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English Premier League

Brighton 3 – 1 Bournemouth



Brighton 3 - 1 Bournemouth

Brighton 3 – 1 Bournemouth. Substitute Kaoru Mitoma’s second-half double helped Brighton come from behind to beat winless Bournemouth.

The Japan midfielder scored 16 seconds after coming on, then headed in later to clinch a third straight Premier League win.

Bournemouth had gone ahead when Dominic Solanke capitalised on an error by Brighton goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen.

The hosts looked sluggish until Milos Kerkez’s own goal drew them level in first-half injury time.

Brighton showed nine changes from the side that started the 3-2 defeat by AEK Athens in the Europa League on Thursday.

But manager Roberto De Zerbi’s substitutions, which saw Mitoma and Ansu Fati come on after half-time, made the required impact to propel Brighton up to third place.

The latest win for the Seagulls comes six days after the first anniversary of De Zerbi succeeding Graham Potter and confirms their continuing impressive progress.

Bournemouth are still seeking a first league victory under Andoni Iraola and have now gone 10 Premier League games without winning, their worst run in the top flight.

This was Brighton’s first foray into the Thursday-Sunday fixture set-up that often proves tricky to negotiate for sides playing in the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.

Albion had given a good account of themselves, despite losing to AEK, but at least their European debut had been at home and meant there was no gruelling journey to eat into preparation time for playing in the Premier League.

That should have been helpful for the visit of Bournemouth, but De Zerbi’s side were poor for much of the first half, looking strangely negative and reluctant to get at their struggling opponents.

Verbruggen, brought back to replace Jason Steele in goal for his third league start, was keen to play out from the back but he was caught out when dawdling in the D of the penalty area, Ryan Christie sliding the ball across to give Solanke a simple chance to score.

But when Mahmoud Dahoud’s cross was headed into his own net by Kerkez in first-half stoppage time, Brighton had a barely deserved lifeline that they grabbed with enthusiasm.

Fati and Mitoma linked up on the left just a few seconds after Bournemouth had kicked off the second half, giving the latter the chance to slide the ball across Cherries goalkeeper Neto.

Mitoma later headed Pervis Estupinan’s cross beyond Neto to seemingly seal the win, but Brighton remained vulnerable at times and had to rely on saves by Verbruggen and a superb block by Estupinan in the closing minutes.

Nevertheless, moving up into third place in the table was the ideal way to shake off the disappointment of the loss to AEK, with a trip to Aston Villa on 30 September their next league outing.

Bournemouth’s inability to hang on to a lead reared its head for the third time this season, and this is something Iraola needs to address if they are to avoid a relegation struggle.

They had an early lead at Liverpool, were 2-1 ahead at Brentford until a stoppage-time equaliser, and together with this defeat it means that eight vital points have slipped from their grasp.

After frustrating their hosts, a galling mistake by Kerkez allowed Brighton back into the game, but some of Iraola’s own substitutions gave Bournemouth hope and may offer pointers as to where they can find their first win.

Antoine Semenyo was a threat when cutting in from the left, and had fellow substitute David Brooks’ fierce shot not been bravely blocked by Estupinan with six minutes of the 90 left, they may have gone on to salvage a point.

But the visit of Arsenal next Saturday and then a trip to Everton a week later are daunting prospects for Iraola’s side, who have just three points from six games so far.

source – BBC

English Premier League

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 – 0 Burnley




Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 - 0 Burnley

Gary O’Neil hailed a “massive win” after Hwang Hee-chan scored a first-half winner to edge Wolves past relegation-threatened Burnley at Molineux.

The Clarets had come into the game on the back of Saturday’s morale-boosting 5-0 thrashing of Sheffield United, but were unable to back up that impressive showing and were left to rue a costly defensive error.

On a chilly evening in the Midlands, the contest failed to spark into life until the 38th minute when stand-in goalkeeper Daniel Bentley made a fine double save to deny Jay Rodriguez then Josh Brownhill’s follow-up at full stretch.

Having been in a position to lead, the visitors then conceded at the other end shortly after as Sander Berge’s heavy touch was picked off by Matheus Cunha, who fed Hwang to slot a composed finish.

O’Neil said: “I think it was a massive win for us because I have watched a lot of Burnley. They are very well organised and every team I have watched struggled to progress up the pitch with the ball.

“They are a good side and [it’s] disrespectful to just say ‘job done’. They won the Championship by a long way, spent around £90m-odd and will be competitive at this level. No Premier League game is easy and it is a big win.”

The Clarets sought for the equaliser in the second half but were unable to trouble Bentley, with Vitinho’s effort from outside the area which sailed over the closest they came to claiming a point.

Wolves held on to secure their first win in three games and move up to 12th in the table, while Burnley remain in trouble in the bottom three.

Hwang continues fine form

O’Neil’s men had been beaten by league leaders Arsenal and Fulham in their last two games and ground out a much-needed result in freezing conditions.

Number one Jose Sa failed to recover from a back injury suffered against the Gunners and Bentley came in to keep Wolves’ first clean sheet since August.

The Englishman made a telling contribution in the opening period when Joao Gomes gave the ball away deep in his own half and Burnley fashioned their best opportunity of the game.

