Kevin De Bruyne's missed penalty proved costly for Manchester City as they played out an engrossing 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. 

Mohamed Salah did convert a 13th-minute spot-kick as the reigning Premier League champions struck the first blow in the heavyweight top-flight tussle, putting them on course to sit top of the table during November's international break. 

City, however, weathered the early storm amid the Manchester downpours before countering impressively through Gabriel Jesus, his sixth goal in his past seven league outings. 

They could have scored again before half-time had the usually reliable De Bruyne not failed to convert from 12 yards out, the Belgian missing the target completely after another penalty was awarded for handball.

The majority of the pre-match focus had been on Jurgen Klopp's team selection, though the German solved the selection poser involving Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino by picking both, seemingly deciding attack to be the best form of defence for his team following previous results in this fixture. 

The bold approach reaped an early reward, albeit one gifted to them by Kyle Walker's ill-timed lunge on Sadio Mane. Salah duly slotted home from the spot for his eighth league goal of the season. 

Aggrieved following a potential foul on Raheem Sterling at the other end prior to the opener, City took their time to get to grips with Liverpool's attacking system.

De Bruyne's ability to find a pocket of space allowed him to set up the equaliser for Jesus, the Brazilian's turn deceiving Trent Alexander-Arnold and allowing him to poke the ball beyond Alisson. 

City had the chance to take the lead before the break. Joe Gomez was punished when a cross struck his outstretched arm, only for De Bruyne to uncharacteristically drag wide.

Jesus spurned a glorious opportunity of his own, heading Joao Cancelo's inviting cross wide, during a second half that saw a more considered approach from both sets of players.

Liverpool faded as an attacking threat as the minutes ticked by, not aided by the loss of Alexander-Arnold to injury, but avoided suffering any late knockout blow, thereby maintaining the five-point gap between themselves and City.

There is one more weekend of Premier League action to go before the final international break of the year and some mouthwatering fixtures lie ahead.

Faltering Everton look to get their season back on track at home to lowly Manchester United on Saturday, while the previous two champions Manchester City and Liverpool do battle on Sunday.

But who can you trust to deliver fantasy points in these mammoth clashes? Use our Opta-powered weekly guide to find out.


HUGO LLORIS

The brilliance of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Gareth Bale has prompted title talk at Tottenham, but keeping goals out is just as important. For that, they – and you – can rely on Lloris.

Of Premier League goalkeepers to have played at least 500 minutes since the start of last season, the Spurs captain has the best save percentage at 75.8.

Lloris ranks second in that time, behind Dean Henderson, for goals prevented. He has conceded just 28 (excluding own goals) from shots worth 40.6 xG, a difference of 12.6.

CONOR COADY

When selecting players for a fantasy team, the first guarantee you might look for is that they will indeed play. There are no concerns in that regard when it comes to Coady.

The Wolves skipper is one of just four outfielders in the Premier League to play every minute of every match since the start of last season.

This helps Coady regularly collect points for clean sheets, too, managing more (17) than any other outfielder over the same stretch.

KURT ZOUMA

Chelsea's vastly improved recent defensive form makes a Blues defender an obvious selection, so why not opt for a man who also does the business at the other end?

Zouma has three Premier League goals already this season, the best return of any defender.

And that makes this already the Frenchman's most prolific campaign in the competition, trumping his two in 2018-19 – although he also weighed in with a pair of assists that season.

MOHAMED SALAH

Sometimes it's worth just going for the obvious option.

Diogo Jota might be Liverpool's man of the moment, but Salah has also netted in each of the Reds' past three games and has proven he can sustain this form over an extended period.

Indeed, since moving to Anfield in 2017, Salah has a competition-high 80 Premier League goals in 115 games, nine clear of next best Harry Kane over the same period.

BRUNO FERNANDES

Consistency is another key component in fantasy football, allowing you to transfer a player in and not have to worry about moving him out again the following week.

In this regard, Fernandes is surely king. The Manchester United midfielder has been involved in 12 goals (scored eight, assisted four) in his nine away games so far in the Premier League.

In only one of those nine matches – the 2-0 win at Crystal Palace in July – has Fernandes failed to register either a goal or an assist.

TIMO WERNER

Interest in Werner might have dimmed after he failed to record a goal or assist in his first four Premier League games, but the Chelsea man is now showing he was worth sticking with.

Werner has three goals and an assist over his past three games, suddenly finding his feet in England.

After netting a brace from the spot in Chelsea's midweek Champions League game, the German also looks to now be the Blues' penalty taker, ensuring more fantasy points.

CALLUM WILSON

Reliable Southampton scorer Danny Ings might be out injured, but Friday's opponents Newcastle United have another man steadily supplying the goals.

Wilson struggled as Bournemouth were relegated last season but has already proven invaluable to the Magpies and a host of fantasy managers.

With six strikes in seven league games this term, the forward has netted more than he managed in his final 30 Bournemouth matches (five), while his goals have been worth six points to Newcastle.

Mohamed Salah moved level with Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's top goalscorer in European Cup and Champions League history on Tuesday.

Salah netted a stunning breakaway goal early in the second half against Atalanta as the Reds tore the Serie A side apart.

That strike, a composed left-footed finish at the end of a rapid burst forward, was the Liverpool number 11's 21st in the Champions League proper for the club.

Salah therefore tied Gerrard's all-time benchmark.

Salah, who reached the 2018 final in his first season at Anfield and won the competition the following year, swiftly teed up a fourth Liverpool goal for Sadio Mane.

Diogo Jota had scored twice before the break and completed his hat-trick – his first in Liverpool colours – as Jurgen Klopp's side moved 5-0 up after just 54 minutes.

