Aubameyang back with Arsenal hat-trick, United draw with West Brom
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rediscovered his scoring prowess with his first Premier League hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Leeds on Sunday (Monday AEDT).
Elsewhere, Manchester United suffered a fresh blow to their title hopes after being held 1-1 by West Bromwich Albion in a scrappy clash while Wolves mounted a second-half comeback to beat Southampton 2-1, avenging Thursday’s 2-0 FA Cup loss to the Saints.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (right) celebrates the first of his three goals for Arsenal against Leeds.Credit:Getty
Aubameyang put the hosts in front in the 13th minute at Emirates Stadium, teasing Leeds right-back Luke Ayling with a series of stepovers before skipping past him. The forward then squeezed a shot between Ayling and Liam Cooper to beat the goalkeeper at the near post.
Aubameyang’s penalty in the 41st minute gave Arsenal a second, and right-back Hector Bellerin scored the team’s third goal just before half-time after good build-up play. Aubameyang rounded out his hat-trick when midfielder Emile Smith Rowe’s cross set up his captain to head home in the 47th.
It has been a difficult period for Aubameyang as he has struggled for form and dealt with personal issues — taking time off to care for his mother, who was ill. He had only began to regain his form when he suddenly left to be with his mother for several days.
“It’s been a tough time for me, but now it’s time to get the smile back, win games and score goals,” Aubameyang said as he cradled the match ball in his arm.
Aubameyang’s penalty gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead but there was more to come before the break.Credit:Getty
Leeds came back into the game in the second half, with manager Marcelo Bielsa making a double substitution. Pascal Struijk scored with a towering header from a corner to beat goalkeeper Bernd Leno in the 58th. The visitors got a second in the 69th when Helder Costa slotted past Leno after being set up by fellow substitute Tyler Roberts.
Arsenal moved up a place into 10th with 34 points, while Leeds dropped down a spot to 11th with 32 points.
United below par in scrappy draw
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United fell short on the road and, having been top just 19 days ago, second-place United now trail Manchester City by seven points. City also have game in hand.
Mbaye Diagne got West Brom off to a dream start after just 80 seconds before United drew level through Bruno Fernandes’ stunning effort.
West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone saves a late Harry Maguire shot on goal for United.Credit:Getty Images
Harry Maguire had a last-gasp header superbly turned on to a post by Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
Having won all of its previous seven away league matches in which United conceded first, Solskjaer will be frustrated by his side’s poor response in this costly draw at the Hawthorns.
Diagne scored his first goal for the club, his hand in Victor Lindelof’s face overlooked, but Fernandes levelled superbly at the end of the first half. He fired home a stunning leveler in the 44th minute, meeting Luke Shaw’s cross with a fine hooked effort that flew into the top left-hand corner.
Mbaye Diagne, of West Bromwich Albion, misses a chance against Manchester United at the Hawthorns on Sunday..Credit:Getty Images
The second half was more open and eventful.
Referee Craig Pawson overturned his decision to award a penalty for Semi Ajayi’s foul on Maguire after reviewing footage on the monitor, but offside would have come into play anyway if he had stuck with his decision.
Johnstone denied Mason Greenwood before Darnell Furlong cleared Scott McTominay’s effort off the line, while at the other end David De Gea prevented Diagne securing a shock win with a superb double save.
Diagne only had himself to blame in the 78th minute as he somehow failed to score. Having shaken off Maguire to go through one-on-one with De Gea, the ball looped up after his initial shot was saved and Diagne looked set to nod into an empty net until the goalkeeper got back superbly to claw away.
Wolves come back to beat Southampton
At Southampton, Wanderers came from behind to beat Southampton 2-1, inflicting their sixth league defeat in a row.
Danny Ings gave the home side the lead but a Ruben Neves penalty and a superb Pedro Neto goal gave Wolves all three points.
Southampton have won only once in their last 11 league matches and Hasenhuettl was at a loss to explain a result which condemned his club to a sixth consecutive league loss for the first time in their history.
“We know what happened today – it’s hard to explain this defeat,” Hasenhuettl told Amazon Prime.
“Until their penalty they had no chances at goal.”
Wolves were more fluid going forward in the second half and were handed a lifeline when Nelson Semedo’s cross hit Ryan Bertrand’s arm. Neves made no mistake in beating Alex McCarthy from the penalty spot.
Neto sealed the win with a solo goal in the 66th minute, side-stepping Jannik Vestergaard before striking the ball past McCarthy from an acute angle.
“It was a very tough game, both halves were very tough,” Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said. “In the first half Southampton managed the game. In the second half we were on the front foot, scored two goals and then defended very well.”
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