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Diego who? Morata treble

The Match

Transfer Rater: Spurs' Janssen to Stoke

 By Nick Miller

Liverpool efficient, if not convincing, in controversial victory at Stoke City

STOKE, England -- Three quick thoughts from Liverpool's 3-0 Premier League win over Stoke at the bet365 Stadium on Wednesday.

1. Liverpool get efficient but controversial win

This will not go down as a classic Liverpool performance, like some of the brilliant, slicing victories of the season so far, but it was a terrifically efficient one. A 3-0 win over a Stoke side who were utterly dreadful might be the minimum you can expect, but on a bitingly cold night in the Midlands, it will do nicely.


 By Chris Wright

Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher go backstage at WWE Smackdown

Former Manchester United midfield partners Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher enjoyed a night of unfettered backstage access at the WWE Smackdown event in Manchester on Tuesday evening.

The veterans enjoyed VIP status at the Manchester Arena, where they posed for a succession of photos with WWE stars Carmella, Natalya, The New Day and Charlotte, the daughter of two-time Hall of Famer and subject of the latest 30 for 30 documentary, Ric Flair.

Carrick and Fletcher spent nine years playing together...

 By Nick Miller

Sack Race: Bilic and Hughes start to worry, Conte and Klopp safe ... for now

The FC crew look at the managerial merry-go-round, Jurgen Klopp discusses his future and Gab Marcotti talks Antonio Conte.
The FC crew look at the managerial merry-go-round, Jurgen Klopp discusses his future and Gab Marcotti talks Antonio Conte.
The FC crew look at the managerial merry-go-round, Jurgen Klopp discusses his future and Gab Marcotti talks Antonio Conte.

Ronald Koeman is the latest boss to lose his job following his axe from Everton. He joins Ronald de Boer (Crystal Palace) and Craig Shakespeare (Leicester) as the Premier League casualties so far this season.

Are more managerial changes on the way? Who is leading our Sack Race?

The front-runner

Slaven Bilic (8/11 to be the next manager to leave) looks a haunted man. The West Ham boss was perhaps lucky to survive at the end of last season, a spirited win against Tottenham in the closing weeks probably...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

How can clubs avoid the Premier League relegation battle?

Ian Darke weighs in on Crystal Palace's winless and goalless start to the Premier League season.

After seven rounds of matches, the relegation situation is taking shape in the Premier League. While Crystal Palace's historic awfulness takes the headlines, there are plenty of others looking over their shoulders, including recent champions Leicester and Everton who, after a summer of spending, would have aspired for the top four.

ESPN FC assesses the bottom 10 clubs' credentials in reverse order (20-11).

Crystal Palace - 0 points

What sends them down?

Irredeemable damage may already have been...

Diego who? Alvaro Morata scores stunning hat trick in Chelsea rout

Alvaro Morata managed to net an early goal for Chelsea within 90 seconds as the Blues were able to beat Stoke City comfortably.
Craig Burley takes to the touchscreen to dissect Alvaro Morata's vintage performance in Chelsea's 4-0 win at Stoke.
Craig Burley recaps Saturday's Premier League results, headlined by another commanding Manchester City win.

STOKE, England -- Three thoughts on Stoke 0-4 Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday:

1. Morata banishes memories of Costa

Alvaro Morata took his Chelsea tally to six Premier League goals with a hat trick in the 4-0 win at Stoke and the timing was key for the Spain forward.

With Diego Costa finally securing his move back to Atletico Madrid on Thursday, there are no more unwanted distractions at Chelsea regarding the combustible centre-forward.

But it also means Morata is the undisputed No. 9...

 By Andy Mitten

Once an Old Trafford legend, Hughes' Man United relationship is now frosty

Things got testy between Mark Hughes and Jose Mourinho on the touchline during and after the Man United-Stoke City clash.

Ask people working in football for their opinion of Stoke City manager -- and former Manchester United striker -- Mark Hughes, and you tend to get a positive response.

Those who know him talk of a decent man who is straight to deal with. Few would have selected him from the United dressing room of the late 1980s and early 1990s to be its most successful manager, but he's managed in the top flight for far longer than his teammates.

"Mark Hughes has flourished, although -- because he was such a quiet...