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Dominic Calvert-Lewin wrote another chapter in his breathtaking start to this season with a hat-trick as Everton won their sixth straight game from the start of a campaign for the first time in 82 years.

This wasn’t as straight forward for Everton as the scoreline suggests.

Indeed the Blues were at their most fluent before half-time and were unlucky to lead only 1-0 at the interval.

Robert Snodgrass equalised immediately after the restart – which angered Everton.

They’ve been here before of late, pegged back by both West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace before running out winners.

Everton promptly hammered on West Ham’s door and crashed through when Richarlison meandered across the edge of the box before unleashing a drive which deflected off Declan Rice and wrong-footed Darren Randolph.

Richarlison was soon forced off injured, however and Everton will be keeping their fingers crossed following problems for three players.

The brilliant pair of Richarlison and Allan went off inside eight hurtful second-half minutes – after Jonjoe Kenny’s enforced withdrawal four minutes before the break.

It was Richarlison’s replacement Alex Iwobi who did a lot of the leg work for Everton’s third goal.

Collecting a pass from Gylfi Sigurdsson, he crafted room to shoot, striking the far post.

The ball rebounded for Calvert-Lewin to turn home.

And when Calvert-Lewin completed his second treble in 11 days, Everton were guaranteed their Carabao Cup fourth-round place.

Sigurdsson was the provider, forcing a pass through a narrow gap. Calvert-Lewin prodded past Randolph for his eighth goal of the campaign.

From Michael Keane’s carefully lifted pass from his own half, through Calvert-Lewin’s gorgeous touch to pull the ball from the sky, to the striker’s classy finish, Everton’s first goal was a work of art.

Calvert-Lewin left Declan Rice trailing to fasten onto the pass from Keane, who skilfully avoided a challenge from Manuel Lanzini before releasing his teammate.

The Everton forward used his left instep to control, steadying himself before easing his right-footed finish past Randolph.

Carlo Ancelotti’s teamsheet read like a statement of intent, James Rodriguez and Allan both included for their first Carabao Cup appearances.

And James was in sumptuous touch, gliding between wings to feed a succession of wonderful passes to his forwards.

One ball inside Ben Johnson for Richarlison defied science and drew audible gasps from those fortunate enough to be inside Goodison Park.

Richarlison gave it the finish it deserved, too, but the Brazilian had strayed marginally offside before placing the ball in the net.

James was having fun running with the ball, his opponents backing off every time.

Snodgrass got in a tangle and ended up on the deck trying to halt the Colombian in one instance.

When James went deeper, he fed a ball down the line for Calvert-Lewin – repeatedly running down young right-back Johnson’s channel.

Calvert-Lewin cut inside but sent his strike from 18 yards whizzing over the top.

For all the magical moments from James and Richarlison, it was Everton’s third South American in Allan who drew an appreciative roar from his watching teammates with a terrific challenge to thwart Felipe Anderson on the break.

Anderson had forced Jordan Pickford into a save down to his right on seven minutes but there was little from West Ham going forwards.

Lanzini tumbled in the box but was penalised for handball and Sebastien Haller couldn’t stretch far enough to meet a terrific Aaron Creswell delivery from the left.

Another Creswell cross, moments before half-time, was headed beyond the far post by Lanzini.

The visitors were unsure at the back, Creswell keeping Randolph honest with a hard-hit backpass and Fabian Balbuena heaving a sigh of relief when his gift of possession to Calvert-Lewin came to nothing.

West Ham’s hesitancy was understandable nevertheless. If it wasn’t James gunning for them, it was Richarlison.

Scorer of three goals in his past two games – including a double in the previous round at Fleetwood Town – Richarlison began here with a surge into the box which required three defenders to stop.

He danced through again on 20 minutes, slipping inside Balbuena and opting to shoot early with the outside of his left boot.

Randolph did very well to scoop the ball over at close range.

The one disappointment for Everton in the opening 45 minutes came with the injury to Kenny, who insisted on staying on the pitch to avoid leaving his team a man short defending a corner before hobbling off.

The home team sustained another blow scarcely 20 seconds after the restart.

West Ham’s equaliser was simple in its execution but an excellent strike from Snodgrass.

Anderson collected an overhit cross on the left and fed the ball back for Snodgrass on the edge of the box.

The Scot met it first time with a shot which arced across Pickford and into the right corner.

Everton responded with a Richarlison strike from the left of the box against the base of Randolph’s right-post and a shot from distance hit too high by Calvert-Lewin.

