Another spectacular weekend in the Premier League always looked likely after Liverpool's thriller at Everton, and we weren't disappointed.

The champions lost Virgil van Dijk to injury and a winning goal to a Sadio Mane offside so marginal it seems VAR has now started dealing with measurements on the Planck scale.

Gareth Bale's return to action for Tottenham was warmly welcomed (mostly by jubilant West Ham fans) as a Jose Mourinho team once more produced a goal-fest, a sure sign that 2020 is truly losing its marbles.

Thankfully, we were also given a healthy dose of normality. Arsenal lost to Manchester City for the seventh time in a row, Jack Grealish was fouled so much you have to wonder if his tiny shin pads are shouting insults at every opponent, and Crystal Palace did their utmost to get a result against Brighton and Hove Albion without actually shooting.

Here are some of the more unusual takeaways from the past few days...

 

WHERE EAGLES (DON'T) DARE

Brighton out-shot Palace by 19 in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park, but it wasn't until the 90th minute through Alexis Mac Allister that they finally scored.

Palace had been leading 1-0 since the 19th minute, when Wilfried Zaha converted a penalty won by Michy Batshuayi. Remarkably, that was their only shot in the entire match; since Opta began collecting such data back in 2003-04, no other team has gone through a whole Premier League game in which their solitary attempt was from the spot.

Swansea City hold the Premier League record (at least since 2003-04) when it comes to the lowest number of shots for an entire season: they managed 339 in 2017-18. Palace, who have had 32 in their five games this term, might just have something to aim for – if aiming were their strong suit, anyway.

IT'S GUNNER CHANGE ONE DAY

Some degree of normality was restored at the Etihad Stadium, where Arsenal, who seem to love losing to Manchester City, lost to Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling's goal gave the hosts a seventh win in a row in the league over the Gunners, who last lost as many in succession against the same opponent at the hands of Ipswich Town between 1974 and 1977. If they lose the return fixture, they'll equal a club record of eight consecutive top-flight defeats to the same team, having last done so to Leeds United from 1972 to 1976.

The worst such run in England's top tier belongs to West Brom: they were beaten 15 times in a row by Chelsea from 1984 to 2011 before Gareth McAuley gave them a 1-0 win in March 2012.

 

JACK'S HACKS

Grealish might be struggling to win over England boss Gareth Southgate, but his opponents certainly seem to view him as a force to be reckoned with.

In Aston Villa's 1-0 win at Leicester City, Grealish won five fouls – nobody was fouled more often – to take his tally to 182 since the start of last season. Unsurprisingly, that's the highest number in the division.

According to Opta data, the most-fouled player in the Premier League since 2003-04 is former Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies, who won 727 free-kicks. Grealish has some way to go before he can reckon with that figure, but at least he has double the number of England caps as Davies, who got one back in October 2010.

RED-FACED REDS

Conceding twice to Everton did more than sting Liverpool's local pride – it also took them to 13 goals conceded in five league games this season, the same number they let in after 15 matches in 2019-20. In fact, it's the most they have ever conceded in the first five league games of a season since shipping 13 back in 1953, when Winston Churchill was still prime minister of the United Kingdom.

If their average of 2.6 goals against per game continues, they will end the season having conceded at least 98 times. That would set a new club record in terms of their worst defensive displays across a campaign, surpassing the 97 goals they let in back in, you guessed it, 1953-54. How they would have hoped for better news on Virgil van Dijk's injury.

It could be worse, though: Manchester United conceded a quite spectacular 26 goals in the first five games of 1930-31, which remains a record in England's top flight. Churchill wasn't even in the government at the time.

 

UNBELIEVABALE

Spurs were cruising to a 3-0 victory when Bale came on against West Ham for his first appearance for the club in 2,707 days. What a moment for the fans watching at home.

Of course, it was the West Ham faithful who will have been jumping for joy in their living rooms by the end of the game, with Fabian Balbuena, a Davinson Sanchez own goal and an utterly magical hit from Manuel Lanzini snatching the most dramatic of 3-3 draws. Bale had earlier missed a great chance to make it 4-2, for good measure.

Still, welcoming back Bale after more than seven years will have been a special moment, although it doesn't quite match Wayne Rooney's Premier League record. His first appearance after rejoining Everton in 2017 came 4,837 days after his first in 2002, and he marked it by scoring the winner against Stoke City.

Gareth Bale's return to English football coincided with a Tottenham implosion against West Ham, as David Moyes' team earned a place in Premier League history. 

From 3-0 behind after 81 minutes, West Ham incredibly scrambled a 3-3 draw from their trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

No team in the Premier League had ever previously come from so far back, so late in a game, to avoid defeat. 

Burnley are now the only team without a point in the Premier League after Sheffield United and Fulham both got off the mark in a 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane, while Brighton and Hove Albion had 20 times as many shots as Crystal Palace in their Selhurst Park battle but also finished in stalemate. 

Aston Villa, meanwhile, have joined early leaders Everton in sending a reminder to the 'big six' that they too were once giants of the English game, who might just be waking from years of slumber. 

