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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL: Sanchez double lifts Arsenal gloom, United make it sweet 16

EPL: Sanchez double lifts Arsenal gloom, United make it sweet 16

Last updated on: February 12, 2017 00:02 IST

Results and images from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday

Alexis Sanchez

IMAGE: Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, right, celebrates scoring. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

Arsenal put two Premier League defeats - and days of uncertainty about manager Arsene Wenger - behind them to post a workmanlike 2-0 victory over Hull City that lifted them above Manchester City into third place.

Two goals from Alexis Sanchez, one of which was scored with his hand, earned Arsenal a workmanlike 2-0 win at the Emirates.

But the result was far from convincing and did little to settle the debate over Arsene Wenger's future after days of uncertainty about whether he will remain in charge next season.

The manager completed his four-match touchline ban by watching from the stands and was delighted to see Sahchez pop up on the line for the opener on 34 minutes. But the goal was controversial, with the ball going in inadvertently off the Chilean's hand after popping up from a goalline save by Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic.

Oumar Niasse twice went close for an enterprising Hull side, who had Sam Clucas sent off for conceding the injury-time penalty from which Sanchez scored his 17th league goal -- and fourth against Hull -- this season.

"The referee apologised to us after halftime and said it was a handball," Hull defender Andrew Robertson said. "He obviously realises he was in the wrong."

When Wenger, who watched the game from the stands after completing a four-match touchline ban, was asked about his future, he said: "I focus on what is important, winning football games and getting the team to perform. The rest, I cannot influence."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

IMAGE: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United and Sebastian Prodl of Watford compete for the ball during the Premier League match. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

At Old Trafford, Manchester United looked unrecognisable from the side who spluttered through the early months of the season and extended their unbeaten league run to 16 games.

Anthony Martial responded to a rare start with this third goal of the season after Juan Mata had given United the lead. The win put United one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who play on Monday.

"Sixteen games unbeaten is an amazing record," United manager Jose Mourinho said. "It was a difficult match and a very important win for us."

Shane Long

IMAGE: Shane Long of Southampton celebrates scoring during the Premier League match against Sunderland. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Elsewhere, Southampton are getting an instant return on the 14 million pounds ($17.5 million) they paid Napoli for Italy striker Gabbiadini on transfer deadline day, and his brace, including a brilliant turn and shot, means he has now scored three in two games.

A week remains a long time in football and two more late goals for Southampton left Sunderland on the wrong end of the same 4-0 result they inflicted on Crystal Palace seven days earlier.
Sunderland and Palace remained rooted to the bottom on 19 points after Joe Allen's sixth league goal of the season for Stoke - his best-ever haul - was enough to see off Sam Allardyce's side 1-0.

With Middlesbrough taking a point from a 0-0 draw with Everton, the day's real winners at the bottom were Swansea City and Leicester City, neither of whom played.

Saturday's other afternoon game saw West Bromwich Albion secure a 2-2 draw at West Ham United thanks to a controversial stoppage-time equaliser. Home manager Slaven Bilic and his assistant were both sent off.

Source:
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