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Category: Premier League

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Gareth Barry aims to carry on after passing Ryan Giggs appearance record

West Bromwich Albion midfielder, who will play his 633rd Premier League game at Arsenal on Monday, has taken up yoga, shows no signs of slowing down and says he could still be playing at 40

If Gareth Barry was beginning to feel frazzled by a morning of media commitments at The Hawthorns, the message that popped up on Phil Neville’s iPad brought home the reason all this was happening. Neville was interviewing his former England team-mate for television and Barry was genuinely touched to be shown a recorded offer of congratulations from Ryan Giggs, who is only a vague acquaintance but had made contact to acknowledge the passing-on of his Premier League appearance record.

The handover will be formalised on Monday when Barry starts for West Bromwich Albion at Arsenal, making his 633rd top-flight outing and confirming his place in the modern history books. “I’m not going to argue with Ryan about trophies and things like that,” Barry says in response to some light ribbing from Giggs about the difficulty of their respective achievements. “It was lovely to hear from him. I’m aware he’s played in the old First Division before and collected a few more appearances than the 633. I’m also aware the Premier League started in 1992 and records existed before that too. I’m not here to say I’m top of the tree in English football history.”

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Amazon and Facebook keen on Premier League rights, say Manchester United

• Tech companies’ interest will escalate financial boom for top clubs
• Ed Woodward announces record income made by United

The internet giants Amazon and Facebook are likely to bid for Premier League football streaming rights, which will further escalate the huge financial boom for England’s top clubs, the Manchester United vice-chairman has said.

In his quarterly call with bank executives who invest in United’s shares on the New York stock exchange, Ed Woodward said the technology companies were very interested in the last round of rights deals for 2016-19, which the Premier League sold primarily to BSkyB and BT for £8.4bn.

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‘Football manager excuses’ are for the supercoaches and the blustergaffers | Paul Wilson

Arguably the most admirable characters in modern football are the managers who embrace the basic unfairness of the sport and offer realism amid the Premier League’s inequalities

It is always appreciated when sport manages to offer colourful additions to the national lexicon – “squeaky bum time”, “I never said them things”, “do I not like that” etc – so it was pleasing to note that in criticising Ryanair’s handling of its self-made fiasco over flight cancellations this week the RBC investment bank accused the company of coming up with “football manager excuses”.

Blaming everyone but themselves, in other words. It is an expression that deserves to stick, because just about every manager has been guilty of it at some point and there have been several noteworthy examples even this early in the present season. The otherwise admirable Marco Silva was aggrieved about a couple of marginal offsides at the weekend when neither would have made a scrap of difference to the outcome of Watford’s match against Manchester City, while Ronald Koeman ludicrously tried to blame José Mourinho for increasing the pressure on Everton after watching his side ship 12 goals without reply in their last four games. For the record, Arsène Wenger was not whingeing when he pondered whether the colour of Alexander Lacazette’s boots might have alerted the referee’s assistant to the fact that his toe was in an offside position before his disallowed goal at Stoke, he was merely passing on the views of a supporter who had pointed out the possibility.

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How Wolves became early favourites to win the Championship

Wolves finished 15th in the Championship last season but, after changing their manager and signing 12 players, they look like genuine title contenders

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

The Championship is notoriously competitive and this season is proving to be no exception. After eight rounds of fixtures, the top six clubs are separated by just two points and none of the three pre-seasons favourites – Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Fulham – are in those play-off places. Villa and Fulham aren’t even in the top half – although they are just seven points behind Leeds, Wolves and Cardiff, who sit at the top of the table with 17 points.

The season isn’t yet two months old but momentum has already swung one way and then another. Cardiff City won their first five games of the season; Ipswich will go top if they win their game in hand on the leaders; and Leeds currently sit in first place. But Wolves are the one side who look like genuine title contenders, which is somewhat remarkable given their summer of upheaval.

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

Bournemouth get some return from £15m Ibe, Chelsea lack plan B without Diego Costa, Burnley are not long-ball side and Jamaal Lascelles has grown up fast

Manchester City and Manchester United have goal differences of +14 after five matches. That is more than Celtic in the Scottish Premier League, a division routinely mocked for being uncompetitive. If the Manchester clubs carry on winning by the margins they have enjoyed so far, then they will surpass the Premier League’s record goal difference (+71 racked up by Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea in 2009-10), the best ever mustered by Celtic (+80), the New Saints in Wales (+75) and the preposterous Ligue 1 record set by Paris Saint-Germain two years ago (+83). Of course that is a big ‘if’ because there is a small clutch of teams who could frustrate or even beat them. But United and, in particular, City are likely to ridicule many opponents this season. City beat United to the 2012 title on goal difference (+64 against +56); for José Mourinho there would surely be no sweeter way to prevail over Pep Guardiola this season. Paul Doyle

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Roy Hodgson plays patience principle at Crystal Palace with history on his side | Paul MacInnes

Southampton ensure former England manager was unable to stop the rot in first game in charge but he points to past club escapes and urges fans to stay with him

There is always a touch of pathos about Roy Hodgson. It could be his hangdog expression. Maybe it is the way he insists on being gentlemanly in an age of turbo-charged egotists. Or perhaps the low points in his career – Liverpool, England – seem somehow to conform to the stereotype; nice guy but out of his depth at the top.

