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EPL: Spurs' stunning victory at Leicester; United win

January 20, 2022 09:57 IST

IMAGE: Manchester United's players celebrate after Marcus Rashford scored the third goal against Brentford during the Premier League match at Brentford Community Stadium on Wednesday. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Manchester United rode their luck before burying luckless Brentford with a second-half goal blitz to claim a 3-1 away victory on Wednesday and boost their challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

 

A United win did not look likely as Brentford dominated the first half but the visitors were clinical after the break with goals by Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford securing a flattering victory.

Brentford should have been comfortably ahead by halftime but spurned numerous chances with Mathias Jensen twice denied by the outstretched leg of United keeper David De Gea.

Several other opportunities went begging and they were made to pay for their profligacy when Elanga nodded United in front in the 55th minute and Greenwood tapped in after a counter-attack before substitute Rashford rifled in his side's third in the 77th minute to deflate Brentford.

Ivan Toney pulled a goal back from close range with five minutes remaining but it was scant consolation for the hosts who slumped to a third successive defeat.

IMAGE: Anthony Elanga scores the first goal for Manchester United. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to United's starting line-up after recovering from injury but was subdued and reacted angrily after being substituted in the second half.

United remained in seventh spot but moved level on 35 points with sixth-placed Arsenal and are only two behind West Ham United who occupy fourth.

"First half was not good in all aspects of the game," United manager Ralf Rangnick said. "In the second half we were more urgent, attacking higher up the pitch and taking the right decisions in the counter attack and we scored, which is the big difference."

Home manager Thomas Frank, whose side are 14th and 10 points above the bottom three, was baffled at the outcome.

"We destroyed them in the first half, they didn't have a sniff, three huge chances and there could only have been one winner of this game," he said.

"They are unbelievably lucky. Our intensity killed them."

There was a buzz of anticipation around Brentford's impressive Community Stadium with the west London club hosting United for the first time 1947 -- the crowd warming up a chilly night with a rendition of their "Hey Jude" anthem.

Frank's side have acquitted themselves well against the big boys in their first Premier League campaign, beating Arsenal on a memorable opening night, holding Liverpool and unluckily losing to Chelsea.

They battered a sloppy United in the first half too.

Jensen, one of five Danes in the Brentford starting line-up, twice had the goal at his mercy but his weak side-footed efforts were saved by De Gea.

Ronaldo was a virtual spectator and the closest United came before the break was a swerving effort by Diogo Dalot that flew wide of the post.

United started the second half with more urgency and a Ronaldo header from Fernandes's cross glanced the crossbar.

Brentford went straight back on the counter-attack and Jensen was played in by Toney but again failed to beat De Gea.

United struck when Fred's lofted ball found Elanga whose first touch flicked the ball up for him to head past Bees keeper Jonas Lossl who was handed a first Premier League start.

Rangnick's side doubled their lead when Ronaldo chested the ball off to Fernandes who unselfishly squared to give Greenwood the easiest of tap-ins.

Rashford's superb finish sealed the points before Toney at least gave the home fans something to cheer.

Bergwijn's double snatches stunning Spurs win at Leicester

IMAGE: Steven Bergwijn celebrates after scoring the third goal for Tottenham Hotspur against Leicester City. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Steven Bergwijn scored twice in stoppage time as Tottenham Hotspur stunned Leicester City and pulled off a remarkable 3-2 victory in the Premier League on Wednesday.

A 76th-minute goal from James Maddison looked to have secured the three points for Brendan Rodgers' Leicester at the King Power Stadium until a dramatic finale with the Dutch substitute turning the game around.

Bergwijn bagged an equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time after Hojberg floated a ball to Matt Doherty in the box and the Dutchman pounced to fire home the loose ball.

He then astonishingly grabbed the winner after Youri Tielemans gave the ball away and Harry Kane played a superb through ball to the Dutchman who rounded Kasper Schmeichel and superbly slipped the ball inside the far post.

The dramatic win moved Spurs above their North London rivals Arsenal into fifth place on 36 points -- a point behind fourth-placed West Ham United.

"We showed great desire not to lose this game. This is a compliment for my players and team, not for me," said Spurs manager Antonio Conte, who has yet to lose in the Premier League since taking over, nine games ago, in early November.

His counterpart Brendan Rodgers criticised Tielemans as being "naive" for his mistake, which led to the last-gasp winner and was crestfallen by the manner of the defeat.

"That was a great opportunity tonight, but you have to see that through. I don't think Tottenham won the game, we presented them the three points. It's bitterly disappointing," he said.

While Bergwijn was the hero, Kane, who netted Spurs' first goal, also looked close to his best both as a finisher and a creator and the England forward threatened from the outset.

Kane went close twice in the early stages, including a header against the bar in the 19th minute, as Spurs aggressively sought an opener.

But it was Leicester's Zambian forward Patson Daka, standing in for the injured Jamie Vardy, who put them ahead, against the run of play, in the 24th minute with a sliding left-footed finish at the back post after Sergio Reguilon had failed to clear.

IMAGE: The delighted Tottenham Hotspur players after Steven Bergwijn scored the winner in stoppage time. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Leicester defender Marc Albrighton then did superbly to sprint back and clear a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg shot off the line as Spurs continued to attack.

The visitors got their eventual reward when they drew level in the 38th minute with a clinical finish from Kane, who beat the offside trap, skipped inside Caglar Soyuncu and drilled a low shot in off the far post.

Kane then wasted a glorious chance, firing high over the bar after being put through on goal by Lucas Moura.

It was a tighter affair after the break but Leicester got in front in the 76th minute when substitute Harvey Barnes found Maddison whose low shot struck the outstretched leg of Japhet Tanganga and flew in via the post.

That looked to be enough until substitute Bergwijn levelled before sparking wild celebrations with the winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

"What a rollercoaster of emotions that was," said Kane.

"Overall we deserved the victory. We were the better side. Disappointed to go 2-1 down but we were creating the chances. We never gave up and Stevey came on and made the difference. To get two goals like that - these are games you will never forget in a career."

Source: REUTERS
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