Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL PIX: De Bruyne stars as City down Arsenal, United held

EPL PIX: De Bruyne stars as City down Arsenal, United held

Last updated on: December 16, 2019 10:05 IST

In Pep Guardiola’s 100th match in charge of the Manchester club, captain De Bruyne led from the front as City outclassed the Gunners, who have now suffered six home games without a win.

Images from the EPL matches played on Sunday.

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates during their EPL match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London

IMAGE: Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates during their EPL match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Manchester City resumed normal service in the Premier League as a masterful display by Kevin De Bruyne fired them to a 3-0 victory over a listless Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.

 

Belgian De Bruyne produced two sublime finishes and one silky assist for Raheem Sterling as Pep Guardiola's City killed the match as a contest before halftime.

Arsenal managed to avoid any more punishment in the second half as City switched on cruise control but it was an uncomfortable 90 minutes for their stand-in manager Freddie Ljungberg whose side were totally outclassed.

There was no big celebration by the travelling City fans as the champions, who dropped eight points in their previous five games, remain 14 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool.

They did, however, close the gap on second-placed Leicester City to four points ahead of their clash next week.

Arsenal managed only six shots -- their lowest total at home in the Premier League since 2008 -- and are ninth with 22 points, seven points adrift of the top four and showing little sign that things will improve anytime soon.

Ljungberg has managed only one win from five games in interim charge since Unai Emery was sacked and midway through the season the north London club appear rudderless -- as close to the relegation zone as the top four.

Impressive as City were, Guardiola said last week's performance in losing 2-1 to Manchester United was better.

"Against United we played much better," the Spaniard, in charge of his 200th match for City, said.

"I know we are judged on the result but I have a duty to judge the performance, not just the result."

Manchester City's Rodri is shown a yellow card by referee Paul Tierney

IMAGE: Manchester City's Rodri is shown a yellow card by referee Paul Tierney after a foul on Arsenal's Sead Kolasinac. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

It is now six home games without a win for Arsenal in all competitions, yet they almost took the lead in the opening minute when Gabriel Martinelli burst through.

A minute later, however, they were behind as City counter-attacked and Gabriel Jesus cut the ball back from the byline to an unmarked De Bruyne who belted a stunning side-footed finish into the roof of the net from just outside the penalty area.

City were two up in the 16th minute and again they sliced through Arsenal with alarming ease. De Bruyne swapped passes with Jesus and then picked out Sterling who was all on his own to calmly dispatch the ball past Bernd Leno.

Shortly before halftime, with Arsenal briefly down to 10 men as left back Sead Kolasinac limped off, City made it 3-0 with De Bruyne again given time and space to pick his spot, this time passing a sublime left-foot finish just inside the post.

Many Arsenal fans headed for an early halftime coffee, or perhaps home, and missed a superb save by Leno to deny the outstanding De Bruyne a first-half hat-trick, clawing the Belgian's bending effort against the post.

City could and should have scored more after the break, despite taking their foot off the accelerator, while for a chastened Arsenal it was simply a case of damage-limitation.

The last time they experienced such a long run without a home win was 1994-95.

 Greenwood strikes again to salvage draw for United

Manchester United

IMAGE: Manchester United's Mason Greenwood celebrates scoring their fourth goal. Photograph: Jon Super/Reuters

Youngster Mason Greenwood continued his good run of form as he struck a late equaliser for Manchester United in their 1-1 Premier League home draw with Everton on Sunday after a Victor Lindelof own-goal had put the visitors ahead.

The result left United sixth in the standings on 25 points from 17 games while Everton dropped to 16th on 18 points, although their interim manager Duncan Ferguson stayed unbeaten after his second game in charge.

Former Everton striker Ferguson, who enjoyed a dream debut in last weekend's 3-1 home win over Chelsea, was pleased with the outcome and his team's effort.

 

"I am delighted at the moment," the Scot told Sky Sports. "Of course we were winning but I cannot complain. They came on strong in the second half but I thought we looked good on the counter attack. The boys were absolutely amazing."