Squads are being stretched, injuries are piling up and managers are moaning, but there is no let up as the Champions League group stage rolls around for a third straight week.

There were hard-fought wins, thrilling draws and a few teams on the end of thrashings on matchday two.

Real Madrid's European form continues to cause concern after they followed their loss to Shakhtar Donetsk with a draw at Borussia Monchengladbach; Inter, who are also yet to win, are next up on Tuesday.

Holders Bayern Munich are away to Salzburg, Liverpool head to Atalanta, and Manchester City host Olympiacos with all three clubs aiming to maintain 100 per cent starts.

Salzburg v Bayern Munich: Bavarians brilliant on the road

The defending champions have maximum points from the first two games of their Group A campaign and the omens are good for them as they go to Austria next, with Die Roten unbeaten in 14 away matches in the competition – two shy of the record set by Manchester United between 2007 and 2010.

Whatever the outcome, there is a strong possibility this contest will be a thriller. Since the start of last season, Bayern (58) and Salzburg (38) are among the top three teams in terms of the number of goals their Champions League matches have seen.

Salzburg's Dominik Szoboszlai has found the net in each of his past two appearances in the competition and could become the first Hungarian player to find the net in three consecutive Champions League matches.

Real Madrid v Inter: Zidane keen to avoid unwanted record

Madrid are winless in their past four Champions League matches (D1 L3), which is their worst run in the competition since September 2006 when they went five without a victory. Zinedine Zidane made his last appearance in the competition as a player during that run, and will be out to avoid equalling that record as coach.

Inter have lost eight of their previous 10 Champions League away games in Spain (W1 D1). Although in the history of Europe's premier club competition, only against Lyon (30 per cent) do Madrid have a lower win percentage than they do against Inter (33 per cent, three wins in nine games) among teams they have faced at least five times.

Arturo Vidal could be a lucky charm for the Nerazzurri as he bids to become the first player to score against Madrid in the Champions League for three different clubs, having previously done so during his time at Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Atalanta v Liverpool: Klopp eyes first Italian away success

Jurgen Klopp has lost all five of his away Champions League matches in Italy, losing to Napoli three times plus defeats to Juventus and Roma during his managerial career with Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund. Only former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson (6) has lost more away Champions League games on Italian soil than Klopp.

The Reds will have to keep an eye on Atalanta's Duvan Zapata, who has been directly involved in six goals in five starts in the competition for the club (four goals and two assists), in the first competitive meeting between the two clubs.

Liverpool's Diogo Jota will attempt to follow his Premier League goalscoring feats in the Champions League. Jota can become only the second player to score in his first two starts in the competition for the Reds, following Robbie Keane back in 2008.

Manchester City v Olympiacos: Torres can match Mbappe and Haaland

City are unbeaten in their past 13 games in the group stage of the Champions League (W10 D3), winning five of the six games at the Etihad Stadium in this run (D1).

Pep Guardiola won has his two previous Champions League matches against Olympiacos, winning 3-0 away and 4-0 at home as Bayern Munich boss in the 2015-16 group stage.

City winger Ferran Torres is looking to become the third-youngest player in competition's history to score in four consecutive appearances (20 years, 248 days), behind only Kylian Mbappe (18 years, 120 days) and Erling Haaland (19 years, 107 days).

Other fixtures:

Lokomotiv Moscow v Atletico Madrid

5 - Should Atletico win they will have beaten Lokomotiv more often than any other side in major European competition, having defeated them four times already.

3Joao Felix scored in both Champions League matches against Lokomotiv last season - no Atleti player has ever scored in three consecutive games against an opponent in the competition.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Monchengladbach

7 - Shakhtar’s two Champions League starting line-ups this season have featured seven players aged 21 or younger – they could become the first team to do so three times in the competition.

9 - The last nine German teams to visit Ukraine in the Champions League have all failed to win (D6 L3). Bayern's victory over Dynamo Kiev in December 1994 is the most recent.

Midtjylland v Ajax

14 - Ajax will be without Dusan Tadic in Denmark. Since making his debut in the competition for Ajax in September 2018, he has been directly involved in more goals than any other player for the club with 14 (seven goals and seven assists).

14 - The number is also the total shots the Danish side have had on goal in this season's competition; they have the highest expected goals total (2.08) of any of the three teams yet to score.

Porto v Marseille

12 - A defeat in this match for Marseille would see them become only the third team in history to lose 12 consecutive matches in Europe's premier club competition, after Anderlecht (12 between 2003 and 2005) and Jeunesse Esch (16 between 1973 and 1987).

5 - Porto have won five of their past six home games in the Champions League, with their only defeat in this run coming in April 2019 against Liverpool; the team who went on to win the competition that season.

The Premier League appeared to revert back to the norm this weekend as five of the big six claimed victories and Liverpool climbed to the top of the table for the first time this season.

In doing so, the Reds became the first English top-flight club to top the division having conceded the outright highest number of goals of any side since Norwich City in November 1992.

Erstwhile pacesetters Everton and Aston Villa both lost for the second game running, to Newcastle United and Southampton respectively, while Manchester United's poor start to the domestic campaign continued with defeat to Arsenal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are stuck on seven points after six matches, making this their worst start to the season since David Moyes' brief spell in charge in 2the 13-14 season, when they went on to finish seventh.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at some of the more unusual stats to have emerged over the weekend.


BALE'S LONG WAIT

After a slow start to life back at Tottenham following his loan switch from Real Madrid, Gareth Bale showed what he is capable of with his headed goal against Brighton and Albion.

