Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Leicester sink Man United; Liverpool whip Watford

PIX: Leicester sink Man United; Liverpool whip Watford

Last updated on: October 17, 2021 18:27 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Patson Daka celebrates scoring Leicester City's fourth goal during the Premier League match against Manchester United, at The King Power Stadium in Leicester, on Saturday

IMAGE: Patson Daka celebrates scoring Leicester City's fourth goal during the Premier League match against Manchester United, at The King Power Stadium in Leicester, on Saturday. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Leicester City fired on all cylinders late on to beat Manchester United 4-2 at home in the Premier League on Saturday, ending a four-match winless run and piling more pressure on visiting manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

 

The result also ended United's record 29-game unbeaten away run in the league as they collapsed in a frantic five-minute spell in the closing stages, having taken an early lead and then pulled themselves back to 2-2.

With Cristiano Ronaldo putting in a subdued performance up front for United, it was shambolic defending that stretched their own winless run to three games in which they have taken one point from a possible nine.

Vardy was delighted after the game as Leicester bounced back from their barren spell.

"It was massively important," Vardy told the BBC. "The most important thing was the performance because we had let our standards slip. We had the international break to reflect on things."

Mason Greenwood celebrates after putting Manchester United ahead.

IMAGE: Mason Greenwood celebrates after putting Manchester United ahead in the match. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Visiting midfielder Paul Pogba conceded United were well below par and pointed out the team lacked energy and confidence.

"We deserved to lose," he said. "To be honest, we have been having these kind of games for a long time. We have not found the problem, conceding easy goals, stupid goals.

"We need to be more mature, play with more experience and arrogance in a good way. We need to find something, we need to change."

United had made a perfect start as Mason Greenwood fired them into a 19th-minute lead when he unleashed a thunderbolt from 20 metres that flew into the far corner as it shaved the inside of the post.

But the visitors were punished for sloppy passing in the danger zone in the 31st as Kelechi Iheanacho robbed Harry Maguire of the ball and squared it for Youri Tielemans to hit the top corner with a looping shot over goalkeeper David De Gea.

A tame second half came to life with De Gea tipping a sublime Tielemans ball onto the woodwork before Ronaldo, who spurned a first-half chance with United ahead, saw home keeper Kasper Schmeichel palm over his shot from inside the area.

It was rip-roaring action from there on as Caglar Soyuncu turned the tide with a close-range effort in the 78th minute before Marcus Rashford, returning after shoulder surgery in August, levelled for United in the 82nd.

Less than 60 seconds later, however, substitute Ayoze Perez chipped the ball into Vardy's path and the striker gave De Gea no chance with a superb volley with the outside of his foot, delighting the home fans in the King Power stadium.

Substitute Patson Daka put the icing on the cake for Leicester in stoppage time as more poor defending gave the Zambian striker time and space to tap the ball in from point blank range at the far post.

United slipped to fifth in the standings on 14 points from eight games, four behind leaders Liverpool who thrashed Watford 5-0 away in the lunchtime kick-off, while Leicester climbed to 11th on 11 points.

Sublime Salah steers Liverpool to 5-0 win over woeful Watford

IMAGE: Liverpool's players celebrate after Mohammed Salah scores during the Premier League match against Watford, at Vicarage Road in Watford, England, on Saturday.Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah set up Sadio Mane's 100th Premier League goal and scored a brilliant goal of his own, while Roberto Firmino bagged a hat-trick as Liverpool reclaimed top spot with a 5-0 win over Watford in Claudio Ranieri's first game in charge. 

Firmino may have walked away with the match ball, but it was Salah that took the breath away in an individual attacking display full of the kind of vision, skill and guile that the watching Watford fans could only dream of from their side. 

The visitors took the lead in the ninth minute when Liverpool won a Watford kickout, and Mohamed Salah played a sublime pass to Mane with the outside of his left boot for the Senegalese striker to notch his Premier League century. 

Mane then picked out James Milner on an overlapping run and he drove a perfect ball across the goal for Firmino to steer home from close range in the 37th minute to put the Reds 2-0 up at half-time. 

Watford defender Craig Cathcart endured a torrid afternoon, sliding to send a back-pass to Ben Foster that the goalkeeper spilled into the path of Firmino, who finished with a simple tap-in to make it 3-0. But the worst was still to come for him as Salah took possession in the box two minutes later. 

