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Premier League: United back on winning track

Football
Mon, 03 Sep 2018


LONDON: Romelu Lukaku struck twice as Manchester United returned to winning ways after two successive Premier League losses with a 2-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor yesterday.

But it was not all good news for Jose Mourinho, who received vocal backing from the United fans, as substitute Marcus Rashford was sent off in the 71st minute for pushing his forehead into Phil Bardsley’s head.

Lukaku opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a simple back-post header from an Alexis Sanchez cross and doubled the advantage just before the break from close range.

United’s French international Paul Pogba had a 69th-minute penalty saved by Burnley’s former Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart but despite the red card Mourinho’s side hung on comfortably for their second win of the season.

“The three points were an important thing, the quality of the performance and happiness of the team is an Old Trafford response - the way Old Trafford reacted to the boys in the Spurs defeat was important,” Mourniho said.

“What Old Trafford did to the team after Spurs was fundamental to the happiness of the team..

“Today the fans were fantastic from the first minute, but Old Trafford is a moment to remember,” he said.

Perfect

In another match yesterday, Watford came from behind with two set-piece goals to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Vicarage Road, ending the visitors’ 100 percent record and maintaining their own perfect start to the season.

After a tepid first-half, Tottenham were gifted the lead when Abdoulaye Doucoure scored an own goal in the 53rd minute.

Yet Watford responded well to going behind and were level in the 69th minute after Troy Deeney headed home Jose Holebas’ free kick.

Craig Cathcart completed the turnaround, heading home from another Holebas set piece 14 minutes from fulltime - meaning Watford climbed to third, having won their first four top-flight games for the first time, while Spurs slipped to fifth.

“I think it’s a very good wake-up call for everyone and we can listen more when people talk about the reality and not the perception,” said Spurs boos Mauricio Pochettino.

“Today, it’s good to compare. Sometimes people talk about the perception but the reality was on the pitch and the reality is if you want to be a contender, today you need to win.”

In another thriller, Cardiff City scored their first league goals of the season but Arsenal took the points as Alexandre Lacazette struck a superb late winner to secure a 3-2 victory.

Harry Arter wasted a glorious chance to give Cardiff the lead in the opening minutes following a dreadful mistake by goalkeeper Petr Cech and shortly afterwards Arsenal went ahead when Shkodran Mustafi powered home a header from a corner.

Arsenal were dominating possession but when they carelessly gave the ball away just before half-time they were punished as Victor Camarasa got the better of Nacho Monreal before firing past Cech to spark joyous scenes.

Arsenal restored their lead just past the hour mark when Mesut Ozil and Lacazette combined well to tee up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to curl home from 20 yards but once again Cardiff responded with Danny Ward heading past Cech.

Lacazette sealed victory for Arsenal in the 81st minute when he was allowed to turn in the box by Sol Bamba before firing powerfully into the top corner from a tight angle.

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