Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL PIX: Arsenal sunk by Brighton, Leicester held

EPL PIX: Arsenal sunk by Brighton, Leicester held

Last updated on: June 21, 2020 11:25 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

IMAGE: Players of Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion clash during the English Premier League match in Brighton, on June 20, 2020. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Arsenal slumped to a last-gasp 2-1 Premier League defeat at relegation-threatened Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday in a blow to the London club's chances of securing European football next season.

 

Frenchman Neal Maupay struck the winner five minutes into stoppage time after Nicolas Pepe's delightful second-half opener had been cancelled out by Lewis Dunk.

The defeat left the Gunners, who lost keeper Bernd Leno to injury in the first half, in ninth place with 40 points from 30 games, six behind fifth-placed Manchester United.

The result came three days after Mikel Arteta's side suffered a 3-0 rout at Manchester City as the Premier League returned after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus health crisis.

Brighton are 15th on 32 points, five points above third-from-bottom Bournemouth, who have a game in hand.

Arsenal had four attempts in the opening 10 minutes - more than in the entire game against Manchester City - but they still could not find the net.

Their best chance came in the 31st minute when Alexandre Lacazette's header was tipped away by Mathew Ryan after the Frenchman had been set up by Bukayo Saka, Arsenal's most dangerous player who struck the bar in the eighth minute.

IMAGE: Brighton's Neal Maupay struck the winner five minutes into stoppage time. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Leno was carried off the pitch on a stretcher in the 40th minute with a possible knee injury after a tussle with Maupay.

He was replaced by Emiliano Martinez, who made his first Premier League appearance since 2017 and was tested right away by Aaron Mooy.

Pepe broke the deadlock in the 68th with a splendid curled effort into the far top corner.

It took Brighton seven minutes to level, with Dunk forcing the ball in after Maupay's header had been blocked on the line by Rob Holding following a corner.

Five minutes into stoppage time, substitute Alexis Mac Allister played the ball forward and Maupay collected it after letting it run through his legs and flicked it past the keeper to inflict a second consecutive defeat on Arsenal.

Dawson's overhead kick earns vital point for Watford

IMAGE: Watford's players celebrate after Craig Dawson scored the equaliser against Leicester City. Photograph: Alastair Grant/Pool via Getty Images

Watford's Craig Dawson grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser with an overhead kick to earn his side a 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Saturday and a vital point in their battle for Premier League survival.

England full back Ben Chilwell had put third-placed Leicester ahead in the 90th minute with a thunderous shot, before Dawson's acrobatic finish lifted Watford provisionally a point clear of the relegation zone.

"It came off the defender's toe and fell to Craig Dawson," Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. "They have so many bodies in the box and it is one of those things. Just unfortunate."

Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure created the best chance of the opening half, firing straight at Kasper Schmeichel after a defensive error by Leicester's Wilfred Ndidi.

Soon after halftime Watford's Etienne Capoue produced a defence-splitting pass to send Ismaila Sarr clean through on goal but Schmeichel made an another excellent block from close range with an outstretched hand.

Having failed to record a single effort on target in the first half, Leicester created the majority of chances in the closing stages and went close when Marc Albrighton's effort hit the post.

Leicester thought they had secured their first league win at Vicarage Road since 2016 with Chilwell's strike, but defender Dawson had other ideas.

"It was obviously a very important goal and it was good to get a point in the end," said Dawson after scoring his first goal for Watford.

"There was tiredness in the second half. But credit to the lads. You can hear the lads who are not playing and the noise they made when the goal went in."

Watford manager Nigel Pearson was particularly impressed with how his players adjusted to playing without fans.

"We have some who thrive on the emotional attachments with the fans on matchday. But they have to deal with that," he added.

"To concede so late on is a real difficult thing to deal with. But we deserved something from the game. It is a valuable point."

