Danny Ings double completes comeback in Aston Villa’s win at Brighton | Premier League

For all the “will he, won’t he?” surrounding England’s World Cup forwards, Danny Ings’s name was not even mentioned in passing. Rightly so; for most of his short-ish Aston Villa career, Ings has dipped well below the expectations attached to his £25m price tag.

His 34 goals in 67 top-flight appearances at Southampton led to the transfer; Holte End heroism and a push for tournament football would have been the plan. It has transpired quite differently. With the latter ambition surely gone, Villa must be his priority.

Afternoons such as this, when his double either side of half-time helped set up a come-from-behind victory, will help. But for an illness that saw Ollie Watkins miss out entirely, Ings would have begun on the bench. Instead, for the first time this season Villa’s travelling supporters celebrated victory on the road. They sang “Yippee-i-a” merrily as Unai Emery’s side shook off Alexis Mac Allister’s early opener to give the new manager wins in his first two league games.

Even with the success Brighton enjoyed under Graham Potter, there were frequently empty pockets of seats at the Amex. At times, particularly for much of last season, value for money was arguably poor. But it already feels as if Roberto De Zerbi brings with him a different brand, an organised chaos. They will score more, they will concede more, and he will orchestrate it energetically from within – and frequently from outside – his technical area.

So while defeat will hurt, Brighton should take heart in the fact that as the bugles sounded to mark Remembrance Sunday, there was not a seat to be had. A good thing too; they were ahead within a minute.

In Villa’s Carabao Cup defeat at Old Trafford on Thursday, much blame was laid, quite literally, at Robin Olsen’s feet. With Emiliano Martínez returning, playing out from the back was not expected to be problematic.

But while he and Douglas Luiz may squabble over the apportionment of blame, the fact is the latter did not expect to receive it short from Martínez on the edge of the area in the first place, and then was unaware that Mac Allister was breathing down his neck. He picked Douglas Luiz’s pocket (VAR took the view legally) and planted the ball past Martínez.

Having started like possessed men last week, Villa struggled for possession entirely early on. But Emi Buendía’s sumptuous through ball split Levi Colwill – making his full league debut – and Lewis Dunk. John McGinn reached it first; Dunk’s lunge was cumbersome; Ings lashed the penalty down the middle.

Brighton’s Lewis Dunk brings down John McGinn, resulting in a penalty being awarded to Aston Villa
Brighton’s Lewis Dunk brings down John McGinn, resulting in a penalty being awarded to Aston Villa. Photograph: Tony Obrien/Reuters

Despite levelling, there remained a nervousness to Villa’s back line. Further forward they looked more assured, but Emery’s play-from-the-back philosophy will take some settling into. Tyrone Mings was shaky, never more so than when spun 360 degrees by Solly March; a manhandling earned Mings a booking.

Brighton continued to dance forward, to switch play rapidly, to try out corner routines. But for all the aesthetic pleasure, goalmouth action was limited.

The scoreline reversal was completed soon after the break. Matty Cash raced to the byline and his cross was met by a diving Buendía, whose header crashed against a post. Danger averted? Well, no, Brighton failed to clear and, would you believe it, there was redemption of a type for Douglas Luiz. For this time it was Mac Allister dallying on the edge of the area and Douglas Luiz getting his boot in. Possession fell to Ings, who finished via Colwill’s back leg.

Brighton roared vociferously for a penalty of their own when, with 20 minutes left, Lucas Digne was slow to clear. March – a livewire throughout – appeared from nowhere and got a toe on the ball, and Digne’s sweeping left foot appeared to wipe him out. VAR looked but did not tell Chris Kavanagh to have another look; De Zerbi was, not for the first time in the afternoon, animated.

It became edgy. Brighton pushed; Villa sat ever deeper. Out came the dark arts, the visitors breaking play with a series of cynical fouls. Just before eight minutes of added time, Colwill, unmarked, headed Mac Allister’s whipped cross glaringly wide.

And then it was over. What fun it was. Oh, and on World Cup watch, no one got injured.

Premier League team news: predicted lineups for the weekend action | Manchester City

Bournemouth v Everton

Saturday 3pm Venue Vitality Stadium Last season n/a

Referee Craig Pawson This season G7 Y31 R0 4.43 cards/game

Odds H 19-10 A 7-4 D 9-4

Bournemouth v Everton


Subs from Dennis,Christie, Marcondes, Rothwell, Stacey, Lowe, Stanislas, Zemura, Dembélé, Pearson, Hill, Anthony

Doubtful Zemura (knock)

Injured Brooks (thigh, 26 Dec), Kelly (ankle, 26 Dec), Neto (thigh, 26 Dec)

Suspended Mepham (one match)

Discipline Y22 R0


Leading scorer Billing 4


Subs from Begovic, Jakupovic, Lonergan, Patterson, Mina, Keane, Holgate, Vinagre, Doucouré, Garner, Davies, Rondón, McNeil, Welch, Mills, John, Cannon

Doubtful Holgate (knee)

Injured Calvert-Lewin (hamstring/knee, 26 Dec), Godfrey (broken leg, 26 Dec), Townsend (knee, 26 Dec)

Suspended None

Discipline Y33 R0


Leading scorer Gordon 3

Liverpool v Southampton

Saturday 3pm Venue Anfield Last season Liverpool 4 Southampton 0

Referee Simon Hooper This season G9 Y26 R0 2.88 cards/game

Odds H 3-11 A 11-1 D 6-1

Liverpool v Southampton


Subs from Adrián, Kelleher, Davies, Ramsay, Matip, Tsimikas, Phillips, Milner, Jones, Elliott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bajcetic, Carvalho, Gomez

Doubtful Matip (calf), Milner (concussion)

Injured Keïta (thigh, 26 Dec), Díaz (knee, 26 Dec), Jota (calf, Jan), Arthur (thigh, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y12 R1