The Wales international scored what proved to be the winner exactly 200 seconds after being brought off the bench by Jose Mourinho, coming seven years and 166 days after his previous goal for the club in May 2013.

That gap of 2,724 days is not the longest between Premier League goals, though, with Matt Jackson holding claim to that particular honour.

Jackson went an incredible 4,935 days between his last goal for Everton in May 1993 and first in the league for Wigan Athletic 13 years later.

Also high up on the list is Leeds United forward Rodrigo, who netted against Manchester City last month, some 3,559 days after scoring for Bolton Wanderers against Wigan.

 

SALAH CONTINUES PENALTY STREAK

Mohamed Salah's penalty may have been a controversial one in Liverpool's win over West Ham, but there was never any doubt about the outcome of where the spot-kick would end up.

That is the 13th penalty in a row the Egypt international has buried for Liverpool during a run of 18 successful spot-kicks on the spin in all competitions for the Reds.

Sixteen of those have come in the Premier League, though the reigning champions still have some way to go to match the all-time record of 29 scored in a row by Southampton - a run spanning some 17 years.

As for the worst such streak, Leicester City failed to score from six in a row between August 1994 and September 1996.

 

UNITED SLOW OFF THE MARK... AGAIN

Sunday's 1-0 loss to Arsenal leaves United with only two wins from their opening six matches and languishing in the lower reaches of the division.

Solskjaer pointed out after the game it took his side 10 games to reach three wins last season when going on to finish a respectable third, behind Liverpool and Manchester City.

That was also the case in 2014-15 when recovering to finish in a Champions League spot.

At the other end of the spectrum, United have won eight of their first 10 matches on three occasions - in 1993-94, 2006-07 and 2012-13, finishing as champions each time.

 

ZIYECH UP AND RUNNING

Hakim Ziyech scored on his full debut for Chelsea in the Champions League win over Krasnodar and did likewise on his first Premier League start in Saturday's routine 3-0 win over Burnley.

The Morocco international also set up Timo Werner to become the first player to both score and assist on his full debut in the competition since Ruben Neves in August 2018.

He is the third African player to ever do so, along with Salah and Dame N'Doye, who it is fair to say have had contrasting careers in England's top flight.

Salah has since scored 82 goals and assisted 29 in 128 Premier League appearances, compared to six and one respectively for N'Doye during spells with Hull City and Sunderland.

Ziyech has a long way to go to match Salah's return but he has certainly made a bright start to his career with the London club.

 

INGS-CREDIBLE FROM RANGE

Danny Ings continued his fine form in front of goal with another sublime long-range strike to put Southampton four goals up in their 4-3 win against Aston Villa - the Villans falling just short of producing a remarkable comeback.

The England international, who later hobbled off with a knee injury that does not appear to be too serious, has now bagged 27 goals since the start of last season in the Premier League.

Only Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy (29) has scored more during that time, while no player has scored more from outside the box - Ings' five goals putting him level with James Maddison and Kevin De Bruyne.

Jurgen Klopp has made a staunch defence of Mohamed Salah following accusations of diving against West Ham, claiming the Egyptian sustained a noticeable knock to the foot in the incident.

Liverpool fell behind to Pablo Fornals' goal at Anfield on Saturday, but the Premier League champions fought back to claim a 2-1 win.

Salah got the equaliser from the spot, with Arthur Masuaku penalised for fouling him, although the Liverpool star has been criticised for making the most of supposedly minimal contact with the top of his foot.

But Klopp insists Salah is being treated unfairly, claiming he is suffering from three blows to his foot, one of which was from Masuaku's challenge.

When asked ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Atalanta if the scrutiny of Salah is fair, Klopp said: "No – I don't know what people need. What can I say? It was a foul I think for pretty much everyone who saw the situation.

"Believe it or not, yesterday morning I spoke to Mo about how he feels and he has exactly three proper knocks on the foot, and one is from the penalty situation.

"That's how it is, there's a knock, you go down or not, whatever, sometimes the ref whistles it. We don't talk that long about penalties we don't get, yet here we are two days after the game talking about it.

"There was clear contact, so no, I don't understand the criticism."

Diogo Jota got the winner off the bench against the Hammers, making it three goalscoring appearances in a row across all competitions for the Portugal international, a recent arrival from Wolves.

There have been calls from some quarters for Jota to replace the misfiring Roberto Firmino in the Liverpool starting XI, and although Klopp would not be drawn on that debate, he dismissed the notion that the 23-year-old's start to life with the Reds has been surprising.

"He's good, our players should be when they join," Klopp added. "He's the best age, 23, already experienced, played a lot of Premier League football. He's a good boy and a really good signing, that's the situation.

"We never hold players back in beginning, it's just that they usually need time to adapt but we knew before that it wouldn't take took long because way Wolves play. They play a different system, but the intensity level is always incredibly high.

"Only one player who has to defend slightly less, [Raul] Jimenez, then the boys on the wings they have to run like crazy, so it was clear physically he'll be fine and technically we saw he's good.

"The rest is about finding your feet in a new environment and the boys always make it easy, and Diogo a really good guy, his English is brilliant, so it's easy to step into the squad.

"It's good that we have more than 11 players who look like they are in good shape at the moment."

Liverpool head into the Atalanta clash having won both of their first two matches, though Klopp has lost all five of his away Champions League games in Italy.

Additionally, Atalanta have only failed to score in one of their past 19 games in European competition excluding qualifiers, scoring 40 goals in that period.

Diogo Jota came off the bench to score a late winner as Liverpool rallied from a goal down to beat West Ham 2-1 at Anfield. 

