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EPL: Ibra scores in United victory; Liverpool edge Arsenal in thriller

August 15, 2016 00:31 IST
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Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring his team's third goal during their Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth on Sunday

IMAGE: Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring his team's third goal during their Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth on Sunday. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho's first Premier League game as manager of Manchester United ended in a comfortable 3-1 victory away to Bournemouth on Sunday.

Juan Mata scored the first league goal of the new era in the 40th minute following an error by Bournemouth captain Simon Francis and Wayne Rooney headed the second just before the hour.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who headed the winning goal in last weekend's Community Shield game against champions LeicesterCity, then marked his league debut by scoring with a low drive from 25 metres.

United, without world record signing Paul Pogba who was suspended, were denied a clean sheet soon afterwards when defender Adam Smith beat David de Gea with a fierce shot from 12 metres.

But Ivorian defender Eric Bailly made his Premier League debut and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was introduced for the last quarter of an hour as the first Armenian to appear in the cosmopolitan league.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney challenges AFC Bournemouth's Steve Cook

IMAGE: Manchester United's Wayne Rooney challenges AFC Bournemouth's Steve Cook. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ibrahimovic, in contrast to the 89 million-pound Pogba, cost nothing and was able to maintain his reputation for scoring in a first game in a new league.

"The first objective is to win," he told Sky Sports.

"The second, if I can, is to score. But if I score it's a bonus.

"It was a difficult game. The first half we weren't 100 per cent but second half became easier, there was more space."

Rooney said the combination of four great signings, plus a new manager, would mean "lots of excitement" for United fans.

"I am very happy," Mourinho said.

"Bournemouth always start with great intensity but we kept our control. We weren’t surprised and then we started playing."

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe felt the defensive mistake for the first goal undermined his side after a promising start.

"I thought it was an even game until the first goal, that was the key moment," he said.

"We dominated the early stages but you can't gift Manchester United goals, which we did."

Liverpool's Sadio Mane and teammates celebrate his goal with manager Jurgen Klopp during their Premier League match against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday

IMAGE: Liverpool's Sadio Mane and teammates celebrate his goal with manager Jurgen Klopp during their Premier League match against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Liverpool put down an early marker as Premier League title contenders by scoring four times in 17 minutes to win 4-3 at Arsenal in a thrilling match on Sunday.

They had fallen behind to last season's runners-up when Theo Walcott, having just had a penalty saved by Simon Mignolet, scored in the home team's next attack.

Arsenal, with three central defenders missing, then fell apart in conceding to Philippe Coutinho (twice), Adam Lallana and debutant Sadio Mane between the 45th and 62nd minutes.

Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain immediately pulled one goal back and Calum Chambers added another but that was not enough to prevent only a second Liverpool win away to the London side in 21 visits.

It was greeted by boos from the home crowd, many Arsenal supporters again being dissatisfied with the lack of new players Arsene Wenger has recruited in the close-season.

Arsenal's Calum Chambers scores his team's third goal against Liverpool

IMAGE: Arsenal's Calum Chambers scores his team's third goal against Liverpool. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

One of them, Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, appeared as a second-half substitute second half and the other, young defender Rob Holding, played from the start in the absence of injured trio Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel.

A Liverpool win seemed unlikely when they went into added time at the end of the first half with Arsenal ahead despite the penalty miss.

That followed a clear foul by full back Alberto Moreno on Walcott, who stood up to take the kick but had his poorly placed shot saved.

The England winger immediately made amends, however, putting a low drive where the penalty should have gone, just inside Mignolet's post.

Coutinho equalised with a superb free kick from 25 metres before the interval and in little more than quarter of an hour Liverpool had what seemed an unassailable lead.

There were outstanding team goals from Lallana, Coutinho and Mane while Petr Cech had to make an excellent save to deny Coutinho a hat-trick.

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Source: REUTERS
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