Leading scorers Firmino, Salah 6


Subs from Caballero, McCarthy, Caleta-Car, A Armstrong, Mara, Djenepo, Edozie, Diallo, Walcott

Doubtful xnamex (xreasonx), xnamex (xreasonx)

Injured Walker-Peters (thigh, 26 Dec), Livramento (knee, Jan), Larios (groin, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y22 R0


Leading scorer Adams 3

Nottingham Forest v Crystal Palace

Saturday 3pm Venue City Ground Last season n/a

Referee John Brooks This season G6 Y24 R0 4 cards/game

Odds H 11-5 A 16-11 D 2-1

Nottingham Forest v Crystal Palace

Nottingham Forest

Subs from Hennessey, Smith, Soh, Williams, Colback, Awoniyi, Surridge, Cafú, Kouyaté, Dennis, McKenna, Badé, Boly, Taylor

Doubtful Kouyaté (knock), McKenna (knock)

Injured Richards (calf, 26 Dec), Toffolo (thigh, 26 Dec), Biancone (knee, unknown), Niakhaté (thigh, unknown)

Suspended Mangala (one match)

Discipline Y34 R0


Leading scorer Awoniyi 3

Crystal Palace

Subs from Butland, Johnstone, Whitworth, Milivojevic, Tomkins, Mateta, Clyne, Hughes, Édouard, Ebiowei, Ferguson, Balmer, Riedewald, Gordon, Wells-Morrison, Phillips, Goodman, Rodney

Doubtful Édouard (thigh)

Injured McArthur (groin, unknown), Richards (thigh, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y29 R0


Leading scorer Zaha 6

Tottenham v Leeds

Saturday 3pm Venue Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Last season Tottenham 2 Leeds 1

Referee Michael Salisbury This season G6 Y31 R0 5.16 cards/game

Odds H 11-17 A 43-10 D 17-5

Tottenham v Leeds


Subs from Forster, Austin, Doherty, Spence, Sánchez, Tanganga, Bissouma, Skipp, Sarr, Lucas Moura, Gil

Doubtful Lucas Moura (tendon)

Injured Romero (calf, 14 Nov), Sessegnon (knock, 14 Nov), Son (eye, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y25 R1


Leading scorer Kane 11


Subs from Klaesson, Robles, Ayling, Llorente, Firpo, Hjelde, Gelhardt, Greenwood, Harrison, Gyabi, Drameh

Doubtful Gelhardt (knock), Harrison (knock)

Injured Bamford (hip, 26 Dec), Forshaw (knee, 26 Dec), Gray (ankle, 26 Dec), Klich (knee, 26 Dec), Sinisterra (ankle, 26 Dec), Dallas (broken leg, Jan)

Suspended None

Discipline Y25 R1


Leading scorer Rodrigo 7

West Ham v Leicester

Saturday 3pm Venue London Stadium Last season West Ham 4 Leicester 1

Referee Jarred Gillett This season G6 Y24 R0 4 cards/game

Odds H Evs A 11-4 D 5-2

West Ham v Leicester

West Ham

Subs from Areola, Randolph, Johnson, Coufal, Fornals, Antonio, Lanzini, Downes, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Coventry, Ashby

Doubtful None

Injured Cornet (calf, unknown), Palmieri (knock, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y16 R0


Leading scorers Antonio, Benrahma, Bowen, Scamacca 2


Subs from Iversen, Smithies, Ward, Vardy, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Pérez, Amartey, Vestergaard, Mendy, Soumaré

Doubtful None

Injured Pereira (calf, Jan), Justin (achilles, May), Bertrand (knee, unknown), Soyuncu (hamstring, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y17 R0


Leading scorer Maddison 6

Newcastle v Chelsea

Saturday 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier League Venue St James’ Park Last season Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3

Referee Robert Jones This season G8 Y28 R1 3.63 cards/game

Odds H 7-5 A 2-1 D 28-11

Newcastle v Chelsea


Subs from Darlow, Gillespie, Karius, Lascelles, Targett, Manquillo, Lewis, Shelvey, Anderson, S Longstaff, Wood, Fraser, Murphy

Doubtful Darlow (ankle), Fraser (calf), Wilson (illness)

Injured Isak (thigh, 26 Dec), Ritchie (calf, 26 Dec), Krafth (knee, Aug), Dummett (calf, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y20 R0


Leading scorer Almirón 8


Subs from Bettinelli, Jorginho, Pulisic, Broja, Zakaria, Ziyech, Gallagher, Koulibaly, Soonsup-Bell, Hall

Doubtful Jorginho (ankle)

Injured Arrizabalaga (ankle, 26 Dec), Kanté (thigh, Feb), Chilwell (thigh, unknown), Chukwuemeka (thigh, unknown), Fofana (knee, unknown), James (knee, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y31 R2


Leading scorers Havertz, Sterling 3

Brighton v Aston Villa

Sunday 2pm Sky Sports Premier League Venue Amex Stadium Last season Brighton 0 Aston Villa 2

Referee Chris Kavanagh This season G4 Y16 R0 4 cards/game

Odds H 9-10 A 10-3 D 3-1

Brighton v Aston Villa


Subs from McGill, Steele, Lamptey, Colwill, Welbeck, Sarmiento, Enciso, Undav, Gilmour, Van Hecke, Veltman

Doubtful None

Injured Moder (knee, Feb)

Suspended None

Discipline Y17 R0


Leading scorer Trossard 7

Aston Villa

Subs from Olsen, Steer, McGinn, Sanson, Ings, Chambers, Augustinsson, Young, Nakamba, Bednarek, Guilbert, Archer, Kamara

Doubtful None

Injured Coutinho (thigh, unknown), Diego Carlos (calf, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y30 R1


