Wolves go joint top after Palace win, Lampard found Hazard replacement, and Klopp, Pep criticize Premier League


Debutant Rayan Ait-Nouri on target as Wolverhampton Wanderers moved joint top in Premier League after a deserved win over the Eagles.

The 21-year-old left-back, who switched to Premier League on a season-long loan from Ligue 1 outfit Angers, took just 18 minutes to find the back of the net in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are now sitting third in the table, level on points with Everton and Liverpool who have a game in hand.

Castelo Podence doubled Wolves’ advantage before the half-hour mark after guiding Pedro Neto’s cross neatly over the line. Despite spurned opportunities from Leander Dendoncker and Nelson Semedo, the home side went to the break with two goals lead.

The Eagles were awarded a penalty by Martin Atkinson in the first half, but the Video Assistant Referee cancelled the decision as Patrick van Aanholt found offside in the build-up play.

The London-based club started the second-half brightly as Wilfried Zaha’s penalty appeal was turned down and the frustrating night then went bad to worse for Roy Hudson’s men when Luka Milivojevic was sent off for a high-stud challenge on Joao Moutinho.

The France U-21 lef-back made his debut for Wolves
The France U-21 left-back made his debut for Wolves

Top News 2: Lampard found Hazard replacement

Hakim Ziyech is expected to start against Burnley
Hakim Ziyech is expected to start against Burnley

Frank Lampard is confident that Hakim Ziyech will be a big success at the Bridge following his impressive performance in mid-week.

Summer-signing Hakim Ziyech opened his Chelsea account with a goal against Krasnodar in the Champions League as the Moroccan winger returns to full fitness.

Frank Lampard praised the 27-year-old after his MOTM performance in a 4-0 win over Russian outfit and Chelsea boss also hinted that former Ajax playmaker has a potential to be the successor of Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge.

“We had Pedro last season and Willi [Willian] was a huge player. The year before that we had Eden Hazard. Those sorts of players don’t get replaced on a whim. With Hakim, we had the potential to bring in someone with real different qualities to what we’ve had in recent years in terms of a left-footed, right-sided player which was his main position at Ajax.”

Ziyech, who injured himself during Chelsea’s only pre-season game against Brighton, returned to the squad for the first time a few weeks ago and following his cameo against Sevilla he played remained on the pitch for 80 minutes in mid-week.

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Top News 3: Klopp, Pep criticize Premier League

Liverpool and Manchester City are whirled into injury crisis
Liverpool and Manchester City are whirled into injury crisis

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola slammed Premier League governing body for not allowing five substitutions per game.

FIFA allowed five substitutions instead of three following return of football after the pandemic as a way of dealing with hectic fixture schedule and lack of match fitness.

But, the English top-flight management switched back to three substitutions this season despite FIFA’s approval to keep the five substitutes in practice until August 2021, and the Premier League clubs aren’t happy with the decision claiming that bigger squads would benefit from the rule.

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola were the first to slam the decision as both clubs have a long injury list. Liverpool are without Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Thiago, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Naby Keita, while Man City are short of a striker after the injury to Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.

“None of the top seven clubs asked for any advantage. We just knew because we knew our schedule, that it would be incredibly difficult. To have the best games at the weekend in the Premier League, it would have helped that as well. I think we should think about it again.” Klopp commented.

Pep Guardiola copied Klopp’s thoughts in his pre-match press conference: “When they splay every three days, they start to suffer. Why in all the leagues is it happening, and here we cannot protect the players?”

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