"We beat a top team in Chelsea and now we've come to Old Trafford and got a draw."

The home side dominated but fell behind and missed a string of chances before 18-year old Greenwood, who netted a brace in United's 4-0 Europa League win over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar on Thursday, levelled with a crisp shot in the 77th minute.

Everton were on the back foot and had goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to thank for keeping United at bay before they took a 36th-minute lead from out of the blue.

Leighton Baines whipped in a teasing corner kick and the ball cannoned in off the stranded Lindelof, who was unable to get out of the way after home keeper David De Gea misjudged the set piece.

The goal was awarded after a quick Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check as Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin had made contact with De Gea in the six-yard box.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not happy with the performance of his team, although he praised academy product Greenwood.

"We're disappointed we didn't get three points and we didn't have the ideas to win it towards the end," he said.

"You shouldn't concede goals like this at set plays. But it's a foul."

"Mason Greenwood is different class in and around the box. You're not surprised when he scores goals. We've always had the DNA, with added players from other top clubs, and that will always be the philosophy here."

United had come out with all guns blazing as Lingard dragged his shot wide from close range 15 seconds into the game before Pickford parried a swivelling Rashford free kick and then a stinging low drive from Luke Shaw.

With Rashford and Daniel James misfiring, United appeared to be running out of steam before Greenwood, who came on for Lingard in the 65th minute, teed himself up to beat Pickford with a low shot from inside the penalty area.

Both sides could have grabbed a winner in the closing stages as Pickford kept out another vicious Rashford free kick before Alex Iwobi had Dea Gea at full stretch at the other end.

Vertonghen nods in late winner as Spurs down Wolves 2-1

Tottenham Hotspur

iv class="imgcaption">IMAGE: Zenit Saint Petersburg's Wilmar Barrios in action and Benfica's Chiquinho battle for the ball during their Champions League Group G match at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal. Photograph: Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur winger Lucas Moura's brilliant solo strike and defender Jan Vertonghen's late header sealed a 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in an entertaining Premier League game at Molineux Stadium on Sunday.

It was Tottenham's fourth league victory in five games under Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese took over last month and the result also snapped Wolves' impressive 11-game unbeaten run in the competition.

Tottenham got off to the perfect start in the eighth minute when the lively Moura drifted past several Wolves defenders and smashed in a fierce right-footed shot that gave goalkeeper Rui Patricio no chance at the near post.

Vertonghen, who endured a torrid afternoon due to wave after wave of Wolves attacks, popped up for the winning goal in the first minute of stoppage time with a fine header from Christian Eriksen's corner to seal all three points for the visitors.

Wolves had earlier responded in emphatic fashion in the 67th minute when Adama Traore fired in from distance for his fourth league goal of the campaign, after the hosts had relentlessly pushed for an equaliser on a rainy afternoon.

Spurs could have earlier doubled their advantage in the 37th minute, but Eric Dier dragged a shot wide from close range and only managed to hit the outside of the post after Patricio had failed to clear his lines.

Victory on a testing day lifted Tottenham to fifth in the standings on 26 points, three behind fourth-placed Chelsea who they host next Sunday.

"We knew the game was going to be difficult. They didn't catch us by surprise. We had a good start like we tried to. We almost scored a second but against Wolves that wouldn't have killed the game," Mourinho told the BBC.

"They're strong. They use the sides, the centre, difficult in transition. Traore and Diogo Jota are incredibly fast and difficult to stop."

"We coped with their spirit. At 1-1 they tried, Wolves aren't a team satisfied with a point. We knew if we arrive in the last part we could score. After that we had to close the door... three incredible points."

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said he was happy with the team's attacking performance but not their defending.

"We played very good. We weren't perfect, almost. We should have defended better... I'm pleased with the boys," Santo said.

"Spurs are a very good team. We broke them many times... the final moments require a lot of focus... we were more obsessed about scoring than defending."

Source: source
© Copyright 2020 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT