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Premier League Review: Chelsea and Man United Bounce Back

Klopp-KopThe Jurgen Klopp era as Liverpool manager began with a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur, while Chelsea eased some of the pressure on Jose Mourinho with a 2-0 win against fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday.

All eyes were on White Hart Lane where Klopp was greeted by Germany flags by the traveling Liverpool fans bearing legends like ‘Liverpool Uber Alles’, Klopp handed a league debut to 20-year-old striker Divock Origi, who hit the bar in the early stages at White Hart Lane. But he was also indebted to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for producing three important saves, which meant that although Liverpool have now won only once inside 90 minutes in their last ten games, their manager was spared defeat on his first outing.

The international break was good for Chelsea as it removed some of the pressure on Mourinho. The Blues had made their start to a top-flight season since 1978/79, and with reports of a dressing room mutiny, the champions needed a win and Aston Villa were happy to oblige. A horrible mix-up between Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Joleon Lescott allowed Diego Costa to mark his return from a three-game ban with his third goal of the season.

Costa later added his second goal of the game in the second half when his attempted shot took a big deflection off Alan Hutton for an unfortunate own goal by the Villa defender.

At Eastlands, City, 6-1 winners against Newcastle in their previous match, were without star striker Sergio Aguero and key midfielder David Silva due to injuries picked up while on international duty. But the leaders still took just seven minutes to go in front when former Liverpool star Sterling prodded past Adam Federici, who was only playing after first-choice goalkeeper Artur Boruc injured himself in the warm-up.

City struck again four minutes later when Côte d’Ivoire striker Wilfried Bony tapped in after Federici made a hash of claiming a cross. Bournemouth’s Glenn Murray scored in the 22nd minute, only for England winger Sterling to add City’s third in the 29th minute. Sterling completed his treble in first half stoppage-time and Bony struck again in the 89th minute.

Emotions were running high at Goodison following the death of Kendall aged 69 and there was a minute’s silence prior to kick-off, while Everton’s players wore black armbands as a mark of respect. But United, who remain two points behind City, took the lead through Morgan Schneiderlin’s first goal since his pre-season move from Southampton in the 18th minute.

Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera doubled United’s advantage with a 22nd minute header. United captain Rooney hadn’t scored an away league goal since November last year, but the former Everton forward ended that 17-match barren run with a clinical near-post finish in the 62nd minute. Rooney’s strike moved him level with Andrew Cole on 187 Premier League goals, with only Alan Shearer having scored more.

Sam Allardyce’s first match as Sunderland manager ended in a 1-0 defeat at West Bromw. Allardyce, appointed after Dick Advocaat resigned, was unable to secure Sunderland’s first league win of the season as goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon fumbled Chris Brunt’s shot and Saido Berahino converted the rebound in the 54th minute.

Manuel Lanzini’s late goal set up West Ham’s 3-1 success at ten-man Crystal Palace. Carl Jenkinson put West Ham ahead in the 22nd minute, only for Palace to equalise through Yohan Cabaye, who converted a re-taken penalty three minutes later. Palace striker Dwight Gayle was sent off for a second booking just before half-time and Lanzini struck with two minutes left before Dimitri Payet’s stoppage-time clincher.

Leicester staged another great escape as Claudio Ranieri’s side came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Southampton. Saints captain Jose Fonte headed home in the 21st minute for his first goal in 18 months and Ronald Koeman’s team went further in front in the 37th minute through Virgil Van Dijk. But Leicester have made a habit of fighting back to rescue points this season and England striker Jamie Vardy netted in the 66th and 90th minutes to do it again.