United scrap to vic­tory over plucky Brighton

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER UNITED stayed on the tail of Pre­mier League lead­ers and arch ri­vals Manch­ester City after a Lewis Dunk own goal gave them a laboured 1-0 win over Brighton at Old Traf­ford yes­ter­day.

United’s 32-year-old wing-back Ash­ley Young let fly from the the edge of the penalty area in the 66th minute and his shot took a heavy de­flec­tion off Dunk, leav­ing vis­it­ing goal­keeper Mathew Ryan rooted to the spot.

The win­ner set­tled an un­event­ful con­test as Brighton’s packed de­fence foiled waves of at­tacks by United’s 4-3-3 for­ma­tion, with An­thony Mar­tial and Mar­cus Rash­ford de­ployed ei­ther side of striker Romelu Lukaku. There was also a half-hour cameo from Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic, who is re­turn­ing from a lengthy in­jury spell.

But Brighton, who had sev­eral dan­ger­ous raids down Young’s flank, failed to clear a cor­ner and the home side took ad­van­tage to stay sec­ond in the stand­ings on 29 points from 13 games, five be­hind City, who visit Hud­der­s­field Town to­day.

Wat­ford’s Por­tuguese man­ager Marco Silva, cov­eted by Ever­ton, en­hanced his rep­u­ta­tion fur­ther as his side con­sol­i­dated eighth place with a dom­i­nant per­for­mance in a 3-0 win at New­cas­tle United.

Will Hughes, the mid­fielder who got his first Pre­mier League goal last week, added an­other one in the first 20 min­utes, steer­ing in a cut-back by Marvin Zeege­laar.

Just be­fore half­time Zeege­laar forced an own goal by DeAn­dre Yedlin, and striker An­dre Gray added the third, made by the im­pres­sive Brazil­ian Richarli­son.

Swansea City pro­duced a vastly-im­proved per­for­mance and ended a run of four straight Pre­mier League losses with a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth at the Lib­erty Sta­dium.

Swansea mid­fielder Leroy Fer missed a chance to seal the win in the fi­nal 10 min­utes, shoot­ing straight at goal­keeper As­mir Be­govic be­fore miss­ing with his sec­ond at­tempt while team-mate Tammy Abra­ham had a penalty ap­peal de­nied late on.

Wil­fried Bony pro­vided the game’s other talk­ing point just be­fore half­time when the Swansea striker curled a shot into the top cor­ner but his ef­fort was dis­al­lowed after Jor­dan Ayew was ad­judged to have fouled de­fender Nathan Ake in the build-up.

Bournemouth be­gan the game brightly but missed a chance to go ahead within two min­utes as winger Marc Pugh scuffed Joshua King’s low cross. Bournemouth sat back and al­lowed Swansea to grow in con­fi­dence but the hosts failed to make the most of their chances.

De­fender Ma­madou Sakho struck deep into stop­page time to snatch a badly-needed 2-1 win for base­ment club Crys­tal Palace over Stoke City at Sel­hurst Park.

Xher­dan Shaqiri gave Stoke the lead with a sen­sa­tional solo goal early in the sec­ond half, pick­ing up the ball on the half­way line and rac­ing through be­fore curl­ing home a left­footed shot.

The lead lasted only three min­utes as Ruben Lof­tus-Cheek stole in at the back post to tuck home An­dros Townsend’s cross to equalise.

Ryan Shawcross missed a great late chance for Stoke and Palace made the most of it, with Yo­han Cabaye hit­ting the post be­fore Sakho ri­fled home the re­bound in the 92nd minute to give Roy Hodg­son’s side just their sec­ond vic­tory of the sea­son.

Harry Kane scored his 40th goal of the year to sal­vage a 1-1 draw for Tot­ten­ham against man­ager­less West Bromwich at Wem­b­ley.

Salomon Ron­don handed the vis­i­tors a fourth-minute lead by out-muscling Davin­son Sanchez and rolling a low shot past Hugo Lloris.

Spurs dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion but looked un­likely to score against a well-drilled Bag­gies team un­til Kane steered home Dele Alli’s cross in the 74th minute.

West Brom, who had Gary Megson in charge fol­low­ing Tony Pulis’s sack­ing, re­main 17th in the stand­ings, one point above the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic

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