Tottenham 3-3 West Ham: Hammer blow to Spurs

Was it the Premier League's greatest three-goal comeback, or simply the latest? Either way, the recovery from David Moyes' team was one they will not forget in a long time, while Tottenham and head coach Jose Mourinho may find it haunts them. 

Until the late twist there was a lot to enjoy for Tottenham and their supporters. 

Going 3-0 up in 16 minutes was the earliest they had held a three-goal lead in a Premier League game since facing Derby County in August 2007. They led 3-0 after 14 minutes and beat the Rams 4-0 that day, so surely three points were beckoning again here. In the most recent 87 Premier League matches where they had led by at least three goals, going back 19 years, Tottenham had won every time. 

Harry Kane's early double and assist for Son Heung-min took him to 23 direct goal involvements in his past 12 competitive games for Spurs, consisting of 15 goals and eight assists. 

The England captain has five goals and seven assists for his club this season, with those 12 involvements the most ever by a player in their opening five matches of a Premier League campaign. 

Had Tottenham convinced themselves the game was won by the time Bale came on in the 72nd minute, for his first Spurs appearance since May 2013? The chasm of seven years and 152 days since he last pulled on the shirt was the longest gap between appearances for the club by any player in the Premier League. 

After the game, Tottenham boss Mourinho said Moyes had found "his new Fellaini" in Tomas Soucek - alluding to Moyes' strong allegiance towards Marouane Fellaini, who he had at Everton and took to Manchester United. 

Fellaini was a nuisance in the air, particularly at set-pieces, and Soucek clearly has some of that in his armoury. The tall Czech has had the most goal attempts in the Premier League this season of players who have not scored. He has been luckless so far after 14 efforts at the target, six of which have been headers. 

Leicester City 0-1 Aston Villa: Red-hot Ross

Can anyone stop Villa? Ross Barkley's late strike gave the midfielder two goals in two games since joining from Chelsea. 

Barkley only got two goals in his last 42 Premier League appearances with Chelsea before accepting a season-long loan switch to Villa, so either he is overachieving or there is something about his new team that suits him. 

Perhaps combining with Jack Grealish is bringing the best out of Barkley. Grealish played more passes in the Leicester half (30) than any other Villa player, but Barkley was just three behind. 

After his hat-trick against Liverpool before the international break, Ollie Watkins could only manage a treble of a different kind this time. He was caught offside three times, more than any other player in the match. 

The signs are overwhelmingly good for Villa after a fourth successive win. The last time they began a season with such a string of victories was in 1930-31, when they went on to finish as runners-up to Arsenal in the old First Division. 

Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham: History a warning to Blades

Billy Sharp's penalty dug the hosts out of trouble and ensured these two shared the points in South Yorkshire, but there are worrying omens for the Blades. 

United are winless in five games, and their single point so far is worrying enough. The last time they failed to win one of their opening five league games, however, it was a precursor to relegation from the Premier League in the 2006-07 season and 12 ensuing years outside the top flight. 

Sharp's 85th-minute spot-kick ended their 368-minute Premier League goal drought at home, dating back to a surprise 3-0 win over Chelsea in July. 

While United prepare for consecutive fixtures against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, their visitors on Sunday might wish to address their own penalty-taking. 

Aleksandar Mitrovic missed from the spot in the second half before Ademola Lookman gave the west London side the lead. 

Fulham have only scored three of their past six Premier League penalties, while Mitrovic has failed to put away four of his last 10 across all competitions in English football. 

The former Newcastle United striker also fouled Jack Robinson to hand Sharp his spot-kick opportunity. That made Mitrovic the first player to both miss and give away a penalty in the same Premier League game since Mikel Arteta did so for Arsenal against Fulham in November 2012. 

Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Zaha makes hosts' one shot count

Wilfried Zaha's early penalty gave Palace the lead, but there was little doubting Brighton deserved at least a point in south London, so their 90th-minute equaliser was hard earned. 

With 65.7 per cent of possession and 20 shots to Palace's one, it was really a wonder that Brighton took only a point from this fixture. 

Zaha's penalty means he has scored seven goals versus Brighton now - more than against any other opponent - while Palace kept up their lethal record from the spot. That is now 15 consecutive spot-kick conversions in the Premier League from the Eagles. 

At least there was some reward for Brighton for their great efforts, with Alexis Mac Allister getting his first Premier League goal for the club on his 10th appearance in the competition. 

It made the Argentinian, at 21 years and 299 days old, the second-youngest Seagulls player to score in the Premier League. 

Bruno Fernandes has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Barcelona and Real Madrid. 

The Manchester United midfielder this week denied reports he had a bust-up with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following their 6-1 loss to Tottenham. 

While that rift has been denied, it has seemingly put LaLiga’s giants on alert. 

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID, BARCELONA LOOKING AT FERNANDES

Real Madrid and Barcelona are ready to battle for Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes, according to The Sun. 

Fernandes only arrived at Old Trafford in January, signed in a deal worth €80million (£67.6m) from Sporting CP. 