The Portuguese linked up brilliantly with fellow substitute Xherdan Shaqiri five minutes from time to ensure the champions denied their in-form opponents a share of the points. 

Liverpool were forced to come from behind after Pablo Fornals' well-taken early goal, which was cancelled out by Mohamed Salah's penalty moments before the break. 

The turnaround helped Jurgen Klopp's men prevail as they extended their unbeaten league run at Anfield to 63 games, equalling a club record streak set between February 1978 and December 1980.

As they would have expected, Liverpool started the game by taking complete control of possession, probing a penned-in West Ham defence. 

But after holding firm throughout their early examination, the visitors showed that they only needed one chance to get on the scoresheet, Fornals latching onto a poor Joe Gomez clearance and steering the ball in off a post. 

Indeed, the Hammers were the best side for large parts of the first half, finding their way deep into opposition territory with worrying regularity from the hosts' perspective. 

Still, they could not entirely manage the Liverpool threat and, with a half-time lead seemingly in the bag, conspired to give away a penalty as Arthur Masuaku clumsily clipped Salah, who converted from the spot. 

Despite that setback, the Hammers' first-half performance meant they had every reason to come out for the second period brimming with confidence, and they wasted little time in underlining their ambition after the restart as Masuaku's cross was almost poked home by Fornals. 

With Liverpool still struggling to find their cutting edge by the 70th minute, Klopp looked to the bench, introducing Shaqiri and Jota. 

And the Reds manager thought that move had paid off handsomely when the latter turned the ball home after Sadio Mane had been denied from close range. 

However, a VAR check showed the Senegalese to have fouled goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in following the ball in, prompting referee Kevin Friend to chalk the goal off after checking replays. 

Jota would simply have to wait a little longer for his big moment, though, with an inch-perfect Shaqiri ball setting him up to thrash the ball home at the Kop end with five minutes remaining.

Life comes at you fast. So, too, does the Champions League this season, as a rearranged fixture list sees three matchdays in the group stage take place in as many weeks. 

The opening round of fixtures did not disappoint, providing plenty of goals and also the odd surprise. 

Perhaps the most shocking result of all was Real Madrid losing at home to Shakhtar Donetsk, and both clubs are back in action on Tuesday. 

Bayern Munich are also on duty as they head to Moscow, while Midtjylland will be hoping they can pull off the mother of all upsets when they visit Merseyside to play Liverpool. 

 

Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayern: Holders head on their travels

The reigning champions opened their defence in style last week, thrashing Atletico Madrid 4-0 at the Allianz Arena. Now they face Lokomotiv in Europe for the first time since a UEFA Cup tie in the 1995-96 season. 

Bayern will be aiming to extend a club-record run of 13 away games without defeat, their last loss on the road coming against Paris Saint-Germain in September 2017. They have won 10 on their travels since, while have only lost once in 14 Champions League meetings with Russian teams. 

Robert Lewandowski scored nine away goals in the Champions League last term, the joint-most by a player in a single edition of the competition alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013-14. 

Shakhtar v Inter: Lukaku the one to watch for hosts

Shakhtar arguably pulled off the result of matchday one with victory in Madrid, though they have never managed to beat Inter in three previous meetings (D1 L2). This, though, will be the first Champions League fixture between the clubs. They have also failed to register a home win in their last six attempts in the competition, stretching back to a 2-1 triumph over Roma in February 2018.

The key to success for the hosts will surely be stopping Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian is on the longest run of scoring in consecutive European appearances for Inter (nine games), while he has been directly involved in 15 goals during that period (11 goals and four assists).

Lukaku has scored in each of his last three Champions League games for the Nerazurri; he could become just the fifth player to score in four in a row for the Italian side, a feat previously achieved by Christian Vieri, Hernan Crespo, Samuel Eto'o and Lautaro Martinez.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Real Madrid: Benzema may be key for Zidane

Can Zinedine Zidane's squad bounce back? A Clasico triumph over rivals Barcelona has helped silence the critics - for now at least.

Madrid are unbeaten in their last nine matches against German teams (W6 D3), a run that started after a 2-0 defeat to Wolfsburg in April 2016. They have won four of their last five away fixtures in the group stages, too.

Karim Benzema, who did not start against Shakhtar, has been directly involved in 19 goals in his last 21 Champions League games when named in the XI, netting 14 goals and providing five assists.

Liverpool v Midtjylland: Salah chases record as Danes visit Anfield

Jurgen Klopp's Reds play their first European home game since a 3-2 reverse to Atletico in March that ended their hopes of reaching a third successive final. That is their only setback in the last 26 European fixtures at Anfield.

There is hope for the Danish side in that Liverpool have failed to keep a clean sheet in their previous four home Champions League fixtures, though the makeshift pairing of Joe Gomez and Fabinho did keep Ajax at bay in Amsterdam in matchday one. Yes, the same Ajax who won 13-0 at the weekend.

As for the hosts, Mohamed Salah is two goals away from equalling Steven Gerrard's club record of 21 in the European Cup/Champions League.

 

Other fixtures:

Marseille v Manchester City:

8 - City games usually provide goals; both teams have scored in each of their last eight Champions League fixtures. They are on their longest wait for a clean sheet in the competition since between February 2015 and 2016 (nine matches).

32 - Dimitri Payet is still looking for his first goal in the competition. He has attempted 32 shots without scoring (21 for Lille and 11 for Marseille).

Atalanta v Ajax:

9 - Ajax are unbeaten in their last nine away games in the Champions League (W6 D3), winning six of their last seven. Only in two of their 15 previous Champions League campaigns have the Dutch side started with two consecutive defeats (2004-05 and 2012-13).

