Wednesday , December 13 2017

Sanchez fires Arsenal, Man Utd held – Saints down Everton

Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud (right), has an unsuccessful shot defended by Bournemouth’s English defender Steve Cook during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium in London on Nov 27. (AFP)
Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud (right), has an unsuccessful shot defended by Bournemouth’s English defender Steve Cook during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium in London on Nov 27. (AFP)

LONDON, Nov 27, (Agencies): Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was sent off as his side lost more ground in the Premier League title race by drawing 1-1 with West Ham United on Sunday.

After Diafra Sakho’s second-minute opener was cancelled out by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mourinho was sent to the stands for kicking a water bottle in protest at Paul Pogba’s booking for diving.

It was United’s fourth successive home draw in the league — a first since 1980 — and left them 11 points below leaders Chelsea in sixth place.

Elsewhere, Alexis Sanchez scored twice as Arsenal kept pace within the leading pack by winning 3-1 at home to Bournemouth.

Mourinho made six changes to his starting XI at Old Trafford, but his bench created the biggest stir as formerly exiled midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger made an unexpected return to the match-day squad.

West Ham needed just 90 seconds to go ahead as Dimitri Payet’s free-kick from the right was headed in by Sakho.

In the 21st minute, Pogba’s deep cross was nodded in by Ibrahimovic, who has now scored seven league goals this season.

Moments later referee Jonathan Moss booked Pogba for diving after the France midfielder took evasive action as Mark Noble moved in to tackle him.

Mourinho reacted by furiously kicking a water bottle and was duly sent to the stands for the second time this season.

Wayne Rooney, whose next goal will equal Bobby Charlton’s 249-goal club scoring record, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan came on for United in the second half.

Jesse Lingard saw a goal chalked off for offside after Mkhitaryan had hit the post, while United were indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea for a crucial late save to deny Ashley Fletcher.

United will hope their luck changes when West Ham return to Old Trafford in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Arsenal ended a run of three straight draws in all competitions with victory over Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium.

Sanchez made the game safe in stoppage time by tapping in substitute Olivier Giroud’s cross.

Stoke City climbed to 10th in the table with a 1-0 win at Watford.

A 29th-minute own goal from Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes settled the game, with Charlie Adam’s header hitting the post and bouncing into the net off the unfortunate Brazilian.

Meanwhile, Josh Sims said he was delighted by his instant impact after setting up Southampton’s winner in the first minute of his Premier League debut as they beat Everton 1-0 at St Mary’s on Sunday.

The 19-year-old winger is the latest star from Southampton’s formidable academy and took just 43 seconds to get the home fans cheering his name after scooping the ball on for Charlie Austin to head in the game’s only goal from close range.

Sims had been told he was playing by manager Claude Puel only just before kickoff but showed no nerves in a man-of-the-match performance.

“It was everything you wish for as a kid. Coming through the academy and hearing the crowd call my name is a dream,” said Sims, who last Monday was playing in front of a few spectators for Southampton’s under-23 side.

Of his part in Southampton’s goal, he said: “I just turned and hit it and luckily Charlie was there.”

It was a spectacular start for a side who had failed to muster a single shot on target against Liverpool the previous week, and Sims almost doubled the score with a header when unmarked on the six-yard line before the break.

Once again Everton, who have won only once in eight Premier League games, were punished for starting badly, leaving manager Ronald Koeman struggling for excuses on his first return to the club he left in the summer.

“Sometimes it is difficult to explain why we start badly, said Koeman, who said he had never heard of Sims in his time at Southampton.

“We gave the ball away after 10 seconds and did not defend too well in the area. Southampton had their chances to kill the game but I can’t complain about the second half.”

Southampton should have extended their lead after the break when Austin was denied by a flying save from Maarten Stekelenburg and James Ward-Prowse blasted one chance wide and had another cleared off the line.

“It was a very good performance for us because we had a lot of injury problems before the match,” said Puel.

“Josh Sims — for his first Premier League game, I guess it’s okay! I think it’s important to respect the academy here and when we have problems with injuries it’s fantastic to be able to start players from the academy.”

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