Contracted until 2025, the Portugal international has scored 10 goals and provided eight assists in 17 Premier League games. 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Old Trafford and the Manchester Evening News reports Manchester United have triggered the one-year extension to Paul Pogba's contract, keeping the midfielder at the club until 2022.

- Giovanni Reyna, 17, is catching the eye at Borussia Dortmund. ESPN reports the teenage midfielder is on the radar of Barcelona and Real Madrid after a stunning start to the Bundesliga season. He has scored once and provided three assists in three league games.

- Contracted at Arsenal until next year, Mesut Ozil's future remains a talking point. The Daily Express says manager Mikel Arteta has given the playmaker two months to prove himself at the Premier League club.

- Crystal Palace reportedly tried to land Watford attacker Ismaila Sarr on Friday. Sky Sports says a £25m bid from Palace for Sarr was rejected by the Championship club. Sarr has been linked to Liverpool and Manchester United previously.

- In MLS, Robbie Keane could be set for a return to the LA Galaxy. The Sun reports Keane has agreed to replace Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who is under pressure with the Galaxy bottom of the Western Conference. Keane played for the Galaxy between 2011 and 2016 and is the club's second highest goalscorer.

Nathaniel Clyne has joined Crystal Palace on a short-term contract, returning for a second spell at Selhurst Park after eight years away. 

Clyne was released by Liverpool, who he joined from Southampton in 2015, earlier this year. 

The 29-year-old is reunited with Roy Hodgson, under whom he won 13 of his 14 England caps. 

"I'm a London boy, this is where I grew up. I'm back home and all my family and friends are here," Clyne told the club's website.

"It's surreal being back, enjoying it and hopefully I can just crack on and enjoy my football again."

Palace have six points from their opening four Premier League matches, with victories over Southampton and Manchester United followed by back-to-back losses against Everton and Chelsea. 

Clyne could make his second debut for the club against rivals Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

There is a team from Merseyside leading the way in the Premier League, but it is not the reigning champions.

Everton have started the 2020-21 season in outstanding form, making it four wins from four as they saw off Brighton and Hove Albion to move clear of neighbours Liverpool and Leicester City at the summit.

Manchester City are a little off the pace in the early stages after they were held by Leeds United, while Chelsea and Newcastle United were victorious on home turf in Saturday's action.

Now the dust has settled, relive the action with the help of some notable facts from Opta.

 

Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace: Chilwell impresses before Jorginho hits the spot

Talk about a game of contrasting halves. Chelsea struggled in the first 45 minutes, but everything changed when Ben Chilwell opened the scoring on his 100th Premier League appearance - his first for the Blues since arriving from Leicester.

The left-back also delivered the ball that allowed Kurt Zouma to double the advantage, making Chilwell just the third player to score and assist in a Premier League debut for Chelsea, a feat previously achieved by Deco and Alvaro Morata.

Jorginho converted twice from the spot to give the final score a lopsided look, meaning the midfielder has scored 10 of his 11 penalties in the Premier League (his solitary miss came against Liverpool last month, in case you happen to have forgotten).

Still, perhaps the outcome should have been expected. Chelsea have now won six straight in the league against Palace, who have been beaten in nine of their past 12 top-flight outings.

Everton 4-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Inspirational James helps Toffees stay perfect

The good times continue at Goodison Park as Everton continue to impress. The previous time they won four in a row at the start of the season was back in 1969, when Carlo Ancelotti was 10 years old.

James Rodriguez is certainly rolling back the years since his arrival in England, scoring twice in this game to help down the Seagulls. He was one of three Colombians to appear in this fixture too, joined by team-mate Yerry Mina and Brighton's Steven Alzate.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his scoring streak with the opener, becoming the first player to find the net in each of Everton's first four Premier League games of a season in the process.

Another error by Jordan Pickford is a concern - the England international has now made 11 that led to goals since his Everton debut in August 2107, more than any other goalkeeper in that time - but should not spoil the feel-good atmosphere on the blue half of Merseyside.

Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City: Pep makes his point as Rodrigo ends wait

The clash between stylists Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola did not disappoint, even with heavy rainfall throughout at Elland Road. Pep remains unbeaten against his fellow coach in four meetings, though he had to settle for a point as his depleted City side were pegged back.

Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock; he has scored more goals than any other Premier League player in all competitions since the start of last season (34), albeit this one was not enough to secure victory.

Rodrigo levelled, in the process becoming the first Spaniard to score for Leeds in the Premier League. It was not his first in the competition, though, as that came for Bolton nine years and 272 days earlier. Only Andy Johnson (nine years and 276 days) has had a longer gap between goals in the Premier League era.

Speaking of gaps, City have four points from three games so sit eight points behind Everton. Plenty of time left yet, of course, but the international break may come at a nice time for Guardiola and his squad, provided no players get injured while representing their countries.

Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley: Maximin effect helps give Bruce home comforts

Allan Saint-Maximin stole the show as Steve Bruce's side collected their first home league win in six attempts, while they are unbeaten in seven against Burnley at St James' Park.

