelsea who took the lead. Loftus-Cheek picked up the ball on the inside left channel, drove towards goal and hit a shot which Conor Coady nodded past his own goalkeeper to put the visitors 1-0 up. The goal was eventually awarded to Loftus-Cheek, as his positive impact continued.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Willian went close with a free kick before the break as Rui Patricio tipped his superb curling effort over the bar as Chelsea dominated the first half.

Wolves had no answer to wave after wave of Chelsea attacks, although they did improve slightly before the break as Raul Jimenez headed just over. Willian should have made it 2-0 in the first half but Ryan Bennett made a wonderful last-ditch tackle.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In the second half Eden Hazard played in Loftus-Cheek and his perfect cross towards Alvaro Morata saw Willy Boly dive in and somehow deny the Chelsea forward who wanted a penalty kick.

Morata was probably correct as Boly’s challenge from behind was reckless, and the Spaniard then headed a glorious chance over from a cross as Chelsea knocked at the door for a second.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

But it was Wolves who came roaring back, as they hit Chelsea twice in four minutes.

First, Jimenez was played in by youngster Morgan Gibbs-White and he slammed the ball straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga and it somehow went in to make it 1-1.

Moments later Wolves were 2-1 up as Matt Doherty was found on the right and he found Jota at the back post to slot home and spark wild scenes among the home fans in Wolverhampton.

Chelsea went close through Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas late on but the Blues lost in the PL for the second time in the last three games.

Watford stun Wolves with rapid double

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  • Capoue, Pereyra score for Watford
  • First defeat since August for Wolves
  • Watford’s first PL win in five

Watford beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at Molinuex on Saturday, with the Hornets riding a quickfire first half double to victory.

Ettiene Capoue and Roberto Pereyra each scored in the space of 58 seconds to led Watford to victory, while Wolves tasted defeat for the first time since August.

With the win Watford now have 16 points on the season as they jump ahead of Wolves who have 15 points on the board.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

After a slow start the game exploded into life with two goals in a minute for the visitors.

First, Capoue drilled home a low effort to put the Hornets ahead as the first chance of the game resulted in a goal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Less than a minute later it was 2-0 as Watford won the ball back from the kick off, ran down the left and then Peryera finished superbly as he lofted the ball over Rui Patricio and in.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

In the second half Wolves huffed and puffed and they created some good openings to get back into the game.

Helder Costa missed a sitter, while Willy Boly and Ivan Cavaleiro went close.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

But Watford’s 58 second blitz in the first half did the damage.

What did we learn from PL Saturday, Week 3?

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The third Saturday of the 2018-19 Premier League season produced six intriguing games as we had plenty of red cards, controversy and late drama.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Manchester City were held, Liverpool marched on and Arsenal is off and running under Unai Emery, while there was late drama at Southampton and Bournemouth. With a sprinkling of red cards to keep things interesting.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Below is a look at what we learned from the action on Saturday across England.


VAR needed next season
It’s easy to say “these things even themselves out over the course of a season” but if Manchester City end up not winning the Premier League title by a point (as crazy as that seems) then they’ll look back at Willy Boly‘s opener for Wolves on Saturday as being crucial. Boly’s goal clearly came straight off his hand and into the net but the officials on the pitch were unsighted and awarded the goal. The reigning champions dropped their first points of the season at Molineux and they couldn’t really complain as the newly-promoted side put in a mature, energetic display as they picked the right moments to press City and carved out several opportunities to win the game. But the VAR argument is one that will not go away anytime soon as Serie A, the Bundesliga and MLS have adopted video assistant referees and the World Cup proved it could work smoothly and quickly. PL clubs voted last season to test the system more before it is implemented but right now it seems like there’s no way that VAR isn’t introduced for the 2019-20 campaign. It simply has to be to correct clear and obvious mistakes like this one.


Liverpool perfect, and scary


Three wins from three. Top of the league. Zero goals conceded. It wasn’t a vintage display against Brighton but Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool have an aura about them building. All great teams have it. Just like the Manchester United teams under Sir Alex Ferguson in the late 1990s, the Arsene Wenger Arsenal teams of the mid 1990s and the Chelsea sides in Jose Mourinho’s first spell, teams now turn up at Anfield trying to keep the score down and expecting to lose. Brighton did just that and were pretty solid for the first half apart from one error as they tried to play a short free kick in front of their own back four and were ruthlessly punished. Yves Bissouma was pounced on and Mohamed Salah stroked home 29th goal in his 29th Anfield appearance for Liverpool. It really is as easy as that for Liverpool right now as they’re looking more assured defensively with Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson standing tall, while the front three allow them to hit teams on the counter whenever they do decide to venture forward out of their defensive shell. Yes, Liverpool have only played West Ham, Crystal Palace and Brighton so far, but those are the kind of teams they slipped up against last season. An aura of invincibility is surrounding the Reds early in the season after a summer of heavy spending which strengthened their weaknesses significantly.


