Manchester United booed off again at Old Trafford

LVG’s team unable to break deadlock, James McClean on target against Spurs

 

Premier League round-up: Manchester United were booed off yet again as they played out their sixth goalless draw of the season against West Ham. United failed to fully capitalise on Manchester City’s defeat at Stoke as they missed several chances to earn a much-needed win.

Marouane Fellaini struck the woodwork in the first half and had a shot saved from three yards by Adrian after the break while Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Bastian Schweinsteiger all spurned good opportunities in front of goal.

This was not a lucky afternoon for West Ham, however. They could have just as easily registered their first win at Old Trafford since 2007. The Hammers struck the woodwork twice and Victor Moses should have scored when clean through. Mauro Zarate also somehow screwed his shot wide from close range after being played in by Andy Carroll.

Arsenal were not at their free-flowing best against Sunderland, but still produced a match-winning performance as a 3-1 win over Sunderland moved them up to second in the table. Olivier Giroud had scored an own goal on the stroke of half-time to cancel out Joel Campbell’s opener, but the Frenchman went on to convert Aaron Ramsey’s cross to notch his 10th of the season before the Welshman scored late on.

Mesut Ozil was again a joy to watch, his displays all the more important for manager Arsene Wenger with Alexis Sanchez injured, but other than that the Gunners were fairly average. The Germany midfielder lay on a beautiful pass for Campbell to put the hosts ahead and continued to torment Sam Allardyce’s side all afternoon.

Sunderland played their part and actually missed a number of gilt-edged chances to take something back to the north-east, having won their last two leading into this contest.

Tottenham extended their unbeaten run to 14 games to set a new club record in the Premier League as they were held 1-1 at West Brom. Spurs have not lost in the league since the opening day and it is now their longest run without defeat in the top flight since a 14-game streak in 1985.

Dele Alli enhanced his growing reputation when he volleyed in after 15 minutes in front of watching England boss Roy Hodgson. But James McClean levelled with his first goal since February and Spurs were indebted to Hugo Lloris for a wonderful reaction stop to deny Jonas Olsson in the second half.

The Baggies silenced Harry Kane as the striker was restricted to just one second-half chance which he failed to convert while Saido Berahino - who threatened to strike after Tottenham’s deadline day bids were rejected by West Brom in the summer - was an unused substitute.

Southampton halted a run of three straight defeats but had to come from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at home to struggling Aston Villa. Joleon Lescott gave the visitors an undeserved lead and exceptional opportunity with a goal in the first half, but they remain bottom of the table after substitute Oriol Romeu secured a draw.

After Wednesday’s 6-1 League Cup defeat at home to Liverpool, manager Ronald Koeman may have been worried about his team’s poor run, but his concerns were minimal in comparison to Remi Garde. In the three games since his appointment at Villa, the Frenchman has overseen two defeats and a draw.

Given he had yet to improve Villa’s fragile confidence, the suspicion remained that an early Saints goal would result in a further loss of belief and another convincing defeat. Southampton’s approach immediately after kick-off suggested they shared that belief, and had they secured the opening goal their efforts deserved a comfortable victory would almost certainly have followed.

The visitors, on the other hand, only looked capable of scoring via a set piece or individual error, and in the 44th minute so it ultimately proved. When Jordan Veretout’s unremarkable corner evaded Southampton’s defence, Lescott was left with the simplest of close-range tap-ins to finish into a near-open goal.

That Southampton rarely looked like equalising no doubt inspired Koeman to introduce Spanish substitutes Juanmi and Romeu in the 63rd minute. Against Liverpool the manager’s changes led to an increasingly one-sided defeat, but on this occasion they had the desire effect. Juanmi had already threatened with a low shot from the edge of the area that Guzan did well to save when, in the 73rd minute, Southampton won a corner.

Ward-Prowse crossed directly into the penalty area and, from a similar position to Lescott, the stretching Romeu did well to reach the ball and poke it into the back of the net.

And Watford have climbed into the top half of the league table after a 2-0 victory over Norwich at Vicarage Road. Captain Troy Deeney scored for the fourth consecutive game as he converted from the penalty spot in the first half before Odion Ighalo completed the win in injury time.

The Hornets moved up to ninth in the table while Norwich, with just one victory in their last nine league outings, are 16th.

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