Callum Wilson converted a late penalty to finish with a brace, making the striker the first Newcastle player to have four goals in his opening four Premier League games since Les Ferdinand in the 1995-96 campaign.

While Newcastle head into the break on a high, Burnley remain without a point to their name. The last time they lost three straight to start a top-flight campaign was back in 1927-28.

There was a reason to celebrate for Ashley Westwood, grabbing Burnley's goal as he became the eighth player to hit the 100-game mark in the Premier League for the club.

This, however, is a game that will be remembered for the excellence of Saint-Maximin, who both scored and assisted in a Premier League fixture for the first time.

Frank Lampard stressed Callum Hudson-Odoi remains a part of his plans at Chelsea, despite links to Bayern Munich re-emerging ahead of the transfer deadline.

Reports suggest Bayern are in talks with the Blues to bring the teenage winger to Bavaria on a loan deal ahead of the window closing on Monday, though Hudson-Odoi did make his first Premier League start of 2020-21 in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Bayern have had a long-standing interest in England international Hudson-Odoi, but he signed a five-year contract with Chelsea last September.

However, with Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz having all been added to Lampard's squad in recent windows, there is now a lot more competition for places in the attacking roles.

"Callum is absolutely part of my plans here," Lampard told reporters after the win over Palace.

"We have Pulisic and Ziyech but need options on the wing.

"What Callum showed today is exactly what he needs to show. I'm very pleased with him.

"By Monday we will have a definitive answer.

"What Callum wants will come into consideration, but it has to be right for everyone."

All of the Blues' goals came in the second half, with Jorginho scoring two penalties following efforts from Ben Chilwell and Kurt Zouma.

The Italy midfielder's second spot-kick was the bone of some contention, though, as Tammy Abraham initially grabbed the ball before captain Cesar Azpilicueta stepped in and handed it to Jorginho, much to the striker's anger.

Lampard insisted he had no problems with Abraham's desire to take the penalty, but said Chelsea had a clear, defined order when it came to spot-kick takers.

"It's been dealt with," he told BT Sport. "In the dressing room. No problems, just dealt with.

"I want leaders, and I don't mind a little bit of conflict. If Tammy wanted to take it because he wanted a goal, then he can get put in his place a little bit.

"I appreciate his eagerness because his performance deserved a goal but those are the rules, you don't jump ahead of the list."

Ben Chilwell hopes Chelsea can build on their 4-0 win over Crystal Palace after becoming just the third player to both score and assist on their Premier League debut for the club.

After a low-key first half at Stamford Bridge, left-back Chilwell opened the scoring five minutes after the break.

The England international, not fit to feature in Chelsea's first three leagues in the new campaign following his move from Leicester City, then turned provider to help the hosts double their lead.

It was the defender's cross that allowed Kurt Zouma to head in a second, with a pair of Jorginho penalties helping Frank Lampard's team run out comfortable winners.

With his unlikely double, Chilwell - who created a total of three chances during proceedings - matches the achievement of former Blues duo Deco (August 2008) and Alvaro Morata (August 2017), who also grabbed a goal and an assist in their first league outing for Chelsea.

"Brilliant team performance," Chilwell told BT Sport. "Obviously, I'm very happy with my personal performance, but it's great for us to start to kick on now.

"A clean sheet, which we obviously wanted and spoke about, and four great goals as a team. 

"I liked the way we kept going until the end, we wanted more goals and showed a hunger to press for the whole 90 minutes. Brilliant going into the international break"

Chilwell is one of a number of new faces to arrive during a busy transfer window, raising expectations for the 2020-21 season.

The 23-year-old has high hopes too, having given an indication of what he will bring to the side during his 100th top-flight outing.

"Personally, and speaking to the other boys who have come here, the reason we have all come here is that we think this team can win stuff," Chilwell said. 

"Today showed that we are all hungry to win trophies over the years, we just need to work hard and keeping making performances like this one."

Ben Chilwell produced a star turn on his Premier League debut for Chelsea as Frank Lampard's side beat Crystal Palace 4-0 on Saturday.

Chilwell marked his 100th appearance in the competition with his fifth goal to break the deadlock early in the second half and crossed for Kurt Zouma to double the lead 66 minutes in.

Palace have already beaten Southampton and Manchester United this season, but a run of five consecutive defeats to Chelsea and just two wins in 11 attempts at Stamford Bridge in the top flight was hardly encouraging pre-game reading.

Indeed, Edouard Mendy - making his first league start for the Blues - was largely untested in goal as the home side eased to a third win in six games in all competitions this season through a Jorginho penalty double.

It had looked like being a potentially frustrating contest for Chelsea, Timo Werner shooting straight at Vicente Guaita with one of their few chances of a disjointed first half.

Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is again being courted by Bayern Munich, were lively in the Palace half but created little for central striker Tammy Abraham.

So it was that Chelsea's breakthrough came through an unlikely source, Chilwell smashing the ball past Guaita from six yards out after Mamadou Sakho had made a mess of an attempted clearance in the build-up.