Hodgson was welcomed with polite applause by the Crystal Palace fans before the match against Southampton and got the same response after their defeat. As he first walked to the dugout he was embraced by Pete the Eagle in a slightly awkward clinch. The cameras, of which there were many at Selhurst Park, caught him in trademark head-in-hands mode after Steven Davis turned home the only goal in the sixth minute. Later they caught him doing that thing with his finger on his lips as he considered how to improve his team’s prospects. So far, so Roy.

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Swansea turnaround and Kane-esque Tammy Abraham give Clement platform | Ben Fisher

Stifling Tottenham at Wembley nine months after they were demolished 5-0 by Spurs and with a teenage striker ‘in a good place’ pleases Swans manager

Well into four minutes of added time, the advertising hoardings that illuminate the middle tier of Wembley lit up the names of the countless global Tottenham Hotspur official supporters clubs one last time. From Pittsburgh to Poland and Singapore to Sligo, the frustration was felt far and wide as Wilfried Bony cleared a flat Christian Eriksen free-kick. A smattering of boos from Spurs supporters followed while those in the away end celebrated a precious point.

Swansea City, led by captain Federico Fernández, earned a draw after a character-building performance in which they kept a third straight Premier League clean sheet on the road. In shutting out Tottenham on Saturday they became the first team since Leicester City, in January 2016, to stifle Spurs in front of their home supporters in the top flight. Lukasz Fabianski was magnificent in goal but a return to basics after a desperately poor home defeat by Newcastle United helped shape and organise Swansea, starting with their stubborn five-man defence. A glance at the 5-0 demolition by Spurs at White Hart Lane last December is a measure of Swansea’s progress, as voiced by the manager, Paul Clement.

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Ronald Koeman tells José Mourinho to “get realistic” – video

In a fractious press conference after his Everton side lost 4-0 at Old Trafford, Ronald Koeman told José Mourinho to “get realistic”, in reference to comments the Manchester United boss made in his column in the match-day programme. Koeman also suggested that if he can’t get his team to win in the four home games they have before the next international break, he should be removed from his job

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Your weekend roundup of the best photography from England’s top flight

Follow us on Instagram for more great sports photography

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Wayne Rooney loses out in battle of Manchester United’s past and present | Jamie Jackson

Wayne Rooney made his first return to Old Trafford since leaving and it was not a happy one as his replacement Romelu Lukaku overshadowed him

The heavens opened after only three minutes and so Wayne Rooney was being soaked as Antonio Valencia flashed home a sweet volley that gave Manchester United the lead moments later. This was not the way the club’s record goalscorer imagined his return.

Rooney last faced United at this venue on Boxing Day 2003 when Everton lost 3-2 against a Sir Alex Ferguson side that featured Tim Howard, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Bellion. While Rooney’s status then as Old Trafford’s golden boy was still in the future, this match might have been billed as United Past versus United Present. With Rooney donning Everton livery, the home crowd would see their 253-goal man line up against his replacement, Romelu Lukaku, whose six goals in six games was a dream start to his career after moving from Goodison Park. Rooney had scored in Everton’s first two Premier League games but nothing since.

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Wayne Rooney loses out in battle of Manchester United’s past and present | Jamie Jackson

Wayne Rooney made his first return to Old Trafford since leaving and it was not a happy one as his replacement Romelu Lukaku overshadowed him

The heavens opened after only three minutes and so Wayne Rooney was being soaked as Antonio Valencia flashed home a sweet volley that gave Manchester United the lead moments later. This was not the way the club’s record goalscorer imagined his return.

Rooney last faced United at this venue on Boxing Day 2003 when Everton lost 3-2 against a Sir Alex Ferguson side that featured Tim Howard, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Bellion. While Rooney’s status then as Old Trafford’s golden boy was still in the future, this match might have been billed as United Past versus United Present. With Rooney donning Everton livery, the home crowd would see their 253-goal man line up against his replacement, Romelu Lukaku, whose six goals in six games was a dream start to his career after moving from Goodison Park. Rooney had scored in Everton’s first two Premier League games but nothing since.

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Ronald Koeman frustrated by José Mourinho’s top-four comment

• Mourinho says Everton should be aiming for top-four finish
• Koeman tells Manchester United manager to ‘get realistic’

Ronald Koeman told José Mourinho to “get realistic” after the Manchester United manager claimed before his side’s 4-0 win that Everton should be aiming for a top-four finish “at least” having spent £140m in the summer transfer window.

Goals from Antonio Valencia on two minutes, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, on 83, Romelu Lukaku, on 89, and an Anthony Martial penalty in added time put United joint-top with Manchester City, both teams having 13 points and 16 goals with two conceded after five matches.