10 - Only Barcelona (11) had more shots on target during the opening round of fixtures this season than Atalanta's tally of 10 in the 4-0 thrashing of Midtjylland.

Porto v Olympiacos:

6 - These clubs have previously faced each other on six occasions in all European competitions, with Porto winning twice. Both of those victories came at home (D1 L3).

12 - Olympiacos have lost 12 of their last 14 away games in the Champions League (W2), losing the last seven in a row and shipping at least two goals in each of those defeats (21 in total).

Atletico Madrid v Salzburg:

1 - Dominik Szoboszlai could become the youngest Hungarian player to score in consecutive Champions League games (aged 20 years and two days), having found the net in Salzburg's 2-2 draw with Lokomotiv.

8 - Atletico are unbeaten in all eight of their previous meetings with Austrian teams in European competition (W7 D1). Having lost their last two European fixtures, they will be looking to avoid suffering three consecutive defeats for the first time in Champions League history.

A goalscoring milestone, a red card (and maybe another that should have been), a key player off through injury and four goals. Oh, plus a late and controversial VAR call, too. 

Yes, the 237th Merseyside derby pretty much had it all. 

An early kick-off following an international break may have raised concerns of a sluggish return in the Premier League, yet it soon became apparent that there would be no easing back into domestic duties at Goodison Park. 

Liverpool scored early through Sadio Mane but lost both Virgil van Dijk and their advantage not long after. Mohamed Salah did put the champions back ahead with a notable strike in the second half, but Everton once again responded to grab a draw. 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's towering 81st-minute header was far from the end of the drama, though. 

The hosts had Richarlison sent off before Jordan Henderson appeared to have won it for the Reds, albeit with a helping hand from Jordan Pickford, whose earlier challenge on Van Dijk had ended the Dutchman's involvement, with the goalkeeper not punished due to an offside call. 

Yet, by the barest of margins, Mane was adjudged offside in the build-up when the play was checked at Stockley Park. No goal, then, meaning a point apiece and plenty of talking points and a host of interesting Opta facts. 

 

MANE STRIKES BUT HOSTS KEANE TO RESPOND 

Liverpool showed no signs of a delayed hangover from the stunning 7-2 loss to Aston Villa last time out, Mane - who had missed that game - getting the opener after two minutes and 15 seconds. 

It was the Reds' fastest ever goal in a Premier League derby, though Everton have done it quicker in the fixture - Olivier Dacourt scored after just one minute in April 1999 (though they went on to lose 3-2 at Anfield). 

Andrew Robertson provided the assist, the full-back's 14th since the start of the 2018-19 season; only Kevin De Bruyne (21) has managed more in the English top flight.

Yet the lead did not last for too long, Michael Keane heading in James Rodriguez's delivery for his third goal of the season in the 19th minute, making it the earliest both teams had scored in a derby clash since November 2013. 

SALAH REACHES CENTURY IN STYLE 

Salah scored in the 72nd minute, the 100th goal of his Liverpool career in his 159th appearance - only Roger Hunt and Jack Parkinson have made it to the century in fewer appearances for the club. 

The Egyptian's instinctive finish when a loose ball fell into his path had Jurgen Klopp's side on course for all three points but, while they are unbeaten in their last 23 meetings against Everton in all competitions - their longest run against a single opponent in history, they were unable to hold on in their neighbours' backyard. 

Calvert-Lewin climbed high to nod in Lucas Digne's deep cross, his 12th headed goal in the Premier League since the start of the 2018-19 season. No other player has managed more than that total. 

Having also struck on his England debut, the forward continued his fine start to the campaign, becoming the first Everton player to score in the first five league games of a season since Tommy Lawton, way back in 1938-39. 

Everton have now scored 322 headed goals in the Premier League, more than any other club. If Calvert-Lewin is on target again next time out, with Everton up against Southampton, he will match Sergio Aguero's scoring streak of six matches, which the Manchester City striker managed at the start of 2019-20. 

RICHARLISON SEES RED IN EVENTFUL FINISH 

If Pickford was saved from being sent off by a technicality, there was no sparing Richarlison after he lunged in on Thiago Alcantara. 

The Brazilian stayed down injured for a short while after the tackle, but treatment only delayed the inevitable. His red card is the 22nd in Premier League meetings between the Merseyside clubs, unsurprisingly the most in the competition. Everton, by the way, have accounted for 15 of those dismissals. 

Liverpool appeared to have capitalised on the advantage of having an extra man when Henderson's rather weak first-time finish was only palmed beyond the line by Pickford, only for the use of technology to wipe out what appeared to be a last-gasp winner. 

The VAR call denied the visitors, though Klopp will also be aware this was a fourth league game in five without a clean sheet. They have conceded 13 goals at the start of their title defence – they did not leak that many in the previous campaign until 15 games in. 

The potential absence of Van Dijk will not help in the quest to tighten up at the back, particularly with goalkeeper Alisson also sidelined through injury. 

As for Everton, they remain unbeaten and while their 100 per cent record is no more, there are positive signs for boss Carlo Ancelotti and the fans for the months ahead. They still have not led in any of their last 14 Premier League matches against their rivals, but are now unbeaten in four derbies at home, all of which have finished as draws. 

Liverpool were controversially denied a Merseyside derby victory as Jordan Henderson saw a late winner ruled out by VAR in a 2-2 draw with 10-man Everton. 

Premier League leaders Everton twice came from behind to level in an absorbing contest at Goodison Park. 

