English Premier League leaders Manchester City and Chelsea slugged out a magnificent 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge with former City youngster Cole Palmer levelling for the hosts with a stoppage-time penalty on Sunday.
For the second time this week Chelsea were involved in an extraordinary tussle after their 4-1 win at nine-man Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, this time going toe-to-toe with the champions in a rip-roaring duel.
City, for whom Erling Haaland scored twice, once from the penalty spot, ended the weekend one point clear at the top with 28 points with Liverpool, who beat Brentford 3-0 on 27 along with Arsenal who beat Burnley on Saturday.
Mohamed Salah reached another scoring milestone for Liverpool, netting twice to reach 200 goals in English football and become the first player in the club’s history to score in each of their first six home league games of a season.
Aston Villa beat Fulham 3-1 to match a 40-year-old club record of 13 straight home league wins.
West Ham United’s Tomas Soucek powered home a late header to seal a topsy-turvy 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest and end their winless streak, while Brighton & Hove Albion’s winless league run was extended to six games when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sheffield United.
Chelsea and City served up a sizzling Sunday classic with Mauricio Pochettino’s side showing once again that they are beginning to gel after a mediocre start to the campaign.
City opened the scored when Spanish defender Marc Cucurella pulled Haaland’s shirt to concede a VAR-checked penalty which the Norwegian coolly converted in the 24th minute.
Five minutes later Chelsea’s 39-year-old Brazilian defender Thiago Silva equalised with a header and former City forward Raheem Sterling capitalised on a Josko Gvardiol stumble to put Chelsea in front after 37 minutes.
Manuel Akanji headed City level in first-half injury time and Haaland bundled in his second a minute after the restart, only for Nicolas Jackson, who scored a hat-trick against Tottenham, to equalise for Chelsea.
City appeared to have won it through Rodri’s 86th-minute strike but there was one final twist as Armando Broja was fouled in the box by Ruben Dias and Palmer kept his cool as tempers frayed to earn his side a point.
“We knew how tough it is to come here with the team they have built,” City’s Rodri said. “They have signed massive players. It wasn’t our best today. In the end we scored four but there were some mistakes.”
Things were far more sedate at Anfield where Liverpool moved right into title contention thanks to another contribution from the talismanic Salah.
“Crazy,” Klopp said of the 31-year-old Salah, who has 10 goals in 12 league games this season. “Goal number 200 in England, right? Exceptional, played a super game today.”
Aston Villa cruised past Fulham with strikes from John McGinn and Ollie Watkins and an own goal by Antonee Robinson.
Villa Park has become a fortress under Unai Emery as his side, along with Liverpool and Manchester City, are the only teams to have won all their home league matches this season.
“We are in the top five and I think this is a moment to enjoy and to analyse deeply, even when we are winning, how we can improve,” Emery said.
West Ham’s Soucek got on the end of James Ward-Prowse’s corner to seal the points for the Hammers who had gone four games without a league victory.
Victory lifted the Hammers to ninth in the table with 17 points from 12 games while Forest are 15th with 13 points.
Brighton & Hove Albion were reduced to 10 men after midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud picked up a red card.
Simon Adingra scored an early goal for Brighton but Dahoud’s sending-off for a stamp on Ben Osborn’s leg allowed United to capitalise and equalise through an Adam Webster own goal.
Brighton are eighth in the table, while Sheffield United are 19th with just one win.
Lewandowski double gives Barcelona comeback win
Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Barcelona fought back after conceding an early goal to beat lowly Alaves 2-1 in LaLiga on Sunday, rescuing the Spanish giants after two losses in their last three games in all competitions.
Barca are in third place on 30 points, two behind Real Madrid in second and four off surprise leaders Girona.
Alaves’ 19-year-old striker Samu Omorodion shocked Barca when he opened the scoring 18 seconds after kickoff with a close-range strike following a quick counter-attack.
The goal came after a mistake by Ilkay Gundogan who lost the ball in the midfield and the hosts were lucky to go in at the break only one behind.
In a half-empty Barcelona Olympic Stadium, with Camp Nou under renovation, the champions struggled early on amid poor control of the ball and sloppy passes, giving Alaves the chance to extend their lead at least four times.
However, the wasteful visitors missed several opportunities, including an absolute sitter from close-range in the 30th minute by Samu, who stole the ball from defender Jules Kounde but fired well over from point-blank range.
After Kounde gifted another ball to Andoni Gorosabel, who also missed a great opportunity for Alaves, Barca manager Xavi Hernandez ordered him to change his position from centre-back to right fullback and the move paid off for the hosts.
As they got back on top in the second half, Lewandowski equalised with a towering header in the 52nd minute from a perfect cross by the French defender from the right.
Barca took control of the game and in the 77th minute Alaves defender Abdelkabir Abqar fouled Raphinha inside the box and Lewandowski converted the penalty to secure up the points.
“We need to be conscious about our moment and be self-critical, we are not playing good football lately and need to improve mightily going forward,” Xavi told Movistar Plus.
“The international break has arrive in good time and will do good for us, so we can reflect and work hard to correct our mistakes. I’m optimistic and I think we have enough talent and grit to come back much better in two weeks.”
Atletico Madrid are fourth on 25 points with two games in hand of the leaders and host Villarreal later on Sunday.
Lazio and Roma share spoils in heated derby draw
Lazio and AS Roma played out a 0-0 draw in Serie A on Sunday as both sides missed opportunities in a fiery derby clash that produced a flurry of yellow cards at the Stadio Olimpico.
Lazio had the best chance following Roma’s aggressive start, with Luis Alberto unleashing a powerful shot from outside the box that struck the woodwork midway through the first half.
The result saw Roma climb one place to seventh on 18 points, three points off the top four, while Lazio are 10th with 17, and manager Jose Mourinho said he was satisfied with the draw.
“We play to win, a point is positive, it’s better than a defeat, especially against a team with more or less the same objectives,” the Roma manager told DAZN.
Asked if he was happy with the season so far, Mourinho added: “I am very demanding with myself. This is my nature. I am never satisfied.”
There were eight yellow cards, including one shown to Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri for dissent in what proved to be another intense battle in Serie A’s 159th ‘Derby della Capitale’.
Roma applied the pressure in the opening minutes but Romelu Lukaku’s header from a cross sailed over the bar.
Mourinho’s side thought they had taken the lead after Bryan Cristante put the ball in the net from a rebound, only to have the goal disallowed for offside.
Roma keeper Rui Patricio made a crucial reaction save to keep out Alessio Romagnoli’s header just before the half-hour.
As the battle for possession intensified in midfield tensions rose and the referee had his hands full controlling scuffles that broke out several times during the match.
“We are growing in tactical terms, rediscovering solidity, improving our character too, we just need to be as dangerous going forward as we were last season,” Sarri said.
“This is the most passionate derby in Italy, so that is a difficult situation. When you cannot win, you need to not lose. We had the best scoring opportunities and overall performance.”
Sarri was also asked about his relationship with Mourinho.
“I don’t like dealing with Mourinho the media character, but Mourinho the person is great,” he said with a smile.
Lazio visit bottom club Salernitana after the international break on Nov. 25 , while Roma host Udinese the following day.
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