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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Manchester United and Arsenal win, Tottenham Hotspur go down at Watford

Manchester United beat Burnley thanks to Romelu Lukaku double, while Watford registered an impressive win over Spurs

football Updated: Sep 02, 2018 23:20 IST
Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor.
Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor.(AFP)

Manchester United returned to winning ways on Sunday as Romelu Lukaku’s first-half double was enough to give them a 2-0 victory over Burnley.

Jose Mourinho’s men secured a morale-boosting win to reduce some of the pressure on their manager despite Paul Pogba’s missed penalty and Marcus Rashford’s red card in the space of two second-half minutes.

A banner protesting against executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was flown over the ground before kick-off, but United were not distracted from the job at hand in the early exchanges, with Jesse Lingard missing three chances in a dominant opening spell.

Burnley grew into the game but found themselves behind 27 minutes in, when Lukaku jumped just high enough to head a fine Alexis Sanchez cross past Joe Hart from six yards out.

It needed a fine save from Hart to deny Lukaku a quick second after a swift break involving Sanchez, but the Belgium striker smashed home from point-blank range to make it 2-0 before half-time after Lingard’s shot hit first Charlie Taylor and then Ashley Westwood.

Paul Pogba wasted the chance to make it 3-0 when Hart comfortably saved his rather tame penalty, and Burnley hopes of a comeback were increased two minutes later when substitute Rashford was sent off for pushing his head into Phil Bardsley’s after he appeared to kick out at the forward.

Sean Dyche’s men pushed forward with the man advantage but Lukaku should have killed off the game, the forward wasting two opportunities when put clean through one-on-one with Hart.

ALSO READ: Chelsea maintain perfect Premier League start, Southampton earn first win

United held firm for their second win of the season, though, allowing Mourinho to head into the two-week international break in a happier mood.

Arsenal beat Cardiff City in thriller

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette’s burgeoning strike partnership came to the rescue as Arsenal eventually shook off Cardiff City to claim a 3-2 win in the Welsh capital.

Shkodran Mustafi headed the visitors into an 11th-minute lead before Neil Warnock’s side averted a seventh consecutive goalless half in the Premier League this season when Victor Camarasa pounced in stoppage time.

Unai Emery brought Mesut Ozil and Lacazette into his XI and both were involved in Aubameyang’s brilliant 62nd-minute goal, only for Danny Ward to find a swift response.

Lacazette was harshly adjudged to have fouled Harry Arter for the free-kick that led to Ward’s leveller but the French striker had the last laugh on his first start of the campaign, darting around Sol Bamba and blasting beyond Neil Etheridge at the Cardiff goalkeeper’s near post.

Watford continue perfect start

Watford maintained their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season and ended Tottenham’s own perfect record as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

After a desperately poor first half, the game sparked into life in the 53rd minute as Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a comical own goal to hand the visitors the lead.

That setback only served to motivate Javi Gracia’s side, who stormed back with two headed goals from Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart in the space of seven minutes to join Liverpool and Chelsea on maximum points from the opening four games.

It was a result that brings Spurs, who had won their opening three matches, crashing back down to earth following Monday’s 3-0 win over Manchester United.

ALSO READ: Liverpool stay perfect despite Alisson error

During a tepid opening both sides exchanged headed chances, Dele Alli guiding his wide of Ben Foster’s post and Deeney powering one over the crossbar from just six yards out.

Tottenham looked the most threatening for the remainder of the half, but their only real chance came a minute before the interval when Davinson Sanchez headed over Jan Vertonghen’s teasing cross from the left.

Christian Eriksen signalled Tottenham’s intent at the start of the second period, firing in long-range drives that were held by Foster, before Doucoure’s slapstick intervention handed Spurs the lead.

Foster looked primed to collect a looping ball before Christian Kabasele headed it almost out of his hands and into the path of Lucas Moura, whose delivery back across goal was chested into his own net by the hapless Doucoure.

This woke Watford from their slumber and they almost levelled after 67 minutes when Toby Alderweireld headed against his own crossbar before Deeney nodded in from Jose Holebas’ fine free-kick shortly after to level things.

Holebas turned provider again for the winner in the 76th minute, his outswinging corner wonderfully headed into the top corner by Cathcart to continue his side’s remarkable start to the season.