EPL: New Year, but same old Arsenal lose yet again
Gunners beaten 0-2 by Southampton to stay in fifth place on the English Premier League table; Man United, Liverpool also drop valuable points
London: Wojciech Szczesny’s two goalkeeping howlers gifted Southampton a 2-0 victory over Arsenal that left Arsene Wenger fuming at St Mary’s. Szczesny raced out of his area to hand Sadio Mane the chance to chip home, before a weak clearance led to Dusan Tadic’s tap-in.
Dusan Tadic of Southampton scores past Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny at St Mary's Stadium yesterday. Pic/Getty Images. Inset: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Manager Ronald Koeman has already claimed Southampton can beat Arsenal to a top-four English Premier League finish this term, and the Saints’ victory cemented fourth spot and a three-point advantage over the Gunners.
Saints will hope their first league victory over a traditional Premier League power this term will provide the catalyst to chase that unlikely Champions League qualification. Wenger meanwhile kept sullen countenance on the touchline as Arsenal failed to fire, enduring Saints fans’ taunts the Frenchman would be “sacked in the morning”.
Meanwhile, Liverpool squandered a somewhat fortuitous lead as a battling Leicester stunned their hosts with two goals in as many second-half minutes to draw 2-2.
Steven Gerrard scored twice from the penalty spot in the first half but in a remarkable second-half comeback, Leicester scored twice in two minutes, through David Nugent and Jeffrey Schlupp to take a point off Liverpool.
United drop points
In another match, Manchester United lost further momentum in the Premier League title race after drawing 1-1 with Stoke City at a windy Britannia Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Radamel Falcao equalised for the visitors after ex-United trainee Ryan Shawcross had scored the first Premier League goal of 2015 in the second minute, but it was a third draw in four games for Louis van Gaal’s side.
Manchester: Frank Lampard marked the extension of his Manchester City stay by grabbing the winner in a 3-2 victory over Sunderland which turned up the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea’s clash with Spurs.
Yaya Toure celebrates his goal
The game at the Etihad Stadium burst into life when Yaya Toure rifled City into the lead shortly before the hour mark and Stevan Jovetic back-heeled a second.
Jack Rodwell’s header and a penalty from fellow City old boy Adam Johnson, after Pablo Zabaleta fouled Santiago Vergini, got Sunderland dramatically back on terms. But Lampard, on for Jovetic having extended his loan from New York City FC, restored the Blues’ lead to ensure his former club would kick off only level on points with City.