Leading scorers Bailey, Ings 3

Fulham v Manchester United

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League Venue Craven Cottage Last season n/a

Referee Paul Tierney This season G11 Y43 R2 4.09 cards/game

Odds H 3-1 A Evs D 3-1

Fulham v Manchester United


Subs from Rodak, Kurzawa, Adarabioyo, Duffy, Chalobah, James, Mbabu, Harris

Doubtful None

Injured Solomon (knee, Jan), Kebano (calf, unknown), Mitrovic (ankle, unknown)

Suspended Reed (one match), Tete (one match)

Discipline Y35 R1


Leading scorer Mitrovic 9

Manchester United

Subs from Dubravka, Heaton, Jones, Maguire, Ronaldo, Fred, Sancho, Pellistri, Van de Beek, Elanga, McTominay, Mengi, Shoretire, Garnacho

Doubtful Antony (match fitness), Ronaldo (illness), Sancho (illness)

Injured Varane (hamstring, 22 Nov), Tuanzebe (match fitness, unknown), Wan-Bissaka (match fitness, unknown), Williams (match fitness, unknown)

Suspended Dalot (one match)

Discipline Y36 R0


Leading scorer Rashford 4

Brighton seal stylish Carabao Cup win to end Arsenal’s winning run at home | Carabao Cup

There will be few sleepless nights at Arsenal over this result and, as their fans were keen to point out, first place in the Premier League is a bigger attraction than Carabao Cup progress. But Mikel Arteta will still be frustrated by defeat to an alert, bold Brighton team who responded superbly to going behind and have a bright future if a young side’s performance is any measure.

Kaoru Mitoma completed the turnaround after Danny Welbeck’s penalty had cancelled out an Eddie Nketiah finish, and Tariq Lamptey added some gloss. It meant Arsenal’s 12-match winning run at the Emirates, Brighton coincidentally the previous opponents to win here, came to an end.

“Losing [is disappointing] but the way the boys tried tonight, and played with the amount of changes we had to make because of the congestion, I’m really happy with that,” Arteta said. He felt the result “doesn’t reflect what happened on the pitch”, although it was hard to go along with that: while Mitoma’s goal had come against the run of play, Arsenal having begun the second half ferociously, Brighton were the sharper going forward for long periods and could easily have scored more.

Arteta had retained only William Saliba from the win at Chelsea; Roberto De Zerbi made eight changes of his own and it was a night to enjoy Brighton’s youthful league of nations. The 20-year-old Jeremy Sarmiento, who will travel to the World Cup with Ecuador, was outstanding and Julio Enciso, an 18-year-old Paraguayan, was not far behind. De Zerbi had wanted his stand-ins to show their mettle and they did not disappoint. “They have the right level,” the Italian said. “I hope they start to believe in themselves more because to play in this stadium you have to believe in yourself, believe in your quality, and they have the ability to play.”

Kaoru Mitoma scores Brighton’s second goal at the Emirates
Kaoru Mitoma (right) scores Brighton’s second goal at the Emirates. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

That was evident early on when Sarmiento and Enciso both missed narrowly, the latter also failing to make contact with a presentable headed chance. Arsenal had not got going before Nketiah, profiting from a smooth run inside and perfectly timed pass left by the improving Reiss Nelson, swept a gorgeous first-time finish past Jason Steele. It should have settled them, because while this was a scratch team it was full of experience, but Brighton deserved their equaliser seven minutes later.

It was a moment for Karl Hein, the debutant keeper, to forget. The 20-year-old already has 16 caps for Estonia and a burgeoning reputation but slipped as Welbeck ran on to a through pass. The former Arsenal forward appeared to have taken an overly heavy touch but Hein’s error allowed him to reach the ball first, the keeper clipping him after he did so. The penalty was dispatched calmly.

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Angelo Ogbonna missed the crucial penalty as a youthful Blackburn dumped West Ham out of the Carabao Cup 10-9 on spot-kicks. After 19 successful penalties Ogbonna’s effort crashed off the underside of the crossbar to send Championship side Rovers through to round four following a 2-2 draw at the London Stadium. 

It was a deserved win for a callow Rovers side with an average age of just 22 and a half as Jon Dahl Tomasson made 11 changes with more than one eye on Sunday’s Championship derby against promotion rivals Burnley. They led through an early goal from Jack Vale before Pablo Fornals hauled West Ham level and Michail Antonio put the hosts in front. 

But the substitute Ben Brereton Díaz, Rovers’ top scorer, sent the match to a shootout and Italian defender Ogbonna was the fall guy. The result means that all six top-flight London clubs have gone out in the fourth round, with third-tier Charlton the only team from the capital in Thursday’s fourth-round draw.

Boubacar Traoré’s late winner sent Wolves through, the substitute striking with five minutes left to down much-changed Leeds and seal a 1-0 victory for the hosts. It settled an uneventful game which looked to be heading to penalties and gave the incoming Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui and his coaches food for thought.  

Lopetegui is due at the club’s Compton training base on Friday, before watching Saturday’s visit of Arsenal, before officially taking charge on Monday. The former Spain manager’s lieutenants were at Molineux having already briefly introduced themselves to the squad. PA Media

Photograph: Rob Newell/CameraSport

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“He totally deserved his chance and if I have to play him tomorrow again I would,” Arteta said. “We all make mistakes, me the first one, the players all the time, and it’s part of the game. He needs to carry on. When you make an error it’s about how you react, not about the error.”

Arsenal responded well as a collective and, perking up considerably after the interval, saw Nketiah strike a post before Steele saved brilliantly from Nelson. At that point there seemed only one winner but Mitoma, a half-time substitute, finished superbly after a surge and pass from Sarmiento and then, after taking a pass from Billy Gilmour in his stride and eating up the ground in front, Lamptey burst clear to slip past Hein. Arteta summoned Gabriel Jesus and other members of his cavalry but it was too late.

