English Premier League: Mid-week fixtures round-up – Matchday 15 of 38
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The high point of the mid-week Premier League fixtures was the clash between Manchester United and Arsenal that ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Arsenal opened their account through a Xerdan Mustafi header that David De Gea mishandled and the ball entered the goal-line. That was the 26th minute of play, but United didn't take long to equalize with Anthony Martial finding the back of the net for the seventh time in as many matches to make it 1-1 in the 30th.
An Alexandre Lacazette shot was deflected by United defender Marco Rojos for an own-goal in the 68th minute to give the visiting Gunners the lead but was sensationally cancelled out by a Jesse Lingard equalizer within 55 seconds.
The 2-2 draw meant two things for Arsenal –
1. They haven't been able to win at Old Trafford even after 12 trips to the venue.
2. Under Unai Emery, the Gunners have remained undefeated in 20 games in all forms of competition.
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Arsenal will be disappointed not to have taken three points from Wednesday night's game given that they had the better of chances while hosts United will be happy in the sense that this was one of their better Premier League performances in recent memory.
The upshot of the draw is that the Red Devils have dropped one place to the 8th spot and are a distant 8 points away from the UEFA qualification territory.
The draw also leaves the Gunners in the 5th spot with 31 points equal to that of Chelsea who have slipped one place on the table to the 4th courtesy an unexpected 1-2 defeat at the hands of bottom-half side Wolverhampton away at the Molineux stadium.
Bournemouth who beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 have accumulated 23 points and are on the 7th spot and one behind 6th placed Everton who played out a 1-1 draw with Newcastle. Not that any other outcome for Everton or Bournemouth would have mattered given that they are 8 points away from the 5th placed Gunners.
For Manchester City and Liverpool it's been status quo at No 1 and No. 2 on the Table respectively with just 2 points separating them.
While Pep Guardiola's City laboured to beat a doughty Watford 2-1, Liverpool survived an early goal scare against Burnley, recovering from being one down in the 54th minute to winning 1-3 with late goals from James Milner, Firminio and Shaqiri.
With the home loss, Burnley find themselves in relegation territory, just one place above Fulham who are languishing at the bottom in the 20th.
Tottenham Hostspur have recovered briskly from their weekend defeat to Arsenal to whip Southampton 3-1 at Wembley and move smartly to the 3rd spot on the Table with 33 points while the Saints move down rapidly to the 18th spot post their loss to the Spurs.
Leicester City have slipped one place to the 9th spot after a needless 1-1 draw against bottom-placed Fulham away the Craven Cottage while Brighton & Hove broke into the top half of the Premier League for the first time this season with a impressive 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
Manuel Pellegrini's West Ham United have recovered magnificently from the relegation territory where they languished during the earlier stages of the season to a very respectable 13th spot currently helped by two stunning back-to-back wins over of 0-3 and 3-1 over Newcastle and Cardiff City within a span of a week.
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