Michael Keane cancelled out Sadio Mane's third-minute opener and Dominic Calvert-Lewin did the same after Mohamed Salah scored his 100th goal for Liverpool. 

Richarlison was sent off for a rash challenge on Thiago Alcantara and that indiscretion looked to have been doubly punished in injury time by Henderson, only for VAR to intervene and keep Everton three points ahead of Liverpool, who are unbeaten in 23 Merseyside derbies in all competitions, at the top of the table. 

 

 

Mohamed Salah's goal in Saturday's Merseyside derby took on added significance for the Liverpool star.

Salah's effort at Goodison Park marked his 100th in all competitions since joining the Reds in 2017.

He has emphatically shaken off the tag of Premier League flop following his failed spell at Chelsea and is now of European football's top forwards.

Here, using Opta data, we break down his century of Liverpool goals in all competitions.

 

A DEADLY DEBUT SEASON

Salah hit the ground running in his first season with the Reds, scoring 44 goals and providing 14 assists in all competitions.

He has never come close to matching that tally - scoring 27 and 23 in the last two campaigns - with his minutes per goal ratio of 93.6 from 2017-18 comfortably the best of his Liverpool career.

The Egypt forward averaged 160.6 minutes per goal in his second season and a goal every 176.3 in 2019-20.

PROWESS IN THE BOX

Exceptional with the ball at his feet, Salah has the ability to weave around defenders at will.

However, long-range individual efforts have not been a prominent feature of his goalscoring exploits since joining Liverpool.

Indeed, 10 have come from inside the box, including 11 penalties. As many as 80 of his goals have been scored with his left foot compared to just 16 with his right, while he has netted four headers.

FIRMINO THE FULCRUM

The creative fulcrum of Liverpool's front three, Roberto Firmino has been the most frequent provider for Salah.

Firmino has assisted 16 of Salah's goals, with Sadio Mane playing the key final pass on nine occasions.

Liverpool's full-backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold (six) and Andrew Robertson (eight) have combined to set up the former Chelsea and Roma forward 14 times. 

SALAH FULL OF VITALITY

Anfield is obviously Salah's happiest hunting ground, he has found the net 63 times at his home stadium.

Away from Merseyside, the Vitality Stadium is the ground where he has been most prolific, with Salah scoring five goals in three games at that venue.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Bournemouth are among his favourite opponents. 

Salah has scored eight times against the Cherries, a tally he has only matched against Watford.

KANE HIS CLOSEST CHALLENGER

Since August 2017, no Premier League player has scored more than Salah's 100 goals in 159 appearances.

Harry Kane is closest with 97 in 130 appearances, putting him on track make it to 100 in much quicker time.

Salah is the fifth player in Europe's top five leagues to reach a century in that time, joining Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ciro Immobile.

However, he does not come close to matching Lewandowski's goalscoring prowess, the Bayern Munich forward scoring 140 goals in 146 games.

Mohamed Salah chalked up a century of Liverpool goals by scoring in the Merseyside derby - becoming the fastest to reach three figures for the Reds in over 50 years. 

The Egyptian attacker has been a revelation in Jurgen Klopp's team and scored his 100th goal for the club in what was his 159th appearance. 

It made him the 17th player in Liverpool's history to get to three figures, and the first to reach the landmark since Steven Gerrard achieved the feat in 2008 on his way to 186 career goals with the Merseyside giants. 

Only two players have reached a century of goals for Liverpool in fewer appearances, with Roger Hunt hitting that mark in 144 games on his way to scoring 285 times for the club from 1958 to 1969. 

Jack Parkinson, who played for Liverpool from 1903 to 1914, reached 100 goals in 153 games. He finished with 129 goals in 220 games. 

Former Chelsea and Roma forward Salah, 28, joined Liverpool in 2017 and helped them win the Champions League in 2018-19 and the Premier League last season. 

James Rodriguez's move to Everton invoked polarising opinions from fans and pundits alike – it seemed his signing was either destined to be a masterstroke or an expensive flop.

Many suggested that, while undoubtedly gifted, James' qualities were those of a bygone era when teams were built around a number 10 whose only real job was to create chances and score goals.

The common conception was that, in introducing a player who does little work off the ball, Everton were putting themselves at a disadvantage to every other team.

Even James himself recognises he is one of a dying breed, saying recently on the Locker Room podcast: "Everyone plays 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, hardly any kids want to be a number 10 now, because now the number 10s are being left out by the managers because they only want fast players who have one-on-one skills, can run, can play through the middle - 15 or 20 years ago, everyone wanted to be a number 10."

It's a well-known fact that James isn't much of a runner – he will never cover as much ground as someone like Kevin De Bruyne, but that's the point. He hasn't ever been that type of player – let him play to his strengths and he'll thrive.

If anyone knew how to get the best out of him, it was his former Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, and the Italian has expertly found a way to get the best out James, as we examine ahead of Saturday's Merseyside derby.

Ancelotti's James bond key to success

While James is certainly acting like the traditional number 10 for Everton, he's playing the role with his own unique spin, a way that has regularly seen both he and Juan Fernando Quintero thrive alongside each other at international level for Colombia.

Normally one would expect a player in such a role to occupy more of the central spaces, yet James operates initially from the right, allowing him to cut inside on to his left foot.

This creates a much greater area for him to do damage, as he can either dribble into the centre, play a diagonal pass out to the left, or look for a reverse ball into an advanced position on the right.

 

Not only is the pitch generally less crowded for him in this area, but were he deployed in a strictly central role, having such range of passing avenues without needing to turn would be unlikely.