Finding fundamental problems with Arsenal seems spectacularly nitpicky these days but, if anything, the outcome bore out the impression they are walking a tightrope in terms of squad depth. “It’s what we have,” Arteta said, hardly rejecting the idea. It was a rare night of mild angst.

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action | Football

1) Saka should take heavy tackles as a compliment

Officially, Bukayo Saka is the 33rd most fouled player in the Premier League. Unofficially, Arsenal fans will tell you that their man is the victim of some sinister conspiracy between opposition left-backs and referees to get him hacked out of the game. So, a valid concern or the usual tribal tinfoil nonsense? It’s actually more complex than it looks. What sets Saka apart is his unique close dribbling style, the ball almost wedged between his feet as he runs. So when he buys the contact – because all wingers buy contact – the tackle often takes ball and man together, making it hard to see which impact came first. Simply put, referees need to do better here. But it also needs a recognition from Arsenal fans that Saka isn’t being deliberately victimised or singled out: he’s just really, unusually good. Jonathan Liew

2) Can Emery nurture Villa’s stars-in-waiting?

It feels a long time ago now but Unai Emery gave Arsenal debuts to Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. It is a slice of history that would appear to bode well for Aston Villa, whose academy graduateJacob Ramsey completed the scoring in victory over Manchester United on Sunday. Ramsey replaced Ashley Young in Villa’s only change and he repaid Emery’s faith with a vibrant midfield display, smartly combining with Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Buendía and Leon Bailey, and the way the 21-year-old, who joined Villa aged six, has started under Emery suggests he will be in the thick of things. Emery referenced Villa’s academy at his unveiling last week and in the Spaniard the club believe they have one of the the best coaches in the world to nurture talent. Ben Fisher

3) Núñez looks ill-suited to wide role

It’s fair to say that Darwin Núñez is not the world’s most silky-smooth footballer, and indeed his doomed, ungainly scurries down the left provided Spurs fans with some rare levity in the first half. If the target man’s bungled dribbles raised the question of what he was doing out on the wing, then perhaps Mohamed Salah’s two goals – dispatched after stealing into central positions – provided the answer: an attack spearheaded by Roberto Firmino gives Liverpool’s best finisher licence to drift infield. Not that this will be much consolation to Núñez, who remains the jigsaw piece that doesn’t fit. The lineage of Liverpool players signed as thrilling goalscorers only to labour painfully out wide is a long one that stretches from Heskey to Aspas via Diouf, Cissé and Babel. If the Uruguayan is to avoid joining that list, his manager must find an effective way of playing him centrally. Whether such a solution exists, on current evidence, is far from certain. Alex Hess

Darwin Núñez in possession
Darwin Núñez played on the left against Tottenham. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

4) Howe’s first year has been a revelation

While it seems increasingly unlikely Ralph Hasenhüttl will make it as far as a fourth anniversary at Southampton, the man opposite him in the dugout at St Mary’s celebrates 12 months with Newcastle job this week. The turnaround in that time has been remarkable, from a relegation battle to genuine top-four contenders. Their win on the south coast was Eddie Howe’s 20th in 41 league matches – and 19 have come in the last 32 games. For all the inevitable talk of Saudi riches, Howe has also coached a set of individuals into a fine collective: 13 of his latest match-day squad predated his arrival. When one press member made a comparison with Leicester’s 2016 title winners, Howe smiled. “I remember that Leicester team very well. But I just think we are trying to be ourselves.” Sam Dalling

5) Gnonto changes the game for Leeds

Wilfried Gnonto. Remember the name because Jesse Marsch’s 19-year-old Italy forward is very good indeed. It is no exaggeration to say that Gnonto altered the entire topography of a game Bournemouth had been in control of after he came off the bench at half-time. No matter that Leeds swiftly fell 3-1 behind, Gnonto – along with his fellow substitute Sam Greenwood and Marsch’s inspired switch from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 – recalibrated the power balance. After goals by Greenwood and Liam Cooper levelled the score, Gnonto created Crysencio Summerville’s second winning goal in two games with a wonderful run and beautifully weighted through pass. “Wilfried’s a very intelligent young man,” said Marsch. “Wherever you play him you see his savviness and clarity of thought. He speaks multiple languages, understands tactics and has quality. He’s making a big case for more minutes.” Louise Taylor

6) Guardiola’s recipe for City success

Manchester City refused to accept anything less than a win despite João Cancelo’s first-half red card. Pep Guardiola was asked if his team take an elixir to feed their addiction to victory. “A magic potion like Asterix and Obelix?” he said. “No but I see Fulham, they do good things and I made warnings to the players, they trained incredibly well, I saw how focused they were, so I went to sleep confident.” Kevin De Bruyne was again in fine form, claiming the 95th-minute penalty that Erling Haaland dispatched. His manager’s contract expires in the summer and the Belgian seemed no more informed than anyone else about how the situation might play out. “After seven years maybe it is more calm for him. To be honest I don’t know [about his future], I don’t think you’ll get too much out of him. And that is fine.” Jamie Jackson

7) Lallana looks a natural leader for Brighton

Roberto De Zerbi says he needs clever footballers who fully understand his complex tactics and style. One player who is helping his teammates is Adam Lallana. The 34-year-old was briefly part of the coaching staff between Graham Potter’s exit to Chelsea and De Zerbi’s arrival, offering an indication of his future plans. “Lallana is a teacher on the pitch,” De Zerbi said after defeating Wolves 3-2. “I think he will become a very good coach. I hope not now because I want him on the pitch but he is very intelligent, very smart.” While working with the squad, his “enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism” impressed the chief executive, Paul Barber. On the pitch, he looks perfect operating behind Leandro Trossard and excels with the one-touch play in and around the area. He has a few years left in his legs but when the time comes to hang up the boots, he will have options. Will Unwin