Trapped in a triangle of Watford defenders, the Egyptian rolled his studs over the ball before bursting past Cathcart and then leaving him sliding in the wrong direction as he cut back and curled the ball home with his left foot for an exquisite solo goal. 

"Every time I'm in the box, I'm trying to get the ball for someone to score or trying to score by myself. It's always about the team, I always try to play for the team," a beaming Salah told BT Sport. 

"The most important thing is we scored good goals, all of us up front scored," he added. 

Ranieri, who took over as Watford boss on Oct. 4 following the sacking of Xisco Munoz, was left in no doubt about the size of the task he faces as Watford came up woefully short, and Firmino added his third in second-half stoppage time. 

The win lifts Liverpool back to the Premier League summit on 18 points, two ahead of Chelsea, who can retake the lead if they beat Brentford in Saturday's late game. Watford are 15th on seven points.

Leaders Chelsea survive late siege to beat Brentford 1-0

Chelsea beat neighbours Brentford 1-0 to keep their grip on the Premier League's top spot on Saturday thanks to a Ben Chilwell strike but they owed their three points as much to goalkeeper Edouard Mendy who denied the hosts with a string of late saves.

Chilwell, back in the team after being side-lined early in the season, scored for the second match in a row when Brentford failed to clear and the ball dropped kindly for him to strike from 12 yards with a half volley in the 45th minute.

The hosts had earlier hit the post through Bryan Mbeumo and the Frenchman was again denied by the woodwork in the 75th minutes as the Bees subjected Chelsea to wave after wave of attacks in their second-half push for an equaliser.

Premier League new boys Brentford spent much of the first half pegged back by Chelsea but the red and white shirts piled forward after the break, roared on by their fans relishing their first league derby against their West London rivals since 1947.

In the 83rd minute, Mendy denied Saman Ghoddos as he rushed off his line to close down the angle, moments before Trevoh Chalobah saved the visitors by clearing off line from Christian Norgaard.

Chelsea's French goalkeeper made more fine saves, including turning over an acrobatic overhead effort by Norgaard in injury time.

Asked to describe the game, Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel told BBC: "Very strong for 70 minutes, very lucky for 20 minutes."

The match proved a baptism of fire for Chelsea's Malang Sarr who made his league debut in the centre of defence, replacing the injured Antonio Rudiger while Thiago Silva returned to London from international duty for Brazil too late to play.

"We trust the guys who are young. If you don’t play you cannot get experience," Tuchel said.

The result leaves Chelsea one point clear of Liverpool at the top of the table on 19 points. Brentford, who have beaten London rivals Arsenal and West Ham United so far this season, stand in seventh place on 12 points.

Silva and De Bruyne give City win over Burnley

Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne were on target as Manchester City beat Burnley 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to stay within a point of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

It was lacklustre display from Pep Guardiola's side against winless opponents but after the difficulties of re-assembling his squad after the international break, the City boss was satisfied with three relatively comfortably earned points.

City, with American Zack Steffen deputising for Ederson in goal given the Brazilian's late return from national team duty, gave a start to Raheem Sterling, who had said this week that he would consider a move away from the club.

Sterling made little impact, however, in an unusually punchless City attack with Riyad Mahrez far from his best on the right and Phil Foden the brightest down the middle.

Portuguese midfielder Silva opened the scoring in the 12th minute, tapping in after Burnley keeper Nick Pope had pushed out a well-struck low drive from Foden.

Burnley caused City some problems however and Ivorian attacker Maxwel Cornet could have brought them level when he latched on to a ball over the top from Dwight McNeil but City keeper Zack Steffen did well to save with his legs.

Josh Brownhill then screwed a shot wide from inside the box after some hesitant defending from City as Burnley ended the first half strongly.

Riyad Mahrez went close to doubling City's lead after the break, clipping the cross-bar after a smart pull-back from Silva.

City finally put the contest to bed, in the 70th minute, when Ashley Westwood failed to clear for Burnley and the ball fell to De Bruyne who smashed home with his left foot.

Burnley should have pulled one back in the latter stages but a stretching Chris Wood put his shot over the bar with City's defence having allowed him space.

Pep Guardiola's side are on 17 points from eight games, in second place, with Liverpool top on 18 points. Chelsea could return to the top of the table if they win at Brentford later on Saturday.

