On a day of incredible results, Aston Villa produced one of the most stunning scorelines in the history of Premier League football as they beat defending champions Liverpool 7-2 on Sunday, not long after Manchester United were beaten 1-6 at Old Trafford by Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.
Villa captain Jack Grealish was in inspired form while Ollie Watkins scored a first-half hat-trick as Liverpool were ripped apart by the club that just about stayed in the Premier League by surviving relegation on the last day of the previous season.
It is worth noting that there has still not been a 0-0 draw in the Premier League in the 2020-’21 season so far.
Bitter rivals Liverpool and United were joined in misery on Sunday after chastening defeats that rank among the worst that English football’s two most successful clubs have ever suffered.
Historians were reaching for the record books as the goals flowed, first at Old Trafford as United conceded six goals in a match for only the third time in the Premier League era, then at Villa Park as Liverpool surrendered seven goals for the first time since 1963.
Jurgen Klopp was so taken by surprise at Liverpool’s collapse that he actually wore a bemused grin at times as his team fell to the biggest defeat of the German’s career.
Liverpool’s chief tormentor was Ollie Watkins, who became the first Villa player to score a hat-trick against the Reds for 88 years.
Watkins bagged Villa’s first after a mistake by Liverpool keeper Adrian in the fourth minute.
He netted again in the 22nd minute before Mohamed Salah got one back.
John McGinn’s deflected effort made it three and Watkins scored Villa’s fourth before half-time.
Ross Barkley, in his debut after joining on loan from Chelsea, scored Villa’s fifth after the break with the aid of a deflection.
Salah reduced the deficit but Jack Grealish netted number six before Villa’s captain ran clear to cap the rout.
Second placed Villa have won all three league games this term, while Liverpool’s first defeat of the season left Klopp wondering how to fix a leaky defence that has shipped 11 goals in four matches.
Spurs stun United
Earlier, Jose Mourinho humiliated his former club Manchester United as Tottenham swept to a stunning 6-1 win at Old Trafford, while Arsenal moved into the Premier League’s top four with a 2-1 victory against Sheffield United.
Tottenham boss Mourinho was sacked by United in 2018 after a turbulent reign, but it was his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who was left red faced after a shambolic display from the hosts.
Despite taking the lead through Bruno Fernandes’ second minute penalty, United collapsed as they conceded four goals in the first half of a league match for the first time since 1957.
Tanguy Ndombele equalised in the fourth minute after dismal defending from Harry Maguire and South Korea forward Son Heung-min made it two from Harry Kane’s seventh minute quick free-kick.
United were reduced to 10 men when Anthony Martial was harshly sent off in the 28th minute for his reaction to a push from Erik Lamela.
That opened the floodgates as United surrendered, with Kane grabbing Tottenham’s third in the 31st minute after stealing Eric Bailly’s weak pass.
United were in disarray and Serge Aurier crossed for Son’s close-range finish in the 37th minute.
Aurier drilled home in the 51st minute and Kane made it six with a 79th minute penalty.
It was just the third time United had conceded six goals in the Premier League era started in 1992.
Solskjaer’s team have lost their first two home games for the first time since 1986 and sit just two places above the relegation zone after their heaviest home defeat since Manchester City beat them 6-1 in 2011.
Tottenham ended a run of four games in eight days on a high that included knocking Chelsea, another of Mourinho’s old clubs, out of the League Cup on Tuesday.
For the first time since 1986, United have lost their opening two home league games of the season and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer labelled their heaviest home defeat since 2011 as “my worst day ever”.
“It’s very embarrassing, it hurt all the players. It hurts me as the manager,” Solskjaer said.
“I’ll hold my hands up, I’m responsible for this. I promise we’ll do everything we can to turn this around.”
Arsenal have taken nine points from their opening four games as they look to return to Champions League football for the first time in five years next season.
But the Gunners were fortunate to take all three points at the Emirates as they had an early escape when David Luiz escaped a red card for a pull on Oli Burke.
Mikel Arteta’s men got going after the break and a fine team move opened the scoring on the hour mark when Bukayo Saka headed home Hector Bellerin’s cross at the far post.
Bellerin was the provider again moments later as Nicolas Pepe drove forward to curl the ball in off the far post.
David McGoldrick halved the deficit seven minutes from time with the Blades first league goal of the season, but they remain without a point.
Leicester’s perfect start came to a shuddering halt with a 3-0 defeat at home to West Ham, just a week after the Foxes thrashed Manchester City 5-2.
Liverpool can now leapfrog Leicester to move joint top of the table alongside Merseyside rivals Everton if they win at Aston Villa later on Sunday.
West Ham manager David Moyes was again taking charge from home after testing positive for coronavirus.
But just as in a 4-0 win over Wolves last weekend, the Hammers did not miss his presence as goals from Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen gave the visitors a full deserved three points.
At St Mary’s, Southampton won their second successive game by seeing off lowly West Brom 2-0.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side dominated throughout but had to wait until the 41st minute to open the scoring when Moussa Djenepo’s clever drag-back eluded Jake Livermore before the winger stroked his finish into the bottom corner.
Oriol Romeu met Stuart Armstrong’s cross with a brilliant volley from the edge of the area in the 69th minute.
Wolves beat Fulham 1-0 at Molineux as Pedro Neto’s 56th minute goal clinched their second league win of the season.
(With AFP inputs)
Collated English Premier League results:
Arsenal 2 (Saka 61, Pepe 64) Sheffield United 1 (McGoldrick 83)
Aston Villa 7 (Watkins 4, 22, 39, McGinn 35, Barkley 55, Grealish 66, 75) Liverpool 2 (Salah 33, 60)
Leicester 0 West Ham 3 (Antonio 14, Fornals 34, Bowen 83)
Manchester United 1 (Fernandes 2-pen) Tottenham 6 (Ndombele 4, Son 7, 37, Kane 31, 79-pen, Aurier 51)
Southampton 2 (Djenepo 41, Romeu 69) West Brom 0
Wolves 1 (Neto 56) Fulham 0
Chelsea 4 (Chilwell 50, Zouma 66, Jorginho 78-pen, 82-pen) Crystal Palace 0
Everton 4 (Calvert-Lewin 16, Mina 45+2, Rodriguez 52, 70) Brighton 2 (Maupay 41, Bissouma 90)
Leeds 1 (Rodrigo 59) Manchester City 1 (Sterling 17)
Newcastle 3 (Saint-Maximin 14, Wilson 65, 77-pen) Burnley 1 (Westwood 61)