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EPL PIX: Liverpool thrash Arsenal; Chelsea romp past Leicester

Last updated on: November 21, 2021 10:12 IST
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IMAGES from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday.

IMAGE: Diogo Jota beats Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to score Liverpool's second goal during the Premier League match at Anfield on Saturday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Imperious Liverpool extended their Premier League home winning streak against Arsenal to six on Saturday with an easy 4-0 victory that lifted them to second in the table.

 

Sadio Mane met a perfect free kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 39th minute to plant a header across Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for Liverpool's opening goal.

Ramsdale produced a string of spectacular saves to keep Juergen Klopp's silky strikers at bay. But he could do nothing to stop Diogo Jota skipping past him in the 52nd minute after a dreadful misplaced pass from Arsenal defender Nuno Tavares.

Inevitably, Mohamed Salah got in on the act with a close-range volley from a Mane cross in the 73rd minute, before Takumi Minamino came off the bench to turn in a cross from Alexander-Arnold with his first touch in the 77th.

Arsenal showed a few flashes of resistance and attacking spirit in the first half - not least from manager Mikel Arteta who squared up angrily with Klopp over a foul in an ugly touch-line exchange that earned both yellow cards.

But Liverpool totally deserved the victory and it could have been even bigger were it not for England international Ramsdale.

The win put Liverpool on 25 points, four points behind leaders Chelsea after 12 games. Arsenal are fifth on 20.

Right-back Alexander-Arnold was delighted with his double assist and Liverpool's improvement after defeat at West Ham United in their last Premier League outing.

"A team of our quality shouldn't be losing games. We bounced back today in the best way we could. A very good performance. It was exactly what we needed," he said, singling out Liverpool's pressing and fluency after halftime.

"We were all over them, they were just seeing red blurs all over the place, and that's exactly what we wanted to do. That second half was outstanding."

Arsenal did put the ball in the net in the first half but Alexandre Lacazette's effort was offside. Arsenal have not beaten Liverpool away in the Premier League for nine years, conceding at least three goals in the last half dozen defeats.

"It's one of the toughest places if not the toughest to come," said Ramsdale. "We made mistakes but that's life and football. We got punished and that's what the top teams do."

Nightmare for Manchester United at Watford

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo cuts a dejected figure during the match against Watford at Vicarage Road in Watford

IMAGE: Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo cuts a dejected figure during the match against Watford at Vicarage Road in Watford. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Manchester United suffered a fourth defeat in five Premier League games as they went down 4-1 at Watford on Saturday to pile more pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The visitors were punished for a ragged first-half display and after a brief fightback they capitulated horribly at the end after defender and captain Harry Maguire was sent off.

Joshua King and Ismaila Sarr were both on target for Claudio Ranieri's side in the first half, while Sarr also had a twice-taken penalty saved by David De Gea, who later described United's display as a nightmare.

Substitute Donny van de Beek inspired a revival after the break and halved the deficit in the 50th minute but Maguire's clumsy tackle that earned him a second yellow card with 20 minutes remaining summed up their day.

Watford made absolutely sure of a crucial win with a grandstand finish as stoppage-time goals by substitute Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis sparked noisy celebrations from the Vicarage Road faithful.

It was a dreadful capitulation by United who face a crucial week with a Champions League tie against Villarreal before a trip to table-topping Chelsea next weekend.

They are in seventh place with 17 points, 12 behind Chelsea, while 16th placed Watford have 13 points from 12 games.

The almost endless debate about Solskjaer's position at Old Trafford was muted during the international window, but the volume will be turned up again after another hammering.

Manchester United's Harry Maguire gets the marching orders from match referee Jonathon Moss  

IMAGE: Manchester United's Harry Maguire gets the marching orders from match referee Jonathon Moss. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

His creaking side have now let in 15 goals in their last five league games and while there was no outpouring of anger from their supporters, they left shaking their heads.

Keeper De Gea summed up the mood.

"There's not much to say. It was embarrassing to see Man United play like we did today," the Spaniard said.

"It's not acceptable, the way we were playing and doing things.

"It's easy to blame the manager or the staff but sometimes it's the players. We need to show much more than we are doing.

"It was hard to watch the team playing today. It was nightmare after nightmare. It's not acceptable."