In the second half came one of those moments common to these pre-World Cup times. Lucas Paquetá screamed out after a tackle from Jordan Ayew, rolling over several times. Was his Qatar dream dead? The Brazilian, his ankle checked over, continued and played out the 90 minutes. “If anybody was maybe going to create or craft us a goal late in the game it was probably going to be Lucas,” said David Moyes, putting the anguish down to cramp. The Hammers are yet to see the best of a player counted among Brazil manager Tite’s chosen ones, suggesting the problems of recruiting in this interrupted season. Paquetá did not look much interested in physical battles with Crystal Palace and is back in the team after a shoulder problem. Moyes, like so many other Premier League managers, is forced to rely on players whose focus is drifting – a suboptimal situation. John Brewin

Lucas Paqueta in action against Crystal Palace
Lucas Paqueta is yet to peak at West Ham. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

9) Foxes find form at both ends of field

“How are you lot behind us?” asked one incredulous Evertonian of a Leicester City video analyst sat in the Goodison Park press box on Saturday night. It was a reasonable query on the final whistle, given the superiority of Brendan Rodgers’ team in every department over their error-strewn hosts, although Leicester are now above Everton on goal difference and heading in a different direction. Creatively, the contributions of James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Youri Tielemans and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall eclipsed anything Everton had to offer. And their defence made Frank Lampard’s team appear impotent, particularly after Dominic Calvert-Lewin departed with another injury. Leicester conceded 22 goals in the first seven Premier League games of the season; they have conceded three in the last seven. “The summer was tough for us,” said Rodgers, who reserved special praise for his only outfield summer signing. “But I always said that with patience and hard work on the training field we could get back to our level. It’s great to see them playing with joy and quality and you can see the difference that Wout Faes is making.” Andy Hunter

10) The joy of a good goalmouth scramble

Amid the glitz and glamour of the Premier League – a division of otherworldly finesse and scarcely believable skill – there’s nothing like a horribly messy goalmouth scramble to remind us that we’re all human after all. Nottingham Forest’s 96th-minute equaliser against Brentford had a bit of everything: a desperate flap from David Raya, several seconds of human pinball, a helpless last touch from Mathias Jørgensen and, finally, a heroic clearance from Ben Mee – only for goalline technology to intervene and leave him with his head buried in the turf. Thomas Frank’s side have played some excellent football this season, but they have also been highly inconsistent. Without a victory in four, they are now on their longest winless run of the campaign and face an unenviable trip to Manchester City before the World Cup. They have not tasted victory away from home in the league all season; going on their wildly unpredictable form, they’ll probably win 3-0. Will Magee

Brighton sink 10-man Wolves thanks to late Pascal Gross strike | Premier League

Incoming manager Julen Lopetegui will be buoyed by the desire and determination offered by Wolves, who played with a one-man deficit for the entire second half, but he will know he is entering a relegation fight after their latest loss to Brighton.

It looked like Wolves would hold on for a point until Pascal Gross turned home inside the area with seven minutes to go, sending Brighton sixth in the process. Adam Lallana and man of the match Kaoru Mitoma scored either side of goals from Portuguese duo Goncalo Guedes and Rúben Neves but once Nélson Semedo was sent off just before the break, Wolves were up against it and the pressure was unrelenting.

Roberto De Zerbi likes to play with an element of risk, not something Wolves can afford in their perilous position. There was constant one-touch passing in and around the box, which should have led to a Solly March opener but the midfielder saw his shot deflected wide. Not that it mattered, when moments later Mitoma found Leandro Trossard, who drew Maximilian Kilman out of position, allowing Lallana to curl the ball into the top corner.

Prior to conceding in the 10th minute Wolves had brought little to the fixture, instead were chasing shadows in their own half. Brighton’s love of risk opened up space for Guedes on the right who was found by a clever Boubacar Traoré pass. The Portuguese international has struggled to settle in the Premier League since joining from Valencia but he proved why the club spent £27.5m to acquire his services by driving for the box before slipping the ball past Robert Sánchez for his first Wolves goal.

It was the boost Molineux needed. The toxic atmosphere that enveloped their most recent home fixture, a 4-0 defeat to Leicester, was replaced by cautious optimism created by a mixture of Lopetegui’s appointment and the intensity of the performance, even if the quality was lacking.

Referee Graham Scott shows the red card to Nélson Semedo of Wolves.
Referee Graham Scott shows the red card to Nélson Semedo of Wolves. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Wolves were holding on with Brighton looking capable of cutting through them at any point but the hosts got the chance to take the lead when Daniel Podence hit a cross into Lewis Dunk’s elbow from close range. The VAR took an age to see whether the ball made contact and if Podence was offside in the buildup. Eventually Graham Scott jogged over to the screen and pointed to the spot from where Neves lifted the ball into the top corner.

Despite the energy Wolves brought, they looked vulnerable in defence whenever Brighton attacked, summed up when Lallana worked to create space to dig out a cross on the edge of the box for Mitoma at the back post to head home after Semedo got stuck under the ball.

Semedo’s afternoon ended soon after in the extended first-half injury time when he was once again outwitted by Mitoma, who took down a long pass from Lewis Dunk to get past the defender and run through on goal, only for the Portuguese international to bundle him over on the edge of the box. Scott was left with no choice, not that the booing home fans agreed when the whistle went for the break.

The man disadvantage did not change much about the flow of the game; Brighton dominated possession and Wolves were forced to rely on rare counter-attacks to threaten. March made José Sá produce a fine save, after the goalkeeper played Wolves into trouble, Adam Webster sent two headers wide and Alexis Mac Allister’s free-kick was palmed away from the top corner. Wolves were hanging on.

