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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL PHOTOS: Liverpool crush Arsenal, Zlatan misfires for United

EPL PHOTOS: Liverpool crush Arsenal, Zlatan misfires for United

March 05, 2017 13:46 IST

Images from the Premier League matches played on Saturday

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (right) celebrates with teammates on scoring his side's first goal against Arsenal during their Premier League match at Anfield in Liverpool on Saturday

IMAGE: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (right) celebrates with teammates on scoring his side's first goal against Arsenal during their Premier League match at Anfield in Liverpool on Saturday. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool put their recent troubles behind them, showing touches of their best early-season vibrancy to overcame Arsenal 3-1 at a jubilant Anfield and leapfrog the Gunners into third place in the Premier League on Saturday.

Juergen Klopp's men at last rediscovered some of their old swagger.

Liverpool won only their third game in 13 matches in 2017 with goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum to move onto 52 points, ahead of ManchesterCity on goal difference and two clear of Arsenal, who are now fifth.

Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring their third goal as Arsenal's Petr Cech looks dejected

IMAGE: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring their third goal as Arsenal's Petr Cech looks dejected. Photograph: Phil Noble Livepic/Reuters

Liverpool produced a dominant first-half performance to take command with goals from Firmino and Mane but Arsene Wenger got his team selection wrong by leaving Alexis Sanchez on the bench.

Forced to bring on his key striker at halftime to chase the game, Wenger saw Sanchez set up a goal for Danny Welbeck before Wijnaldum sealed a deserved Liverpool victory late on.

"Our performance was not at the level we expect in the first half but that is down to a lack of rhythm, we have not played for a while," said Wenger.

 Manchester United’s Juan Mata, left, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney all look on as they decide who will take a freekick during the Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth

IMAGE: Manchester United’s Juan Mata, left, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney all look on as they decide who will take a freekick during the Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Earlier, Manchester United and an out-of-sorts Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed their chance to gain ground in the battle for Champions League places with a wasteful 1-1 draw against Bournemouth

United's League Cup-winning hero Ibrahimovic missed a penalty and 10-man Bournemouth battled to snatch a point in an incident-packed affair at Old Trafford.

United manager Jose Mourinho was left with no complaints after his side again failed to take maximum points from a game they dominated.

After a Marcos Rojo goal was answered by a Josh King penalty in a turbulent first half, United were left sixth on 49 points.

Ibrahimovic had a wretched afternoon and not just because his second-half penalty with the score at 1-1 was saved at full stretch by Artur Boruc, who gave an inspired performance.

Bournemouth'S Tyrone Mings and Manchester United'S Zlatan Ibrahimovic clash

IMAGE: Bournemouth'S Tyrone Mings and Manchester United'S Zlatan Ibrahimovic clash. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Just before halftime, the Swede was fortunate not to be dismissed for elbowing Nathan Mings, moments after the Bournemouth defender stood on his head as he lay on the pitch.

In the subsequent fracas, Bournemouth's Andrew Surman pushed Ibrahimovic over and was sent off for this second yellow card offence.

Ibrahimovic denied he had acted out of retaliation.
"My intention was not to injure him but to protect myself," he said.

Mourinho said United were to blame for missing out on three points. "Who can I blame? Ourselves. Nobody else. We missed big chances. We felt the pressure of the clock running down and lost the quality of our attacking football," he said.

Hull City's Tom Huddlestone (centre) deflects Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi's (right) header into his own net for the latter's third goal

IMAGE: Hull City's Tom Huddlestone (centre) deflects Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi's (right) header into his own net for the latter's third goal. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Elsewhere champions Leicester City maintained their dramatic revival under caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare, coming from one-down to beat HullCity 3-1 with goals from Christian Fuchs, Riyad Mahrez and a Tom Huddlestone own goal. It was their second straight win since Claudio Ranieri's sacking.

Hull remain on 21 points, one adrift of Middlebrough, who dropped into the relegation zone after losing 2-0 at Stoke City, while Palace jump to 17th on 25 points.

Dazzling goals from Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend provided a 2-0 win at West Bromwich Albion to seal back-to-back successes for Sam Allardyce's Palace.

Nathan Redmond of Southampton shows appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match

IMAGE: Nathan Redmond of Southampton shows appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Swansea's revival under Paul Clement gained more momentum with a 3-2 win over Burney -- their fourth victory in six games -- as Spanish international Fernando Llorente headed home twice, including a 92nd-minute winner. Swansea are on 27 points, alongside Leicester and Bournemouth.

In the day's best match, Nathan Redmond struck twice and Manolo Gabbiadini scored a sixth goal in four games as Southampton edged Watford 4-3 at Vicarage Road.

Chelsea, still the runaway leaders on 63 points, play at West Ham United on Monday while, on Sunday, second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, on 53, host Everton, and Manchester City, 52, visit Sunderland.

Source:
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