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Three things we learned from the Premier League weekend

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Behind the top two, there is a five-way tie between those likely to be fighting for the final two Champions League places this season with Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester all on eight points from the opening five games.

Here, AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the Premier League weekend:

Laporte injury hands Liverpool golden opportunity

Liverpool did what City could not in recovering from conceding early to ease past Newcastle 3-1 and maintain their 100 percent start to the season.

Just five games into the campaign, there is no reason for City to panic just yet, but there could be longer-term trouble ahead for Pep Guardiola’s men with key centre-back Aymeric Laporte sidelined with a serious knee injury until at least January.

Without the Frenchman, City’s only two fit centre-backs John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi were exposed, particularly in gifting Norwich’s third goal just after half-time.

Guardiola admitted he had to “see what I can to do help” mask Laporte’s absence, but after two seasons of near perfection, City now have an obvious area of weakness for opponents to target.

Liverpool have waited 30 years for a Premier League title and after missing out by a point last season, the European champions are unlikely to get a better chance to end that long wait.

Chelsea kids are alright

Frank Lampard enjoyed his best day in charge of Chelsea so far as the Blues inflicted Wolves’ first home defeat since January 2 in style by scoring five at Molineux.

Tammy Abraham took his tally to seven goals in three games with a hat-trick to join Sergio Aguero as the top scorer in the Premier League.

But all three Chelsea goalscorers on the day were 21 or under and came through the Blues academy.

Centre-back Fikayo Tomori showed Abraham how it is done with a stunning strike from 30 yards to open the scoring and Mason Mount grabbed the fifth in stoppage time to round off the scoring.

That trio have now scored all 11 of Chelsea’s Premier League goals so far under Lampard.

Until this season, John Terry was the last Chelsea academy graduate to become a first-team regular.

But all that has changed with Lampard afforded the freedom by a transfer ban to give the younger players a chance.

“We had a couple of pints in the week with Neil Bath (head of youth development) and the academy staff because I think it’s important the club is joined up,” said Lampard.

“It doesn’t mean young players are going to start every week, but there must be a connection. When they work for hours and hours with these young players, and invest time, it’s nice for them to see.”

Top six’ not so dominant

City’s loss means Liverpool are the only team yet to taste defeat just a month into the new campaign.

In contrast to recent seasons when the established ‘top six’ have pulled away from the rest, the other 14 have already landed a series of blows on the established powers.

Bottom-of-the-table Watford roared back from 2-0 down to hold Arsenal 2-2 on Sunday and deserved even more after peppering the Gunners goal with 31 shots.

Norwich are not the only newly-promoted side to have troubled the top six as Sheffield United drew 2-2 at Chelsea before the international break, while Newcastle’s only win of the campaign so far came at Tottenham and Crystal Palace beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.

As it stands just three points separate third from 16th. The cream will eventually rise to the top, but the early running suggests there will be far more upsets as the season goes on.

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Football

Carlo Ancelotti left Everton to become head coach of Real Madrid for a second time

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The 61-year-old Italian, who oversaw Real Madrid for a very long time somewhere in the range of 2013 and 2015, has left Everton following year and a half in control at Goodison Park.

He succeeds Zinedine Zidane at Real and the move leaves Everton looking for a 6th perpetual supervisor in five years.

Ancelotti has marked a three-year bargain at Real and said the move addressed “an unforeseen chance”.

He added: “I have total regard for everybody related with Everton and expectation they can accomplish the energizing chances they have before them.

“While I have appreciated being at Everton I have been given a startling chance which I accept is the correct move for me and my family as of now.”

Genuine will introduce Ancelotti to the media on Wednesday, while Everton said they “will start the way toward selecting another supervisor right away”.

Everton will have been left paralyzed by the speed of advancements just now as proprietor Farhad Moshiri’s “Hollywood” chief leaves.

Ancelotti’s appearance was viewed as a genuine upset by Moshiri, convincing one of the game’s generally enriched and regarded figures to come to Merseyside to reestablish Everton to previous wonders.

The 61-year-old’s rule has been a mishmash with loathsome home structure offset by results like their first success over Liverpool at Anfield since 1999 – in any case a tenth spot finish in his first full season was a failure.

Ancelotti, in any case, was as yet held in immense respect by Everton allies, who have been left sharply disillusioned by his choice to withdraw.

The fierce truth is that for all Moshiri’s money and aspiration, Everton actually can’t view themselves as anyplace close to the first class, which consistently makes them helpless against clubs, for example, Real Madrid setting sights on their prize resources.

The typical suspects are being connected, for example, Eddie Howe after he turned down Celtic, previous Wolves supervisor Nuno Espirito Santo and ex-Everton manager David Moyes – albeit that is probably not going to occur after he verbally concurred a three-year bargain at West Ham in the wake of bringing them into Europe. Moshiri, however, is something of a special case and may have thoughts of his own.

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Ahmed Musa to play without monthly salary at Kano Pillars

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Ahmed Musa won’t be paid in his short stretch at Kano Pillars in the Nigeria Premier Football League.

Musa, 28, finished paperwork for the four-time Nigerian heroes under the Elite Players Program of the League Management Company, which urges top Nigerian internationals to play for neighborhood clubs.

As indicated by LMC manager Shehu Dikko, the program works twoly.

A club can distinguish and sign such players, or the LMC itself can sign the player and appoint them to a club of their decision.

It was the last for Musa.

“We addressed him about returning home to play, and as somebody who is consistently prepared to offer in return, he didn’t stop for a second,” Dikko told ESPN.

“When the arrangement was marked, the decision of which club to play for was up to him. Various clubs needed him. We put everything before him and he settled on the choice to go to Kano Pillars.”

Musa has been a free specialist since October 2020, when he left Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, with whom he won the Saudi Pro League title and Super Cup in the wake of going along with them from Leicester City in 2018.

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AFCON

Super Eagle Teslim Balogun Stadium Training Camp Adhere To COVID-19 Protocols Ahead Of Lesotho Clash

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The Super Eagles will hold their last exercise at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos on Monday evening, beginning from 1800 hours.

Their last instructional meeting which will be administered by director Gernot Rohr is available to the media for just the initial fifteen minutes, at that point everybody will be compelled to leave the arena.

No columnist will be permitted into the arena when the Lesotho public group have a vibe of the Teslim Balogun Stadium turf because of COVID-19 conventions set up.

Besides, there will be no authority pre-match public interview because of the Covid pandemic.

The Super Eagles players and authorities were up toward the end of last night since they had to go to an occasion out of appreciation for Nigerian Federation president Amaju Pinnick following his political decision into the esteemed FIFA board.

Nigeria are ensured to top Group L of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers paying little heed to the result of their last match against Lesotho as they are as of now on 11 focuses, four more than the Republic of Benin, who are second in the standings.

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