Manchester City return to Premier League summit as football mourns Bobby Charlton

Manchester City's Julian Alvarez celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring in their Premier League game against Brighton and Hove Albion

Manchester City's Julian Alvarez celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring in their Premier League game against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Saturday. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP

Published Oct 21, 2023


Manchester City beat Brighton 2-1 on Saturday to return to the Premier League summit on a day when the action on the pitch was overshadowed by the death of England World Cup winner Bobby Charlton.

Charlton's family announced that the midfielder, who won 106 caps for England and scored 49 international goals, had "passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning".

Tributes poured in from across the football world, with former England captain David Beckham praising the Manchester United great as a "national hero".

City manager Pep Guardiola also expressed his condolences after the champions held on to beat Brighton at the Etihad.

"I am sorry to the Manchester United family and England," he said. "Next week, when we go there, we will be present to make a tribute.

"I love this country for many things but one of the things is how they take care of the legends."

City's hard-fought win meant they leapfrogged Liverpool, who briefly topped the table after their 2-0 victory against neighbours Everton in the early kick-off.

It was City's 21st consecutive victory at the Etihad Stadium in all competitions, setting a new record for a winning run at home by a Premier League club.

The treble winners, who had lost their previous two league games, dominated the first half, taking the lead through Julian Alvarez in the seventh minute.

Erling Haaland ended his brief goal drought by doubling City's lead 12 minutes later, driving home a fierce left-footed shot from just outside the area.

But it was a different story after the break. Ansu Fati pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute to heap the pressure on the home side, who held on despite the sending off of defender Manuel Akanji.

Liverpool's derby dominance

Liverpool had fortune on their side against Everton at Anfield, where Mohamed Salah scored twice.

Everton's Ashley Young was sent off before half-time for two bookable offences, while Ibrahima Konate escaped a second booking in the second half with the game still goalless.

The home side struggled to make their man advantage count, but finally achieved the breakthrough 15 minutes from time when Salah smashed home from the penalty spot after Michael Keane handled.

Salah was then teed up by Darwin Nunez to make the points safe deep into stoppage time.

Everton manager Sean Dyche was angry about the decision not to send Konate off.

"I have no clue how he didn't feel it was a bookable offence," he said.

"I like to think there are a lot of fair-minded people here today who are stunned that wasn't a second yellow card."

Even Klopp said he could understand Everton's frustration at a lack of consistency from referee Craig Pawson.

The three points mean the Reds have lost just one of their last 29 Merseyside derbies and remain unbeaten at Anfield in front of a crowd against Everton since 1999.

Newcastle, whose early-season struggles are now a distant memory, romped to a 4-0 win against sorry Crystal Palace, with goals from Jacob Murphy, Anthony Gordon, Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson.

The win, their fourth in five Premier League matches, lifts Eddie Howe's men to fifth in the Premier League.

Elsewhere, Brentford beat Burnley 3-0 while Wolves came from behind to beat Bournemouth 2-1 thanks to a late winner from Sasa Kalajdzic.

Luton recovered from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Nottingham Forest.

Arsenal can become the fourth team to top the table on Saturday if they beat Chelsea in the early evening kick-off.

Manchester United play bottom club Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in the late kick-off, in what will be an emotional fixture following Charlton's death.

Tottenham, who started the day at the top of the table, are not in action until Monday, when they host Fulham.