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Premier League: Moutinho stunner sees Red Devils falter at home again; Salah ends goalless run

By Opta
Joao Moutinho celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Manchester United

London, September 22: Manchester United dropped points for a second successive Premier League home match on Saturday (September 22), as they were held to a 1-1 draw by promoted Wolves. Former manager Alex Ferguson was back at Old Trafford for the first time since his May health scare, but United failed to put on much of a show for him, instead producing a performance which surely would have resulted in the Scot's infamous "hairdryer" treatment.

Although United looked particularly off the pace early on and rode their luck, they broke the deadlock in the 18th minute, with Fred getting his first goal for the club.

Joao Moutinho scored Wolves' deserved equaliser with a fine finish early in the second half and, although United upped the pressure late on, they could not find a winner in 'Fergie time', as they slumped to another disappointing result.

Wolves looked vastly superior to their hosts in the early exchanges and forced David de Gea into two smart saves, as Raul Jimenez and Willy Boly threatened.

But United made the most of those let-offs and took the lead against the run of play 18 minutes in – Fred finding the bottom-left corner from 20 yards after Paul Pogba's clever disguised pass.

The Brazilian nearly got a second on the stroke of half-time, but his fine free-kick was tipped on to the post by Rui Patricio.

Wolves deservedly restored parity just after the interval, however, as Jimenez teed up Moutinho on the edge of the box and the midfielder found the top-left corner.

United huffed and puffed towards the end, with substitute Juan Mata offering a little more creativity than Alexis Sanchez, but Wolves held on, Nuno Espirito Santo successfully frustrating his "inspiration" Jose Mourinho.

Aguero celebrates new deal with goal in 300th game

In the day’s other match, Sergio Aguero scored on his 300th appearance for Manchester City as Pep Guardiola's side bounced back from their midweek Champions League disappointment with a resounding 5-0 win at Cardiff City.

The club's all-time leading goalscorer, who signed a contract extension this week that will keep him at the club until 2021, opened the scoring after 32 minutes.

So often the star of the show, Aguero shared the spotlight on a rainy afternoon in South Wales with Bernardo Silva, who doubled City's lead three minutes later, and Ilkay Gundogan, who capped a fine performance with a brilliant solo effort.

Substitute Riyad Mahrez scored his first goals for the club with a brace to put the result beyond doubt, and the manner of the victory will have delighted Guardiola after a below-par showing in a 2-1 defeat to Lyon in midweek.

Cool and composed during a scrappy opening half an hour, Gundogan started the move that led to the opener, feeding Silva who squared to Aguero and the striker beat his marker to apply a first-time finish.

Silva got his head underneath Leroy Sane's cross from the right two minutes later and looped the ball up and over Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and in at the far post.

Gundogan was the stand-out player in the first half and he was rewarded with the pick of the goals, playing a one-two with Raheem Sterling before confidently side-footing into the top corner.

City controlled the second half from start to finish and when Sterling set Gundogan free down the left, he sent a low cross to the feet of Mahrez to open his account for the club.

With one minute left to play, Bruno Ecuele Manga needed to make a simple clearance, but instead played the ball straight to Mahrez, who drove it low and hard into the bottom-left corner of the net to wrap up a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for Guardiola.

Reds make best Premier League start

Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah broke a three-game goalless run for Liverpool as they brushed Southampton aside 3-0 at Anfield to win their opening six games for the first time in a Premier League season.

After Roberto Firmino's last-gasp strike against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Liverpool have won all seven matches in a flying start to 2018-19 that leaves them two points clear of champions Manchester City.

Xherdan Shaqiri's shot deflected in off Wesley Hoedt for an early opener, with Joel Matip then heading in his first Anfield goal for Liverpool in a comfortable first half for Jurgen Klopp's side

And the points were sealed shortly before the break when Salah tapped in after Shaqiri's free-kick hit the woodwork, although Virgil van Dijk's injury after the break marred the win for Klopp.

Comeback win eases pressure on Puel

Elsewhere, James Maddison scored an impressive free-kick as Leicester City came from behind to beat Huddersfield Town 3-1 in the Premier League, easing the pressure on boss Claude Puel.

Defender Mathias Jorgensen put Huddersfield in front after just five minutes, having failed to score in any of his 38 Premier League appearances last season.

But Kelechi Iheanacho, back in the team as one of three changes from Puel, promptly equalised before Maddison's moment of quality and Jamie Vardy's impressive finish proved decisive in the second half.

The home win gets Leicester back on track after a run of two straight defeats, while struggling Huddersfield remain without a victory.

Sakho misses sitter as Magpies remain winless

Newcastle United's wait for a first win of the season goes on, but they were fortunate to even claim a point in a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park as Mamadou Sakho missed a golden late chance for Crystal Palace.

The hosts enjoyed the better of an often-scrappy contest and struck the post in the first half when a Luka Milivojevic free-kick glanced off the head of Jamaal Lascelles.

Sakho was then guilty of an extraordinary miss with eight minutes of normal time remaining, the defender heading wide from inside the six-yard box with the goal gaping after Andros Townsend's cross drifted over Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Palace therefore remain winless at home this season, while Newcastle have just two points from six Premier League games.

Rampant Clarets claim first PL win of the season

Matej Vydra, Aaron Lennon and two-goal Ashley Barnes helped Burnley to a first Premier League win of the season as they cruised past Bournemouth 4-0 at Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche's side went into the game on the back of four straight top-flight defeats and looked every bit the league's bottom side for much of the opening period.

They burst into life shortly before the interval, though, as Vydra and Lennon opened their accounts for the club with close-range finishes within the space of two minutes.

Joe Hart made a fine stop from David Brooks to deny an out-of-sorts Bournemouth the opportunity of a grandstand finish before two Barnes strikes in the final seven minutes gave the scoreline an emphatic look.

Kane on target as Spurs issue firm response

Harry Kane scored a much-needed goal as a relieved Tottenham ended their three-match losing run with a gritty 2-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Glenn Murray's handball from a Kieran Trippier free-kick enabled Kane to convert a first-half penalty before Erik Lamela notched late to help Spurs exorcise some of the demons of their late midweek loss to Inter in the Champions League.

Mauricio Pochettino called for his side to show fight in the aftermath of that worrying collapse and, though Anthony Knockaert reduced the deficit in added time, he will have been heartened by the resilient response amid grim conditions at Amex Stadium.

While far from their fluid best, the visitors withstood Brighton's spell of second-half pressure for long enough to move on from the worst sequence of Pochettino's spell in charge, Kane's spot-kick setting the platform before Lamela notched what proved the winner in the 76th minute.

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    Story first published: Saturday, September 22, 2018, 21:31 [IST]
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