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EPL: Liverpool continue march, Chelsea-Leicester draw

Last updated on: February 02, 2020 08:28 IST

IMAGE: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their fourth goal. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

English Premier League leaders Liverpool opened up a 22-point gap at the top of the table with second-half goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson and a Mohamed Salah brace giving them a 4-0 home win over Southampton on Saturday.

 

It was Liverpool's 20th successive home win dating back to last season, matching Manchester City's record set between March 2011 and March 2012. It left them miles clear of second-placed champions City, who visit Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Missing the injured Sadio Mane, Liverpool looked disjointed in the first half with goalkeeper Allisson Becker twice denying Danny Ings after Southampton's Alex McCarthy made an excellent double save at the other end.

IMAGE: Jordan Henderson scores Liverpool's second goal. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who also came close in the first half with a deflected shot, fired the home side ahead in the 47th minute when he cut inside and left McCarthy wrong-footed with a fine low drive from 18 metres.

Henderson doubled the lead on the hour when he drove the ball into the roof of the net from 10 metres out thanks to some good work by Roberto Firmino, who broke down the left flank and squared the ball back to his skipper.

Salah put the icing on the cake with two late goals - a dinked 72nd-minute finish as Henderson turned provider, followed by a scrambled stoppage time effort after he was released by Firmino.

Rudiger double rescues draw for Chelsea at Leicester

IMAGE: Chelsea's players celebrate after Antonio Rudiger scored the first goal. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

A rare double from defender Antonio Rudiger earned Chelsea a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw with third-placed Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard sprung a major surprise ahead of kick off by leaving out first choice goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after some recent poor showings, handing a start to 38-year-old Willy Caballero.

The veteran was called into action to make a smart save to deny Jamie Vardy in a first half otherwise largely dominated by Chelsea, who again struggled to make their chances count in front of goal.

However, it did not take the visitors long after the break to take the lead, as Rudiger headed home his first league goal since October 2018 just over a minute into the second half.

The lead did not last long though, as Harvey Barnes found the net eight minutes later via a huge deflection, before the turnaround was complete in the 64th minute as Ben Chilwell slotted home to give Leicester the lead.

Rudiger had the final say, however, looping a header over Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the 71st minute to snatch a draw that means Leicester remain eight points clear of Lampard's side in fourth, who have won just four of their last 13 league games.

"Not many people gave us the top four slot and I understand why, and it’s probably the same now," Lampard said. "We've come to Leicester, who everyone’s raving about, quite rightly, and we've got a point. We move on."

IMAGE: Harvey Barnes of Leicester City celebrates after scoring his team's first goal. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Chelsea almost struck first with just five minutes on the clock, with Callum Hudson-Odoi missing his kick from a good goalscoring position.

Further opportunities came and went for Chelsea before Harvey Barnes blazed Leicester’s best chance over later in the half.

With fans still taking their seats after the interval Chelsea found the net through Rudiger, who climbed highest at the back post. But the Blues were immediately pegged back by Barnes, who scored for the third league game in a row.

Some slack defending from Chelsea allowed Chilwell to find space in the penalty area, as he met Youri Tielemans’ low cross to give his side the lead.

But out of nowhere, Rudiger looped a header into the net to level things up once more with his first-ever career double.

Jonny Evans and Barnes should have won it for Leicester late on, but missed golden chances that ensured Brendan Rodgers' search for a first win as a manager against Chelsea goes on.

"Against a top team it might be deemed a good result but we should win that game," Rodgers said. "These players are still learning and still young and there’s elements we will be better in going forward."

Manchester United held by Wolves on Fernandes debut

Manchester United's new signing Bruno Fernandes in action against Wolverhampton Wanderers

IMAGE: Manchester United's new signing Bruno Fernandes in action against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

New Manchester United signing Bruno Fernandes was unable to inspire a victory on his debut on Saturday as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were held to a 0-0 draw at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.

The result leaves United in sixth place, six points behind Chelsea who occupy the fourth Champions League spot, while Wolves are seventh, level on 35 points with United. Sheffield United are a point better off in fifth.

United now have a two-week break before their crunch game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Feb. 17.

Portugal international Fernandes, who joined United on Thursday from Sporting in a move which reportedly cost an initial 55 million euros ($61 million), was thrown straight into the starting midfield.

The 25-year-old was heavily involved in United’s build-up play, playing in an advanced role in the first half and then switching to a deeper holding role after the break.

“Bruno is a top player,” said Solskjaer. “It’s the first game. First half everyone was getting the ball into feet and Bruno is one of those who, when he gets into feet, he wants players moving in front of him and we didn’t (do that). He’ll be a top addition.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers's Adama Traore makes a vain bid to get past Manchester United's Fred and Luke Shaw

IMAGE: Wolverhampton Wanderers's Adama Traore makes a vain bid to get past Manchester United's Fred and Luke Shaw. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Fernandes had a good opportunity just before the break with the ball falling to him invitingly but his well-struck effort was straight at compatriot Rui Patricio in the Wolves goal.

The midfielder tested the Wolves keeper with a long-range free-kick after the break and Juan Mata saw an effort flash just wide of the post.

After Wolves striker Raul Jimenez tested David de Gea at the end of a swift counter attack, Romain Saiss then missed a great chance, heading wide from inside the box.

United could have snatched the points in stoppage time when Aaron Wan-Bissaka delivered a dangerous cross from the right but substitute Diogo Dalot’s header was off target.

“It was a game as you expected really. We dominated the game, had loads of possession, they gave us problems on counter attacks and set plays,” said Solskjaer.

“We’ve played so many games in the past few months, the players are down to the bare bones, energy levels are down and they need a break,” he added.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo was satisfied with his team’s effort.

“It was a good performance at Old Trafford and a good game for us. United are a good team.

“It was balanced and both teams had chances and wanted to win. I’m happy with the performance,” he said.

10-man Everton seal remarkable comeback win at Watford

IMAGE: Theo Walcott celebrates scoring Everton's third goal. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Everton fought back from two goals down at Watford to earn a remarkable 3-2 win with just 10 men, prevailing in a dramatic finish to an entertaining contest on Saturday between two sides who are looking re-energised under new management.

After starting their stirring comeback with two first-half stoppage-time goals from Yerry Mina, Everton were a man down for the final 20 minutes after Fabian Delph was sent off for a second yellow card foul.

Despite being under the cosh, Theo Walcott sealed the most unlikely of wins, tapping in after a 90th minute counter-attack with a winner that leaves Watford still struggling one place from the bottom of the league.

Watford's impressive revival under the stewardship of Nigel Pearson had earlier looked set to continue as they went two up through Adam Masina's 10th minute goal, his first in the Premier League, and Roberto Pereyra's smart 42nd minute finish.

Yet Everton, displaying impressive new-found enterprise under Carlo Ancelotti, struck back with two goals in three minutes just before the break, with their unlikely saviour being the Colombian defender Mina.

Having struck in the first minute of added time when he bundled the ball home after a goalmouth scramble, he then headed in the equaliser on the stroke of half time.

After the break Everton looked the more threatening until Delph's expulsion for two yellow card offences in the space of a quarter of an hour.

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