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Sunday October 20, 2013 MYT 1:04:00 AM
Sunday October 20, 2013 MYT 1:24:31 AM
Wayne Rooney (right) goes airborne in the match against Southampton on Saturday at Old Trafford. Man United drew 1-1 to climb up to eighth in the standings. - AFP/ Andrew Yates
LONDON: Manchester United’s disappointing start to the Premier League season continued on Saturday as the champions were held to a 1-1 draw at home to high-flying Southampton.
United’s teenage winger Adnan Januzaj celebrated his new five-year contract by creating the game’s opening goal in the 26th minute with a superb through ball for Wayne Rooney.
The England striker’s shot was blocked by Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc, but Robin van Persie was on hand to sweep the rebound home.
Both Rooney and Van Persie hit the woodwork thereafter, but the hosts were prevented from recording consecutive victories for the first time in the league this season when Southampton defender Dejan Lovren poked home from an 89th-minute corner.
The point kept Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton in the top four, while United were left in eighth place, eight points adrift of leaders Arsenal.
Having seen Liverpool temporarily take claim of first place earlier in the day, Arsenal returned to the summit with a 4-1 win at home to Norwich City.
Jack Wilshere scored his second goal in two games to give Arsenal an 18th-minute lead, volleying home from Olivier Giroud’s flick following a dizzying exchange of passes involving Santi Cazorla.
Mesut Ozil scored his first league goal for the club with a header from a Giroud cross in the 58th minute and although Norwich midfielder Jonathan Howson replied for the visitors, Aaron Ramsey came off the bench to make sure of victory before Ozil added a fourth.
Arsenal lead the standings by two points from Chelsea, who leapfrogged Liverpool into second place after coming from behind to win 4-1 at home to Cardiff City.
Jordon Mutch gave the promoted side a shock 10th-minute lead by lifting the ball over goalkeeper Petr Cech after Chelsea defender David Luiz inexplicably allowed a pass from team-mate Ramires to run past him.
Jose Mourinho’s side equalised in the 33rd minute with an unusual goal that saw Eden Hazard sweep the ball home from close range after Samuel Eto’o had stolen possession from Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall as he bounced the ball.
Eto’o, deputising for the injured Fernando Torres, completed the comeback in the 66th minute, before Oscar and Hazard found the net in the closing stages.
Liverpool, who trail Chelsea on goal difference, twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at 10-man Newcastle United.
French midfielder Yohan Cabaye gave Newcastle the lead mid-way through the first half with a fine 30-yard drive that plunged into the bottom-left corner.
Visiting captain Steven Gerrard equalised from the penalty spot just before half-time, taking his tally of Premier League goals to 100, after Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was sent off for impeding Luis Suarez.
Against the odds, Newcastle restored their lead through 22-year-old substitute Paul Dummett, only for Daniel Sturridge to head home a 72nd-minute equaliser from Suarez’s cross.
“It’s never easy when you’re playing against 10 men, but I thought some of our play was outstanding today. We had to show character twice, coming from behind,” said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
“But give Newcastle credit as well. A point at St James Park won’t be the worst result you can get.”
Gus Poyet’s tenure as manager of bottom club Sunderland began in lamentable fashion as his side crashed 4-0 at Swansea City.
All the goals came in the last 33 minutes, with Jonathan De Guzman, Wilfried Bony, from the penalty spot, and Chico Flores netting after recalled Sunderland fullback Phil Bardsley opened the floodgates by putting through his own goal.
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Manchester United, Southampton, Premier League, football
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