Watford were far more eager than a lacklustre United side in the first half and should have been ahead early on when Scott McTominay bundled King over to concede a penalty.

Sarr's kick was saved by De Gea before Kiko Femenia turned in the rebound, but the kick had to be re-taken due to encroachment. De Gea then saved Sarr's second effort.

It was a temporary reprieve though, as King put Watford ahead in the 28th minute from close range before Sarr made amends with a thumping finish on the stroke of halftime.

United's fans chanted van de Beek's name at halftime and the Dutch midfielder duly appeared after the break for only his third league appearance this season.

He ducked down to head in United's response in the 50th minute, after Cristiano Ronaldo's head met Jadon Sancho's cross.

For a while United were energised and Ronaldo was denied an equaliser by Ben Foster before having a goal ruled out. But when Maguire felled Tom Cleverley after getting himself in a tangle for a second yellow, the visitors crumbled.

Pedro slammed home a shot after being denied by De Gea seconds earlier, before Dennis rubbed salt into United's wounds with another drilled finish.

Chelsea romp past Leicester

Chelsea's Christian Pulisic scores their third goal against Leicester City at King Power Stadium, Leicester on Saturday

IMAGE: Chelsea's Christian Pulisic scores their third goal against Leicester City at King Power Stadium, Leicester on Saturday. Photograph: Ian Walton/Reuters

American forward Christian Pulisic was back among the goals as Premier League leaders Chelsea extended their advantage at the top of the table to six points with a comfortable 3-0 win at Leicester City on Saturday.

 

The visitors raced into a two-goal lead inside 28 minutes after Antonio Rudiger climbed highest from a corner to head home and N'Golo Kante arrowed in a rare goal.

Leicester improved after the break, but Chelsea remained in control and put the game to bed when Pulisic, who has endured a frustrating, injury-interrupted season, stepped off the bench and scored in the 71st minute.

The victory, Chelsea's fifth from six away league games this season, moved the Blues onto 29 points, six clear of second-placed champions Manchester City, who play West Ham United on Sunday.

Leicester, who have for so long been top-four challengers in the Premier League, are well off the pace in 12th after their fifth loss of the season.

"It was a good performance and we could've finished the game earlier," Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel said.

"There are still things to improve, decision making and conversion, but it was a mature performance and we needed it.

Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger and Leicester City's Marc Albrighton vie for possession   

IMAGE: Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger and Leicester City's Marc Albrighton vie for possession. Photograph: Ian Walton/Reuters

Chelsea started brightly, with former Leicester full back Ben Chilwell denied by the crossbar early on.

The goal that gave the visitors the lead was always likely to come via one route though: Coming into the match, no side had scored Premier League goals with headers this season than Chelsea, and no team has conceded more via headers than Leicester. Sure enough, some slack Leicester marking allowed Rudiger in to head home.

It was all too easy for Chelsea thereafter, with Leicester, who beat the Blues in their previous two meetings -- last season's FA Cup final and a Premier League victory at the King Power in January - offering no response.

With Leicester also allowing far too much space ahead of them, Kante took advantage to make it two, given time to carry the ball to the edge of the home penalty area before firing in.

It took the hosts until the 58th minute to create a shot on or off target, with substitute James Maddison shooting straight at Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, before Daniel Amartey did actually force Mendy into a fine stop.

Chelsea's strength in depth was clear for all to see as two substitutes combined to put the game to bed, as Hakim Ziyech fed Pulisic, who scored his first Blues goal since August at the near post.

It could have been more, with Chelsea having three goals ruled out for offside, and would not have been undeserved, given their dominance at the King Power.

"The attitude is amazing but confidence is not where it has been," Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers said.

"It is my job to bring that back, it has been difficult for us this season but that responsibility starts with me so I have to find a solution for it."

Gerrard era at Villa begins with 2-0 win over Brighton

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins scores their first goal against Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park, Birmingham  

IMAGE: Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins scores their first goal against Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park, Birmingham. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

A stunning strike by Ollie Watkins and a late goal by Tyrone Mings gave Aston Villa a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park in the Premier League on Saturday in Steven Gerrard's first match as their new manager.