Chilwell then turned provider for Chelsea's second, Zouma rising highest to loop a header over Guaita from the England left-back's cross, having missed arguably an easier chance from an earlier corner.

Jorginho made matters safe, slotting a penalty to Guaita's left after Abraham had been tripped in the box by Tyrick Mitchell.

When Sakho felled Havertz, Jorginho was able to score an almost identical spot-kick with eight minutes left - but only after Cesar Azpilicueta had taken the ball off an angry-looking Abraham.

 

What does it mean? Chelsea winning but not yet clicking

Chelsea's past two games were marked by inconsistency. They were excellent to come back and draw 3-3 with West Brom last week only after they had been so poor in the first 45 minutes, while Tuesday's EFL Cup exit to Tottenham on penalties saw them surrender early control of the match.

This was a more accomplished all-round performance, but it still owed much to a lacklustre display from the visitors, who gifted them the opening goal and were careless at the back throughout.

Still, they are now on seven points from four games, a point above Palace.

Chilwell shines

Chelsea paid a reported initial fee of £45million to Leicester City for Chilwell and, on this evidence, it was a sound investment.

Aside from the goal and assist, he was a composed, confident presence down the left, delivering 11 crosses and creating three chances overall.

Sorry Sakho

Palace's good first-half work was undone when Sakho made a mess of clearing the ball before Chilwell's goal, and his poor touch and hurried challenge gifted Jorginho his second penalty. He also won just one of four aerial duels.

What's next?

Chelsea host Southampton next in two weeks' time, with Palace's next outing a home game against Brighton and Hove Albion on October 18.

Roy Hodgson is hopeful talisman Wilfried Zaha will still be at Crystal Palace when the transfer window closes on Monday.

Zaha has made an excellent start to the season, scoring the only goal of the game against Southampton before coming up with a match-winning double in a 3-1 Premier League victory at Manchester United.

The Ivory Coast international has frequently been the subject of speculation that he could leave Selhurst Park for a second time.

Yet Palace boss Hodgson is optimistic the 27-year-old forward will not be on the move.

Hodgson said: "I have been told, and I think Wilf has had it made clear to him, that we are not interested in late bids.

"If it was going to happen, it would need to happen in a time frame which would give us a chance to see what we would want to do with the money.

"So close to the end of the transfer window, I would certainly hope it will not happen now and I want to continue working with him."

Free agent Nathaniel Clyne has been training with Palace and could be set to sign a deal with the club where he started his career.

"We believe and hope he is getting back to his best," Hodgson said of the right-back.

"In the coming days, we will reassess because it is a position where we are not covered at the moment because the young lad [Nathan Ferguson] we brought in to play in that position is still struggling with a knee injury.

"There is an opportunity I think for someone like Nathaniel to come into the club if that is what everyone at the club wants and thinks is the right thing to do. Certainly I have been impressed."

Frank Lampard has vowed there will no repeat of his touchline row with Jose Mourinho when he comes up against his former England boss Roy Hodgson.

Chelsea manager Lampard will pitch his side against Hodgson's Crystal Palace on Saturday in the Premier League.

That follows four days on from Chelsea's EFL Cup penalty shoot-out defeat at Tottenham, where Lampard and Mourinho appeared to briefly fall out.

To see the pair rowing was a surprise, given Lampard enjoyed great success under Mourinho as a player with Chelsea, and both men later played down their dispute, insisting their long-standing friendship remained unaffected.

Lampard is certain he and Hodgson will keep it civil at Stamford Bridge, describing his 73-year-old rival as "a straight-down-the-line manager, person and coach".

"His career is beyond exceptional. I have so much respect for him and the way he carries himself. There won't be any touchline spat between me and Roy," Lampard said.

Mourinho claimed after the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium game that he was offering Lampard advice when the situation appeared to become heated, describing his comments as "just an opinion of an old coach to a young talented coach".

But the suggestion Mourinho was merely offering words of wisdom came as a surprise to his former midfield star.

Lampard said on Friday: "I don't think remarks on the touchline during a game can be called advice. I think he can say that after. I would always be happy to take advice from fellow managers, outside football. I think it moulds you. But I don't think the Jose incident was ever advice."

Lampard needs to keep all his focus for events on the pitch, given Chelsea's rocky start to the season.

An opening win at Brighton and Hove Albion was followed by a defeat to champions Liverpool and a 3-3 draw at West Brom last weekend, when Chelsea had to battle back from 3-0 behind.

The midweek cup exit extinguished Chelsea's trophy hopes in that competition and Lampard hopes to see his players find some consistency, starting with a win over Palace and building from there.

He said: "We want to find that feeling of winning and winning, which we're capable of. We've got new signings getting more fit and settled. I'm not concerned. We'll attack with confidence and a real desire to win."

Hakim Ziyech, recruited from Ajax, remains on the sidelines due to a knee injury, but Christian Pulisic is set to be on the bench against Palace after recovering from a hamstring problem.

Lampard is looking forward to the prospect of being able to field Pulisic with new signings Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.

"I think they all will bring out the best in each other," said the Chelsea manager.