Allan was brilliant again to scupper Anderson on the counter, then it was James and Richarlison back to the fore, combining to supply Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle of the penalty area.

Sigurdsson’s shot was firm but repelled by the excellent Randolph.

The goalkeeper was stranded soon after, though, Randolph initially shifting left when Richarlison let fly from 18 yards – but undone by a deflection off Rice’s back which sent the ball on a trajectory down the middle of goal.

Richarlison’s night was ended when he fell awkwardly, the South American replaced by Alex Iwobi.

The nature of these games, winner-takes-all and no extra-time meant West Ham would inevitably begin throwing caution to the wind.

A cluster of claret-and-blue shirts were waiting when Andriy Yarmolneko headed into the middle after Snodgrass dug out a cross.

The ball dropped for Lanzini but he dragged his effort wide.

Pickford athletically helped over an effort from Haller after the Frenchman controlled on his chest and aimed an overhead kick.

With Richarlison and Allan off, it appeared Everton were set for a backs-to-the wall job to see this out.

The red-hot Calvert-Lewin emphatically dismissed that notion.

Everton have scored 12 times in three games in this competition with a +9 goal difference.

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Barkley joins Aston Villa on Loan

Aston Villa have signed England midfielder Ross Barkley from Chelsea on a season-long loan.

Barkley, who has 33 international caps, has been at Stamford Bridge since moving from Everton in January 2018.

The 26-year-old has played three times for Chelsea this season, scoring once.

“Capturing a player of Ross’s quality is a real coup for our club and I am certain he will thrive here and improve our team,” said Villa manager Dean Smith.

Barkley left boyhood club Everton following 179 appearances and 27 goals for the Toffees.

The attacking midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea after the signings of forwards Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and winger Hakim Ziyech and is yet to start in the Premier League this season.

He scored in Chelsea’s 6-0 third-round thrashing of Barnsley in the Carabao Cup.

Barkley is the fifth major signing for Villa this summer following the arrivals of winger Bertrand Traore from Lyon, striker Ollie Watkins from Brentford, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal and right-back Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest.

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Thiago Alcantara self isolates after positive test for covid 19

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating.

The 29-year-old only recently signed for the club from German side Bayern Munich and made his debut as a substitute in a 2-0 win at Chelsea.

However, he missed an EFL Cup win at Lincoln last week and was absent for a 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Monday.

Liverpool said Thiago “has exhibited minor symptoms of the virus but is in good health and is getting better”.

A statement on the club’s website added: “The club has, and will continue to follow, all protocols relating to COVID-19 and Thiago will remain in self-isolation for the required period of time.”

On Monday, the Premier League announced that 10 people had tested positive for coronavirus in the latest round of testing – the highest number of positive tests since the season began.

Liverpool play the Gunners again in the EFL Cup on Thursday and travel to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday before the international break.

The club’s first game after that will be in the league at Everton on 17 October for the Merseyside derby.

“It is the choice of each individual whether they reveal publicly the outcome of a Covid-19 test,” said Liverpool first-team doctor, Dr Jim Moxon.

“We have followed all the protocols to the letter and Thiago is OK.

“He will be self-isolating now as per the guidelines and hopefully he’ll be back with us soon.”

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Small Faroe Island team to make history

In the small Faroe Islands fishing town of Klaksvik, talk among the population of about 5,000 concerns only one thing at the moment: football.

For a country ranked 107th in the world, there is usually little to cheer when it comes to European and international matches.

But on Thursday, league champions KI Klaksvik will face the Republic of Ireland’s Dundalk in the Europa League play-off round, in the most important game in Faroe Islands’ football history. They are 90 minutes away from becoming the country’s first team to qualify for a major European competition.

“This is the biggest game in our history, by far,” says Sigurjon Einarsson, an editor at the website. “It’s the first time our team has had a chance to get into the group stage of the Europa League. A team from the Faroe Islands – I never thought I would see that happening, not in my wildest dreams.”

With a budget of about £1m, Klaksvik play their home games at a stadium with a capacity of only 2,600 (530 seats), but their match against Dinamo Tbilisi in the previous round, which produced a shock 6-1 win, was played at the national stadium, as their own ground does not fit the criteria set by Uefa for the third qualifying round.

The prospect of a place in the Europa League proper, which could see them face teams of the calibre of Arsenal, Tottenham, Leicester, Celtic and Rangers, seemed a long way away when, in 2009, they were relegated to the country’s second division. It was a low point for a club which has won 18 domestic titles, and ended a 20-year wait for their most recent when they triumphed in 2019.

