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EPL PIX: Five-star United crush Bournemouth; Vardy nets 100th goal

July 04, 2020 23:01 IST
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IMAGES from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday.

Manchester United's Mason Greenwood and Bournemouth's Aaron Ramsdale in action during their match at Old Trafford

IMAGE: Manchester United's Mason Greenwood and Bournemouth's Aaron Ramsdale in action during their match at Old Trafford. Photograph: Dave Thompson/Pool via Reuters

Manchester United's three-pronged attack combined to devastating effect as they crushed Bournemouth 5-2 in the Premier League on Saturday to move into the top four and stretch their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions.

Mason Greenwood shone with two superb goals while Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and playmaker Bruno Fernandes added one each for United, who climbed into fourth place on 55 points from 33 games.

 

They are one point ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea who were hosting Watford in the 1900 GMT kickoff.

Bournemouth, who have now lost 17 of their last 22 league games, stayed 19th on 27 points and face a mountain to climb if they are to avoid relegation from the top flight.

Rashford, who scored his 20th goal of the season in all competitions and the first since the league resumed on June 17 following a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic, was delighted.

"The lads enjoyed it today," Rashford told BT Sport.

"Definitely exciting times. It doesn't matter who scores as long as we are scoring and picking up points in the table.

He also praised 18-year old Greenwood, who gave his markers a torrid time.

"Left foot, right foot he can finish. I don't want to put too much emphasis on him, just let him play his football and that he is what he does," Rashford said.

"It is a big bonus to have him in the squad."

Junior Stanislas fired the visitors into a 16th-minute lead but United hit back through Greenwood before Rashford converted a penalty and Martial rifled a screamer into the top corner to give the home side a 3-1 halftime lead.

Josh King pulled one back for the visitors with a penalty shortly after the break but United came storming back again as Greenwood made it 4-2 with another clinical finish and Fernandes curled in a free kick on the hour.

Rashford and Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke had efforts disallowed for marginal offside and visiting goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made several fine saves in a rip-roaring clash at Old Trafford.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also praised Greenwood.

"He is a fantastic goalscorer. The moment he chose the goal, they were very important moments for us," said the Norwegian.

"He is a very, very talented boy and we will nurture him and manage him as best we can.

"One of the positive things about the forwards is that they are good friends and keep challenging each other."

Vardy nets 100th Premier League goal as Leicester beat Palace

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy celebrates after scoring against Crystal Palace during their match at King Power Stadium, Leicester

IMAGE: Leicester City's Jamie Vardy celebrates after scoring against Crystal Palace during their match at King Power Stadium, Leicester. Photograph: Michael Regan/Pool via Reuters

Jamie Vardy netted his 100th Premier League goal as Leicester City notched their first victory since the league resumed, beating Crystal Palace 3-0 on Saturday to keep up their drive for Champions League football next season.

Leicester swarmed all over Palace from the first whistle as defender James Justin hit the crossbar early on, but it took until the fourth minute of the second half for Kelechi Iheanacho to finally put his side ahead with a close-range effort.

Despite the return of striker Christian Benteke, visitors Palace struggled to create much in front of goal, with their best efforts coming from set pieces. Any chances they did manage were easily dealt with by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Vardy cut a frustrated figure as he sought to become the 29th player to score a century in the English top flight, getting the ball caught under his feet and snatching at some decent opportunities as he chased the milestone.

Having slammed the ground in frustration at another missed chance moments earlier, Vardy made no mistake when Harvey Barnes set him up for a tap-in in the 77th minute. The 33-year-old striker looked relieved as he celebrated in an empty King Power Stadium.

Leicester continued to concede corners and free kicks in dangerous positions, but all too often the ball flew harmlessly over the massed ranks in the penalty area on a disappointing afternoon for Palace.

Vardy added a superb solo second in stoppage time to make it 3-0, breaking from the halfway line before calmly slotting the ball past Vicente Guaita.

"I will wait until the end of the season when I can reflect on things, we have a game in three days," Vardy told the BBC when asked about his century, and he added that the afternoon had been something of an emotional rollercoaster.

"I'm always frustrated if I miss a chance, you want to score as many as possible, but to get the two goals and the three points is all you can ask for," he said.

The result means that Leicester remain third in the table, eight points behind Manchester City with five games remaining. The Foxes are three points ahead of Manchester United and four ahead of Chelsea, while Crystal Palace are 13th on 42 points.

Trossard strike seals 1-0 win for Brighton at struggling Norwich

Brighton & Hove Albion's Aaron Mooy in action vies with Norwich City's Kenny McLean during their match at Carrow Road, Norwich

IMAGE: Brighton & Hove Albion's Aaron Mooy in action vies with Norwich City's Kenny McLean during their match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Pool via Reuters

Brighton & Hove Albion beat rock-bottom Norwich City 1-0 at Carrow Road on Saturday as Leandro Trossard's first-half goal lifted the south coast club nine points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

It was Norwich's fifth straight league defeat and Daniel Farke's side have not scored a goal since the season restarted last month after the COVID-19 hiatus.

They stayed at the foot of the standings with 21 points -- seven behind 17th-placed Watford -- and relegation from the top flight for the third time in seven seasons looks increasingly likely with five games left.

"It was more or less our last chance to get back in the mix and we are disappointed. It was more like the performance we ask for," Farke told the BBC.

"The story of our game was the story of our season, we didn't find the cutting edge and we then make a big mistake. After a few losses, we don't have the right to make any fighting messages or to make any unrealistic claims."

Brighton took the lead midway through the first half from a sharp counter-attack in which Aaron Mooy found Trossard in the box and the Belgian calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner with a first-time shot past goalkeeper Tim Krul.

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell, who have scored 17 of Norwich's 25 goals this season, both started on the bench and the duo failed to make an impact when they were introduced in the 67th minute.

Norwich nearly equalised in stoppage time through Adam Idah but the 19-year-old substitute's glancing header came off the post with goalkeeper Mat Ryan beaten.

Brighton, 15th, have now picked up seven points in their last four games to boost their chances of staying up.

"It's one of those days when the result is the most important thing," Brighton manager Graham Potter said.

"To get three points and a clean sheet you need a little luck, and we had it at the end with the post.

"We've got five more games to go and we're still fighting for the points... 36 (points) is a decent number, though we need more."

 

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