The determination of the team invigorated the crowd, who almost got their reward when Neves played a smart free-kick down the side to Adama Traoré in the box but his vicious shot was tipped over the bar. It was the last of cheers from the home fans because Gross settled the match soon after to leave Wolves desperately hoping for the ‘new manager bounce’ that Brighton are currently enjoying.

Risk-taking Roberto De Zerbi looks a gift for Brighton and the Premier League | Brighton & Hove Albion

For the Premier League to evolve and continue to excite fans it needs fresh ideas and philosophies to help English football move forward. The new Brighton head coach, Roberto De Zerbi, is the latest innovator to make an immediate impact, impressing supporters, coaches and pundits with his style of play.

I did not know much about De Zerbi before he arrived, so I tried to find out how he fitted with Brighton’s philosophy, which has been smartly built over many years. They are a methodical operation and it looks already like he is another clever appointment.

The Italian’s predecessor, Graham Potter, found that out at the Amex, as his former club thrashed Chelsea 4-1 and Wolves will be wary of the added threat Brighton offer on Saturday.

It is rare that a head coach comes into a side to build on success; normally a change is required because the previous incumbent has been sacked due to poor form. De Zerbi has walked into a dressing room that was on the up under Potter and it can be hard to join a successful club. It is quite simple to spot the flaws in a struggling side and make them better, but to improve a good side can be much harder. Luckily, De Zerbi brings with him a level of innovation that has aided the transition.

Against Chelsea, the midfielder Pascal Gross started at right-back. De Zerbi would have identified Gross as having the capabilities to play right-back in his system. He knows how to explain the role to ensure they know the reasoning behind it and how they can execute it for the benefit of the team. It brings greater flexibility with a squad. He will have been helped by the fact Potter frequently used players out of position, making the players open-minded to different ideas from their new coach, something he is using to his advantage.

Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea is challenged by Brighton’s Pascal Gross
Brighton’s Pascal Gross (left) played in a new role against Chelsea. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

De Zerbi is very risky in how he wants his team to play out from the back and he seeks to creates choreographed stages of play. He wants defenders to receive the ball in deeper areas, close to their own goal at times, and use their technical ability to withstand the pressure and find a way out. His centre-backs are his main players in terms of buildup; he wants to suck the press in from the opposition, lure them into a false sense of security and once the press is beaten they can move the ball up the pitch quickly, getting it to their main players in one-v-ones.

Against Chelsea, he highlighted that Kaoru Mitoma could isolate Trevoh Chalobah and Solly March could do the same with Marc Cucurella. Chelsea will have thought they could win the ball back with their press high up the pitch, but Brighton kept escaping.

Graham Potter has ‘nothing to say sorry for’ after Chelsea’s defeat to Brighton – video

Out of possession, Brighton are a little bit different in how they press compared with under Potter but there are still elements in their defensive structure they need to work on caused by the shift in terms of intensity.

De Zerbi is brave and looks an interesting character who the Brighton fans will buy into and like. It is always exciting to see a manager come in and shift the gears at a club. He is methodical in how he wants to achieve his tactical goals, similar to Pep Guardiola. He will pick one player or area to target within their philosophy.

Like Manchester City, Brighton are quite aggressive in how they press, but they build up differently; City do not play with as much risk as De Zerbi’s Brighton. In the first couple of games I thought it was too risky but that is because it is not what I am used to.

Brighton have highlighted someone who can work within the philosophy they have built over many years and put a new spin on it. That is exciting. If you bring in the same managers who repeat the same process, it can be quite boring for the fans. You see a little more of a twist and difference with De Zerbi. I like to see fresh ideas and to look at what they do and learn, while questioning whether I would do the same thing.

Football does not stand still. When Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp arrived, other coaches needed to adapt and improve to try to counteract their brilliance. It will be an exciting challenge for all the coaches who come up against De Zerbi.

Sean Dyche said “the best coaches are thieves” and he is right. They travel around the world to learn from others, picking up the best ideas to form their own style and philosophy before implementing it on a team. British coaches have gone around the world. Potter honed his skills in Sweden, Brendan Rodgers studied coaches in Spain and Eddie Howe spent time observing Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid.

It is good for the Premier League, managers and teams to adapt and evolve. I like different spins and twists, otherwise things would become boring. We need a competitive edge and to solve problems. De Zerbi has come to the Premier League to test himself. Now it is the job of his rivals to push him to his limits.

Graham Potter admits he looks ‘a bit of a fool’ after Chelsea’s defeat to Brighton | Chelsea

Graham Potter admitted he ended up looking “a bit of a fool” after his return to Brighton ended in a humiliating 4-1 defeat for Chelsea.

While Potter said he had no reason to apologise after Brighton’s fans gave him a hostile reception at the Amex Stadium, he said his decision to use Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic as wing-backs had backfired. Chelsea were 3-0 down at half-time and Brighton, who targeted Pulisic and Sterling, could celebrate their first win under Roberto De Zerbi.

“The responsibility for those two wasn’t to defend against their wing-backs, but I understand that whenever you do something and it doesn’t work you look a bit of a fool,” said Potter, whose nine-match unbeaten run at Chelsea is over. “That is how it is. I have to accept that, deal with that, do better, and I’ll learn. That’s the process.”

The game was played in a hot atmosphere. Brighton’s fans booed Marc Cucurella, who joined Chelsea in the summer, and also jeered Potter and his backroom staff.

“Like I said before the game, I didn’t have any expectations,” Potter said. “I have nothing to say sorry for or apologise for. I did a good job, you can see the team is a good team. I took over when they were fourth from bottom in the Premier League and were probably the third-worst team.

“There is a lot of money raised in terms of player sales and a lot of good players on the pitch. I hope for their sake, the next managers do as good a job.”

