2 Dec 2018

United salvage a draw, City extend their lead in EPL

9:00 am on 2 December 2018

Romelu Lukaku ended a run of 78 days without scoring for Manchester United when he helped his side to salvage a 2-2 draw at Southampton after they had fallen behind to two excellent strikes in the English Premier football League.

Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United.

Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

United's rivals Manchester City overcame a spirited Bournemouth side 3-1 to maintain their unbeaten streak and extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points.

Crystal Palace beat Burnley 2-0 to end a run of eight matches without a win and there were victories for Leicester City, West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The only stalemate of the day came at St Mary's Stadium where Southampton's Stuart Armstrong fired an unstoppable shot past David de Gea after 13 minutes. The United goalkeeper was beaten again shortly after by a beautiful free kick by Cedric Soares which curled into the top corner.

If Saints fans were concerned about letting another two-goal lead slip like they did last week against Fulham, they were right to be worried as United quickly hit back through Lukaku who was set up by Marcus Rashford.

The goal was the Belgian's first for his club in all competitions since the middle of September, a drought lasting 981 minutes.

Ander Herrera equalised before halftime to bring United fully back into the contest but the match ended in a draw, in a result that will not please either manager much.

Jose Mourinho's side are now 16 points behind leaders City who were without Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez at the Etihad but took the lead against Bournemouth after 16 minutes when Bernardo Silva fired in.

The visitors went into halftime level, however, thanks to a header from in-form England striker Callum Wilson.

Their hopes of producing a stunning upset were dashed as the champions struck back through Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Guendogan and City moved clear of second-placed Liverpool ahead of their derby match against Everton tomorrow.

Huddersfield Town looked set to continue their recent upturn in form by scoring after 58 seconds at home to Brighton, Mathias Jorgensen heading in the fastest goal of the Premier League season.

However, the hosts were reduced to 10 men after half an hour when Steve Mounie was sent off for a high challenge and Brighton took full advantage with goals by Shane Duffy and Florin Andone.

Palace leapt above Huddersfield in the standings by beating Burnley at Selhurst Park to lift the pressure on manager Roy Hodgson.

Strikes in each half from James McArthur and Andros Townsend were Palace's first goals from open play at home all season. Burnley remained in the relegation zone having slipped down to 18th after Cardiff City's 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday.

Leicester recorded their first home win in the league since September with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Watford.

Jamie Vardy opened the scoring with a penalty after 12 minutes before James Maddison netted a brilliant volley to move Leicester up to eighth.

West Ham striker Javier Hernandez scored twice and Felipe Anderson grabbed another as the London side won 3-0 win at Newcastle United, halting the recent momentum of Rafa Benitez's side.