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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Alvaro Morata's hat trick at Stoke has him on top of Player Power Rankings

Craig Burley evaluates the latest player power rankings that see Alvaro Morata go to the top after his hat trick at Stoke.
Craig Burley takes to the touchscreen to dissect Alvaro Morata's vintage performance in Chelsea's 4-0 win at Stoke.
The guys respond to your tweets about Lukaku and Morata, having to take a break during a match and more.

ESPN FC's worldwide editorial desks nominate their top performers from the weekend's action. Chelsea's hat trick hero is this week's No. 1.

1. Alvaro Morata | Chelsea

Why he's here: Scored a hat trick in Chelsea's 4-0 win at Stoke on Saturday. The 24-year-old now has six goals in six Premier League appearances since his summer switch from Real Madrid.

2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | Borussia Dortmund

Why he's here: A hat trick and an assist in Dortmund's 6-1 destruction of Borussia Monchengladbach...

Liverpool must execute at the back, man-marking Lionel Messi, more

Steve Nicol says most of the goals Liverpool are conceding come down to an individual error from any given player.

Liverpool won 3-2 vs. Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, and what could have been chance to follow a range of other storylines -- their first victory since August, Philippe Coutinho's stunning performance -- instead turns into a discussion of their defending. You sense this will be a theme all season long.

There were pretty craven defensive errors for both of Leicester's goals in Saturday's victory (and, no, the fact that Simon Mignolet may or may not have been fouled doesn't change...

 By Nick Miller

Which clubs set goal-difference records in Europe's biggest leagues?

After their unbeaten start to the 2017/18 Premier League season, Stewart Robson explains why Manchester United are favourites for the title.
Ale Moreno says Man City's abundance of talent and squad depth is why they're such heavy favourites to win the league.

Manchester United and Manchester City have started the season in blistering goalscoring form. Both have a goal difference of +17, and if they keep up the current pace then they'll finish the season north of +100. That would be a record, so here are the goal difference records for seven of Europe's top leagues:

England, Premier League/First Division: Chelsea, 2009-10, +71

In the 41 years since goal difference was adopted in England over goal average, there have been many great teams, teams...

 By Shaka Hislop

Power Rankings: Barcelona take top spot ahead of PSG; Real Madrid out

Shaka Hislop explains why Real Madrid are out of his top 10, as Barcelona overtake PSG for the top spot.
The ESPN FC crew join SportsCenter to pay homage to Lionel Messi after his 6th career 4-goal game in La Liga with Barcelona.

The preseason leaders have gone! Meanwhile, their greatest rivals have risen to first place. And the Manchester clubs swap places.

Dropping out: Real Madrid, Tottenham.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV!

Shaka Hislop played for over 10 years in the Premier League and represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup. Watch him on ESPN FC TV!

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Stagnant League Cup needs reforms to inject life into failing competition

Paul Mariner proposes that Premier League teams should be given the option to play in the Carabao Cup.
Paul Mariner proposes that Premier League teams should be given the option to play in the Carabao Cup.

Jose Mourinho, despite winning the League Cup for the fourth time last season, voiced what has become a common question.

"If you ask me could the English football survive or even be better without this competition?" he said after Manchester United's 4-1 defeat of Burton Albion.

"Maybe we would be fresher for European competitions, for example." 

Elsewhere, Tuesday's crowd of 23,926 at Wembley for Tottenham's 1-0 win over Barnsley had said much of the cachet of the Carabao Cup.


 By Tony Evans

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool must tighten up in order to ease growing dissent

The FC panel address Liverpool's B-squad against Leicester, and how they won't mind an early exit from the cup competition.
The guys answer your tweets on Klopp's effectiveness, Wenger's dubious sale of the Ox, and Mourinho's managerial prowess.
Liverpool's poor run of form continues after Leicester ousted them out of the Carabao Cup, with Islam Slimani bagging a superb goal.

The path from saviour to scapegoat is a short one at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp has to be careful that his career does not go down a blind alley.

Liverpool's 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat by Leicester City is not disastrous but it adds to the pressure building on him. The Reds return to the King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday and the spotlight will be on the 50-year-old. Nearly two years into his tenure on Merseyside, questions remain about Liverpool's direction and there are no easy answers.