Klaksvik, who began the season by overcoming Slovan Bratislava in a Champions League qualifier before losing to Swiss side Young Boys, rely largely on players born and raised in the town.

“We are like a family,” says Jakup Biskopsto Andreasen, their 22-year-old captain.

“All the players from Klaksvik have a really good connection and we are close friends.”

He has spent his whole career at the club and says there are “at least four or five” players from his youth age group involved in the first team. Pall Klettskaro, who scored a hat-trick against Dinamo Tbilisi, was also brought up in Klaksvik.

As Einarsson explains, the whole community is mad about football.

“When it comes to the passion of Klaksvik’s citizens for football, it’s said: ‘When KI win, the work goes quickly and well in the local fish factory. If the team loses, the workrate is worse.’ Klaksvik is called ‘the fishing capital of the Faroes’. It’s a proper working-class town, and they take their football very seriously.”

“You meet people on the street everywhere, when you go for a walk, and everyone is talking about football,” adds Andreasen. “People here are very excited about seeing their team making an effort to get into the group stage.”

Last season, for a title decider against B36, about 70% of the town’s population went to Torshavn, the country’s capital, to cheer on the team.

The transformation in fortunes has come under the guidance of head coach Mikkjal Thomassen, who took charge five years ago.

“In 2015, when Thomassen came, we set high goals and we have been working very hard,” says Andreasen. “We began by winning the Faroes Cup in 2016, and then we got into Europe.”

European games provided an opportunity to gain experience and improve technically.

“I think this is one of the strongest Faroes teams in European football ever, if not the strongest,” says Sjurour Jacobsen, the club’s assistant coach.

“We are perfectly set up for these games, as we are very physical and well organised. The players also have a great mentality – when they are under pressure, they can stand against it.”

As well as Klaksvik’s success, rivals B36 Torshavn beat three opponents in a row before losing against CSKA Sofia in the third qualifying round of the Europa League, hinting at further progress for one of Europe’s smallest footballing nations.

“There is more money involved and teams try to work professionally, training more and nurture better players,” says Andreasen.

The national team, which has never come close to a major tournament, might benefit, too. They have recently recorded Nations League wins over Malta and Andorra.

More than half of the Klaksvík squad work either full-time or part-time. Andreasen has just finished his apprenticeship as an electrician, Jacobsen works in a fishing factory, and there are students, carpenters, painters and accountants. In order to enable everyone to train, the coaches set the training sessions for 5pm local time.

“It would be an amazing achievement for us to get to the group stage – maybe we can bring Faroese club football onto the world map,” says Andreasen, whose side must overcome League of Ireland side Dundalk, who enjoyed their own Europa League fairytale when they reached the group stage in 2016-17.

“We are not there yet, but we will go after our chance. It is quite unrealistic when you think about a Faroese team in the group stage. It would be a fulfilled dream for us.”

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Ruben Dias joins City

Manchester City have signed 23-year-old defender Ruben Dias from Benfica on a six-year deal for about £65m.

Argentine centre-back Nicolas Otamendi has moved the other way for £13.7m.

Dias becomes City boss Pep Guardiola’s third significant summer signing, following the arrivals of defender Nathan Ake and forward Ferran Torres.

“To have the opportunity to join a club like Manchester City is a fantastic opportunity for me and one I couldn’t turn down,” said Dias.

“Their success speaks for itself. They have been the dominant team in England over the last few years, playing an attacking brand of football which I feel suits my own game.

“It is really exciting to be part of such a talented squad and to play for a world class manager like Pep Guardiola, who has a proven track record of developing young players like myself.”

Portugal international Dias graduated from the Benfica academy before making 113 senior appearances, and winning the Portuguese title in 2018-19.

He has also won 19 caps for Portugal and he will bolster the City defence, which conceded five goals in their recent defeat to Leicester City.

Dias has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in recent years, but he completes Guardiola’s search for a right-sided central defender.

He is being touted as Vincent Kompany’s replacement, with Guardiola opting to utilise Fernandinho as a central defender last season following the influential Belgian’s departure.

Although City are paying more than the £60m release clause which existed in Dias’ previous contract, it is less than the £80m he has in the current one, which he signed in November 2019.

“Ruben is a player we have admired for some time and we have been impressed with how he has progressed at Benfica,” said City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain.

“He has developed into a real leader and as a defender, he has all the attributes we are looking for. He is strong in the air, good in one-v-one situations and technically, he is very good, so we are confident he can thrive in our system.”

