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PICS: Aubameyang 'tricks' in Arsenal win; Man Utd held

Last updated on: February 15, 2021 08:45 IST
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Images from Sunday's action in the Premier League

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates with the match ball after scoring a hat-trick against Leeds United in the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium

IMAGE: Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates with the match ball after scoring a hat-trick against Leeds United in the Premier League match, at Emirates stadium, on Sunday. Photograph: Julian Finney/Reuters

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang marked his return to Arsenal's starting lineup with his first ever Premier League hat-trick in their 4-2 home victory over Leeds United on Sunday.

 

The Gabon forward, who had not started any of his side's last five games for personal reasons, fired Arsenal ahead in the 13th minute then doubled the lead with a penalty before Hector Bellerin made it 3-0 on the stroke of halftime.

Aubameyang completed his treble with a header two minutes into the second half but Leeds hit back.

Pascal Struijk's header in the 58th minute revived the visitors and when Helder Costa struck again with around 20 minutes remaining there were some wobbles in the home ranks.

Aubameyang was only denied a fourth by the woodwork, though, as Arsenal got back to winning ways after two straight league defeats.

They moved back above Leeds into 10th spot with 34 points from 24 games, leaving Leeds 11th on 32 with a game in hand.

"I'm happy and my kids are happy because they are going to get (the match ball)," Aubameyang said.

"We knew it would be a hard game. Leeds never gave up but we showed good game management at the end."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring Arsenal's fourth goal with teammate Emile Smith

IMAGE: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring Arsenal's fourth goal with teammate Emile Smith. Photograph: Julian Finney/Reuters

Club skipper Aubameyang, whose mother has been ill, put Arsenal ahead when he cut in from the left and deceived Leeds keeper Illan Meslier with a shot that crept in at the near post.

Aubameyang had another goal-bound effort blocked soon after and Arsenal were awarded a penalty when Bukayo Saka drove into the area and fell under a challenge by Liam Cooper.

Despite initially pointing to the spot, referee Stuart Attwell viewed the incident again on a pitchside VAR monitor and changed his mind.

There was no argument, however, 10 minutes later when Meslier was caught in two minds and tripped Saka as he tried to make amends for a poor touch.

Aubameyang struck home the penalty to double Arsenal's lead and Meslier should have done better when he allowed Bellerin's close-range shot to squeeze past him in the 45th minute.

Arsenal were running riot when Aubameyang headed in Emile Smith-Rowe's cross shot in the 47th minute but Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds are nothing if not unpredictable and suddenly woke up.

First Struijk's thumping header and then Costa's neat finish from a ball in by Tyler Roberts gave them hope of pulling off an unlikely rescue mission.

There were a few nervous moments in the Arsenal defence but Aubameyang almost capped a superb display with a clipped first-time shot that cannoned off the frame of the goal.

Maja double gives lowly Fulham win at Everton

Josh Maja celebrates scoring  Fulham's second goal with Ola Aina and Tosin Adarabioyo against Everton.

IMAGE: Josh Maja celebrates scoring Fulham's second goal with Ola Aina and Tosin Adarabioyo against Everton. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Fulham's Nigerian striker Josh Maja scored his first two goals for the club to secure a 2-0 victory at Everton on Sunday as the visitors ended a 12-game Premier League run without a win and rekindled their hopes of avoiding relegation.

The result left Fulham in 18th spot on 18 points from 23 games, seven behind 17th-placed Newcastle United in the safety zone, while Everton stayed seventh on 37 from 22 after another lacklustre home performance.

Everton's poor league form continued as they suffered a third home defeat in four games, while Fulham won at Goodison Park for the first time ever in the league after 22 straight defeats with Maja netting on his first start for the Cottagers.

The 22-year old striker was upbeat after the longest home winning run over an opponent in English top-flight history ended for Everton, who had beaten Fulham repeatedly since 1961.

Josh Maja scores Fulham's first goal against Everton at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

IMAGE: Josh Maja scores Fulham's first goal against Everton at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

"It is a big one, we came into the game wanting to win it and not had the results we wanted," Maja told BT Sport.

"We took our chances when they came and put in another good performance again, we want to continue like this. For the whole 90 minutes the guys worked hard and stuck to the game plan.

"This is a night I have been dreaming about for a long time, especially last night, and I had a feeling it was coming and pleased it became a reality."

Fulham missed a hatful of first-half chances before former Sunderland striker Maja, on loan from French side Girondins Bordeaux, slid in to steer home Ola Aina's fizzing low cross in the 48th minute.

He made it 2-0 in the 65th with another predator's finish, popping up in front of goalkeeper Robin Olsen to tap in a rebound from close range after Harrison Reed hit the post with a long-range effort.

Everton striker Josh King had a goal disallowed for offside in the closing stages which summed up the Toffees' miserable evening as they failed to create anything meaningful up front.