Arsenal remain unbalanced


Don’t let the scoreline deceive you. Arsenal’s 3-1 home win against West Ham was far from straightforward. The Gunners were, once again, their own worst enemies as they were caught on the counter on numerous occasions when they gave the ball away high up the pitch. Full backs Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin were given no real cover by the midfielders in front of them and the lack of pace of center back duo Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis just isn’t conducive to playing the high-line that Unai Emery wants. Arsenal’s new manager got his first win on the board in the Premier League after the defeats to Chelsea and Manchester City to open up his first season in England but admitted they “need the balance” and “in the first half we suffered more than we want.” Emery is sticking to his philosophy of slow build-up play out wide and then being more direct which is all well and good, but when it breaks down Arsenal look so vulnerable. Felipe Anderson, Michail Antonio and Marko Arnautovic had a field day in the first half with the space afforded to them but couldn’t take advantage of it. The win will give Arsenal’s players confidence but there’s no denying that when the Gunners play against better teams, they could concede two or three goals each game. Emery is right to stick to his coaching philosophy but plenty of patient is needed.


Red cards galore as tempers flare


There were four red cards among the four 10 a.m. ET games and all four seemed pretty much spot on. Richarlison has a bit of a temper and Adam Smith suckered him in as they came together, then Everton’s Brazilian star moved his head closer as the red mist descended. Was it soft? Yes. Could he have any complaints? Not really. Smith himself then saw red in the same game and he could have no complaints either as Theo Walcott raced towards goal and he clearly pulled him back.

As for the other red cards, Jonathan Hogg was in a very similar situation as Huddersfield’s midfield came together with Cardiff’s Harry Arter but he was slightly more aggressive and was sent off. While Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was shown two yellows and he can have no complaints as he surged into the box, then looked for the penalty kick as he went down easily and was shown a second yellow for simulation. Yes, we need VAR for clear and obvious mistakes to be cleaned up, but the referees did their jobs well on Saturday with all four red cards dealt with correctly.


Southampton, West Ham may not be in trouble
It’s still early in the season, so let’s not get too carried away about which teams are hurtling towards relegation. But the signs aren’t good for either West Ham or Southampton on paper. But if you dig a little deeper, both teams should have got more than they did during Week 3. The Hammers threatened on the break at Arsenal but Manuel Pellegrini‘s men look so slack defensively as they’ve conceded nine goals in their first three games, losing all three. That said, they have faced Liverpool and Arsenal in two of their opening encounters. Southampton can’t say the same as Mark Hughes‘ men blew a lead against Leicester and were the masters of their own downfall as Hojbjerg was stupidly sent off and they let in two soft goals to lose at home. Yet Saints went close through Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond looked particularly bright as they failed to make the most of their chances. Southampton have now lost against Everton and Leicester and drawn with Burnley and that shows us where they’re at. A team who will be battling to be out of relegation trouble all season long, just like they did last season as they survived by the skin of their teeth. The Hammers look to at least have the attacking talents to turn things around when their fixtures get a little easier, but both teams lack ruthlessness at both ends of the pitch which is a worrying trend. But it’s early in the season and both will be hungry to turn some promising displays into points. Fast.

Wolves impress, hold Man City to draw

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  • Wolves took lead via controversial Boly goal
  • Laporte headed home City’s equalizer
  • First dropped points of the season for City
  • New boys Wolves still without a win

Manchester City drew 1-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, with the reigning Premier League champions striking the woodwork three times against a lively Wolves side.

The home side, who pressed high and impressed at various stages with their shape and composure, took the lead in controversial fashion as a cross struck Willy Boly‘s hand and flew in to give them the lead.

Aymeric Laporte powered home a header to grab a point for City as Pep Guardiola‘s side were a little sluggish but still had plenty of chances to wrap up the victory with Sergio Aguero striking the woodwork in each half and Raheem Sterling also denied by the crossbar.

With the point City have seven on the board through their opening three games, while Wolves have two points after their first three matches back in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Wolves started the game well and won the ball back on the halfway line with plenty of clever pressing to cause Man City some issues.

Ilkay Gundogan broke free from Wolves’ defense but his tame effort was saved easily by Rui Patricio. At the other end Ruben Neves struck over and the game came to life in a few moments.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

After a bad giveaway from Vincent Kompany the ball was played into Raul Jimenez who slotted home but was offside and the goal was disallowed. Moments later City struck the woodwork twice in quick succession.

First Aguero curled against the post, then Rui Patricio produced a fine save to deny Sterling’s superb effort from distance as the Portuguese international tipped the effort onto the crossbar.

Aguero then cut inside in the box and looked certain to slot home but Boly slid in with a perfect last-ditch tackle, while Fernandinho dragged a shot just wide as City pressed for the opener. At the other end Jimenez flashed wide at the back post as the Mexico international was off balance.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Kompany nodded over from a corner at the start of the second half as City pushed hard to get ahead against a stubborn Wolves side.

Wolves almost took the lead as Helder Costa burst through but Ederson saved superbly to concede a concede and from that corner the home side went ahead in controversial fashion. Joao Moutinho‘s inch-perfect cross was knocked home by Boly but the ball clearly came off his hand on its way into the net.

The goal stood as Wolves’ fans were in dreamland.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

But Man City equalized soon after as Laporte headed home powerfully with 20 minutes to go from Gundogan’s free kick as the Frenchman scored his first goal in a City shirt at a pivotal moment.

Late on Patricio saved brilliantly from Gabriel Jesus‘ close-range header as the substitute powered an effort in on goal fro Benjamin Mendy‘s cross. While at the other end Diogo Jota smashed over from Adama Traore’s cross and then Kompany blocked another Traore cross as Wolves pushed hard to win it.

Aguero hit the crossbar in the 95th minute with a free kick but Guardiola’s boys had to be content with a point after a lively display from Wolves.