With an international break on the horizon, this is the last opportunity for a couple of weeks for fantasy football manager to get some significant points on the board.

It's been a tricky season for predictions so far as well, making it a bit hazardous for picking fantasy teams, with home advantage seemingly going out of the window.

While there were five home wins on matchday two, matchday three produced just two of them.

Even just a single player change can have a massive points swing in fantasy football, so ahead of the weekend action, take a look at our Opta-powered picks – they might just give you the advantage in your league.

KARL DARLOW

With Burnley visiting St James' Park this weekend, Newcastle United fans might just fancy their chances of a clean sheet.

Given Karl Darlow's start to the season, you can see why. He has made more saves (18) than any other goalkeeper, while he also boasts the best saves per 90 minutes average (six).

Only Emiliano Martinez has a better save percentage (100 per cent) than Darlow (81 per cent) – but the Argentinian has played just one game. Burnley have only scored twice this term, so Newcastle will surely be confident.

 

ANDY ROBERTSON

Liverpool's left-back needs little introduction – over the past few years he will have certainly been among the most popular players in fantasy football given he is routinely part of a good defence but also impacts the game in attack.

He is in one of the most impressive periods of his career as well. He has had a hand in seven goals in his past eight Premier League games for the Reds (two goals, five assists).

Since the 2019-20 season restarted in June, he has six assists in total – that's more than any other player in the division, but Sunday's hosts Aston Villa are yet to concede a goal this term.

TIMOTHY CASTAGNE

Wing-backs are always a popular choice in fantasy football as they are often a great bet for attacking and defensive points – Timothy Castagne encapsulates that.

In three Premier League games since joining from Atalanta, he already has a goal and two assists (the same amounts he managed in all of 2019-20) – that makes him the most productive defender this season.

Leicester have won all three of their matches and host West Ham next. The Hammers showed they are not to be underestimated against Wolves, though the Foxes will expect to have too much for them.

 

WILFRIED ZAHA

If ever you consider sticking Wilfried Zaha in your team, history suggests it should be before games against Chelsea.

With three goals and three assists in 12 games against the Blues, they are his favoured opposition in the Premier League along with Leicester.

It's also worth considering that Chelsea have been shaky defensively so far, conceding six times in three matches.

SADIO MANE

Expensive he may well be, but if you have Sadio Mane in your team, there's always a strong chance you're going to rake in a few points.

He's already got three in as many games this term, while the stats show that he loves playing against Aston Villa, scoring six times and setting up another two in just six meetings with them.

Southampton fans in particular might remember three of those goals, as they came in a spell of just two minutes and 56 seconds in May 2015, and that remains the Premier League's quickest hat-trick.

 

CHE ADAMS

Danny Ings isn't the only Southampton striker in good form – Che Adams is worth a look given his recent output.

In his past five Premier League games, Adams has scored three times and got an assist. Overall, that's one more goal involvement in his previous 28 top-flight games.

Saints host West Brom next, the leakiest defence in the league, so introducing Adams – a low-cost option for the time being – could be a masterstroke.

 

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

Predicting Mikel Arteta's choices in attack have proven a little difficult since he took over from Unai Emery. Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah have both been used as that focal point, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also lining up.

But Lacazette is in particularly fine fettle this season, the Frenchman having scored in all three of Arsenal's Premier League matches.

On top of that, he has been involved in six goals (four scored, two set up) in his past seven home matches in the competition. Sheffield United are up next, and given their struggles in recent weeks, Lacazette looks a solid option.

It was another day of drama as Chelsea became the first team for nine years to avoid a Premier League defeat after being three goals down at half-time and Manchester United rocked Brighton and Hove Albion.

West Brom led Frank Lampard's side 3-0 after only 27 minutes, but Tammy Abraham's stoppage-time goal rescued a 3-3 draw at The Hawthorns.

A Bruno Fernandes penalty 10 minutes into stoppage time snatched a 3-2 victory for United at Brighton following a VAR check, which took place after the final whistle had blown, for handball against Neal Maupay.

Everton have made their best start to a season for 27 years after a controversial 2-1 win at Crystal Palace, while Southampton striker Danny Ings scored the only goal of the game at his former club Burnley.

With help from Opta data, here is a recap of the four fixtures to take place on a pulsating Saturday.

 

Brighton and Hove Albion 2-3 Manchester United: Fernandes stuns luckless Seagulls

To say it was one of those days for Brighton would be a massive understatement, with Fernandes snatching all three points from the penalty spot right at the death.

The midfielder, who has now been involved in 17 goals in 16 Premier League games (9 goals, 8 assists), slotted in the latest goal in the top flight since Juan Mata's strike for Chelsea against Norwich City after 100 minutes and three seconds nine years ago.

Brighton hit the woodwork five times, more than any team since Opta started recording the data in 2003-04, and were left to rule their luck after it seemed Solly March had secured a draw five minutes into time added on.

Leandro Trossard was particularly unfortunate, becoming the first player to hit the woodwork in a Premier League match three times since Cristiano Ronaldo versus Newcastle United in 2006.

