Friday, September 29, 2023

EPL: Sloppy Man United held to draw at impressive Southampton

Manchester United's English striker Mason Greenwood celebrates after scoring the equalising goal against Southampton during the English Premier League match. — AFP

SOUTHAMPTON, August 22: A second-half strike from Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood cancelled out an own goal from team mate 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.
EPL: Kane makes first appearance as Alli earns Spurs a win at Wolves
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 in the Premier League on Sunday.
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, his first league goal since March 2020, was enough for Spurs to earn the win, 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 result means Spurs have won two from two so far this season, both by a 1-0 scoreline.
Wolves and new coach Bruno Lage remain without a point after two defeats from their opening two league matches.
All eyes were on Kane as he took his place on the bench ahead of kick-off. He had been left out of the squad for Spurs’ season-opening win over City last weekend, and did not travel to Portugal for his side’s Europa Conference League playoff on Thursday.
City coach Pep Guardiola has said his club are interested in Kane but a move has yet to materialise, with reports in the British media saying the Spurs skipper was trying to force a move.
But Kane was quickly forgotten as Alli stroked his side in front. The midfielder struggled to hold down a regular first-team spot under previous coach Jose Mourinho but he is very much in Nuno’s plans, winning the penalty before getting up to convert it.
Wolves had plenty of chances to level, with Raul Jimenez, who last weekend made his first start since fracturing his skull in November, missing the most glaring opening.
After the break it was Spurs who should have added to their solitary goal, with Son Heung-min denied by a smart save by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa, before Kane’s opening came and went when clean through on goal, Sa smothering well at the England striker’s feet.

Wolves will be disappointed with how their performance petered out in the second half. They have now lost five consecutive Premier League matches, their worst run in the competition since a run of seven defeats between March and April 2012. (Agencies)