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Eddie Nketiah steps up when Arsenal need him as Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea are sent back to square one - Premier League hits and misses

Plus: James Maddison steals the show again as Tottenham maintain their stunning start to the season, while Sheffield United's lack of quality is painfully clear in defeat to Arsenal; Bournemouth win a key moment for Andoni Iraola despite VAR stealing the headlines

Nketiah steps up in Jesus' absence

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal's 5-0 win over Sheffield United

Mikel Arteta described Gabriel Jesus' injury as "really bad news" for Arsenal on Friday and it may yet prove to be. For now, though, it is no great concern. Not when Eddie Nketiah is in this kind of form.

The 24-year-old delivered a devastating display at the Emirates Stadium, seizing his chance in the absence of the Brazilian and firing a first Premier League hat-trick as Arsenal thrashed Sheffield United 5-0 to move back within two points of leaders Tottenham.

Nketiah is of course best known for his goal-poaching instincts and they were razor sharp for his first two goals as he converted from Declan Rice's low cross following an excellent first touch, then fired home first-time after an error from Wes Foderingham.

But his third goal, rifled into the top corner from long range, showed there is more to his game than sniffing out chances in the box. It is now five goals in eight Premier League starts for him this season.

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Eddie Nketiah secured his maiden Premier League hat-trick thanks to a sensational strike from 25 yards

Arteta was eager to emphasise the number of games he has started afterwards. "That tells you how much we trust him and the importance he has in the team," he said. But there is a sense that some supporters still need winning over and this will help.

It will help, too, if he continues to improve, and that is something Arteta is in no doubt about. "For me, he is top level," he said.

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"But the best thing about Eddie is the talent that he has got but especially his mentality. It's incredible. When he has that mentality, with that talent, obviously he is going to get much better."

With Jesus still some weeks away from fitness, Arsenal will need their hat-trick hero to continue in the same vein as they gear up for four fixtures in 11 days before the international break.
Nick Wright

Pochettino and Chelsea back to square one

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea's defeat to Brentford

Mauricio Pochettino has cut a calm figure since joining Chelsea, refusing to get too low after troubling defeats and keeping his feet on the ground amid talk of a corner being turned in recent weeks.

But he was unusually tetchy from an early stage against Brentford, even shouting down an overly-vocal home fan when they saw fit to offer Nicolas Jackson some unprompted advice from behind the dugout.

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Sky Sports' Gary Cotterill and Joe Shread give their verdict on Brentford's 2-0 win at Chelsea, including the Blues' goalscoring woes and Mauricio Pochettino's altercation with a fan.

This was a big game for Chelsea, a chance not just to end their neighbours' dominance of this fixture but also continue the momentum generated by the seven points picked up from the last three games.

Instead, Pochettino's side must face up to reality. No ever-present Premier League team has won fewer home games than their two since the start of February, while they have now failed to win 11 of their last 13 London derbies.

Having once ruled the roost in the capital, Chelsea are not even the best team in west London anymore.
Joe Shread

​​​​​​Maddison proves to be Spurs' game changer again

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Crystal Palace

James Maddison was as culpable as his team-mates in a below-par first-half display from Tottenham at Crystal Palace. But he changed the game in the second half. The summer signing seems to be at the heart of everything good this Spurs side do.

His fired cross-shot forced the own goal from Joel Ward and his fancy footwork in the box then allowed Brennan Johnson to tee up Heung-Min Son for Spurs' second. Neither count as an official goal involvement so he misses out on the record for registering those in six straight away games at the start of his Spurs career. But his influence is plain to see.

This is a player who has the talent but also the personality to make things happen. His passionate protests to the fourth official when Jordan Ayew's injury-time strike was allowed to stand, despite having been subbed off, underlined his commitment to the cause.

It is an approach which saw him made a vice-captain of the club within weeks of arriving. His leadership with and without the ball has been instrumental in this record start from Spurs. It will be intriguing to see how far Maddison and Spurs can take it.
Peter Smith

Key moment for Iraola despite VAR dominating

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Bournemouth's win over Burnley in the Premier League

Despite VAR stealing the headlines at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth's victory over Burnley was a key moment for Andoni Iraola. The Spaniard simply had to win - even he admitted that - with owner Bill Foley watching on from the stands.

