Images from Sunday’s action in the Premier League
Manchester United could only draw 1-1 at struggling West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, leaving them second in the Premier League but seven points adrift of Manchester City.
West Brom, who need a remarkable turnaround to avoid relegation, stunned their visitors with a second-minute goal from on-loan Senegalese striker Mbaye Diagne who beat defender Victor Lindelof to head home.
United looked out-of-sorts for the rest of the half, but their inspirational Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes stepped up yet again in the 44th minute with a spectacular volley from near the penalty spot.
In an exciting second half, the Manchester club had a penalty appeal turned down after captain Harry Maguire – trying to drive the team forward – was manhandled in the box.
West Brom survived waves of attacks including a Maguire header on to the post in the last minute. But the hosts also caused scares on the break, Diagne twice going close with only David de Gea to beat in the United goal.
The result left West Brom second bottom of the table, 12 points from safety, with manager Sam Allardyce so far failing to ignite their season despite his reputation for great escapes.
League leaders Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 on Saturday to reach 53 points and have a game in hand over Manchester United and third-placed Leicester, both on 46.
Wolves fight back to deepen Southampton misery
Wolverhampton Wanderers mounted a second-half comeback to beat Southampton 2-1 on Sunday, avenging Thursday’s 2-0 FA Cup loss to the Saints and inflicting their sixth league defeat in a row.
Danny Ings gave the home side the lead but a Ruben Neves penalty and a superb Pedro Neto goal gave Wolves all three points as they leapfrogged Southampton into 12th in the Premier League, dropping Ralph Hasenhuettl’s side to 13th.
Southampton have won only once in their last 11 league matches and Hasenhuettl was at a loss to explain a result which condemned his club to a sixth consecutive league loss for the first time in their history.
“I think we shouldn’t discuss about our run. We know what happened today, it’s hard to explain this defeat,” Hasenhuettl told Amazon Prime.
“Until their penalty they had no chances at goal.”
Southampton took the lead when Stuart Armstrong burst down the flank and left two defenders for dead before delivering a cross to pick out Ings who emphatically volleyed home.
But Wolves were more fluid going forward in the second half and were handed a lifeline when Nelson Semedo’s cross hit Ryan Bertrand’s arm. Neves made no mistake in beating Alex McCarthy from the penalty spot.
Neto sealed the win with a solo goal in the 66th minute, side-stepping Jannik Vestergaard before striking the ball past McCarthy from an acute angle.
“It was a very tough game, both halves were very tough,” Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said.
“In the first half Southampton managed the game. In the second half we were on the front foot, scored two goals and then defended very well.”
Keeper Martinez stars as Villa hold Brighton goalless
Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez pulled off a string of superb saves to grab an unlikely point for Aston Villa in a 0-0 draw away to a dominant Brighton & Hove Albion that saw the Seagulls extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to six games.
Alexis Mac Allister set the tone for what would be a frustrating night for the home side when he flashed a header just wide in the 10th minute before Martinez was called into action.
The 28-year-old Argentine made an excellent stop to deny Leandro Trossard and followed that up with a brilliant one-handed save to keep Daniel Burn’s 39th-minute header out to keep the game scoreless at the break.
With Jack Grealish finding himself covered by two defenders almost every time he got the ball, Villa were able to offer little in attack, and instead their goalkeeper was in the thick of things again early in the second half.
Martinez made a reflex save from a deflected Alexis Mac Allister shot and despite a slew of chances, Brighton could not break the deadlock and the game finished scoreless.
In all, Martinez made nine stops from 26 goal-scoring chances created by Brighton, which helped keep him warm on a chilly night as his side hung on to draw.
“It was so cold, I thought I had a good game because I made a save early on and I am delighted to keep everyone out today. I just want to repay the trust of the manager, goalkeeper coach and club,” he told Sky Sports.
The point lifted Villa above Tottenham Hotspur to eighth place. They have 36 points after 22 games, while Brighton climbed to 15th in the table on 26 points from 24 matches.
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