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English Premier League

Luton Town 1 – 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers



Luton Town 1 - 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Luton claimed their first-ever Premier League point with a 1-1 draw against 10-man Wolves at Kenilworth Road but it was a chance wasted for the Hatters who were by far the better side in an incident-packed contest.

Striker Carlton Morris secured a draw when he sent Jose Sa the wrong way from the spot 25 minutes from time after Joao Gomes had handled.

But Luton should have won given they played the majority of the contest with a man advantage after Jean-Ricner Bellegarde was sent off for kicking Tom Lockyer.

They had the majority of possession and amassed 18 shots compared to their opponents’ three.

Morris struck a post early in the game and Jacob Brown had three headed chances, while Cauley Woodrow had a goal-bound effort deflected over deep into stoppage time.

Nevertheless, Luton ended up being thankful to former Barnsley man Morris’ second goal of the season after they had fallen behind to a superb solo effort from Pedro Neto five minutes after the break.

Luton remain at the foot of the table, although that will change if Burnley lose against Manchester United on Saturday evening.

A point, but should have been more

Luton will be pleased to have got something on the board from the first of three matches against sides who are also struggling near the foot of the table.

But after those meetings with Everton and Burnley come a run of fixtures that include encounters with five of England’s ‘big six’ before the middle of December.

This was another reminder of the massive strides Luton have taken in recent times given the last meeting between the sides was in the FA Cup just over a decade ago, when Luton were a National League side.

They won that day and should have repeated that success on this occasion.

Even when both sides had 11 men, Luton were the more cohesive unit and in the first 20 minutes should have profited from the space they were afforded around the Wolves box.

Morris seemed sure his shot from the edge of the box was curling in. Sa was nowhere near it but the post got in the way and the visitors escaped.

Wolves also breathed a sigh of relief when Craig Dawson misplaced a pass intended for Sa, which Max Kilman had to get across to clear before Luton’s swarm of attackers could pounce.

In the final stages, Chiedozie Ogbene tapped into an empty net but what would have been the winner was ruled out for offside.

Neto makes up for Bellegarde folly

Bellegarde, a £12.8m summer signing from Strasbourg, should really have known better than to react in the incident that brought his dismissal.

The former France Under-21 international was certainly prevented from getting to his feet by Lockyer after they both ended up on the ground following a midfield tangle, and the home skipper also made the most of the contact that followed.

But there was enough aggression in Bellegarde’s move to shove his boot into Lockyer’s thigh to justify referee Josh Smith issuing a red card in only his second top-flight match and the video assistant referee did not overturn.

At that point, the situation looked bleak for Wolves, but Gary O’Neil’s side battled superbly and got bodies in the way of danger.

And, thanks to Neto, they had the one moment of genuine class in the game.

Gomes started it with an astute long pass into space for the Portugal international. Neto outpaced Lockyer to reach the ball first, then had the strength to nudge his opponent away, before cutting into the box and delivering a fine finish.


English Premier League

Wolves 1-1 Nottingham Forest




Wolves 1-1 Nottingham Forest

Wolves 1-1 Nottingham Forest. Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper remains under pressure despite his side battling out a draw away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Harry Toffolo put Forest ahead with his first goal for the club, only for the hosts to peg them back via Matheus Cunha’s low strike.

It means that Forest have only won one of their past 12 games and are four points above the relegation zone.

Wolves, meanwhile, rise to 12th in the Premier League.

Toffolo put Forest ahead at Molineux after 12 minutes. The left wing-back rose to head home Neco Williams’ deep cross, beating the covering Wolves defenders.

But the hosts upped their game and equalised following a slick passing move, culminating in Pablo Sarabia cutting back for Cunha, with the Brazilian applying the finish.

Cheikhou Kouyate should have put Forest ahead shortly before half-time but was denied, one-on-one by Jose Sa, who returned in goal for Wolves after missing Tuesday’s win over Burnley with a back spasm.

Anthony Elanga smacked the bar from eight yards out early in the second half and Toffolo missed a golden chance with another header as Forest dominated while seeking a much-needed winner.

