Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL PIX: United ease to victory; Chelsea moves up to third

EPL PIX: United ease to victory; Chelsea moves up to third

Last updated on: November 08, 2020 09:54 IST
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IMAGE: Manchester United's players celebrate after Edinson Cavani scored the third goal against Everton, at Goodison Park, in Liverpool, on Saturday. Photograph: Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images

Manchester United eased the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 3-1 win at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday with Bruno Fernandes scoring twice and Edinson Cavani grabbing his first for the club.

 

United have failed to win at home in the league this season and there were questions over Solskjaer's future after the midweek defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.

But United, who move up to 13th and ten points, responded with a display which, while far from smooth, was full of character, epitomised by captain Harry Maguire's determined display at the back.

"We knew we had to get three points today. It's early in the season and we don't look at the table but the points we have accumulated isn't good enough for this club," said Maguire.

"It's important to bounce back from setbacks. We've been questioned but we know we don't answer them in 90 minutes, we answer them day in, day out. The lads are working tirelessly for this club, everyone wants to improve and do better. The manager has to pull the lads off the training ground."

IMAGE: Edinson Cavani scores the third goal for Manchester United in stoppage time. Photograph: Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images

The pressure on Solskjaer intensified when Everton took the lead in the 19th minute with Brazilian winger Bernard's low drive through Aaron Wan-Bissaka's legs squeezing in the bottom corner.

Six minutes later though, United drew level when Fernandes met a Luke Shaw cross from the left with a perfectly angled and firm header.

Everton left back Lucas Digne then struck the post from a promising position but United were growing into the game and it was no surprise when they took the lead.

Fernandes floated in a cross from the left which Marcus Rashford rose to head into the bottom corner but although the striker failed to connect, the ball went in off the post.

Substitute Cavani added the third in stoppage time, finishing off a counter-attack led by Fernandes for his first goal since joining the club on deadline day last month.

The loss was the third straight defeat for Carlo Ancelotti's side who, after being the early season pace-setters, have now slipped to fifth in the standings.

"The problem was that after we scored we were not able to defend well, and they took advantage. They were able to score easily. We said before the game we had to defend better and we did not defend good enough. We were slow at the back, we have to improve," said the Italian.

"I know how to manage difficulties, every year you have them. We can start again after the international break," added Ancelotti.

Palace hand Leeds another heavy defeat

IMAGE: Eberechi Eze, right, celebrates with teammate Andros Townsend after scoring the second goal for Crystal Palace against Leeds United at Selhurst Park. Photograph: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Leeds United suffered another heavy defeat with a 4-1 reverse at Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

Marcelo Bielsa's side, who were beaten by the same scoreline at home to Leicester City on Monday, slumped to 14th place with the loss while Palace moved up to sixth, on 13 points from eight games, just three points behind leaders Southampton.

Scott Dann headed Palace into a 12th minute lead with a thundering header from an Eberi Eze corner.

Leeds thought they had drawn level with a nice finish from Patrick Bamford but the effort was ruled out for a narrow offside by VAR.

After that let-off, Palace doubled their lead with a brilliant free kick from Eze, his first goal for the club, as he struck a 20-metre shot into the top corner.

Bamford did score with a confident drive after being set up by Polish midfielder Mateusz Klich's headed pass when he buried the ball in the bottom corner for his seventh goal of the campaign.

But Palace restored their two-goal advantage just before the interval when Helder Costa's sliding tackle deflected a low cross from Wifried Zaha inside the near post, confounding Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Zaha also had a hand in Palace's fourth, running at the Leeds defence before slipping the ball to Jordan Ayew who made no mistake.

Leeds have conceded 17 goals this season, more than any other team in the league, an issue Bielsa must urgently address.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson was understandably pleased with a rare goal feast from his team.

"It was a highly competitive game. We played well and were good value for our victory," he said.

"It was a good win against a team that has started so well and has a style of play which is different to what we're used to seeing. In terms of our attacking play, we were excellent."

Chelsea's Lampard hails 'top-class' Ziyech after win over Sheffield Utd

Chelsea

IMAGE: Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech in action. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Reuters

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes Hakim Ziyech has added a new dimension to their attack after the Moroccan international’s masterful performance in Saturday’s 4-1 Premier League win against Sheffield United.

