Brighton, Southampton extend unbeaten runs with 1-1 draw

AP
Neither side could complain at the result which stabilizes both clubs' solid starts to the season, leaving Southampton ninth in the table with a point more than Brighton.
AP
Reuters

Brighton & Hove Albion's Glenn Murray (center) scores the equalizer against Southampton during their English Premier League match at The American Express Community Stadium in Brighton on October 29, 2017. The match ended 1-1.

Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton extended their unbeaten runs in the English Premier League to three games with a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

The Saints took an early lead through Steven Davis but newly promoted Brighton drew level shortly after halftime thanks to Glenn Murray's header.

Neither side could complain at the result which stabilizes both clubs' solid starts to the season, leaving Southampton ninth in the table with a point more than Brighton.

Having scored a stunning winner against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, Sofiane Boufal was given a start by Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino and the Algeria winger's confidence was evident from the start.

It was his smart footwork that won Southampton the free kick leading to the opening goal after just seven minutes.

James Ward-Prowse, also restored to the starting lineup in place of the injured Mario Lemina, was unlucky to see his curling free kick rebound off the post, but Davis was on hand to nod into the empty net.

Boufal was the architect of the Saints' next clear opportunity when he teed up Dusan Tadic 10 minutes before halftime, only for Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy to deflect his shot wide.

Brighton finally mounted its first meaningful attack of the game in the closing stages of the half, but Anthony Knockaert was unable to find a teammate as he directed Izquierdo Mena's delivery back across goal.

From the same passage of play Knockaert was more accurate as he crossed to Duffy at the back post, only for the defender to head narrowly over.

Brighton maintained its impetus after the break and was rewarded in the 52nd minute as Pascal Gross crossed to the back post for Murray, whose header beat Fraser Forster with the help of a deflection off Cesar Soares.

Gross's fifth assist of the season was almost immediately followed by a sixth, as he found Murray once more, but Virgil van Dijk was on hand to put the striker off at the near post.

Both sides went in search of a winner with Manolo Gabbiadini coming closest for Southampton as he attempted to guide Ryan Bertrand's cross in at the near post.

Knockaert set up Duffy once more for Brighton but the defender's lack of attacking prowess was evident as he fluffed his chance from the edge of the box.

Leicester City was playing visiting Everton later on Sunday in former Saints boss Claude Puel's first game in charge of the Foxes.

Burnley welcome Newcastle United to Turf Moor on Monday.

Meanwhile, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge hopes his goal against Huddersfield persuades manager Juergen Klopp to give him more time on the pitch but admits he has to deliver when given the chance.

The England international scored the crucial first goal in Saturday's 3-0 victory at Anfield with a brilliantly taken cushioned finish over goalkeeper Jonas Lossl.

It was his 100th club career goal and his 62nd in 130 games for Liverpool, a rate that would have been much better had it not been for three years of niggling injuries.

AFP

Manchester United striker Anthony Martial celebrates after scoring the only goal of their English Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on October 28, 2017.

Sturridge believes he is now as fit as he has ever been but knows the challenge for him is to persuade Klopp he is worthy of a place in the team, having made only his fourth start of the campaign.

"It's (about) getting that rhythm, that flow. For myself, I feel like I'm best when I'm like that playing regularly," he told liverpoolfc.com.

"But the manager picks the team and I'll never cause any issues or problems in the camp because he's the boss. I have a lot of respect for him and for his decisions.

"When I go onto the pitch it's important for me to show what I can do. It doesn't matter how many minutes you get, you've got to put your best foot forward and show what you can do for the team."

The goal was only Sturridge's fourth in 2017 and he said he had forgotten he had been waiting to bring up his career century since scoring against Arsenal at the end of August.

"Hopefully there will be a lot more to come — there could've been a lot more but you can never look at the past. You look to the future and say hopefully 'I'll be able to score another 100 before my career is over'," he added.

Earlier on Saturday, Anthony Martial struck late against Tottenham Hotspur to ensure Manchester United still has Manchester City within its sights at the top of the EPL.

Martial came off the bench to score the only goal of the game at Old Trafford, preventing third-placed Spurs from claiming what would have been a valiant point in the absence of leading scorer Harry Kane.

Having suffered its first league defeat of the season last weekend at Huddersfield, United remained five points behind City, which showed no sign of slowing down as it stayed unbeaten at the expense of West Bromwich Albion 3-2.

It looked like the gap in the standings would be larger with 10 minutes remaining at Old Trafford, until Martial latched onto Romelu Lukaku's flick on and calmly found the bottom corner.

"I was so disappointed at Huddersfield because it looks like in that match we didn't know the responsibility, we didn't know the ambition, we didn't know that every point is a precious point," United manager Jose Mourinho said.

"Today, if we drew the match or even if in the last minute we concede a goal and we lose 1-0, I wouldn't be against the players because I felt from minute one every ball was like the last ball of their careers. They gave absolutely everything."

Arsenal and Chelsea won to move within a point of Tottenham, while Liverpool was three points further back after it brought Huddersfield back to reality at Anfield.

Arsene Wenger was able to celebrate his 800th EPL game in charge of Arsenal as the Gunners came from behind to defeat Swansea City 2-1 at the Emirates while Eden Hazard's third goal in as many games proved decisive as Chelsea earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Bournemouth.

Elsewhere on Saturday, it was: Crystal Palace 2, West Ham United 2; and Watford 0, Stoke City 1.


Special Reports
Top