Manchester Utd held by lowly West Brom

Mbaye Diagne celebrates after putting West Bromwich Albion ahead during the Premier League match against Manchester United

IMAGE: Mbaye Diagne celebrates after putting West Bromwich Albion ahead during the Premier League match against Manchester United, at The Hawthorns, on Sunday. Photograph: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Manchester United could only draw 1-1 at struggling West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, leaving them second in the Premier League but seven points adrift of Manchester City.

West Brom, who need a remarkable turnaround to avoid relegation, stunned their visitors with a second-minute goal from on-loan Senegalese striker Mbaye Diagne who beat defender Victor Lindelof to head home.

United looked out-of-sorts for the rest of the half, but their inspirational Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes stepped up yet again in the 44th minute with a spectacular volley from near the penalty spot.

Bruno Fernandes restores partiy for Manchester United during the Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion.

IMAGE: Bruno Fernandes restores parity for Manchester United during the Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion. Photograph: Nick Potts/Getty Images

In an exciting second half, the Manchester club had a penalty appeal turned down after captain Harry Maguire - trying to drive the team forward - was manhandled in the box.

West Brom survived waves of attacks including a Maguire header on to the post in the last minute. But the hosts also caused scares on the break, Diagne twice going close with only David de Gea to beat in the United goal.

The result left West Brom second bottom of the table, 12 points from safety, with manager Sam Allardyce so far failing to ignite their season despite his reputation for great escapes.

League leaders Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 on Saturday to reach 53 points and have a game in hand over Manchester United and third-placed Leicester, both on 46.

Wolves fight back to deepen Southampton misery

Pedro Neto  celebrates after scoring Wolverhampton Wanderers's second goal with teammate Ruben Neves against Southampton

IMAGE: Pedro Neto celebrates with teammate Ruben Neves after scoring Wolverhampton Wanderers's second goal against Southampton. Photograph: Andy Rain/Getty Images

Wolverhampton Wanderers mounted a second-half comeback to beat Southampton 2-1 on Sunday, avenging Thursday's 2-0 FA Cup loss to the Saints and inflicting their sixth league defeat in a row.

Danny Ings gave the home side the lead but a Ruben Neves penalty and a superb Pedro Neto goal gave Wolves all three points as they leapfrogged Southampton into 12th in the Premier League, dropping Ralph Hasenhuettl's side to 13th.

Southampton have won only once in their last 11 league matches and Hasenhuettl was at a loss to explain a result which condemned his club to a sixth consecutive league loss for the first time in their history.

"I think we shouldn't discuss about our run. We know what happened today, it's hard to explain this defeat," Hasenhuettl told Amazon Prime.

"Until their penalty they had no chances at goal."

Southampton took the lead when Stuart Armstrong burst down the flank and left two defenders for dead before delivering a cross to pick out Ings who emphatically volleyed home.

But Wolves were more fluid going forward in the second half and were handed a lifeline when Nelson Semedo's cross hit Ryan Bertrand's arm. Neves made no mistake in beating Alex McCarthy from the penalty spot.

Neto sealed the win with a solo goal in the 66th minute, side-stepping Jannik Vestergaard before striking the ball past McCarthy from an acute angle.

"It was a very tough game, both halves were very tough," Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said.

"In the first half Southampton managed the game. In the second half we were on the front foot, scored two goals and then defended very well."

Keeper Martinez stars as Villa hold Brighton goalless

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez pulls off brilliant save during the Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion, at American Express Community Stadium.

IMAGE: Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez pulls off brilliant save during the Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion, at American Express Community Stadium. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Getty Images

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez pulled off a string of superb saves to grab an unlikely point for Aston Villa in a 0-0 draw away to a dominant Brighton & Hove Albion that saw the Seagulls extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to six games.

Alexis Mac Allister set the tone for what would be a frustrating night for the home side when he flashed a header just wide in the 10th minute before Martinez was called into action.

The 28-year-old Argentine made an excellent stop to deny Leandro Trossard and followed that up with a brilliant one-handed save to keep Daniel Burn's 39th-minute header out to keep the game scoreless at the break.

With Jack Grealish finding himself covered by two defenders almost every time he got the ball, Villa were able to offer little in attack, and instead their goalkeeper was in the thick of things again early in the second half.

Martinez made a reflex save from a deflected Alexis Mac Allister shot and despite a slew of chances, Brighton could not break the deadlock and the game finished scoreless.

In all, Martinez made nine stops from 26 goal-scoring chances created by Brighton, which helped keep him warm on a chilly night as his side hung on to draw.

"It was so cold, I thought I had a good game because I made a save early on and I am delighted to keep everyone out today. I just want to repay the trust of the manager, goalkeeper coach and club," he told Sky Sports.

The point lifted Villa above Tottenham Hotspur to eighth place. They have 36 points after 22 games, while Brighton climbed to 15th in the table on 26 points from 24 matches.

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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021