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New Year Prem Recap: Reds Clinch Late Win; Lingard Scores Stunner As United Return To Winning Ways

All the action from the first day of 2018, as Liverpool leave things very (very) late at Burnley

Everton 0-2 Manchester United
Anthony Martial's terrific goal in the second half helped end a run of three consecutive draws for Manchester United and downed Everton at Goodison Park.
After a shabby first half devoid of action, Jose Mourinho's side were a vastly improved unit after the break and took a deserved lead via the 22-year-old just before the hour mark. It was a goal made in France: Martial was teed up by a lovely square pass from Paul Pogba, before steadying himself and curling a beautiful effort into the top corner from just inside the box.

That goal sparked the game into life, and Everton were forced to come out of their shells. Juan Mata struck the outside of a post from distance, but Sam Allardyce's Toffees had their own moments and Oumar Niasse arguably should have done better with a near-post header that he diverted wide.

Jordan Pickford impressed for Everton throughout but even the Toffees' No.1 was powerless to prevent another brilliant goal from Jesse Lingard 10 minutes from time. 

After collecting Pogba's pass, the Englishman drove towards goal and cut inside before unleashing a fine effort into the top corner. Much better for Mourinho.

Goal: Martial 57', Lingard 81'

Anthony Martial has been directly involved in 6 goals in his last 5 appearances against Everton in all competitions (4 goals, 2 assists)

Brighton 2-2 Bournemouth
Callum Wilson rescued a point for Bournemouth with a comically scruffy late equaliser, as Eddie Howe's side twice battled back from going behind at the Amex Stadium.

Anthony Knockaert had put Brighton ahead with his first goal since mid-October after just five minutes, smashing home at the back post after Jose Izquierdo's cross evaded everybody else. But despite dominating the opening half-hour, familiar failings came back to bite the Seagulls.
Before the game only two Premier League sides had conceded more goals from set-pieces than Brighton – a particularly ominous statistic considering that 35% of Bournemouth's goals had been achieved from dead-balls. Sure enough, Steve Cook looped in a 33rd-minute header from a corner to level things up.

Brighton flew out of the traps after half-time, though, and were back ahead within three minutes of the restart when Izquierdo squared for Glenn Murray to lash in his sixth League goal of the campaign. But they couldn't hang on: with 10 minutes remaining, Cherries striker Wilson got the last touch of an almighty goalmouth scramble to salvage a draw from the first top-flight game of 2018.

Goals: Knockaert 5', Murray 48' -- Cook 33', Wilson 79'

Callum Wilson now holds the Premier League record as the highest-scoring player (16 goals) without assisting a single goal, overtaking Branko Strupar (15 goals, 0 assists)

Burnley 1-2 Liverpool
Ragnar Klavan's bundled winner in the 94th minute snared all three points for Liverpool, who were forced to dig deep at Turf Moor having conceded a late equaliser.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson thought he'd earned Burnley a point when he headed home an 87th-minute leveller, cancelling out Sadio Mane's stunner on the hour mark – his first goal since netting twice on Champions League duty in the 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow on December 6.

Burnley's good work was undone in unlikely circumstances, however, when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's deep free-kick to the back post was met by Dejan Lovren. The ball looked to be goalbound, but his defensive partner Klavan made sure by stooping to head home a late, late winner – making him the Premier League's first ever Estonian goalscorer.

Liverpool are now six points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal, having played a game more.

Goals: Mane 61', Klavan 90+4' -- Gudmundsson 87'

Liverpool have now gone 16 games in all competitions without defeat (W11 D5) – their longest unbeaten run under Jurgen Klopp

Leicester 3-0 Huddersfield
A superb second-half showing helped Leicester to a commanding win over Huddersfield at the King Power Stadium, as Claude Puel's side made ground on seventh-placed Burnley.
All three of the Foxes' goals came after the interval following a forgettable first half – but they were worth the wait. The deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute by an in-form Riyad Mahrez, who gloriously turned home Marc Albrighton's lofted cross with a sensational first-time volley.

Jamie Vardy was missing with a groin problem, but his replacement Islam Slimani put in a fine showing in his place. Mahrez turned provider for his compatriot's first Premier League goal of the season with a fine through-ball which Slimani galloped onto before chipping a fine finish beyond Jonas Lossl.

There was yet more cheer for Leicester with the introduction of 'new' signing Adrien Silva, who came on with five minutes remaining with his registration finally having been rubber-stamped this morning. The Portugal international had, of course, been denied the chance to feature up to this point because his summer transfer went through 14 seconds too late.

Silva could celebrate another goal with his new team-mates in injury time when Albrighton lashed home in the 92nd minute from a deflected Demarai Gray cross. Every cloud, and all that.

Goals: Mahrez 53', Slimani 60', Marc Albrington 90+2'

Marc Albrighton has both scored and assisted in a Premier League game for just the second time (also Aug 2015 vs Sunderland)

Stoke 0-1 Newcastle
A result that could prove too much to take for Stoke's board, who face another evening mulling over the future of manager Mark Hughes after this crippling defeat to Newcastle at the bet365 Stadium.
Ayoze Perez grabbed the match-winner 20 minutes from time after a game of huffing and puffing, converting Jacob Murphy's deadly low cross to earn Rafa Benitez's side a vital three points that pulls them four clear of the drop zone.

Stoke's defeat will weigh heavier still after Hughes's admission that he played a weakened team at Chelsea to field his strongest team possible for this crunch fixture. The Potters have conceded nine more goals than any other Premier League team this season, and have already shipped more than they did in their entire 2012/13 and 2014/15 campaigns. 

Goal: Perez 73'

Stoke have now conceded the first goal of the game on 15 occasions in the Premier League this season; more often than any other team

This post first appeared on Wolexis Sports Blog | Nigeria's Online Sports Mag, please read the originial post: here

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New Year Prem Recap: Reds Clinch Late Win; Lingard Scores Stunner As United Return To Winning Ways


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