This explains why Lucas Digne – who went off with a knee injury late in France's Nations League victory over Croatia on Wednesday – is the second most frequent receiver of passes (23) from James in the Everton team despite operating on the other flank, as the left-back is one of Premier League's best creators.

James knows this and regularly looks to the Frenchman on the opposite flank – together, they are Everton's greatest sources of chances this term (12 for James, eight for Digne). Similarly, the former Madrid star has picked out left-sided forward Richarlison for more chances (five) than he has anyone else.

But another key factor Ancelotti has had to consider, as highlighted already, is that James won't offer a huge amount when the Toffees aren't in possession.

Ancelotti surrounds James with hard-working, dynamic players. Allan is as tenacious as any midfielder in the league, while Abdoulaye Doucoure is a fine option as a box-to-box battler and Seamus Coleman is tireless at right-back.

 

With Doucoure and Coleman working close to James, Ancelotti's table-toppers often create overloads on the right flank, and as that attracts more defenders over to their side, that's when gaps can open up on the left for Digne.

Identifying the weakness

As much as Everton fans may not want to admit, there are certainly similarities between how they and Liverpool attack – the Reds' full-backs are key to the offensive phase of their play, while Mohamed Salah's cutting in off the left flank is a vital component in terms of chance creation.

With that in mind, it will be intriguing to see how they counteract each other's strengths, but there's no doubt stopping James will go a long way for the Reds.

The Colombian has three goals (joint fourth-highest in the league) and two assists (joint third-highest in the league) to his name, while only Salah, De Bruyne (both 14) and Son Heung-min (13) have produced more key passes than him.

Of the 12 opportunities carved out by Rodriguez, four were classed by Opta as "big chances", second to Harry Kane (six).

But he's not just involved at the end of attacking moves, as highlighted by sequence data – he has played a role in six different goal-ending sequences, a figure bettered by only four others, while James started two of them. Ollie Watkins (three) is the solitary player with a better number here.

Where Liverpool will need to pay particular attention, however, is with regards to their high line. The average distance from goal that their open-play sequences begin is 49.2 metres, meaning they play with a higher defensive line than anyone else in the division – this was exploited by Aston Villa in the 7-2 humiliation before the international break, and James will surely be mindful.

Uncharted territory… almost

James' importance to Everton is certainly comparable to Salah's influence on Liverpool – across all competitions the Toffees playmaker has created three more chances (17) than his rival, been involved in one more goal (six) and played the same number of passes into the box (31).

But where their different approaches are accentuated is their total touches in the area, with Salah at 47 and James on 10.

That's where others come in.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison may not have quite the same reputation as their Liverpool counterparts in Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, but there's no doubt the Everton pair have both started the season in exhilarating fashion.

So, although James is undoubtedly the key, Everton have several weapons capable of doing damage.

Saturday's game will be exactly 10 years on from Everton's last Premier League win over their bitter rivals. While a victory over the Reds might almost feel like uncharted territory for the Toffees, with James plotting their route, one has to think they've never had a better opportunity to sink a Liverpool side whose weaknesses have already been exposed.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has started 2020-21 in outstanding form for Everton, leading to the possibility of an England debut in the coming days. 

Having managed nine goals in six appearances across all competitions this season, Calvert-Lewin is the leading scorer in Europe's top five leagues. 

He leads a list which also includes Tottenham pair Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland, Bayern Munich great Robert Lewandowski and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah. 

Calvert-Lewin's reward is a first call up to the England senior squad ahead of the friendly with Wales, which is followed by Nations League clashes with Belgium and Denmark. 

But just how does Calvert-Lewin compare to his England team-mates, and what are the numbers behind his brilliant run under Carlo Ancelotti? 

THE FERGUSON FACTOR AND CARLO'S MAGIC TOUCH

A wiry and energetic youngster, Calvert-Lewin's versatility and work ethic may have set him back in his early years at Everton, with Ronald Koeman, David Unsworth and Sam Allardyce all utilising the forward in a variety of positions. Indeed, new Barcelona boss Koeman even deployed Calvert-Lewin as a wing-back in Everton's opening league match of 2017-18.

Whether as a foil for Romelu Lukaku, Wayne Rooney or Cenk Tosun in those first two campaigns, Calvert-Lewin often played second fiddle to another striker and his goal figures reflected as much. He managed four in 28 appearances under Koeman, three in 19 under Allardyce and two in eight with Unsworth in temporary charge. 

Marco Silva's tenure brought about Calvert-Lewin's first real chance to grasp his place as Everton's starting striker. He played 54 games and scored 13 times – averaging a goal every 209 minutes under the former Hull City boss, though consistency still alluded him, with his main task being to stretch opposing defences to benefit team-mates Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson. 

Yet Silva's departure after a dismal derby defeat to Liverpool last December signalled a change in fortunes for Calvert-Lewin, as Everton legend Duncan Ferguson called on the club's number nine to deliver. 

"To have someone who's been there and done it to bounce ideas off him has been invaluable, I couldn't thank him enough," Calvert-Lewin said of Ferguson in an interview with Everton's website. "He knows me well enough now to know when I need an arm around me, or need a pointer here or there." 

He has hardly looked back since and, after scoring a double in Ferguson's first game in charge, Calvert-Lewin swiftly became a key figure for Ancelotti. 

Since Ancelotti took over on December 22, 2019, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (18) has scored more Premier League goals than the 23-year-old, who has 17 – level with Kane.

A FRESH START 

While Everton's form pre-lockdown ticked up under Ancelotti, the Toffees managed just three wins from their nine matches after the restart, with Calvert-Lewin failing to add to his 13 goals. 

