Home Sport EPL WRAP: Sloppy United held as Southampton impress

EPL WRAP: Sloppy United held as Southampton impress

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Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood. File Picture: Pool via Reuters, Shaun Botterill

United had a euphoric start to the season with a 5-1 home win over Leeds United but could not repeat that performance.

SOUTHAMPTON – A second-half strike from Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood cancelled out an own goal from teammate Fred to earn a 1-1 draw at Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.

United had a euphoric start to the season with a 5-1 home win over Leeds United but could not repeat that performance and were lucky not to lose to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s organised and dynamic side.

Southampton took the lead on the half-hour mark after a bright spell when Jack Stephens dispossessed Bruno Fernandes in the United half and the hosts swiftly moved the ball towards Che Adams, whose shot took a heavy deflection off Fred to squirm inside the near post and past David de Gea.

United defender Harry Maguire had hit the crossbar early on with a looping header while Anthony Martial’s rebound was scrambled off the line by Mohammed Salisu but the half had belonged to Southampton, who swarmed over United with an aggressive high press and caused havoc down the right hand side.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side levelled early in the 55th when Greenwood thumped a low shot under Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy after clever interplay between Fernandes and Paul Pogba, who added another assist to the five he notched against Leeds.

Southampton finished the game strongest though and Adam Armstrong missed two clear chances to win it, first being denied by a fine save from De Gea following another speedy transition and then failing to steer an Adams flick on towards goal following a corner.

Meanwhile, Harry Kane came off the bench to make his first Tottenham Hotspur appearance of the season as Dele Alli’s penalty earned coach Nuno Espirito Santo a 1-0 win on his return to his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane. File Picture: Reuters, Andy Rain

Kane, who has been linked with a move to champions Manchester City all summer, came on in the second half and missed a great chance to immediately get on the scoresheet.

Alli’s ninth-minute penalty was enough for Spurs to pick up all three points, however, as Nuno’s first trip back to the club he brought up to the Premier League during a four-year spell between 2017 and 2021 ended successfully.

The results means Spurs have won two from two so far this season, both by a 1-0 scoreline.

And on Saturday, Liverpool welcomed a full house back to Anfield and rewarded them with a 2-0 victory over Burnley to move top of the Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion also showing impressive early form to post a second win.

Juergen Klopp’s side started slowly with Burnley hitting the post inside the opening five minutes but goals by Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane eased them to a comfortable win.

Diogo Jota of Liverpool. File Picture: EPA-EFE, Jon Super

Brighton joined them on six points later with a comfortable 2-0 win over Watford – Shane Duffy and Neal Maupay on target.

Champions Manchester City rebounded from their opening day defeat at Tottenham Hotspur to demolish promoted Norwich City 5-0 with record signing Jack Grealish scoring on his home debut.

Brentford maintained their impressive start to their first top-flight campaign for 74 years as they fought out a 0-0 draw away at Crystal Palace while Everton and Leeds United also shared the points in a 2-2 draw at Elland Road.

Newcastle United suffered a second consecutive loss as they went down 2-0 at Aston Villa.

It was an emotional day at Anfield where the first capacity crowd since March 2020 paid a tribute to lifelong fan Andrew Devine, the 97th victim of the Hillsborough tragedy who died in July, 32 years after suffering life-changing injuries.

If anything the atmosphere hampered Liverpool early on and Dwight McNeil hit the post for Burnley.

But Jota settled the nerves in the 18th minute, heading in the opener past Nick Pope.

Burnley had a goal by Ashley Barnes disallowed for offside but Liverpool dominated after the break with 17 goal attempts but had to wait until the 69th minute to make the points safe when Mane pounced for his 50th Liverpool goal from an assist by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

“Everybody was really looking forward to this football festival, to this game, and I think nobody leaves this place today with any kind of disappointment because I think all of our dreams were fulfilled today, atmosphere-wise,” Klopp said.

“How the game was as well, was pretty special, because Burnley are Burnley – and Burnley cause you problems.”

Brighton claimed back-to-back wins at the start of a top-flight season for the first time in their history with Duffy powering in an early header and Maupay seizing on a mistake to make it 2-0 shortly before halftime.

Manchester City were off the pace last weekend against Tottenham but were ruthless against a Norwich side dealt a cruel fixture list to launch their return to the top flight.

City took the lead in the seventh minute when Gabriel Jesus’s cross forced a panicky clearance that rebounded into the net off Norwich keeper Tim Krul before 100 million pounds man Grealish bundled in a Jesus cross in the 22nd minute.

Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus. File Picture, PA, Carl Recine

Aymeric Laporte made it 3-0 in the 65th minute before substitutes Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez completed the rout.

“This result was the consequence of how many good things we have done,” City manager Pep Guardiola said.

“We are still not at the top – there are still many things to do. We trained, we were refreshed, happy for these first points … hopefully they will not be the last!”

While Grealish scored on his home debut for City, Danny Ings did likewise for Aston Villa, producing an acrobatic bicycle kick volley to open the scoring against Newcastle.

Anwar El Ghazi’s penalty sealed the points.

“We have seen Danny Ings do it against us so it is good he is an Aston Villa player now,” Villa boss Dean Smith said of the striker they signed from Southampton.

Leeds twice battled back to draw with Everton in a scintillating clash at Elland Road.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s penalty gave Everton a lead that was cancelled out by Mateusz Klich but Demarai Gray restored Everton’s advantage.

Demarai Gray. Photo: @LCFC via Twitter

Raphinha lashed home a superb effort with 18 minutes remaining to give Leeds their first point of the season.

Patrick Vieira got his first point as manager of Crystal Palace in a drab stalemate with London rivals Brentford who are yet to concede.

Reuters

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