Watford moved to 16th place in the table with 28 points, while Leicester remained third and six points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Crystal Palace cruise to victory in landmark match for BBC

Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic scores their first goal via a free kick during their match against AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth

IMAGE: Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic scores their first goal via a free kick during their match against AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth. Photograph: Ian Walton/Pool via/Reuters

First-half goals by Luka Milivojevic and Jordan Ayew put Crystal Palace on the way to a 2-0 victory at Bournemouth in the first Premier League match screened live by the BBC on Saturday.

Milivojevic curled home a stunning free kick after 12 minutes and Ayew's cool finish 10 minutes later left relegation-haunted Bournemouth facing an uphill task.

The BBC, which usually only shows highlights, reached agreement to screen four top-flight games live as an unprecedented season resumes behind closed doors after a three-month stoppage because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was not classic Saturday evening viewing for fans watching at home but Palace were much the better side as they enhanced their hopes of qualifying for Europe.

Roy Hodgson's side moved into ninth place with 42 points, four points behind fifth-placed Manchester United.

Bournemouth remain third-from-bottom on goal difference with 27 points, the same total as West Ham United who are one place above the drop zone after losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

To make matters worse for Eddie Howe's side, striker Joshua King hobbled off with an ankle injury after a tackle by Milivojevic that was checked by VAR.

Palace have never finished higher than 10th in the Premier League but in their first fixture since the resumption of the season they looked impressively sharp.

"A perfect night for us, we cannot have imagined a better beginning after a big break," Milivojevic said.

"It is not easy to continue after a break but it is great tonight to come here against a good team to win 2-0 and so happy to be honest. (European football) is possible, we are not far from it and the last few seasons we have been looking behind."

Bournemouth have now lost four of their last five Premier League games and face some anxious weeks ahead in their battle to secure a sixth successive season in the top flight.

Traore inspires Wolves to 2-0 win at West Ham

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore and West Ham United's Declan Rice vie for possession during their match at London Stadium, London

IMAGE: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore and West Ham United's Declan Rice vie for possession during their match at London Stadium, London. Photograph: Ben Stansall/Pool via/Reuters

Adama Traore came off the bench to inspire Wolverhampton Wanderers to a 2-0 win at West Ham United on Saturday -- a significant result at both ends of the Premier League table.

The quicksilver Spanish winger was perhaps surprisingly left on the bench for 64 minutes but his introduction enlivened an otherwise humdrum encounter at an empty London Stadium.

Traore's surging run and sublime cross was perfect for Raul Jimenez to head powerfully home in the 73rd minute.

Traore was then involved again in the move which ended with fellow substitute Pedro Neto firing home a sensational left-footed volley to seal the win that lifted Wolves into sixth place, level on 46 points with fifth-placed Manchester United.

Defeat for West Ham, their fourth in their last five Premier League games, left them in 17th spot, ahead of Bournemouth, who play Crystal Palace later on Saturday, on goal difference.

West Ham worked hard to match Wolves but struggled to create much apart from a glorious early chance for Pablo Fornals who lashed a shot wildly high and wide.

The home side must have feared the arrival of Traore from the bench and so it proved as he provided the spark to earn Wolves an important win in their quest for Europe.

West Ham's left back Aaron Cresswell is no slouch but he could get nowhere near Traore who powered past him before clipping over a cross for Mexican Jimenez to chalk up his 14th goal of the season, nine of them assisted by Traore.

Traore then showed some fancy footwork before passing to Matt Doherty whose cross was dispatched in style by Neto.

No wonder Traore was named man of the match for his 25-minute cameo appearance.

"It's about using the substitutes at the right moments," Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo told Sky Sports.

"We needed this win to feel that we are really back. We will never get used to playing without fans. Let's hope and pray we get a vaccine or something so we can be together again."

With derbies against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea looming, West Ham manager David Moyes knows these are critical times for the club.

"I thought we limited a very good team but the difference was when Traore came on," Moyes said.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
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