Lewis Dunk will also want to forget the five-goal thriller in a hurry, having scored his fifth own goal in the competition - two more than any other player since his Premier League debut in August 2017.

 

Crystal Palace 1-2 Everton: Richarlison keeps Toffees perfect

Everton have won their first three games of a Premier League season for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign but they were fortunate to beat Palace.

All the goals came in the first half at Selhurst Park, the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin putting Carlo Ancelotti's side in front to become the first player to score in each of Everton's opening three games of a season since Steven Naismith six years ago.

Cheikhou Kouyate brought Palace level but Richarlison won it with a penalty after a hugely contentious decision saw Joel Ward adjudged to have handled.

Brazil striker Richarlison has scored 31 of his 32 Premier League goals from inside the penalty area and the winner was his first from the spot in the competition. One concern for Everton is that they have shipped more goals (18) from set-pieces than any other side since the start of last season.

 

West Brom 3-3 Chelsea: Abraham completes comeback after Blues' defensive horror show

Chelsea looked to be heading for back-to-back defeats when a Callum Robinson double and Kyle Bartley put Albion three up.

Marcos Alonso and Premier League debutant Thiago Silva gave the Baggies a big helping hand with errors that took Chelsea's number of mistakes directly leading to goals this season to three, as many as they made in the entire 2019-20 campaign.

The Blues have only kept one clean sheet in 21 Premier League away games under Frank Lampard, while they have conceded more goals (42) on their travels than any other side since the start of last season.

They were able to salvage a point, though, courtesy of second-half goals from Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Abraham.

Slaven Bilic's side are the first team to ship 11 goals in the opening three games in the top flight since Arsenal in 1963-64 (12).

 

Burnley 0-1 Southampton: Ings returns to haunt toothless Clarets

Prolific striker Ings was on target early on to give Southampton their first Premier League points of the season.

It was Saints' first win at Turf Moor in the league since back in 1971, ending a six-match winless run.

Burnley fans will not want to know that the last time they lost their opening two matches of a Premier League season was in a 2014-15 campaign that saw them relegated.

The 400th match of Sean Dyche's managerial career proved to be one to forget, with Ings netting his 10th goal in 12 Premier League appearances since the resumption in June following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jurgen Klopp wants another goal rush from Liverpool this season as questions continue to surround the Anfield future of young striker Rhian Brewster. 

When winning the Premier League title last season, Liverpool rattled in 85 goals across 38 games, a total only beaten by runners-up Manchester City. 

The front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have fresh competition after Diogo Jota arrived from Wolves, and Klopp would love to see Liverpool prove as potent as ever this term. 

Whether Brewster had a part to play remains to be seen, with Klopp leaving the 20-year-old out of his squad for Thursday's EFL Cup win at Lincoln City, where a host of fringe and young players were given a chance to impress. 

England Under-21 forward Brewster has been linked to Crystal Palace and Sheffield United recently after impressing last season while on loan at Swansea City. 

"Look, it should not surprise you. Transfers, these kind of things, we do not talk about," Klopp said on Friday, when asked about Brewster's status. 

"He was not in the squad [at Lincoln]. You can make of it what you want. Nothing really to say. No news."

With or without Brewster, Liverpool's attacking strength in depth looks strong, but Klopp says their goalscoring success and fluent football only comes through hard work from throughout his squad, speaking proudly of a shared "identity". 

"I don't think we were unplayable last year, it didn't feel like that," Klopp said. "I don't know if we can be better than last year. We always try to do the right thing in the right moment. 

"We are offensive-orientated, but without a very good defensive structure you have absolutely no chance. We try to do our absolute best in each game, and that’s something I loved in both games so far and something I loved especially [at Lincoln]. 

"if the team last night would have worn a different shirt I would still have known it was us, and I like that a lot. This kind of identity, we really want to make sure everybody can see that." 

Klopp's team are unbeaten in their last 60 Premier League games at Anfield, with Arsenal the next team to put that record to the test when they visit on Monday. 

The Reds manager says he is "absolutely not interested" in the statistic. 

"The only moment when I think about that number is when somebody asks me about it," he said. "We did what we did; we tried to win football games in different circumstances: at night time, at lunchtime, with supporters, without supporters. 

"It's our home, we feel well there, but there's no secret recipe. We don't expect to lose but we don't expect either to win."

RB Leipzig have signed Alexander Sorloth from Crystal Palace in a deal worth €22million (£20.5m).

Bundesliga side Leipzig have agreed to pay Trabzonspor €10m to terminate Sorloth's loan from Palace, which was due to run until the end of the 2020-21 season.

The Premier League side will also receive €10m (£9.3m) up front, with a further €2m (£1.9m) payable in add-ons to be split between Palace and Trabzonspor.

Norway international Sorloth, 24, has put pen to paper on a five-year contract at the Red Bull Arena after scoring 24 goals in 34 Super Lig appearances last season.

Despite the arrival of Hwang Hee-chang from Salzburg, Julian Nagelsmann was still keen to bolster his attacking options after seeing Timo Werner leave for Chelsea and Patrik Schick join Bayer Leverkusen after his loan from Roma ended.