Villa scored on the counter-attack in the 84th minute after substitute Ashley Young carried the ball out of defence and found Watkins, who cut in from the left before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Mings put the result beyond doubt when he scored Villa's second in the 89th minute to snap their run of five league defeats that ended in the club sacking Dean Smith and replacing him with Gerrard on Nov. 11.

The match looked headed for a goalless draw before the two late Villa strikes, with neither side able to carve out many chances.

Villa started well and nearly took the lead in the 12th minute when Matt Targett's cross found Matthew Cash at the back post, but the right back's low header was turned away by Jason Steele in the Brighton goal.

Brighton grew into the contest and came close on the half-hour mark, when Marc Cucurella crossed from the left and the ball came off Jacob Ramsey and fell to Leandro Trossard, whose close range shot was parried by goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Brighton dominated possession but carved out few clear chances, and Martinez did well to race off his line and smother a Tariq Lamptey strike in stoppage time at the end of the first half to keep the scores level.

Villa were denied again at the start of the second half when John McGinn floated the ball in from a freekick and found Tyrone Mings, whose header back across goal was kept out by the diving Steele.

The match looked destined for a stalemate before Watkins struck to put Villa on course for a much-needed victory that moved them up to 15th in the table on 13 points, four above the relegation zone. Brighton slipped one spot to eighth place.

Palace extend unbeaten run in six-goal thriller at Burnley

Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke scores their first goal against Burnley at Turf Moor, Burnley

IMAGE: Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke scores their first goal against Burnley at Turf Moor, Burnley. Photograph: Peter Powell/Reuters

Crystal Palace extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven games after an entertaining 3-3 draw at Burnley on Saturday.

Christian Benteke struck twice for Patrick Vieira's Palace, who led 3-2 at the break, but a stunning Maxwel Cornet volley earned the Clarets a share of the points at Turf Moor.

Palace are ninth in the table on 16 points from 12 games but the draw was little help for Burnley who are 18th on nine.

Benteke put Palace ahead in the eighth minute with a low shot from the edge of the box that sneaked in off the inside of the post.

But the Clarets fought back with a powerful Ben Mee header from a corner and then Chris Wood nodded home after James Tarkowski headed the ball across the area to the New Zealand international.

Palace looked dangerous with every attack and drew level through Benteke's second after good work from Conor Gallagher, collecting a high ball, skipping past a sliding Charlie Taylor and then setting up the Belgian international.

The visitors then made it 3-2 three minutes before the interval when Marc Guehi drove home after Joachim Andersen's header had been parried by Nick Pope.

Within four minutes of the second half Sean Dyche's Burnley drew level in spectacular fashion -- James Tarkowski flicked on a header to the back post and Cornet unleashed an unstoppable volley. It was the Ivorian's fifth goal in seven starts.

Wilfried Zaha produced a fantastic volley of his own in the 63rd minute but Pope managed to get a slight touch on the ball to deflect it against the bar.

Burnley piled on the pressure in the final minutes and almost grabbed a stoppage-time winner but Palace keeper Vicente Guaita did well to keep out substitute Matej Vydra's effort.

Heartbreak hotel for Howe as Newcastle drop to last after 3-3 draw

Newcastle United's French winger Allan Saint-Maximin rescued a point for his side in a thrilling 3-3 Premier League draw with Brentford on Saturday, as new Magpies coach Eddie Howe got a glimpse of the scale of his challenge on Tyneside.

Former Bournemouth boss Howe, watching from a hotel room due to a positive COVID-19 test, will have been pleased with the tenacity of his side and their positive play but not that they conceded three goals for the third successive home game.

Despite twice coming from a goal down, Newcastle dropped to the bottom of the standings on six points below Norwich City who beat Southampton 2-1 nL1N2SB0B6 at Carrow Road.

"I feel a bit bad today because I tried to do my best to help my team, but it's still the same again – I score but we draw. So I will do my best and make sure the next time I score it is to win the game," Saint-Maximin told the BBC.

"But it's so important (the result) because it is better to draw than lose, and I think the team showed good character because it is not easy to come back. We just have to keep going, stay together and try to do our best to win the next game."

Jamaal Lascelles headed Newcastle in front after 10 minutes, meeting a Matt Ritchie cross. But their joy was short-lived as Brentford equalised 75 seconds after the restart through the right boot of Ivan Toney, scoring against his former club.