Raheem Sterling competes for the ball with Brighton’s Pervis Estupiñán
Raheem Sterling, who was deployed in an unfamiliar wing-back role, competes for the ball with Brighton’s Pervis Estupiñán. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Potter conceded his tactics were wrong. “As I said to the players, if you lose you have to look at it and if you’ve made a mistake or got things wrong, you have to analyse it and do better. That is part of our job, part of the process, and if we’ve got that wrong I have to take responsibility and do better.

“I’d rather look at it from that perspective. You have to congratulate Brighton, they did what they do well. We had some opportunities and the scoreline makes it feel a little bit worse than it was in terms of us having opportunities.”

De Zerbi ran on to the pitch when Brighton took an early lead. The Italian, who had not won in his first five games, said he was thinking about how the Russian invasion of Ukraine had forced him to quit his previous job at Shakhtar Donetsk this year. “We have been through eight really tough months,” the Italian said. “I had a great team Putin decided to take away from me. In that moment I found another team in Brighton. To find again a family and an atmosphere that lets you feel part of the environment is very nice. I have to be thankful to Brighton.”

Manchester City sink Brighton thanks to Haaland double and De Bruyne stunner | Premier League

As his proud father, Alfie, watched on, Erling Haaland ended yet again as Manchester City’s hero. His double claimed victory against a spirited Brighton and, before the clocks go back, he has a staggering 17 Premier League goals.

The Norwegian’s count is 22 in all competitions. This afternoon’s plunder consisted of a sweet route-one strike and a penalty that was Manchester City’s 600th finish in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola. It was given following a lengthy VAR review of a challenge on Bernardo Silva.

Haaland’s opener was refreshing as here was a long-ball ploy that is supposedly anathema for Guardiola’s pass-and-move masters. Ederson provided a supreme assist, the flighted 50-yard clearance bouncing once in Brighton’s half before Haaland chested on, rammed aside Adam Webster, and, with Robert Sánchez stranded, had his right boot in execution mode.

The second came when the referee, Craig Pawson, overturned his initial no-penalty decision about two minutes later as play continued after the incident. Bernardo Silva went for the ball and Lewis Dunk stuck out a foot and connected with the midfielder’s leg. Haaland coolly beat Sánchez with the penalty.

Leandro Trossard scores against Manchester City on 22 October
Leandro Trossard watches his strike beat Ederson to bring Brighton back into the game against Manchester City. Photograph: Matt West/REX/Shutterstock

The Norwegian might have claimed his own spot-kick earlier in the first half, so a question when the teams changed ends was whether he might grab a fourth home hat-trick of this astonishing season in City colours.

At 2-0 Brighton could tell themselves they still had a sniff but City were ahead without ever going through all those well-grooved gears that obliterate so many opponents. When De Bruyne punched a hole through the Seagulls and teed up Riyad Mahrez 3-0 seemed inevitable. But the Algerian blazed straight into Sánchez and, moments later, Brighton struck. Manuel Akanji was robbed of possession by Leandro Trossard who swapped passes with Solly March and Trossard’s 20-yard finish squeezed in at Ederson’s near post, the goalkeeper at fault.

This had Guardiola turning in disgust and those in orange rallied further. Substitute Tariq Lamptey dinked the ball in and Trossard again beat Akanji but his header missed. Mahrez, De Bruyne and Haaland all probed yet City were far from their swashbuckling best. Brighton were proving a serious foe and the champions were in a contest – Trossard was a standout performer whose next act featured a chip towards Danny Welbeck, and when play moved down the other end Pascal Gross’s scythe of Rodri illustrated an admirable edge.

Phil Foden was brought on – always a tell of Guardiola’s concern when a rested big gun is sent for – with Mahrez the fall guy for his miss. City needed the cushion of a third. It was a struggle. A Haaland dance-and-shot claimed a corner rather than the desired outcome. But Silva wandered along the left and rolled the ball over and De Bruyne struck magisterially from 25-yards and this was game, finally, over. Brighton could be proud but City should be too: having to scrap all afternoon, they did, and emerged on top.

Dean Henderson keeps out Brighton to lift Nottingham Forest off the bottom | Premier League

This was a frustrating, sapping 95 minutes of football and Steve Cooper did not overly care. For long periods Nottingham Forest played like the disjointed, slung-together set of players they inescapably are but it did not cost them. On the contrary they looked more comfortable as the game progressed against an increasingly exasperated Brighton and fought admirably to earn a point that takes them off the bottom of the table.

The robustness of their defending rendered the fact they barely mounted an attack of note irrelevant. If Forest rode their luck for spells of the first half they spent long stretches of the second untroubled, running the clock down expertly and playing on the audible nerves of a home crowd that has seen this all before.

Brighton’s old impotence has made an unwelcome return lately and, when Pascal Gross was thwarted by the best of several saves from Dean Henderson with nine minutes left, Roberto De Zerbi’s chances of a first win evaporated.

“For them to show the resilience and desire they did tonight, it’s ended up being a good point,” said Cooper, who knew his players needed a pick-me-up after their limp defeat at Wolves. “If we’d had a few more points on the board it would be a great point. We’re striving for that win.”

That never looked on the cards even though Brighton’s profligacy looked ripe for punishment. Their lack of a decisive touch was a theme that surfaced for patches of Graham Potter’s reign but must have been the last thing De Zerbi feared when overseeing a 3-3 draw at Anfield on his debut. Three subsequent outings have brought blanks; the solace for their head coach came in a performance he was reluctant to fault.

“I enjoyed [the game] and I said the same to the players,” he said. “I said thank you to them because they played a fantastic game. OK, we have to improve in the last 25 metres but after that I can’t say anything more.”

Pascal Gross fires a shot at the Nottingham Forest goal
Pascal Gross fires a shot at the Nottingham Forest goal. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images/Reuters

If it was a generous assessment of the final half-hour, which saw Brighton visibly run out of ideas, they had certainly done enough to expect an interval lead. Cooper claimed to have been encouraged by Forest’s play through the thirds before half-time but that, too, was over-egging things. Instead De Zerbi, a constantly agitated presence on the touchline, saw Henderson deny Leandro Trossard before the ever-involved Belgium international speared the game’s best effort on to the top of the crossbar.

