Premier League scores: Aston Villa outclass Arsenal; Leicester City leapfrog Tottenham for first place

Sunday’s four games in the Premier League brought plenty of turbulence at the top of the table, some exceptional football between two title favorites and another heavy defeat for one of the “Big Six” at the hands of Aston Villa.

Recap all the day’s action below.

Sunday’s scores

Tottenham 1, West Brom 0
Leicester City 1, Wolves 0
Manchester City 1, Liverpool 1
Aston Villa 3, Arsenal 0

Spurs go top… for a while

It was hardly vintage fare in the day’s early kickoff but Tottenham got exactly what they needed from their visit to the Hawthorns as Harry Kane struck late to break West Bromwich Albion’s resilient rearguard.

Spurs had dominated the contest without creating all that many clear-cut chances after Heung-min Son missed early on. Kane did not need one when he got between Kyle Bartley and goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to flick Matt Doherty’s cross into the net. The 88th minute goal was Kane’s 150th in the Premier League and 201st in a Tottenham shirt.

“Harry Kane you have to say has this many goals, this many assists, this number of balls recovered, this number of duels won,” Spurs boss Jose Mourinho said. “This number of balls that he saved his team in defensive set-pieces. This is Harry Kane. It’s goals plus this and this and this and that.”

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The win briefly took Spurs top with 17 points from their first eight games and without a top-flight loss since the opening day of the season.

… Until Leicester took their place

However Tottenham’s reign at the top of the league was a brief one as Leicester City continued their impressive start to the campaign with a ninth win in 12 games across all competitions. Wolverhampton Wanderers were the latest side to fall short against the Foxes as Jamie Vardy struck from the spot in the 15th minute.

As has become common throughout this season there was much contention over the awarding of Vardy’s penalty, which came after a Denis Praet cross hit Max Kilman’s hand. Anthony Taylor awarded the penalty after consulting the pitch-side monitor but the Wolves defender might have wondered what more he could have done to move out of the way of the ball.

There was less cause for debate over Leicester’s second penalty when Rayan Ait-Nouri fouled James Justin but some surprise when Vardy ended his streak of seven straight goals from 12 yards out.

Perhaps most impressively Leicester held onto their lead with relative comfort as Wolves registered just two shots on target. Ruben Neves threatened to equalize with a brilliant long-range strike only to be denied by Kasper Schmeichel.

Spoils shared between title rivals

The day’s big game began in thrilling fashion as Liverpool, deploying all four of Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, pressed and attacked Manchester City’s defense in remorseless fashion.

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It forced an early error when Kyle Walker fouled Mane and Salah converted the resulting penalty. Early in the game it looked like Liverpool’s irresistible quality would carry them to the top of the Premier League table. But as the rain hammered down at the Etihad Stadium, City weathered the storm and were able to pounce when their opponent’s intensity dwindled.

Kevin De Bruyne slipped a pass into the area for Gabriel Jesus to spin and score on the half hour mark. The Belgian might have had a goal of his own before the break when his cross hit Joe Gomez’s arm but he missed the resulting penalty.

The second half was altogether less dramatic than the first and by full time both sides seemed content to accept a point. “It was an interesting game — a lot of tactical stuff on the pitch,” said Jurgen Klopp. “Both teams played with an incredible energy level to close the other team down and use the few opportunities. I thought it was a top, top, top game.

“The plan is always to start fast, stay fast and finish fast — but that is not always possible. City are a top team.”

Liverpool’s point was won at a cost with Trent Alexander-Arnold becoming the latest player to suffer an injury, joining the likes of Fabinho, Thiago and Virgil van Dijk in the treatment room. Klopp indicated that the right back will miss England’s upcoming international games.

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Villa overwhelm Arsenal

Aston Villa once more stunned one of the Big Six, departing north London with a fully deserved three points after their 3-0 win over Arsenal. It could have been worse, such was the visitors’ dominance at the Emirates Stadium, and their superiority was apparent as early as the first minute when John McGinn’s strike was ruled out after replays showed that Ross Barkley had blocked Bernd Leno’s eyeline.

Barkley and Jack Grealish ran the show against the Gunners with Trezeguet’s shot deflected in off Bukayo Saka in the first half and boyhood Arsenal fan Ollie Watkins scoring a three-minute brace just as Mikel Arteta’s side had begun to threaten following the introduction of Nicolas Pepe.

The defeat will prompt further questions over Arteta’s tactics and team selection with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failing to register a shot on goal as Alexandre Lacazette and Willian struggled greatly. Villa are now up to sixth whilst after eight games Arsenal are 11th with a negative goal difference.

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