https://www.sportinglife.com-Marcus Rashford celebrates
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford scored a stoppage-winner against Wolves, Arsenal and Burnley won, and Southampton and West Ham shared a goalless draw.
- Brighton 0-1 Arsenal
- Burnley 1-0 Sheffield United
- Southampton 0-0 West Ham
- West Brom 0-5 Leeds
- Manchester United 1-0 Wolves
Rashford hits last-gasp winner to beat Wolves
Marcus Rashford’s deflected stoppage-time strike secured Manchester United a hard-fought victory against Wolves and ensured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men start 2021 second in the Premier League.
The encounter was the fourth meeting of these sides in 2020 and looked set to end with them sharing a third goalless draw as the hectic festive schedule took its toll.
But United dug deep and eked out a late winner at an empty Old Trafford, with Rashford capping a year to remember – on and off the field – by sealing a 1-0 triumph at the death.
It was a welcome shot in the arm at the end of a topsy-turvy 2020 for United, who are now two points off leaders Liverpool ahead of their match against Fulham on Wednesday.
United were ponderous in periods and looked set to fall short, with Bruno Fernandes seeing a close-range strike denied in the first half and Edinson Cavani having a goal ruled out for offside after the break.
Man of the match Romain Saiss was Wolves’ biggest threat and made an unwanted impact in stoppage time when Rashford’s effort hit him and found the back of the net.
Lacazette fires Arsenal to victory at Brighton
Substitute Alexandre Lacazette made an instant impact as Arsenal continued their resurgence by scraping a 1-0 win which prolonged Brighton’s miserable home record.
Lacazette, dropped to the bench to accommodate recalled captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, coolly bagged the second-half winner just 21 seconds after replacing Gabriel Martinelli.
The Frenchman’s decisive 66th-minute strike made it back-to-back wins for the Gunners to move them nine points clear of the relegation zone and further ease mounting pressure on head coach Mikel Arteta.
Beleaguered Brighton remain just two points above the drop zone after failing to end their lengthy wait for a victory at the Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls, who lacked a cutting edge throughout, end 2020 with a solitary home win from 17 top-flight fixtures and with plenty of work to do in the new year.
Blades still winless as Mee nods Burnley to victory
Ben Mee gave Burnley a concrete reason to celebrate amid reports of the club’s imminent American takeover as his goal sent relegation favourites Sheffield United into the new year winless in the Premier League.
With sports investment firm ALK said to be on the verge of assuming control of the Clarets, Mee’s first-half header paved the way for a 1-0 win and a result that provides Sean Dyche’s side with a vital buffer over the bottom three.
News of a coronavirus outbreak at United had briefly raised question marks over the viability of the fixture – with boss Chris Wilder only able to name seven substitutes after two players and “four or five” backroom staff returned positive tests.
Wilder was still able to make only one change from his previous starting XI and confirmed before kick-off that he was not in favour of the game being postponed. But with two spaces unfilled on a bench that did not include Phil Jagielka or Billy Sharp, any further developments among the squad would surely spell trouble.
As it stands the South Yorkshiremen sit with a meagre haul of two points from 16 games, the first top-flight team without a victory at this point on the calendar since Bolton in 1902-03.
West Ham hold Saints to second successive stalemate
Southampton recorded their second successive goalless draw in a cagey match against West Ham at St Mary’s.
Having already slipped out of the European places following a hard-fought draw at Fulham on Boxing Day, Southampton were unable to bounce back in the absence of manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who is in self-isolation after a member of his household tested positive for Covid-19.
David Moyes brought on Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio in the second half in an attempt to find a way through the home defence, but despite some late pressure they were unable to make the breakthrough.
The result leaves the Saints in ninth but level on points with fifth-placed Aston Villa.
Five-star Leeds run riot at West Brom
Leeds ran riot at West Brom to hammer the Baggies 5-0 and claim their biggest Premier League win for 17 years.
A first-half blitz from the visitors blew Albion away to leave Sam Allardyce looking for his first win as boss.
Romaine Sawyers’ awful own goal set the tone for the hosts before quickfire first-half goals from Ezgjan Alioski, Jack Harrison and Rodrigo.
Raphinha also netted in the second half as Leeds recorded their biggest victory in the top flight since a 6-1 win over Charlton in 2003.