EPL PIX: Man Utd held by Newcastle; Chelsea win run continues

IMAGES from the English Premier League matches played on Sunday. 

Manchester United and an unusually goal-shy Cristiano Ronaldo were unable to find a way past Newcastle United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday in a 0-0 draw that kept both teams in the top six.

Showing a passion and solidity sometimes lacking from their hosts, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle had the best chance of the game with an extraordinary double header from Joelinton in the first half that came first off the crossbar then off the post.

Newcastle’s Callum Wilson also had a penalty shout denied.

Feted before the game for reaching 700 club goals in his career, Ronaldo twice had the ball in the back of the net. But he was offside for the first, while the second was disallowed when he cheekily nicked the ball off Newcastle to stroke it home after claiming a free kick had been taken.

Ronaldo has only scored twice this season for Manchester United, with some pundits already declaring the twilight of his brilliant career.

The result left Manchester United fifth on 16 points, with Newcastle sixth on 15 points with one more game played.

Erik ten Hag’s subdued strike force will again come under a harsh spotlight after an unimpressive mid-week Europa League performance when they missed countless chances and left it late for a 1-0 win over Omonia Nicosia.

Antony was again Manchester United’s brightest spark, with one close-range shot stopped by Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope’s shins. Despite seeing plenty of the ball, however, he was unable to wriggle past Newcastle’s dogged defence or find the perfect cross for his fellow strikers.

Marcus Rashford, on as a substitute for Ronaldo, set up Fred with a late chance but the midfielder pulled his shot just wide. Rashford then missed a header in the final minute as Manchester United pressed for what would have been an undeserved winner.

Roared on non-stop by their travelling army, Newcastle had the best of the first half, frequently finding promising positions after sloppy passing by their opponents.

But without injured striker Alexander Isak, the visitors failed to apply the finishing touch their efforts deserved.

In the second half, Newcastle were forced more onto the backfoot, but in truth had little trouble holding out against the hosts.

Mount hits brace in Chelsea’s win at Villa

Graham Potter’s impressive start as Chelsea manager continued as Mason Mount’s double gave his side a 2-0 Premier League victory at struggling Aston Villa on Sunday.

Chelsea are unbeaten in six games since Potter replaced Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge and the win at Villa was their fifth in a row in all competitions.

They were given a helping hand by their hosts with Mount cashing in on a horribly misguided defensive header by Tyrone Mings in the sixth minute.

Villa responded well and created several good chances before the break but were frustrated by Chelsea’s keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga who made a series of saves including a miraculous one to deny Danny Ings an equaliser.

Any hope of Villa salvaging something from the game disappeared in the 65th minute when Mount’s dipping free kick deceived keeper Emiliano Martinez.

Victory left Chelsea in fourth place with 19 points from nine games, four behind London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Villa are 16th, one point above the relegation zone, with pressure mounting on manager Steven Gerrard who was taunted by Chelsea fans throughout the game.

With England manager Gareth Southgate sitting in the stands to run the rule over some of his England squad, the day could not have been more different for Mings and Mount.

Mings has lost his place in the England squad and hardly boosted his prospects of a recall for the Qatar World Cup when he gifted Mount Chelsea’s opener.

Ben Chilwell’s pass was deflected up in the air and Mings got his clearing header all wrong, glancing it backwards towards his own goal where Mount pounced to volley home.

Chelsea’s goal led something of a charmed life after that with Arrizabalaga producing excellent saves to keep out efforts by John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey as Villa attacked with verve.

His best effort, however, was springing through the air to keep out an Ings header from point-blank range.

Raheem Sterling was denied by the woodwork as Chelsea looked dangerous going forward but rocky at the back.

Mings’s afternoon got worse when he gave away the foul which gave Mount the chance to size up a free kick.

The England midfielder got plenty of movement on the ball but Martinez should have done more to keep it out.

Villa were subdued after that but while there were boos at the final whistle, Gerrard would have been encouraged by the way his team caused Chelsea problems.

Rice strikes to earn West Ham draw at Southampton

Declan Rice drilled home a curling effort from outside the penalty area to secure West Ham United a point in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Southampton on Sunday.

Skipper Rice expertly bent in his 64th-minute effort to give the visitors a deserved share of the spoils after Romain Perraud had put the Saints ahead in the 20th minute.

The draw ended a run of four successive defeats for Southampton but the point and performance did little to ease the pressure on beleaguered manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

They remained in the bottom three on eight points while West Ham moved up to 11th position with 11 points from their opening 10 games of the season.

West Ham complained long and hard about Perraud’s goal, claiming a foul throw from Kyle Walker-Peters in the build-up and that referee Peter Bankes impeded Jarrod Bowen as he made an effort to block Perraud’s shot from the edge of the penalty area.

But a VAR check allowed the goal to stand, to the indignation of the away side who had dominated the early exchanges.

Emerson served early notice with a headed effort inches wide in the third minute followed by several near misses from Gianluca Scamacca, who proved a handful for the home side.

West Ham came closest in the first half, however, when their record signing Lucas Paqueta headed a deft cross from Sacamacca across the goal and onto the outside of the upright in the 38th minute.

That was minutes after an opportunity for the home side when Che Adams’s powerful shot forced a sharp diving save out of Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Southampton could have doubled their lead six minutes into the second half on the counter-attack but Mohamed Elyounoussi’s cross to Adams was expertly intercepted by Aaron Creswell to deny a golden chance.

West Ham equalised after a quick one-two between Rice and substitute Said Benrahma and the England international picked his spot to strike home a superb effort for his first league goal in 12 months.

Benrahma and Scamacca continued to apply the pressure in search of a win but both had efforts blocked.

Southampton made a late appeal for a penalty after a handball from Tomas Soucek but it was waved away.

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