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Tottenham defeat Chelsea to Advance to quarter finals

Mason Mount missed the crucial spot-kick as Tottenham edged past Chelsea on penalties after a 1-1 draw to reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

A total of nine penalties had been converted before Mount stepped up to take the 10th, but the England midfielder’s effort clipped the post and went wide.

Chelsea had dominated the first half and new signing Timo Werner netted his first goal for the club with a clinical finish into the bottom corner.

Spurs responded well after the break and debutant Sergio Reguilon’s side-footed effort from inside the area was pushed over the crossbar by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who was also making his first appearance for his new club.

Jose Mourinho’s side got their rewards seven minutes from time when Spaniard Reguilon’s cross sailed through to the back post for Erik Lamela to coolly convert from six yards.

With no extra time played, the match went straight to penalties and Mount was the only player to miss.

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Nadal goes through to next round

Spain’s 12-time champion Rafael Nadal encountered few problems as he started the French Open with a three-set win over Belarusian Egor Gerasimov.

Nadal, 34, wrapped up a 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory in two hours five minutes against the world number 83, who was making his main-draw debut in Paris.

US Open champion Dominic Thiem also moved into the second round with a 6-4 6-3 6-3 win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev is out after losing to Marton Fucsovics.

Thiem, who won his maiden Grand Slam title in New York a fortnight ago, has lost to Nadal in both of the past two finals at Roland Garros.

The pair have been drawn in the same half of the men’s singles, meaning they could only meet in the semi-finals this year.

Nadal is seeded second behind Serbia’s world number one Novak Djokovic and says the rearranged tournament will provide the “toughest conditions” yet for him.

The 19-time Grand Slam singles champion, who is aiming to move level with Roger Federer’s all-time leading men’s tally, has only played one clay-court event going into Roland Garros and the cooler conditions are not as beneficial to his game.

Although the scoreline against Gerasimov was comfortable, he was given a decent workout by the Belarusian.

“I’m not going to make a mistake – the attitude and motivation is always here,” Nadal said.

“It is a different Roland Garros to the one we are used to and the conditions are very challenging. I’m happy to be in the second round – it is a good start.”

American Mackenzie McDonald, ranked 211th, is Nadal’s next opponent.

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Serena moves on to next round

Serena Williams began her quest for a 24th Grand Slam singles title with a hard-fought win over Kristie Ahn in the French Open first round.

Sixth seed Williams, who turned 39 on Saturday, overcame a rusty start to beat her fellow American 7-6 (7-3) 6-0.

Once she came through a 74-minute opener, Williams began to play with more belief and clarity as she swept Ahn aside in a 27-minute second set.

Williams will play Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round in Paris.

Pironkova, 33, was handed a wildcard by Roland Garros organisers after a memorable run to the US Open quarter-finals – where she lost to Williams – in her first tournament since 2017 after giving birth.

Pironkova set up the rematch with a 6-3 6-3 win over Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.

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First-half goals from Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane set Aston Villa on their way to back-to-back victories as they claimed a comfortable 3-0 win at Fulham.

Villa took only four minutes to open their account when John McGinn picked out Grealish after Fulham failed to clear their defensive lines and the playmaker slotted the ball home.

The visitors doubled their advantage 11 minutes later. McGinn was again the provider, this time finding Hourihane whose right-foot shot was beyond goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

Tyrone Mings extended Villa’s lead just after half-time, steering home Hourihane’s free-kick.

Bobby De Cordova-Reid had a 56th-minute close-range effort ruled out following a VAR review and Aleksandar Mitrovic twice went close with headers but there was to be no way through for the hosts.

Fulham remain without a point and are at the foot of the table while Villa have won both of their opening matches.

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First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson plus a late Diogo Jota strike on his Premier League debut for Liverpool helped the Reds continue their winning start to 2020/21 with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal.

After Trent Alexander-Arnold had a 22nd-minute drive deflected onto the woodwork, Arsenal took the lead on 24 minutes when Robertson played Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross into the path of Alexandre Lacazette who scored.

Two minutes and 27 seconds later Liverpool were back on level terms when Mohamed Salah’s shot was parried by Bernd Leno into the path of Mane, who made no mistake from close range.

Robertson then put the Reds ahead on 34 minutes, stealing in unmarked at the back post to fire home Alexander-Arnold’s deep cross.

Lacazette had a superb chance to claim an equaliser but after being played through on goal, he was denied by Alisson.

Jurgen Klopp’s side then made the points safe two minutes from time when substitute Jota marked his Premier League debut with a driven finish from the edge of the area.

Liverpool have started the season with three successive wins while this was the first defeat of the campaign for Arsenal.