Man U fights back twice to snatch draw with Arsenal at home

Written By: BBC/Hunja Macharia
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Manchester United showed “big heart and soul” to twice come from behind to earn a draw against Arsenal, said manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho dropped high-profile duo Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku after recent disappointing performances which have brought only three points from the past 12 available – and, while quality was lacking, no-one could doubt his side’s endeavour and character.

Goalkeeper David de Gea made an uncharacteristic error as he failed to deal with Shkodran Mustafi’s tame 26th-minute header, which Ander Herrera could not clear before it crossed the line.

United were swiftly level through Anthony Martial after Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno could only half-clear a free-kick to set up an exciting second half.

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Substitute Alexandre Lacazette scrambled Arsenal back in front after 68 minutes but United were on terms once more within seconds as Jesse Lingard pounced on Sead Kolasinac’s attempted backpass.

De Gea redeemed himself with a succession of fine saves as both sides had to content themselves with a point, with United now eighth in the Premier League and Arsenal, who extended their unbeaten run this season to 20 games, dropping to fifth.

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“As always we made mistakes and we paid for the mistakes,” said Mourinho.

“Today was more the same, but with great spirit and people ready to have a go and fight hard. It was a credit to the team.”

Mourinho demonstrated he would not shy away from taking the big decisions as Pogba and Lukaku were consigned to the bench – he will have known the spotlight would have shone on him in unforgiving fashion had United lost.

Elsewhere Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo challenged his side to “maintain these standards” after they fought back from a goal down to stun Chelsea and gain their first victory in seven Premier League matches.

Two goals in four second-half minutes – from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota – gave the hosts victory after Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s 25-yard effort was headed into his own net by Wolves captain Conor Coady after only 18 minutes.

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“This doesn’t mean all the problems are solved,” said Nuno, whose side won for the first time since their 1-0 away victory at Crystal Palace on 6 October.

“It was a very good performance. In the first half, the organisation and staying in the game was important.

“In the second half, we showed desire to go in front. It was fantastic work from the boys. The only way to play these teams is you have to run more than them and when you have your chances take them. We have to maintain these standards.”

Wolves’ win leaves them 12th in the Premier League, only four points behind sixth-placed Everton.

And at Turf Moor, Substitute Roberto Firmino scored with his first touch as Liverpool came from behind to beat struggling Burnley and stay in touch with leaders Manchester City in the Premier League table.

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Jack Cork gave the hosts a surprise lead after Alisson could not gather the ball following a corner but Jurgen Klopp’s side hit back with three goals.

James Milner equalised with a superb low finish from the edge of the box and Firmino, one of seven players left out from the side that started against Everton on Sunday, tapped home Virgil van Dijk’s athletic cutback.

Xherdan Shaqiri made sure of the win for Liverpool with a clinical counter-attack goal moments after Alisson had saved superbly from Ben Mee.

Liverpool are two points behind Pep Guardiola’s side after 15 games and have made the best start to a season in the club’s 126-year history.

They will go top of the table and put pressure on City on Saturday if they win at Bournemouth (12:30 GMT), with the leaders facing a difficult game at Chelsea at 17:30.

 

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