Wolves grab last-gasp 3-2 win at Villa in derby thriller

Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves's deflected free-kick gave Wolverhampton Wanderers a 3-2 comeback win in stoppage time at Aston Villa on Saturday with all five goals coming in the second half of a thrilling Midlands derby in the Premier League.

Neves's strike from outside the area hit Matt Targett to go past goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, sending the away fans into delirium as most of the 41,961 Villa Park crowd fell silent.

"The ball was in so that's all that matters. What a win, what a team spirit. I'm so proud of the boys," Neves said.

"A really hard game for us. Villa are a great team, they were at home, it was a derby - it was almost perfect for us."

After a tight first half with chances at both ends, Villa had cruised into a 2-0 lead in the second period.

Striker Danny Ings scored his first goal since August with a powerful close-range header from John McGinn's cross in the 48th minute. Twenty minutes later, McGinn saw his low strike deflect off Neves into the net.

But Wolves clawed themselves back with goals from Romain Saiss, who swept in an 80th minute cross, and then from fellow defender Conor Coady, who got the last touch on a goalmouth scramble five minutes later.

With 2-2 looking a fair score, Neves settled the game in the 95th minute, sending his team mates racing towards the away fans and crumpling in a joyous heap on the grass.

The win took Wolves to eighth in the Premier League on 12 points, and left Villa 12th on 10 points.

Broja gives Saints first win as Leeds fall

Southampton tasted victory for the first time in the Premier League this season as Armando Broja's second-half goal saw them win 1-0 against Leeds United on Saturday.

The win lifted Ralph Hasenhuttl's side to 15th in the table with seven points, while Leeds are one point and two places behind.

The hosts came close to opening the scoring early on when Broja flicked on a Nathan Redmond corner towards the back post but Mohamed Elyounoussi failed to meet it.

And it would be Redmond and Broja who would combine for the Saints to break the deadlock in the second half when the former squared it to the on-loan Chelsea forward who netted his first Premier League goal, side-footing the ball into the roof of the net.

Netting on his maiden top-flight start, it capped off a perfect week for the 20-year-old striker, who a week ago had scored the winner for Albania against Hungary.

The visitors had few real chances, but Dan James should have levelled the scores when he poked wide after a lapse from the hosts' defence, but that was as close as Leeds would come.

Despite a late surge in intensity, Marcelo Bielsa's men were uncharacteristically flat, failing to create any real chances, and the Saints won with relative ease.

Leeds falling short of the mark has been a consistent problem this season and one which Bielsa will need to address, especially with games against the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City to come in the next few weeks.

Southampton dominated with nineteen shots compared to the opposition’s three, but will hope to rack up more than one goal when they take on Burnley at home next weekend.

Norwich remain winless in the league after goalless draw with Brighton

Norwich City are still searching for their first Premier League win this season after playing out a goalless draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Graham Potter's Brighton dominated possession while hosts Norwich had the better chances but both teams failed to take advantage and were found wanting in front of goal.

The visitors had lost only one of their opening seven league games but looked below-par while Daniel Farke's Norwich have now failed to find the net in four straight games across all competitions.

"It was a hard-fought game. We weren't at our best, but not too bad either and in the end, after both teams had chances, we accept the point," Brighton manager Graham Potter told the BBC.

"We couldn't find the final bit to score the goal, but Daniel Farke probably thinks the same thing."

Brighton had a penalty appeal denied in the first half when Neal Maupay claimed contact from goalkeeper Tim Krul.

"If the referee doesn't give a penalty, it's a tough one for VAR to overrule," Potter added.

Krul also pulled off a fingertip save later to deny Leandro Tossard, tipping his volley onto the crossbar.

Norwich forward Josh Sargent twice let Brighton off the hook either side of the break, squandering two opportunities to secure three points for the first time this season.

Sargent's tame shot towards the open goal after goalkeeper Robert Sanchez missed a clearance was cleared by Shane Duffy, while in the second half, Dan Burn blocked the American forward's attempt on goal with a last-ditch tackle.

Maupay also had a chance to seal the win for Brighton in the closing stages but shot off-target from Solly March's cross.

Brighton moved provisionally up to fourth with 15 points while Norwich remain rooted to the bottom of the league standings with two points, but Farke took positives from their second consecutive clean sheet.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: REUTERS
© Copyright 2021 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.

New Zealand Tour of India, 2021