Mo Salah’s new match ball for hat-trick, Jamie Vardy equals record, Rob Holding is Ronaldinho and more things – USA DAILY NEWS

Mo Salah’s new match ball for hat-trick, Jamie Vardy equals record, Rob Holding is Ronaldinho and more things

news image

The Premier League returned this week after a significantly shorter summer break than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s combination of lockdown, Project Restart and the August Champions League tournament made it seem like football’s barely been away, but it was still good to see the English top-flight back up and running.

Here are eight things talkSPORT.com particularly enjoyed.

Dani Ceballos vs Eddie Nketiah

Before a ball was even kicked, Arsenal provided some entertainment.

Ceballos and Nketiah, who both started on the bench for the Gunners’ trip to Fulham, were caught violently pushing and shoving after a fallout during a training drill.

Nketiah appeared riled by a strong challenge from Ceballos, who then pushed his teammate away.

The ball then maked its way back to Nketiah, and the pair squared-up to one another.

Arms begin to flail before their fellow substitutes get involved to calm things down.

Ceballos has since taken to Instagram to insist there is no lasting issue between him and Nketiah.

Kieran Tierney’s ‘new haircut’

Arsenal fans had to double take after seeing an image put up by their club pre-match on Saturday.

Tierney’s positioning in front of Willian made it look as though he’d drastically changed his hairstyle over the break.

The image went viral and saw some creative replies in response.

Rob Holdinho

The Gunners’ centre-back channelled Ronaldinho for a brief moment against Fulham.

If his shot had ended in a goal, Holding would have had assist of the season wrapped up on day one.

Holding off the threat of Fulham’s Aboubakar Kamara, the centre-back juggled the ball on his knee before playing in his teammate, who ended up winning a corner just after half-time.

Alexandre Lacazette applauded Holding and could not contain the smile and burst of laughter that followed.

Kyle Walker-Peters red card overturned

Southampton defender Walker-Peters was initially sent off for a very questionable ‘high boot’ on Crystal Palace man Tyrick Mitchell.

The decision was reviewed by the Video Assistant Referee but as part of changes made from last season, things were done differently this time.

As is the case in Europe’s other big referee, the on-pitch referee reviewed the decision using the monitors on the side of the pitch.

After careful deliberation, Jon Moss overturned his original call and Walker-Peters was reprieved with Moss just giving him a yellow card.

Unlike last season, the on-pitch referee reviewed the decision himself

BT Sport

Unlike last season, the on-pitch referee reviewed the decision himself

Mo Salah taking home the new match ball

The 2020/21 Premier League ball got used for the first time on Saturday.

Straight away, Salah became the first player to take it home with him as he got a hat-trick.

Liverpool won 4-3 at home to Leeds in the end, with the Egyptian firing home a late winner from the penalty spot.

Salah would not let go of the ball

AFP or licensors

Salah would not let go of the ball

FIFA-style goalkeeper penalty antics

Prior to Salah’s winning penalty though, Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier decided to have a bit of fun.

In an attempt to distract the Liverpool forward he jumped up and down, side to side along the frame of his goal.

It was similar to the antics available on FIFA for those trying to save a spot kick.

Ultimately Salah had the last laugh as he smashed the ball home and won the match for his side.

Meslier’s gamesmanship was ineffective

Getty – Pool

Meslier’s gamesmanship was ineffective

Fox in the Box

Jamie Vardy scored 23 times last season to win the Golden Boot and his two goals – both penalties – in a 3-0 win at newly-promoted West Brom took him to 105 top-flight goals, one above former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba in the all-time scoring charts.

The evergreen striker turns 34 in January, but boss Brendan Rodgers believes Vardy remains one of the best frontmen around.

“There are many top strikers at this level but any team would want someone like him in there,” Rodgers said.

“He’s super cool, clinical and has still got pace and running ability. It’s a great start for him to score two goals and very good for the team.”

Rodgers believes any team would want a striker like Vardy at their disposal

Getty Images

Rodgers believes any team would want a striker like Vardy at their disposal

Toffee joy

Everton secured a richly deserved three points against Tottenham in their opening game of the 2020/21 campaign on Sunday – their first victory in 16 attempts against the north London side.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s brilliant second-half header secured a surprise 1-0 win for the Toffees, who controlled proceedings throughout as three debutants impressed for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure all made their first starts for Everton, who look a decent bet to finish in the Premier League’s top six this season. Jose Mourinho, on the other hand, has a big job on his hands to turn around Spurs’ fortunes.

Calvert-Lewin’s second-half header secured all three points for Carlo Ancelotti’s men

Getty Images

Calvert-Lewin’s second-half header secured all three points for Carlo Ancelotti’s men