The visitors then went ahead after the half hour mark when Rico Henry headed in a cross from Sergi Canos.

It was then Newcastle's turn to hit back, this time through Joelinton shortly before the break. The Brazilian fired in from the middle of the penalty box for his first goal of the season.

The hosts came out energised in the second half, playing nice football but without a clinical touch in front of goal.

They were left to rue their profligacy as a speculative curling effort from Brentford's Frank Onyeka in the 61st minute took a wicked deflection off Lascelles and went in beyond goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

That sucker-punch looked to have taken the wind out of the home side's sails until Saint-Maximin popped up in the 75th minute to strike the ball into the bottom left corner.

The team received plenty of applause from the home supporters after the final whistle but despite the result, Newcastle slipped to the foot of the table.

Howe's side, now backed by a hugely wealthy Saudi Arabian consortium, are five points from the safety zone.

Brentford are 14th with 13 points from 12 games, continuing to impress in their debut Premier League campaign. However, manager Thomas Frank was disappointed with his side's defending.

"We were at a big party and we weren’t invited. We showed great mentality, but we didn’t defend well enough today -- we gave too much away," he said.

Jimenez strike gives Wolves 1-0 win over West Ham

Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez netted a fine second-half goal to secure a 1-0 home win over high-flying West Ham Unite after both sides missed chances in an entertaining Premier League clash on Saturday.

Jimenez gave visiting goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski no chance with a first-time shot from 18 metres into the bottom right corner after a pinpoint delivery from Daniel Podense in the 58th minute, capping sustained Wolves pressure after the break.

Wolves, who endured a wobbly start to the season under new manager Bruno Lage, moved up to sixth place, while West Ham stay in the top four despite seeing their four-match winning league run snapped by the home side.

Lage, who took over from Portuguese compatriot Nuno Espirito Santo during the summer break, was pleased and urged his players to keep up the good work.

"What I want now is points, points, points," Lage told the BBC. "It was another good performance in the first half. We controlled the game since the beginning. When you play against a team like West Ham, you need to be careful.

"All the players did everything we planned so I’m very happy. I said a few minutes before the game that what I want today is very simple – give the same feeling to the fans that you give to me."

Jarrod Bowen came close to opening the scoring for West Ham when he headed inches wide in the 10th minute before Jimenez scuffed a dinked finish in the 33rd and Fabianski tipped over a Joao Moutinho piledriver a minute later.

Fabianski twice denied the lively Podense shortly after the break, clawing out his low drive from the edge of the area before keeping out a sublime effort by the forward as Wolves pegged the Hammers back with intricate passing.

Fabianski was powerless when Podense squared the ball back from the right and Jimenez unleashed a delightful shot which swerved away from the keeper to delight the home fans.

West Ham threw men forward in the closing stages but only had Bowen's shot over the bar to show for their pressure as Wolves held firm at the back and looked dangerous on the break.

Smith off to winning start as Norwich beat Southampton 2-1

A glancing Grant Hanley header got the reign of new Norwich boss Dean Smith off to a perfect start as his side beat Southampton 2-1 in their Premier League clash on Saturday to climb off the bottom of the table.

Sacked by Aston Villa after losing 1-0 to Southampton on Nov. 5 with Che Adams getting the goal, Smith took over Norwich last Monday - and must have feared the worst when Adams scored against his new charges after just four minutes.

The lead didn't last as Teemu Pukki headed home from a tight angle to pull Norwich level three minutes later, but it was to prove the home side's only effort on goal in a first half that saw them under tremendous pressure.

Southampton created chance after chance, with Adams coming closest to regaining the lead for the visitors as the Canaries went into the break in disarray.

Smith sent on Joshua Sargent for Todd Cantwell after halftime and the switch had an immediate effect as Norwich were better able to hold on to the ball and get it into promising crossing positions.

Their reward came in the 79th minute when Hanley rose highest to head the winner, and though Theo Walcott had a great chance with a late header, Norwich were able to end a run of three straight Premier League defeats.

The win lifts the Canaries to 19th spot on eight points, two above Newcastle United, while Southampton sit in 13th place on 14 points.

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