Liverpool’s nightmare at Villa Park, Napoli's no-show at Juventus

Aston Villa’s 7-2 mauling was the first time Liverpool had conceded seven goals in a game in any competition since 1963, when it lost 7-2 away to Tottenham Hotspur.

Ollie Watkins, who joined Aston Villa on a five-year deal for an estimated club record fee of £28 million, made merry against Liverpool as he struck a hat-trick inside the opening 39 minutes.   -  AFP

Even the best lose sometimes. Ups and downs are a part of sport. But when it’s a 7-2 mauling, alarm bells begin to ring. Aston Villa, the David in this case, tormented Premier League champion Liverpool, the Goliath, as it pumped seven goals past a hapless defence. It was the first time Liverpool had conceded seven goals in a game in any competition since 1963, when it lost 7-2 away to Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds’ old nightmare of not having a capable replacement for Alisson Becker in goal resurfaced as Adrian endured a night of misery. In his 21 games for Liverpool across competitions, Adrian has made five errors directly leading to opposition goals, the same number as Alisson in 92 games.

Ollie Watkins, who joined Villa on a five-year deal for an estimated club record fee of £28 million, made merry as he struck a hat-trick inside the opening 39 minutes. Jack Grealish, a mainstay at Villa, chipped in with a brace. Mohamed Salah, the only ray of hope on Liverpool’s forgettable evening, scored a double to take his season’s tally to five goals. Villa, with a game in hand, is second in the table.

Son Heung-min scores his second goal for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester United on October 4. Son and Harry Kane scored two goals each to ensure Spurs manager Jose Mourinho left Manchester, his former employer, with a smirk.   -  AFP

 

Liverpool’s shock loss dominated headlines, but it did not take the spotlight away from Manchester United’s 6-1 humbling at home to Tottenham. Anthony Martial’s second-minute penalty gave United a good start, but it all went downhill after. Spurs went 2-1 up by the seventh minute and matters went from bad to worse as Martial was sent off for an altercation with Erik Lamela before the half-hour mark. Jose Mourinho’s men showed no mercy as they carved the fragile United defence with absolute ease to storm to their biggest-ever win at Old Trafford. Son Heung-min and Harry Kane hit two goals each to ensure Mourinho left Manchester, his former employer, with a smirk.

Newly promoted Leeds rallied from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with Manchester City, while West Ham secured an emphatic 3-0 at Leicester City. Everton continued its sublime start to the season with a 4-2 triumph against Brighton that kept it atop the standings.

Napoli’s no-show sparks controversy in Serie A

The coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc in the Serie A as Napoli was unable to travel to Naples to face Juventus. A Napoli spokesman told Reuters before kickoff that the team had been placed in isolation by the health authority after two players tested positive. However, Serie A insisted the game should go ahead as per the pre-agreed protocol between the country’s health and sports ministry and football authorities that stated if players test positive, the rest of the squad can still train and play provided they are tested again and return negative results. The end result of the fiasco sees Napoli looking at a forfeit, i.e. a 3-0 defeat. There was further trouble in the top division of Italian football with 17 Genoa players testing positive. The league authorities, however, agreed to postpone its game against Torino.

READ | Match abandoned as Juventus don't make trip

Atalanta maintained its free-scoring ways as it thrashed Cagliari 5-2 to remain unbeaten and consolidate its spot at the top of the table. AC Milan also continued its perfect start by beating Spezia to earn its third successive win, while Inter Milan drew 1-1 with Lazio.

Unbeaten Real motors on

Real Madrid’s title defence remained on track as it stormed to a one-point lead with a game in hand. Madrid’s win over Levante was its third on the trot and came hours before Barcelona dropped two points at home to Sevilla. Barca, however, has played a game less than Madrid and will be on level terms if it wins its next match away to Getafe.

Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring his fourth goal of the match — from the penalty spot — in Bayern Munich's 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin on October 4.   -  AFP

 

Bayern, Dortmund back to winning ways

Bayern Munich rode on Robert Lewandowski’s stunning four-goal show to fight off a stiff challenge from Hertha Berlin. The victory was of prime importance to Hansi Flick’s side after it was handed a 4-1 drubbing by Hoffenheim in its previous league clash.

READ | Bundesliga: Four-star Lewandowski gives Bayern last-gasp win over Hertha

Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund earned its first win in three games as 17-year-old Giovanni Reyna stole the show. The American teenager crafted three assists and combined extremely well with fellow youngster Erling Haaland to see off Freiburg 4-0.

Augsburg dropped its first points of the season after being held to a goalless draw by Wolfsburg, while RB Leipzig moved to the top of the table after beating Schalke 4-0.