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David Luiz’s red card foul was excessive force, says Arsène Wenger – video

Following Chelsea’s goalless draw with Arsenal, both managers were asked about the red card given to David Luiz at the end of the match. Arsène Wenger described it as “excessive force” and suggested that with distance, Luiz might accept that he went in too strong. Antonio Conte suggested that the referee might have blown for a foul directly before

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Eden Hazard cameo underlines Chelsea’s need for extra source of flair | Barney Ronay

Belgian forward comes on to give his side creative edge they had been lacking but too late to find way through Arsenal in claustrophobic game of fine details

On a rowdy, bruising, enjoyably intense afternoon at Stamford Bridge Chelsea showed two sides to their game. First came the one that doesn’t involve Eden Hazard. For the opening 70 minutes of this 0-0 draw the champions were neat, focused, disciplined and aggressively blunt in their attacking rhythms, the gears a little gummed.

After which, in glimpses, they played the other version, the Hazard-remix, the one where Chelsea’s No10 provides a vital free radical element in Antonio Conte’s hard-running 3-5-2, somebody to see the angles between the angles, to create space rather than simply applying relentless physical pressure.

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Antonio Valencia screamer sets up Manchester United win over Everton

By the end, Wayne Rooney could probably be forgiven for wondering what kind of adventures he might be missing with his old team. He had heard his name sung and there was a little, polite wave of appreciation to the crowd. Yet Rooney wore the look of a …

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David Luiz sees red as Arsenal hold Chelsea in stalemate at Stamford Bridge

By the time this contest erupted three minutes from time it is safe to assume both managers might actually have accepted the whole occasion fizzling out as a goalless non-event. Chelsea had been surprised by the visitors’ tenacity and refusal to wilt, and had only generated the upbeat tempo which can set them apart in sporadic bursts. A point almost felt like a bonus. Arsenal, saddled with that wretched recent record both against the recent top six and here in particular, would have been delighted merely to check a five-match losing streak in this corner of the capital. A draw represented progress.

And yet, given the rather frazzled nature of the latter stages, this game was never likely to pass off entirely without incident. Frustration had been mounting all afternoon, with David Luiz and Sead Kolasinac’s duels increasingly spiky and played out all over the field. Alexis Sánchez’s introduction seemed to raise the locals’ heckles even more. Then, three minutes from time, the Brazilian centre-back became preoccupied trying to shield the loose ball from the Chilean as Sánchez grappled at him from behind. In darted Kolasinac to thump the ball in-field, with David Luiz, flustered, diving in and catching the Bosnian on the base of his left shin.

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Manchester United v Everton: Premier League – live!

3.01pm BST

Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young, Fellaini, Matic, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku. Subs: Martial,
Smalling, Lingard, Carrick, Romero, Herrera, Darmian.

Everton: Pickford, Keane, Jagielka, Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Baines, Davies, Sigurdsson, Rooney. Subs: Sandro, Mirallas, Klaassen, Besic, Stekelenburg, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate.

2.49pm BST

Wayne’s World. Fountains of Wayne. Wayne Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. However you like your Wayne, there’s something for you today – are you an Evertonian, outraged by his departure all those years ago, who has clutched him firmly back to your bosom this time around? Perhaps you’re a United fan who, despite his slow fade over his final couple of seasons, believes he can do no wrong? Perhaps you’re somebody who takes a little from columns A, B and all the others, admiring the good and the bad from a brilliant if complex career that still have a fair few turns left in it.

The latest one, his return to Old Trafford, would have been billed a month or so back as the potential storming of the citadel by a vibrant, new-look Everton lineup led heroically by the man of the moment. Everton started the season reasonably well, Rooney scoring the obvious winner on his league re-debut, but it’s not gone remotely to plan since. A 1-1 draw at Man City – Rooney again – look a better result by the week but everything since has, let’s be honest, been turgid. They were virtually invisible against Chelsea and Tottenham; they were execrable at Atalanta on Thursday night and more of the same would see them take a hiding this afternoon.

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Chelsea v Arsenal: Premier League – live!

1.27pm BST

Here come the teams. It’s time for The Liquidator! “In the tunnel Koscielny looks as though he is taking a moment to question the point of it all and lingering over thoughts of where he would rather be right now,” says Ian Copestake. “Not that I am projecting or anything!”

1.18pm BST

Antonio Conte speaks. “When you have to play seven games in 21 days, it is normal to have a plan and then make the best decision game by game. Eden is very close and he is improving very well.”

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‘Result feels strange,’ says Jürgen Klopp after Liverpool-Burnley draw – video

In the press conference after his Liverpool side were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley, manager Jürgen Klopp admitted that the result felt ‘strange’ to him. Liverpool had 35 shots compared to Burnley’s five and, understandably, the visiting manager Sean Dyche was full of praise for his team.

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Pep Guardiola delighted with Manchester City players after 6-0 win – video

Pep Guardiola was ‘delighted’ with his Manchester City side after watching them demolish Watford 6-0 at Vicarage Road. His counterpart, Marco Silva, insisted that the game would be a useful one for his team to analyse and learn from. City’s win, which included a hat-trick for Sergio Agüero, has sent them top of the league, three points above their city rivals, Manchester United

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