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Premier League review: City slip up on weekend of drama

Manchester City and Liverpool both lost their unbeaten records this weekend as VAR issues raised their ugly head again, while plenty of teams made statements of intent on a weekend full of drama.

The champions' perfect start was ended as they suffered their second defeat of the week, while the Reds were denied a point after a heroic display at Tottenham, having been reduced to nine men - with VAR doing them few favours.

Arsenal and Aston Villa both enjoyed dominant wins to say the least, while Luton chalked up their first victory of the campaign to suggest there are no foregone conclusions in the relegation battle.

WhatPremier League 2023/24
When12th August 2023 - 19th May 2024
How to watchSky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime
OddsMan City 8/15, Liverpool 11/2, Arsenal 11/2, Tottenham 16/1, Newcastle 33/1, Brighton 50/1

City issues ahead of title battle

After being knocked out of the EFL Cup on Wednesday, many may have expected a response from Manchester City, who had of course won their first six Premier League games to sit on top of the table. 

However, it was not so lucky number seven as Ruben Dias put through his own net to give Wolves a 13th-minute lead and the champions never quite recovered. 

They did level up just before the hour through Julian Alvarez but Hwang Hee-Chan scored the decisive goal just eight minutes later, with City unable to conjure up another equaliser, despite the lion's share of possession and 23 attempts at goal. 

If there is any solace for Pep Guardiola's side, it is the fact that they are still on top of the standings, and therefore in the driving seat as they bid for an unprecedented fourth successive title. 

The gap has of course closed up with last season's runners-up, Arsenal, showing they are very much in the hunt to go one better, thrashing Bournemouth 4-0 at the Vitality in a game that plenty would have thought would have been a lot closer. 

Two of last season's stars, Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, put the Gunners in control at the break at 2-0, with summer signing Kai Havertz scoring his first goal for the club from the spot to make sure of the points, just eight minutes into the second period. Ben White put the icing on the cake with a fourth in stoppage time.

Arsenal may be sensing an opportunity to strike a psychological blow when they host City next Sunday at the Emirates, a fixture they lost last season 3-1, before getting thumped 4-1 at the Etihad on the run-in. 

Mikel Arteta's men are 9/5 to gain revenge next weekend, with City priced at 7/5 and the draw at 12/5.

VAR controversies ruin titanic tussle

Two unbeaten records were on the line at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium as Spurs hosted Liverpool and there were plenty of talking points from what could pan out to be a pivotal result at the end of the season. 

Joel Matip sliced horribly into his own net deep into stoppage time to deny the heroic Reds a share of the spoils, having been reduced to 10 men in the 26th minute, and to nine in the 69th. 

Questions could be asked about both red cards, a straight red to Curtis Jones and a quickfire double-yellow to half-time substitute Diogo Jota, but Liverpool also had a first-half goal ruled out for a calamitous error from the VAR officials. 

PGMOL has since apologised for a "significant human error", which does no favours for Jurgen Klopp's side, although the subsequent performance at least bodes well for the future. 

Son Heung-Min had given Spurs a 36th-minute advantage before 10-man Liverpool equalised in first-half stoppage time through Cody Gakpo. 

Tottenham struggled in search of a second, even when Jota was given his marching orders, and it feels harsh on Liverpool and Matip, who had been immense, that his own goal in the 96th minute proved to be the winner.

Rampant Villa demolish high-flying Seagulls

Aston Villa made a real statement of European intent as they hammered high-flying Brighton 6-1 at Villa Park, with Ollie Watkins bagging his second hat-trick of the season in a one-sided rout. 

Watkins put Villa 2-0 up inside 21 minutes with Pervis Estupinan's own goal giving the hosts a comfortable 3-0 half-time lead. 

Ansu Fati's briefly threatened a comeback five minutes into the second half but order was restored as Watkins completed his treble in the 65th minute, while Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz rounded off the rout. 

Unai Emery's men climbed up to fifth, above Brighton on goal difference, on the back of the result with the Villans now 5/1 for a top-four finish, and the Seagulls available at 11/4

The top four seems a long way off for Manchester United right now after they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, despite having beaten the Eagles 3-0 there in the EFL Cup in midweek. 

Joachim Andersen's fine strike following an Eberechi Eze free kick made the difference as United's recent mini-revival came to an end, with Roy Hodgson's men going above United in the table into ninth. 

Newcastle are making light of a more congested schedule, following up their midweek EFL Cup win over City with a routine 2-0 success over Burnley. 

Miguel Almiron scored a fine goal to establish the Magpies' some control after a slow start, with Alexander Isak securing the points with the second from the spot in the 76th minute. 

Eddie Howe's men are now 33/1 for the title and 5/4 for a top-four finish, while they can be backed at 11/2 to win the EFL Cup, with fourth-round opponents United available at 4/1.

Historic win for Hatters

Luton Town secured their first ever Premier League victory, quickly bursting Everton's bubble in the process as they shocked the Toffees 2-1 at Goodison. 

Goals from Tom Lockyer and Carlton Morris put the Hatters on course for the historic win, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin reducing the deficit before half time. 

Although that could have made the second period a little nervy, Luton held on to secure the three points, taking them out of the drop zone and level on points with Sean Dyche's men. 

Sheffield United remain at the foot of the table after their winless run continued at West Ham, although a 2-0 defeat was an improvement on last weekend's 8-0 humbling. 

Jarrod Bowen scored his fifth goal of the Premier League season to set the Hammers on their way with Tomas Soucek bagging the second as David Moyes celebrated his 900th league game in winning style. 

Nottingham Forest rescued a point at home to Brentford despite having been reduced to 10 men, with Christian Norgaard scoring from the free kick given following Moussa Niakhate's red card. 

Nicolas Dominguez's diving header ultimately secured a share of the spoils in the 65th minute as Forest extended the Bees' winless league run to five matches.

The Blades are 5/4 to finish bottom with Luton priced at 6/4, while the Toffees appear to be very much in the relegation reckoning at 2/1 to go down, with Forest priced at 6/1 and Brentford at 14/1.

Football – Premier League

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