"After the initial talks, it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to play for RB Leipzig," said Sorloth.

"The club were impressive in the league last season, and even more so in the Champions League.

"The attacking brand of football that Julian Nagelsmann plays suits me well. I'm looking forward to challenge together in the Bundesliga as well as the Champions League."

CEO Oliver Mintzlaff added: "We're very pleased with the signing of Alexander Sorloth. Successfully pulling off this complex transfer was only made possible thanks to the good co-operation among our team, who I'd expressly like to thank.

"Not only does Alexander fit our philosophy perfectly, he is a tough centre forward who can also play out wide, who is the missing piece to our squad-planning puzzle this season."

Prior to 2019-20, Sorloth's best return in a league season was 13 goals from 26 appearances for Bodo/Glimt in the 2015 Eliteserien.

Spells with Groningen, Midtjylland, Palace and Gent preceded his move to Trabzonspor last year.

The Premier League is in full swing after its second weekend of the 2020-21 season. How did we do without it for… about a month?

While fans remain barred from joining the players in the stadiums – which could yet be the case for much of the season – supporters are at least being treated to plenty of entertainment on TV.

The action certainly picked up where it left off from the previous week, as Saturday provided us with 21 goals across four matches, and that was followed by another 18 in Sunday's four – that's an average of nearly five per game.

Among those goals we saw James 'not Premier League proven' Rodriguez continue to impress and open his account for Everton, Wilfried Zaha down Manchester United and Son Heung-min score four, with each one set up by Harry Kane, remarkably.

An enthralling weekend brought about plenty of talking points and stats – read on for some of the quirkiest facts we could find with the help of Opta.

JAMES FINDS HIS RANGE

From the moment James arrived on Merseyside, the Colombian looked destined to provide plenty of excitement for Carlo Ancelotti's men.

His lovely 20-yard strike into the bottom-right corner during the Toffees' 5-2 win over West Brom meant 18 of his 53 goals scored in Europe's top five leagues have been from outside the penalty area. That's 34 per cent.

A fine record, though it's some way off the Premier League's deadliest from distance. Tom Huddlestone (10 of 12) has scored the greatest proportion of his top-flight goals (83.3 per cent) from outside the area among players to have reached double digits, while Frank Lampard (41) has the largest total.

 

DE GEA'S PENALTY WOES

When Zaha stepped up to a 74th-minute penalty in the hope of making it 2-0 to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, few will have been banking on David de Gea's chances of making a save – not because the Palace star is great from the spot, but because of the Spaniard's shocking record in such scenarios.

Stopping a penalty is obviously tough, that's literally the point, but, after conceding Zaha's, De Gea has saved just 7.1 per cent (two of 28), with Paul Robinson (three from 49 for 6.1 per cent) the only goalkeeper to have a worse record among those who've faced 25 or more in the Premier League.

By contrast, Simon Mignolet faced the same number as De Gea but produced six more saves, giving him a 28.6 per cent save rate.

 

AWAY DAYS IN 'GOD'S OWN COUNTRY'

Yorkshire, or 'God's own country' as it is playfully dubbed by locals, is usually renowned for being friendly and welcoming – but perhaps less so when football's involved.

The omens weren't great for Fulham ahead of Saturday's trip to Leeds United, and as it happened they lost 4-3 in a belting contest, meaning they have lost eight successive Premier League matches away to Yorkshire clubs since their first – a 1-0 win at Elland Road in 2002.

Of clubs from outside the region, only Oldham Athletic (0) have a worse points-per-game record than Fulham (0.33). Newcastle United boast the best record of teams to have played more than 10 matches in Yorkshire, winning 1.76 points on average across their 29 games.

In a blow to religion fans everywhere, the Red Devils also tend to do pretty well in 'God's own country' - United have averaged 1.68 points in their 34 Yorkshire away days, losing just nine.

 

KNOWING ME, KNOWING UNITED (ZAHA)

Zaha had the decisive impact against his former club United on Saturday, with his brace effectively the difference in the 3-1 win Palace deservedly clinched.

Not only were they his first goal involvements against United in the league, he became the first player to net a brace against the Red Devils having previously represented them in the competition.

Zaha is now the joint-most prolific former United player in games against them, having drawn level with Fraizer Campbell, Keith Gillespie, Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Danny Welbeck on two goals.

JAMAL LEWSES

Although Jamal Lewis impressed for Norwich City as they were relegated last season, he became rather familiar with home Premier League defeats and that has continued since moving to Newcastle.

A 3-0 loss to visitors Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday means Lewis has lost 12 of his 16 home matches in the top-flight – that's 75 per cent, and a joint-record for players with at least 15 home games played in the Premier League.

Kevin Kyle (20 games, 15 defeats) is other player with a 75 per cent losing rate, while Tommy Miller (18 games, 13 defeats – 72.2 per cent), Bruce Dyer (21 games, 15 defeats – 71.4 per cent) and Terence Kongolo (23 games, 16 defeats – 69.6 per cent) round out the bottom five.

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