Despite a spirited display from his side, Cooper’s position remains under threat and the Forest manager was visibly emotional as he thanked the away fans after full-time, waving and thumping his chest.

Cooper appears to be on borrowed time as Forest manager despite Saturday’s result, which came on the back of a 5-0 defeat by Fulham on Wednesday.

If the man who guided his side back to the Premier League in 2022 is to leave the club, he will not go without trying everything first.

Cooper made seven changes to the starting XI from the side thumped at Craven Cottage, including a change of goalkeeper with Matt Turner returning and, crucially, a change of formation to a 3-5-2 after playing a back four against Fulham.

That change of shape was crucial in putting Forest ahead, as the wing-backs combined for the opener – Williams’ cross from the right met by Toffolo steaming in from the left.

It delighted the noisy and sizable travelling support, who sang Cooper’s name from the opening seconds to after the final whistle.

But despite all those changes, Forest remain porous at the back and were cut apart when Wolves got their passing moves going. They have now conceded 12 goals in their past four away league matches – and were grateful to Turner who made a good low save from Cunha in the second half.

While several of Wolves’ games this season have been defined more by VAR than action on the field, Gary O’Neil’s side are capable of playing some very good football.

Central to that is Cunha, who has become the fourth Brazilian to score or assist in five consecutive Premier League games, after Arsenal players Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli and former Manchester City midfielder Elano.

Wolves have now scored in 15 consecutive Premier League matches, as they climb further away from what looked like early relegation worries.

It also gave Gary O’Neil reason to cheer in his 50th Premier League game.

source – BBC

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English Premier League

Sheffield United 1-0 Brentford




Sheffield United 1 -0 Brentford

Sheffield United 1-0 Brentford. A wonderful goal by James McAtee was enough for Sheffield United to beat Brentford and give Blades manager Chris Wilder a first win since his return to the club.

The Manchester City loanee’s first Premier League goal lit up a rainy Bramall Lane in first-half injury time as he cut inside onto his left foot and curled a beautiful shot into the far corner.

Blades sub Anis Ben Slimane missed a great chance to make it 2-0 after 56 minutes but shot straight at Mark Flekken in the Brentford goal.

Brentford, without top scorer Bryan Mbeumo through injury, struggled to create many openings as they fell to a fourth defeat in their last five games.

The win is only Sheffield United’s second in the Premier League this season and came in Wilder’s second match back in charge following the 2-0 defeat against Liverpool in midweek.

It was also the Blades’ first clean sheet of the season but it was not quite enough for them to jump off the foot of the table as they remain bottom on goal difference from Burnley, with both sides on eight points from 16 games.

It was a strong start by the hosts with Auston Trusty seeing an shot deflected wide by Frank Onyeka’s block and Andre Brooks involved in the early exchanges on his second Premier League start.

Trusty was shown the first yellow card of the game after 17 minutes for a lunge on Keane Lewis-Potter, who was one of three changes made by Thomas Frank after the midweek defeat at Brighton.

Ben Mee had a header comfortably dealt with by Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham in heavy rain during an opening half-hour in which neither goalkeeper was really tested.

Onyeka was cautioned for a tackle on Vini Souza with the high challenge checked for a potential red card by the video assistant referee but it remained a yellow.

The game suddenly sprung to life in the closing moments of the first half as Sheffield United forward Will Osula hit the side-netting after being played through by Gustavo Hamer before Brentford’s Neal Maupay was denied by Jack Robinson’s block.

McAtee’s goal came after the visitors made a mess of clearing the ball and Hamer found the 21-year-old who stepped inside and hit a shot which gave Flekken no chance.

The hosts had a great chance to double their lead shortly before the hour mark when Cameron Archer won possession from Mee and crossed for the arriving substitute Slimane but he shot straight at Flekken from close range.

The Bees threatened intermittently but failed to build-up any real momentum with Yoane Wissa, who has one goal in his last 14 games, twice seeing efforts saved comfortably by Foderingham.

Slimane missed another chance to make the win more comfortable by shooting into the side netting and there was one final scare for the home fans as Brentford claimed for a late penalty for handball but it was not given, allowing them to celebrate a much-needed win.

source – BBC

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