David McGoldrick’s neat flick gave the visitors a surprise ninth-minute lead but Chelsea responded with goals by Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell before halftime.

Frank Lampard’s side bossed the second half and captain Thiago Silva scored his first goal for the London club with a 77th-minute header before Timo Werner added a fourth.

Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech, another of Chelsea’s recent signings, claimed two assists in a masterful performance.

Chelsea have 15 points from eight games, one behind surprise leaders Southampton and title holders Liverpool, who visit Manchester City on Sunday.

Sheffield United are still looking for their first victory of the season and have picked up only one point so far -- the joint-lowest total after eight games in Premier League history.

Ziyech, who joined Chelsea from Ajax Amsterdam in the close-season for a reported 40 million euros ($48 million), was a constant threat to the United defence and claimed two assists as he helped Lampard’s side move into third in the Premier League.

The 27-year-old winger has scored twice and provided three assists in seven games in all competitions, and Lampard said he was impressed by how quickly Ziyech has settled.

“He’s a top-class player,” Lampard told reporters. “He’s had a long time out since the Dutch league finished and then he had an injury, so to hit ground running the way he has is a huge plus for us.

“He has given us an extra edge and a different threat... He has an ability to find the last pass or cross, make assists and break teams that have a low block down... He sees the pass and has no fear to try it.

“He exudes confidences in how much he wants to receive the ball and be the important player. He also has great work ethic so he is a complete player. He’s been a big plus and I expect there is a lot more to come from him.”

Goals by Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Timo Werner helped Chelsea overwhelm bottom side United, but Lampard has warned his players to guard against complacency.

“It was our best performance of the season. We are in a good place, but the level set by Manchester City and Liverpool in the last few years means we have to be in that place every game,” he added.

Soucek earns West Ham win as Fulham miss last-gasp penalty

West Ham

IMAGE: West Ham United's Lukasz Fabianski celebrates with Tomas Soucek after the match. Photograph: Julian Finney/Reuters

Tomas Soucek’s stoppage-time goal earned West Ham United a 1-0 win over Fulham 1-0 in the Premier League but Ademola Lookman spurned a glorious chance to earn a point for the visitors with a botched last-gasp penalty.

Big Czech Soucek had been largely anonymous in the London derby but he showed his knack for scoring important goals when he steered a shot past Fulham keeper Alphonse Areola.

There was a twist to come though as Fulham were awarded a penalty via a lengthy VAR check in the fifth minute of stoppage time only for Lookman to try an audacious ‘Panenka’ and chip the ball tamely straight into the hands of Lukasz Fabianski.

A point would have been thoroughly deserved for Fulham who were bright in attack and solid in defence, even if hosts West Ham were twice denied by the woodwork.

It was tough on Lookman, on loan from RB Leipzig, who had been excellent for his side who remain one place above the relegation zone after a sixth defeat in eight games.

“Ademola Lookman is devastated, apologetic. He’s a young man who has had a good start here and is a big player for us,” Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney, who was adjudged to have been fouled for the penalty, told BT Sport.

“We’ll get round him and pick him up, he knows he could have got us a point.”

Victory for West Ham lifted them to 11th spot with 11 points.

A frenetic start saw a flurry of chances for West Ham with Arthur Masuaku having an effort cleared off the line and Jarrod Bowen forcing a sharp save from Areola.

Sebastien Haller rattled the bar with a header before Fulham began to settle and threaten on the counter-attack with Aleksandar Mitrovic failing to make the most of two chances.

Fulham were arguably the better side after the break but they were stunned in the first minute of stoppage time when West Ham substitute Said Benrahma teed up Soucek to slot home.

Benrahma blotted his copybook though when he dangled out a leg and tripped Cairney and referee Rob Jones eventually awarded a penalty after checking a pitch-side monitor.

West Ham’s players delayed the kick and when Lookman took a long run it looked as though he would go for power, but instead he stuttered his run and appeared to kick the ground before the ball as he attempted to out-fox Fabianski.

The attempt was so poor that Fabianski, who had begun to move one way, had time to re-shuffle his position and make the easiest of catches, the ball barely reaching him.

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