Five talking points from the EPL’s return

Liverpool’s title celebrations were delayed as Jurgen Klopp’s side were held 0-0 by Merseyside rivals Everton, Olivier Giroud sent a warning to incoming Chelsea forward Timo Werner, and Newcastle’s Joelinton finally scored at St James’ Park.

Here, AFP Sport looks at five talking points from Sunday’s action in the Premier League:

Alexander-Arnold’s auction

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold showed his support of Black Lives Matter by wearing boots with the movement’s name printed on them.

The pair will be auctioned with profits going to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, according to broadcaster Sky Sports.

Forgetful Mane

As was the case throughout the Premier League this weekend, each match was proceeded with players taking a knee but Liverpool attacker Sadio Mano seemed to forget to do so.

As the referee blew to kick off, Mane sprinted off the halfway line to start the game with the remaining 21 players on the field dropping to the ground.

The former Southampton forward then stopped running before turning back to join in with his team-mates and opponents.

Giroud’s Werner warning

World Cup winner Giroud scored the winner as Chelsea moved five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

Earlier this week, Frank Lampard’s side announced RB Leipzig forward Werner will head to Stamford Bridge over the summer to challenge France’s Giroud for a starting spot.

Giroud scored his third goal in four games, continuing his form from before the coronavirus break.

If he keeps it up, he will put his hand to up to compete with the Germany striker who cost the Blues a reported 60-million euros ($67-million).

Joelinton joy

Brazilian forward Joelinton joined Newcastle last July for a club record fee of 44 million euros ($49 million) having scored 11 goals and claimed nine assists for Hoffenheim, but had to wait until Sunday for his first goal at St James’ Park.

The 23-year-old would have hoped to mark the moment in front of a packed Gallowgate End but was forced to celebrate just with his teammates at an almost empty ground.

He placed the ball under his shirt and sucked his thumb, suggesting he had more than just breaking his home goal duck to celebrate.

Spraying St James’

Strict health regulations have been put in place at all English top-flight grounds since the campaign restarted last week and on Sunday cleaners appeared in full suits to disinfect St James’ Park.

Staff in the white all-in-one outfits sprayed cleaning product on the ground, advertising boards and in the stands of the 52,000 capacity ground before and during the game.

© Agence France-Presse

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