Rodriguez, who scored after 15 seconds on Saturday, could only his hit strike straight at Bentley but the goalkeeper’s second save was superb, springing low to his right to tip away Brownhill’s volley.

“The double save should never exist from our own throw-in,” added O’Neil. “That was crazy but a big save from Daniel. Really pleased with the goal and clean sheet, pleased to be on 18 points.”

Burnley’s possession-based style of football is admirable but individual errors have left them in the league position they find themselves in and it was another mistake that led to their downfall here.

Vincent Kompany’s side had been controlling much of the game and Zeki Amdouni’s low drive tested Bentley, but then Berge’s loose touch proved fatal as Hwang tucked away his ninth goal of the campaign, and sixth at Molineux.

Pablo Sarabia forced visiting goalkeeper James Trafford into tipping the ball over the crossbar from a deflected strike and the England U21 international also pushed away a free-kick from the Spaniard which was heading for the top corner.

Wolves could have made it a more handsome scoreline but Mario Lemina headed over at the far post and Cunha’s long-range drive was gathered by Trafford.

Burnley failed to apply pressure on the Wolves goal as the match wore on and have now lost eight of their nine away games this season – the worst record of any top-flight team.

Kompany said: “It is defined in moments. We had ours, didn’t take it and one of the few chances we conceded we conceded a goal. In the end I don’t think the game was decided by just one moment, we should have scored.

“I am never going to be here after a defeat and not feel the way I feel now. I can be objective and quite honest about what I am seeing – a team that is alive, in games and fighting.

“We have to believe that being in games for some time now is what will give us the results. When you have the chances you have to take them, at the moment I am not going to feel sorry for us but this is where we need to step it up.”


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English Premier League

Luton Town 3 – 4 Arsenal




Luton Town 3 - 4 Arsenal

Declan Rice’s last-gasp header snatched victory for Arsenal in a seven-goal thriller at Luton to move them five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

It was the conclusion to a compelling encounter in which the hosts twice fought back and threatened to win when Elijah Adebayo and Ross Barkley scored in an eight-minute period after the break, with Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya culpable for both goals.

However, the Hatters were denied a valuable point when Rice met Martin Odegaard’s cross in the seventh minute of stoppage time, 23 seconds after the six official minutes added on had expired.

Arsenal had dominated a largely uneventful opening to a game which sparked into life when Gabriel Martinelli steered Bukayo Saka’s pass into the bottom-left corner.

Gabriel Osho’s header from Alfie Doughty’s corner brought the hosts level shortly after, but when Gabriel Jesus nodded in Ben White’s cross from close range the Gunners looked to have regained control.

But in a chaotic period after the interval, the league’s best defence suddenly appeared flustered with Adebayo leaping above Raya to head in another Doughty delivery from a corner.

And with Luton in the ascendency, Barkley collected an Andros Townsend pass and beat White before driving a low left-foot shot under Raya.

The momentum swung back towards Mikel Arteta’s side when Kai Havertz prodded in from the impressive Jesus’ pass to equalise, but Luton looked to have held the visitors at bay until Rice’s dramatic intervention.

The result leaves Luton 17th, two points above the relegation zone. Second-placed Liverpool, five points adrift of Arsenal, play their game in hand at Sheffield United on Wednesday (19:30 GMT), while Manchester City, a point further back, are at fourth-placed Aston Villa (20:15).

Jesus stars as Raya blunders rekindle goalkeeper debate
Arsenal have now won their past six matches in all competitions but there were clear positives and negatives to take from this latest success.

Jesus underlined his importance to Arteta’s side with a superb contribution that saw him have a hand in two goals and score another.

The Brazil forward’s quick thinking caught Doughty out for Arsenal’s first goal, while his physicality and perfectly weighted pass gave Havertz the simplest opportunity to level at 3-3.

While he has only scored two top-flight goals this season, his influence is key. He has not lost any of the 58 Premier League games in which he has scored for Arsenal or Manchester City, and the Gunners will need to keep him fit if they are to stay the course in the title race.

On the flipside Arteta’s team had conceded just three league goals on their travels before kick-off, but they leave Bedfordshire with that tally having doubled.

All three appeared preventable, with Martinelli standing and watching as Osho got Luton back on track for the first time in the evening.

The performance of Raya will also undoubtedly add further scrutiny to Arteta’s decision to prefer his fellow Spaniard as first-choice goalkeeper to England stopper Aaron Ramsdale.

Gallant Luton go close

For Luton, this was another occasion when they came so close to delivering a result their fans could only have dreamed of on their long climb back up the English football pyramid.

While Luton famously beat the Gunners in the 1988 League Cup final, Andros Townsend was the only player in their starting XI on Tuesday to have been born when the clubs last met in the English top flight 32 years ago.

Their draw against Liverpool in November showed exactly what they are capable of against the Premier League big boys, and on another night they would have secured at least a point for their endeavours.

Barkley excelled in midfield and both Teden Mengi and goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski impressed for Rob Edwards’ side, who also face Manchester City, Newcastle and Chelsea at home before the end of the year.


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