Foley flew over from America for the first time since August to watch Iraola, who was appointed in June after the controversial sacking of Gary O'Neil, finally win his first Premier League game in charge at the 10th attempt.

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VAR initially showed a green line as Jay Rodriguez thought he had equalised for Burnley against Bournemouth before the original on-field call was eventually confirmed after more than five minutes

It might have been a pre-planned visit but given the situation Bournemouth found themselves in ahead of Saturday's game, Foley's presence surely only added to the pressure Iraola was undoubtedly feeling.

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Clinton Morrison and Mike Dean react as Jay Rodriguez thought he had equalised for Burnley but after a five-minute VAR check, his goal was finally disallowed for offside

Foley backed his new head coach in the summer transfer window by bringing in eight players for a combined total of £117.3m, so he probably didn't think it would take until the end of October for Iraola to pick up three points. It might be too strong to suggest that narrowly getting the better of fellow relegation rivals is the turning point, but it's clearly a significant boost.

"Relieved," is how Iraola described his feelings post-match. Foley will be too. This is now a chance for Bournemouth to build some momentum.
Dan Sansom

Neto loss is huge for improving Wolves

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League clash between Wolves and Newcastle

With only three teams on a longer unbeaten run than Wolves in the Premier League, Gary O'Neil has certainly won over the supporters at Molineux. His team pushed Newcastle all the way in a thrilling 2-2 draw that nevertheless came at a heavy price.

The loss of Pedro Neto was cruel on the club but primarily the player. He has been flying this season, providing more assists than anyone else in the Premier League. He succumbed to a hamstring injury in the second half when on yet another driving run from deep.

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Eddie Howe and Gary O'Neil give their views on Newcastle's penalty being awarded despite it being reviewed by VAR

"He is moving around in there," said O'Neil afterwards. "We are hoping it is on the smaller side and Pedro won't be missing for long." On replacing him, he added: "Not many teams will have two wingers of Pedro's quality just sitting on the bench waiting to play."

Clearly, there is nobody at Neto's level. O'Neil recently suggested that Wolves had limited wing options even before this injury. The team will need to be tweaked and Wolves will try to find a way. But they are unlikely to be this dynamic without their star man.
Adam Bate

Howe is counting cost of squad issues

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Eddie Howe speaks to Sky Sports after Newcastle's draw against Wolves away from home.

Eddie Howe made only one substitution which reflected the limited options that he had available to him. Alexander Isak and Jacob Murphy are injured. Sandro Tonali is now suspended for 10 months. The Newcastle boss had a bench full of full-backs.

"I was left with a lot of defenders," he acknowledged. "I have to be careful making changes. That game was very difficult to come into. You really want to be changing attacking players and going for three points but they were not available for us."

Newcastle did finish the game strongly. "One of our best spells was at a late stage." But he admitted that he would have liked to "freshen things up because of fatigue" after a week that saw them facing Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday.

That challenge is mental as well as physical. "We have seen a top player leave us for 10 months, that is tough on the players because they know that they need help." The schedule is not easing. Newcastle go to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
Adam Bate

Sheff Utd's lack of quality is painfully clear

Sheffield United's Jack Robinson vies with Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah
Image: Sheffield United's Jack Robinson vies with Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah

Paul Heckingbottom bemoaned Sheffield United's injury list after their thrashing by Arsenal. Certainly, they would have been stronger had players such as Chris Basham, Anel Ahmedhodzic, John Egan and Oli McBurnie been available for selection.

But would they have been strong enough? Heckingbottom is right when he says his side's season will not be defined by their trip to the Emirates Stadium but even at full strength, and with a far easier fixture schedule coming up, it feels like they are short on the quality required to compete at this level.

It is not just the top sides who have beaten them this season. It is also Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Fulham. It is a goal difference of minus 18. It is one point from 10 games. It is a historically bad start to a Premier League season and, injuries or not, the worry is that the writing is already on the wall.
Nick Wright

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