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Late blitz saves Man Utd blushes as VAR denies Liverpool

Late blitz saves Man Utd blushes as VAR denies Liverpool

FOOTBALL: Bruno Fernandes atoned for a missed penalty as Manchester United blitzed Newcastle with late goals yesterday (Oct 17) while VAR denied Liverpool a cathartic victory against Everton on another day of breathless drama in the Premier League.

FootballPremier-League
By AFP

Sunday 18 October 2020, 10:47AM


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left mystified by VAR in yesterday’s pulsating 2-2 draw with Everton. Photo: AFP.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left mystified by VAR in yesterday’s pulsating 2-2 draw with Everton. Photo: AFP.

Elsewhere, Chelsea conceded late to draw 3-3 at home to Southampton while Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola got the better of former assistant Mikel Arteta in a 1-0 win over Arsenal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men went into their match at St James’s Park desperate to restore pride after a 6-1 hammering by Spurs before the international break but were immediately in trouble when Luke Shaw turned the ball into his own net.

United were back on level terms midway through the first half when captain Harry Maguire met Juan Mata’s corner with an unstoppable header, just days after the misery of a red card for England against Denmark.

The visitors were handed a golden chance to take the lead from the spot after VAR awarded them a penalty for Jamal Lewis’s challenge on Marcus Rashford but Karl Darlow dived to his right to save Fernandes’s 58th minute spot-kick.

However, the Portuguese made amends for his miss with a superb 86th minute strike and there was still time for goals from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Rashford, who made it 4-1.

“Great result and great character to come back, led by a very inspirational captain,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

“Harry scored and leads by example,” he added. “He showed good character, I am happy for him. He had a couple of difficult weeks since he last played for us.

“The season started for us today. We have come up to the speed of the game and that showed today.”

VAR agony

Jurgen Klopp’s champions were desperate to re-establish their authority after their 7-2 mauling against Aston Villa but were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw after Jordan Henderson’s late strike was chalked off for offside.

Everton, who have not beaten Liverpool since 2010, remain three points clear of their Merseyside rivals at the top of the table after a number of controversial calls went their way at Goodison Park.

Klopp was mystified that Henderson’s potential winner in added time against 10-man Everton was ruled out for a barely perceptible offside decision against Sadio Mane.

ZENITHY POOL VILLAS

He was also at a loss to explain how Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had not been dismissed and had not conceded an early penalty for a knee-high challenge on Virgil van Dijk.

Klopp said: “We lost one player in a situation where VAR was not involved with Virgil and maybe another one (Thiago Alcantara) in the red card situation and scored a legitimate goal which didn’t count - so obviously not our day but the performance was the performance I wanted to see.”

Everton showed their new-found mettle by twice coming from behind, with Michael Keane and the prolific Dominic Calvert-Lewin cancelling out goals from Mane and Mohamed Salah.

But the pivotal moment in the match came when Van Dijk was on the receiving end of a dangerous late lunge from Pickford early in the game, which forced the Dutchman off.

However, no penalty was awarded after a VAR review because Van Dijk had been marginally offside and Pickford was lucky to avoid a red card.

Richarlison was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Thiago in the 90th minute before the VAR drama in the final seconds.

Van Dijk and Thiago both went to hospital for scans on their knee injuries after the game.

Werner double

Chelsea looked to be in total control after cruising into a 2-0 lead against Southampton at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of new signing Timo Werner’s first Premier League goals.

But a goal from Danny Ings shortly before half-time and a second-half strike from Che Adams wiped out their lead.

Frank Lampard’s side rallied immediately to regain the lead, Werner teeing up Kai Havertz, only for Jannik Vestergaard to power home an added-time equaliser.

Manchester City returned to winning ways after an indifferent start to the season, courtesy of a first-half goal from Raheem Sterling, who condemned Arsenal to their seventh straight defeat in league matches between the two sides.

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