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MAN CITY, ARSENAL MAINTAIN PERFECT PREMIER LEAGUE START

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Arsenal vs Leicester

Manchester City stormed ominously to the top of the Premier League by cruising to a 4-0 win over Bournemouth, while Gabriel Jesus opened his Arsenal account in a 4-2 win over Leicester on Saturday.

As soaring temperatures across England forced the need for water breaks at all this weekend’s Premier League games, it was City who were on fire at the Etihad as promoted Bournemouth were blown away.

Erling Haaland failed to score on his home debut, but the Norwegian showed there is more to his game than goals as he used his strength before sliding in Ilkay Gundogan to open the scoring.

Kevin De Bruyne then took centre stage with a scintillating finish with the outside of his right foot to find the far corner before the Belgian turned provider for Phil Foden to make it 3-0 before half-time.

City eased off the gas after the break but added to their lead 11 minutes from time when Jefferson Lerma turned Joao Cancelo’s cross into his own net.

– Jesus shines –

Haaland’s arrival at City was one of the factors behind Jesus’ departure and the Brazilian is already looking like a bargain for the Gunners as he marked his home debut with two goals and two assists to maintain Arsenal’s perfect start.

Gabriel Jesus jubilates

Jesus was often deployed in wider areas in recent seasons by City boss Pep Guardiola, but was brought to Arsenal to be a number nine as he aims to secure a place at the World Cup later this year with regular games as a centre-forward.

The 25-year-old showed his eye for goal with a sumptuous chip over Danny Ward to break Leicester’s resistance and doubled his tally by heading home a corner at the back post.

William Saliba’s own goal gave Leicester a foothold against the run of play.

But the Foxes quickly threw that hope away when Ward dropped a simple cross into the box and Jesus teed up Granit Xhaka to slot home.

Another goalkeeping error at the other end gifted Leicester another goal as James Maddison’s strike squirmed under Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal, though, again responded instantly to avoid a nervy finale as Gabriel Martinelli fired into the far corner before Jesus hit the post with the chance to seal his hat-trick.

– Gerrard beats Lampard –

Steven Gerrard won the first managerial clash between him and former England teammate Frank Lampard as Aston Villa beat Everton 2-1 to get off the mark.

Steven Gerard, Aston Villa

Goals from Danny Ings and Emi Buendia eased the pressure on the former Liverpool captain after a run of two wins in their previous 12 games dating back to last season.

However, Villa had to survive a nervy finish as Lucas Digne’s own goal gave Everton hope as Emi Martinez twice denied Anthony Gordon.

Leeds missed the chance to join City and Arsenal on six points after blowing a 2-0 lead at Southampton.

Rodrigo’s double put the visitors in command at St. Mary’s, but goals from Joe Aribo and Kyle Walker-Peters may have saved Ralph Hasenhuttl’s job after reports this week suggested he could be the first Premier League sacking of the season.

Brighton and Newcastle failed to build on their impressive starts last weekend as both missed chances aplenty in a 0-0 draw at the Amex.

It was also scoreless between Wolves and Fulham at Molineux after Aleksandar Mitrovic saw a late penalty saved by Jose Sa with the chance to win it for the visitors.

Cristiano Ronaldo starts for United after being left on the bench for a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton last weekend.

David De Gea let slip another soft shot as Manchester United fell to a humiliating 4-0 loss at Brentford, making it their second consecutive defeat in as many games.

It was also the first time since 1992 – the Premier League era, that United will lose in their first two league games.

Man United Players

The result was all but certain as early as the 35th minute when Bryan Mbeumo finished off a brilliant counter attack to send his team four goals up.

Erik ten Haag looked frustrated after Mbeumo converted, an expression that captures perfectly the state of the club and its fans. As it stands, all things look dim for United, except the jersey they wore in the drubbing.

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MARTINEZ A DOUBT FOR BARCELONA, SAYS INTER’S INZAGHI

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Lautaro Martinez is a doubt for Inter Milan’s crucial Champions League visit of Barcelona, coach Simone Inzaghi said on Monday.