Henderson saved smartly from Solly March and more straightforwardly from Pascal Gross, who should have done better after Trossard’s cutback, while Adam Webster and Joël Veltman flashed over from good positions. These were not gilt-edged opportunities, and nor were the volley and header from which Danny Welbeck came close after the restart, but one of them should have flown in.

That said nothing of the fact Brighton did not only squander shooting chances. Opportunities to feed teammates went begging, March failing to find Gross and later sending a low ball across goal with nobody waiting to pounce.

It all made for a hum of discontent, with a few boos at the end, from fans who want to feel confident De Zerbi can build on Potter’s platform. Nobody should dream of judging him for several months yet and, having endured the start of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine while Shakhtar Donetsk manager, the pressure does not faze him. “I stayed for five days inside a war so I’m not afraid of football,” he said. “But I’m sorry for the result because only two points from four games is not too much.”

Forest did not manage a touch inside Brighton’s box until Brennan Johnson, who had at least offered the boisterous away support a morsel with his enthusiastic pressing, outpaced Webster just before the hour then sliced his shot out for a throw-in. It was as exciting as their display got, summing up their attacking performance and cohesion on the ball. But Cooper explained that striking the right balance in a team which had shipped goals for fun requires going back to basics.

“Is that exactly what we want to be tonight? No,” he said. “But there’s small progress and a real commitment from the players every single day.” It felt like a long-awaited foothold.

Brentford’s Ivan Toney presses England claim with double to see off Brighton | Premier League

If Gareth Southgate needed any more persuasion that Ivan Toney is worth a place in England’s World Cup squad then surely this performance seals it. Two goals from the Brentford striker, including an impudent backheel and another penalty to maintain his 100% conversion record for this club, were a perfect example of the 26-year-old’s qualities at just the right time.

Southgate must name his preliminary squad for Qatar by Friday and despite leaving Toney on the bench during the Nations League fixtures against Germany and Italy last month, the former Northampton and Peterborough striker looks more than a decent bet to be on the plane after moving level with Harry Kane on eight Premier League goals this season, behind only Erling Haaland.

For Thomas Frank, it was a timely result as his side moved into the top half of the table and within one point of Brighton, who are still waiting for a first victory under Roberto De Zerbi. “It was a beautiful ugly win,” said Brentford’s manager.

In the week that Enock Mwepu was forced to retire from football after being diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition, Brighton’s players warmed up with T-shirts bearing the message “Chambishi to the Premier League. Your dream came true. We are all with you” in tribute to the midfielder. The owner, Tony Bloom, was even spotted among the supporters in the away end with a Zambia flag, with Adam Lallana admitting beforehand that the sad news had “put a massive perspective on what matters in life”.

Pascal Gross (front) and his Brighton teammates warm up in T-shirts paying tribute to Enock Mwepu
Pascal Gross (front) and his Brighton teammates warm up in T-shirts paying tribute to Enock Mwepu. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images/Reuters

De Zerbi could consider himself unfortunate to have only picked up a solitary point from his first two matches since succeeding Graham Potter and selected the same side that were narrowly beaten by Tottenham last week. There was a tweak in formation, however, with his opposite number Frank also opting to ditch his usual three-man defence as he made three changes from the team thumped 5-1 by Newcastle.

Bloom’s frosty relationship with Brentford’s owner, Matthew Benham – a former employee – stems back to an acrimonious split in 2004 that resulted in legal proceedings and means that he usually watches this fixture far away from the comforts of the directors’ box. Aside from an early chance for Frank Onyeka, Bloom will have been encouraged to see Brighton take the initiative here, with Danny Welbeck forcing David Raya into the first save of any note following a Pervis Estupiñán cross. The Brentford goalkeeper then did well to reach a swerving effort from Moisés Caicedo before denying Joël Veltman from the resulting corner.

But instead it was the hosts who found the breakthrough just after Bryan Mbeumo had struck the crossbar with a brilliant left-footed volley that left Robert Sánchez grasping at thin air. This time, the Cameroon forward was the architect as he found space with some excellent skill to release Onyeka and Toney finished with a sublime flick for his 50th league goal in his 100th appearance for Brentford in all competitions.

Ivan Toney watches over his shoulder as his flicked backheel heads towards the Brighton goal
Ivan Toney watches over his shoulder as his flicked backheel heads towards the Brighton goal. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Tempers spilled over just before half-time when Frank clashed with Veltman after the ball had gone out of play and De Zerbi briefly squared up to the Brentford manager. They swiftly shook hands afterwards but both ended up in the referee Michael Salisbury’s book.

Brentford have now won all 10 of their Premier League matches when leading at half-time and their advantage never really looked under threat as Brighton struggled to create any clearcut chances despite recording 72% of possession and registering 21 shots.

“To win games you have to score,” De Zerbi later acknowledged. “The Brentford goalkeeper played very well but we made mistakes at important moments. We are very positive and I trust in my team – with the quality we have shown in the three games we deserved more.”

Sánchez was relieved to see Toney fail to control the ball in a dangerous position after a mishit pass from the Brighton goalkeeper that would have left the goal at his mercy. Yet a moment of madness from Veltman, who brought down Brentford’s talisman right in front of the referee, left the visitors with a mountain to climb. Toney stepped up to convert from the spot – his 20th successful penalty from 20 attempts since joining Brentford two years ago.

“I don’t even know where I’m going until I kick the ball,” he said of his spot-kick technique in an interview with Sky Sports. “I just walk away and think of different things, like being on the beach with a cocktail.”

A frustrated De Zerbi will hope that his moment will come sooner rather than later.