Tame displays against Tottenham, Wolves and Bournemouth on the final day forced the club's hand, with Ancelotti overseeing a rebuild of the engine room in the transfer window – Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure bringing athleticism and nous, with James Rodriguez providing a much-needed sprinkling of stardust. 

With a revamped midfield behind him, Calvert-Lewin has scored in every appearance he has made bar one, against Fleetwood Town in the EFL Cup. 

Since the restart in June, Calvert-Lewin has made 15 appearances and netted nine goals in all competitions, scoring on average a goal every 132 minutes. That is a better rate than Vardy (139) and Salah (144), though some way behind his fellow England forwards Kane (15 goals, averaging out at one every 92 minutes) and Raheem Sterling (14 and 97). 

His Ferguson-esque header against Brighton and Hove Albion moved him to seven headed league goals since the start of last season, more than any other player, while he scored two hat-tricks in successive Goodison Park appearances prior to Everton's 4-2 win over the Seagulls.

MOVING ON UP

It was no surprise to see Calvert-Lewin included in the England squad, but he must now prove himself on the international stage. 

Since Ancelotti arrived at Everton, Ollie Watkins is the only Englishman currently playing in the Premier League to have scored more than Calvert-Lewin, though 13 of Watkins' goals in that period came in the Championship for Brentford. 

Kane, with 17 goals from 21 appearances, has matched the Everton player’s output, while Manchester City star Sterling has 16 in 31. 

Danny Ings has been a real success story over the past year but the Southampton forward has managed two fewer goals than Calvert-Lewin, while 2019-20 Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy sits on 11, equal with Manchester United youngster Mason Greenwood and West Ham's Michail Antonio. 

Across Europe, Calvert-Lewin is the frontrunner as it stands, with his nine goals in 475 minutes played in 2020-21 leading the way across the continent's top five leagues. 

Kane and Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric are hot on his heels with eight each, while Son has seven to his name – though the Spurs duo have both played more minutes, 569 and 478 respectively. 

Bundesliga stars Haaland and Lewandowski have five apiece, with Salah – who goes head-to-head with Calvert-Lewin in the Merseyside derby on October 17 – also managing five from six games so far this term.

Now, Gareth Southgate needs to work out a way to get the best out of Calvert-Lewin with England, just as Ancelotti has at club level.

Liverpool could not have known the incredible journey that awaited them when the club hired Jurgen Klopp on this day five years ago.

Brendan Rodgers had recently been sacked with the Reds 10th in the Premier League, a far cry from their title challenge a year and a half earlier.

That bid for Premier League success in 2013-14 was something of an outlier, though. Despite their illustrious history, prior to 2014 Liverpool had only finished in the top two three times since winning their previous league championship in 1990.

Klopp came in with the goal of waking a proverbial sleeping giant, something he had managed to do at Borussia Dortmund, whom he guided to back-to-back Bundesliga titles after seven years outside of Germany's top four.

Liverpool fans' yearning and desire for domestic success was even greater, they will surely tell you, but with the aid of smart recruitment, a hint of patience and fine coaching, Klopp has turned the Reds into a force once again.

On the fifth anniversary of his appointment, we looked at the Opta data behind his success…

THE RECORD BOOKS

While domestic cup success continues to elude Klopp in England, it's fair to say Liverpool fans won't mind given the silverware that has been secured, namely the Champions League, Premier League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.

That Premier League triumph last season was Liverpool's first since the competition ceased to be Division One. It ended a wait of 30 years to win the league championship.

A big part of their success last season was an 18-match winning streak, a joint record in English top-flight history, while they also went unbeaten in 44 games from January 2019 to February 2020.

The Reds' 24 consecutive home league wins from February last year to July 2020 is also a record, while they remain unbeaten in 61 games at Anfield, the third longest run in English top-flight history.

Liverpool remarkably collected 99 points last term, which was just one shy of the all-time benchmark set by Manchester City the previous season, when the Reds' 97 set a new high for second place.

Some might even feel Klopp has a case to be considered Liverpool's greatest manager, ahead of Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish. He has the best winning percentage of any Reds boss to have taken charge of at least 50 matches with 60.3 per cent (58.3 per cent for Dalglish, 57.4 per cent for Paisley).

And in terms of the Premier league, only Pep Guardiola (2.33) has averaged more points per game than the German (2.17), who edges out Alex Ferguson (2.16).

THE PLAYERS

One of the key elements to Klopp's Liverpool is that he has built a team in his image – "heavy metal" football, as he memorably dubbed it, reflects the manager's no-nonsense attitude but is also thrilling, full-on and uncompromising.

Of course, essential to that is the players – he has fielded 88 of them across all competitions, with 58 making their debut under him.

The first to be given a debut by Klopp was Connor Randall – now at Ross County – in an EFL Cup the month of his appointment, while the most recent is Diogo Jota.

No player comes close to Roberto Firmino as his most relied upon, however. The Brazilian, for all his critics over the past year, has played 242 games for Klopp, with 211 from the start – this amounts to 18,435 minutes.

Firmino also leads with regards to assists (54), though he's a fair way off Mohamed Salah in the goalscoring stakes, with the former on 78 and the Egyptian one shy of his century.

Nevertheless, that pair together with Sadio Mane (84) have accounted for 46 per cent of all goals scored under Klopp – they have become one of the deadliest attacks in Europe.

Unfortunately for Klopp, the result closest to his anniversary was his worst with the Reds, as they astonishingly lost 7-2 at Aston Villa on Sunday.

It was the first time since 1963 that Liverpool conceded seven goals in a match, but up next after the international break is the Merseyside derby against an Everton side top of the table – what better opportunity to bounce back?

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