World Football Legends

EPL Winners and Losers: From 8-goal Toney to a Frustrated Gerrard


Ivan Toney further enhanced his chances of going to the World Cup in Qatar with a brace in Brentford’s 2-0 win over Brighton. Toney now has eight goals in 10 Premier League appearances this term and only Erling Haaland sits above him in the scoring charts. England boss Gareth Southgate names his squad for the tournament next Thursday and Toney is eager to be included. “’I always see myself as the best player on the pitch, you’ve got to have that mentality whoever you come up against. I feel good. I’m ready to go. Obviously everyone’s talking about England,” said Toney.


Chelsea manager Graham Potter described his goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s performance in the 2-0 win at Aston Villa as ‘world class’. Kepa pulled off a series of saves to keep Villa out and his heroics enabled Chelsea to take all three points courtesy of a brace from Mason Mount. “His display was world class, especially in the first half,” said Potter. “We needed Kepa at that point and he made some terrific saves. He has had a tough period for us at times but contributed to the game and found a fantastic level today. I’m really pleased for him.”


Mo Salah overcame his recent lean spell with the deciding goal in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Manchester City at Anfield. The game was settled by Salah’s moment of composure 15 minutes from time when he raced clear following a Joao Cancelo mistake and calmly slotted the ball past Ederson in the City goal. 


Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Leeds United made it the club’s best record after 10 league games since the 1904-05 season. Boss Mikel Arteta was delighted with the fight his team showed. “It’s always intense here and we expected periods where it became really chaotic,” said the Spaniard. “We had to handle that and we outplayed them in the first half when we should have scored two or three. Even so, I loved the resilience, the fight, the character and the courage the team showed to win the game.”


Steven Gerrard could be given just two games to save his job at Aston Villa following the defeat by Chelsea. The result leaves Villa in 16th place with nine points from 10 games and just one point above the bottom three. The club’s supporters have started to grow restless with the lack of progress. “I was aware of the shouts that came from behind the bench,” admitted Gerrard. “I don’t think they were all directed at me from a personal point of view. However, you can understand the frustration as they’ve seen the team perform well for an hour but, again, there were no goals. I heard a group singing from the Holte End. I’m aware of it but it is what it is and I have to accept it.”


Cristiano Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure in Manchester United’s 0-0 home draw with Newcastle United when he was substituted 18 minutes from time. The Portuguese striker had two second-half efforts disallowed and was replaced by Marcus Rashford, who felt unwell before kick-off. Ronaldo continued to berate himself as he reached the dug-out, where he slumped down obviously unhappy with boss Eric ten Hag’s decision.


West Ham United boss David Moyes was furious with referee Peter Bankes when he failed to award the Hammers a penalty in the draw with Southampton at St Mary’s. The Scot felt Tomas Soucek should have been given a penalty after what he described as a “judo move” by Romain Perraud in the penalty area. “There must be new rules in football,” claimed Moyes. “You should check out the new rules, which are that you can grab a player round the waist and hold them. You can then put them in a judo move, where you slam them down. He gets him and throws him right down. It’s unreal. Whoever was on VAR today needs to go to Specsavers.”