Already without big summer signing Romelu Lukaku, Inzaghi may now have to do without Argentina forward Martinez for the first of two Group C matches with La Liga’s joint leaders.

Martinez, who has scored three times this season, ended Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Roma in poor condition but Inzaghi said that tests on Monday morning “revealed nothing”.

“He was tired at the end of the match, today he’ll do some light training and we’ll see what kind of shape he’s in,” Inzaghi told reporters.

Another Argentinian Joaquin Correa will start up front alongside Edin Dzeko should Martinez not make the starting line-up.

Inzaghi, 46, also said Andre Onana would start in goal ahead of Samir Handanovic as in Inter’s first two group fixtures, and midfield lynchpin Marcelo Brozovic would miss the match injured.

The two sides sit three points behind group leaders Bayern Munich after both were beaten 2-0 by the German champions in the opening two rounds of the competition.

Inter have lost five of their 10 fixtures in Serie A and Europe and the pressure is on both Inzaghi and the team to not fall further behind.

However they have a daunting task ahead of them as Barca have kept a clean sheet in each of their last five league matches.

Barcelona also have one of the world’s most deadly strikers in Robert Lewandowski ready to pounce on any errors.

“Barcelona are very good, they play some of the best football in Europe. We know how important this match is,” said Inzaghi.

“They’re a complete team, they can do everything.

“They’re well organised, they recover the ball better than any team in Europe, they know what to do in and out of possession and now they’ve even got Lewandowski.”

Inter travel to the Camp Nou for the return fixture next Wednesday.

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GUSAU PLEDGES TO FOCUS ON TEAMS WELFARE

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The new President, Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, has pledged to run an inclusive administration, in which all stakeholders will be welcome to make suggestions and recommendations on the best way to deal with issues.

“Administration at every level, that of football inclusive, requires the wisdom to be able to listen to everyone who has an idea and then pick the very best to deal with each situation at hand. Those of us in the Executive Committee (of the NFF) are only privileged to be representing the entire fraternity.

“We will run an inclusive administration in which ideas and advice will be welcome from all quarters, and will be guided in our resolutions. It is very important to resuscitate the League and engender a massive football economy from which every stakeholder can benefit and also be happy to contribute to its growth.”

A former Chairman of the Zamfara State Sports Commission, Gusau served as a member of the Organising Committee for the African Nations Championship, and is a member of the CAF Organising Committee for Youth Competitions.

He is also a Safety and Security Officer of the Confederation of African Football.

Having served two terms as Chairman of Chairmen and member of the NFF Executive Committee under the Amaju Pinnick administration, Gusau says he is determined to focus on the welfare of players and officials of the various national teams.

“It is important to prioritise grassroots football and youth development, and that we will take to heart. It is also important to win trophies, and both can go side-by-side. Winning trophies is good for our country’s image in the international sphere and also helps to motivate the upcoming stars at the grassroots level.”

The new NFF Executive Committee will holds its first meeting in Abuja in a few days.

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OSIMHEN TO MISS NAPOLI’S AJAX CLASH

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Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen will not be available for selection when Napoli take on Calvin Bassey’s Ajax in their UEFA Champions League group stage game on Tuesday (today), our correspondent reports.

The Super Eagles striker was expected to be on the bench for the Partenopeans’ clash at Amsterdam, but reports from Italy indicate he is not fully fit yet.

Osimhen has been on the sidelines since Sept 7, when he sustained a hamstring injury in Napoli’s 4-1 victory over Liverpool.

The injury was supposed to rule him out of action for four to six weeks and saw him miss Nigeria’s friendly against Algeria last month.

There were earlier reports that the former Lille man would be available for selection when Napoli squared off against Ola Aina’s Torino, but he could make only a cameo appearance from the stands.

However, the Nigerian striker may have to wait till next weekend before he can make his comeback.

According to Napoli Magazine, Osimhen is very close to full recovery, but considering Giovanni Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori’s form, they are in no haste to throw the Nigerian striker into the thick of the action and risk further injury to their star man.

Nonetheless, Osimhen would likely make his return at Cremonese against countryman Cyriel Dessers on Saturday.

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