Youthful United jingle all the way
Anthony Martial scored twice as Manchester United hit back in emphatic fashion from a rocky start against Newcastle United to open their Christmas programme with a 4-1 victory at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Teenager Matty Longstaff gave Newcastle a surprise 17th-minute lead — reviving memories of his winner against United in the reverse fixture at St James’ Park this season — but United struck three times before half-time.
Anthony Martial’s shot crept in at the near post six minutes later to calm the Old Trafford jitters and youngster Mason Greenwood thumped home a second before Marcus Rashford’s header put the hosts in control.
Newcastle hardly helped themselves with some dreadful defending and they gifted Martial a second goal in the 51st minute to make the result a formality. United could have scored more with Paul Pogba making an appearance off the bench and almost adding a fifth.It was the perfect response to last weekend’s 2-0 defeat by Watford for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side who are in seventh spot with 28 points.
Kane & Alli score
Harry Kane and Dele Alli led a second-half fightback as Tottenham Hotspur finally came to life to claim a 2-1 home victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.
Captain Kane followed up his own shot to equalise in the 53rd minute and cancel out Adam Webster’s first-half header and Alli put Spurs ahead in the 72nd, knocking in a pass from Serge Aurier to complete a move inspired by Christian Eriksen.
Spurs were reeling from a disheartening home loss to Chelsea and were missing key forward Son Heung-min due to suspension after the South Korean was sent off in the 2-0 defeat.
“The first half performance was bad and related to the previous result and defeat. You need to start well to get back some good feelings and we didn’t start well,” Mourinho told a news conference. “The second half was different we brought everything we had to bring, we got back to taking risks and defending in a less safe way.”
The victory took Tottenham up to fifth in the standings on 29 points after 19 games and left Brighton in 13th on 20.
A sleepy atmosphere gripped their stadium in the early kick-off the day after Christmas, although the mood was briefly lifted when Kane put the ball in the net before a VAR review ruled the effort fractionally offside.
Brighton, who had thrashed Spurs 3-0 in October in one of the final games under Mourinho’s predecessor Mauricio Pochettino, went ahead when defender Webster appeared unmarked to head in a Pascal Gross free kick in the 37th minute.
Mourinho left club record signing Tanguy Ndombele out of the squad, later explaining that the French midfielder had told him he was not ready to play because he was worried he could suffer a relapse of the injuries.
Goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond earned Southampton a surprise 2-0 win at Chelsea. Obafemi broke the deadlock with his first goal of the season, bursting inside from the right and curling into the top corner after a tight opening half hour.
Frank Lampard changed his side’s formation from 3-4-3 to 4-2-3-1 at the break and nearly earned an instant dividend as substitute Mason Mount set up Tammy Abraham, who flashed a shot into the side netting. Saints winger Redmond was denied by Kepa Arrizabalaga on the break but coolly finished for the visitors’ second after an impressive team move to silence Stamford Bridge.
The hosts struggled to break down Southampton’s tight defence, and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side rise to 14th, three points clear of the relegation zone, building on last weekend’s win over Aston Villa. Chelsea stay fourth with 32 points from 19 games.
Aubameyang on target
A second-half equaliser from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Mikel Arteta a point in his first game as Arsenal manager as his side came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Bournemouth. The two sides came into the game in poor form, with Bournemouth having lost six of their last seven and Arsenal only winning once since beating Bournemouth 1-0 at the Emirates on October 6.
Arteta restored Mesut Ozil to the starting line-up and the German forward looked sharp in the opening exchanges, but despite Arteta energetically encouraging his team from the sidelines, they failed to create many chances.