Talking points from the Premier League weekend

LONDON: Chelsea rescued a late 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United while champions Manchester City scored five without reply against Burnley. City lead the standings on goal difference ahead of Liverpool, with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur two points behind them.

Here are five talking points from the weekend’s Premier League action:

Champions League – Manchester United Training

COLD RECEPTION FOR MOURINHO

It was a sunny autumn afternoon when Manchester United travelled to Chelsea on Saturday’s early kickoff.

However, it turned out to be a frosty encounter for United coach Jose Mourinho, who not only saw his side concede a late equaliser but was taunted by the fans of his former club and reacted angrily to the celebrations of a Chelsea assistant.

Ross Barkley’s stoppage time goal ensured Maurizio Sarri’s side maintained their unbeaten record this season. But the celebration of Chelsea’s technical assistant Marco Ianni in front of Mourinho resulted in the Portuguese angrily getting to his feet before stewards had to intervene.

The incident drew taunts from some home supporters – the same fans who used to laud Mourinho in two spells as coach at Stamford Bridge.

However, Sarri acknowledged that his man had gone too far.

"I didn’t see what happened but I have spoken to Jose Mourinho. I understood that we were on the wrong side of the situation. I have spoken to a member of my staff and have dealt with this immediately," the Italian said.

Referee Mike Dean reported the touchline scuffle to the Football Association on Monday.

HART-BREAK FOR RETURNING KEEPER

Manchester City’s former goalkeeper Joe Hart was already being given a hero’s welcome before travelling to the Etihad with new side Burnley on Saturday.

READ  Snedeker, Tour's newest 'Mr 59', leads by two after second round

The Englishman, who spent 12 years in total at City and won two Premier League titles, had the honour of one of the club’s training grounds being named after him during the week.

However, the match itself was a torrid affair for the 31-year-old as he conceded five goals against the champions – the first time in his career he let in as many goals at the Etihad.

"The crowd reaction was nice but I came here as a Burnley player. It was far from a perfect day," Hart said.

Indeed, Hart made some stunning saves to deny Sergio Aguero and David Silva so it could have been a lot worse.

CARDIFF OFF THE MARK

Cardiff City secured their first win of the season in a pulsating game, beating fellow Premier League newcomers Fulham 4-2 to lift the Bluebirds off the bottom of the standings.

Andre Schurrle gave the visitors the lead with a spectacular 30-yard strike. Goals from Josh Murphy and Bobby Reid gave Cardiff the lead before Ryan Sessegnon made it 2-2 before halftime.

Fulham were expected by some to be the more exciting of the two teams in the top-flight this season.

However, it was Neil Warnock’s side who scored twice more to win 4-2 and leapfrog their opponents in the table, moving out of the relegation zone to 17th for the first time this season.

Fulham have now conceded 12 goals in their last three games.

PICKFORD REPEATS WORLD CUP HEROICS

England’s Jordan Pickford was one of the heroes for the national side at the World Cup in Russia this year, making crucial penalty saves on their run to the semi-finals.

READ  Du Plessis ruled out of remainder of Sri Lanka tour

He continued that form for his club Everton in Sunday’s only match, saving a second-half spot kick from Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojevic. The Toffees then went on to win the game 2-0 with late strikes from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun.

The penalty was awarded after Seamus Coleman tripped Wilfried Zaha in the area. Diving to his left, Pickford was able to stick out his right boot to deny Milivojevic’s strike.

It was only the 24-year-old’s second ever penalty save in the Premier League but few would bet against many more to come.

NEWCASTLE HIT ROCK BOTTOM

With Cardiff City’s win over Fulham, Newcastle United sank to the bottom of the table with a 1-0 home defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion.

Newcastle and Huddersfield Town are the only two sides in the Premier League without a win this season. But the situation looks all the more bleak on Tyneside, with a fifth straight home loss piling pressure on manager Rafa Benitez.

The Spaniard had been given the benefit of the doubt before now due to the ongoing off-field issues at St James’ Park with fans unhappy with owner Mike Ashley.

However, Benitez was under no illusion that it was down to him to stop United from suffering a second relegation in three years.

Asked if the current situation is the toughest he has faced in his career, the former Liverpool and Chelsea coach said: "Yes, at the moment, yes. I have had a lot of situations, but at the moment, obviously it’s a difficult task."

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)