Sports Football 03 Sep 2018 Premier League: Luka ...

Premier League: Lukaku lifts Manchester United past Burnley, Watford shock Spurs

AP
Published Sep 3, 2018, 11:27 am IST
Updated Sep 3, 2018, 11:27 am IST
United had entered the match under intense scrutiny after successive defeats contributed to the club's worst Premier League start.
United now has six points from its first four games. (Photo: AFP)
 United now has six points from its first four games. (Photo: AFP)

Burnley: Romelu Lukaku's first-half double gave an improved Manchester United a 2-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday.

Only a second-half penalty miss from Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford's sending off shortly after, prevented United from producing the margin of victory its dominant performance merited.

 

But considering the media spotlight on United and manager Jose Mourinho's future after the previous round of fixtures, Rashford's red card being the biggest drama represents a form of respite for the club.

United had entered the match under intense scrutiny after successive defeats to Brighton and Tottenham contributed to the club's worst Premier League start in 26 seasons.

After a promising opening, Lukaku settled any remaining nerves by heading in Alexis Sanchez's cross in the 27th minute.

The Belgium forward should have scored again soon after as Sanchez teed him up once more, but this time Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart saved his chipped effort.

However, Lukaku was ruthless with the next opportunity that came his way. Jesse Lingard's shot was blocked and fell kindly for Lukaku to turn home from close range.

Pogba should have put United out of sight in the 70th but had his spot kick saved by Hart after Rashford, who looked lively after being introduced from the bench, was fouled.

Moment later, Rashford reacted angrily to a kick from Phil Bardsley by pushing his forehead into the face of the Burnley defender.

Referee Jonathan Moss deemed the incident violent conduct and showed Rashford a straight red card, just 11 minutes after the striker had entered the match.

Despite being a man down, United gave as good as it got in the final stages. Lukaku should have completed his hat trick - after earlier being denied the chance to take the penalty - when Pogba played him through on goal.

United now has six points from its first four games. Burnley is still looking for its first league win of the season.

Watford extend perfect start

Watford kept its perfect Premier League record at Tottenham's expense with a 2-1 win on Sunday.

Spurs made a real early-season statement with a 3-0 demolition of Manchester United on Monday night to make it three wins from three, but could not follow it up as the Hornets beat them for the first time in 11 Premier League meetings.

Tottenham went ahead early in the second half when Abdoulaye Doucoure scored an own-goal, but headers from Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart in the space of seven minutes turned it around for the hosts.

Watford has now won its first four league games of a season for the first time since 1988, and joins Liverpool and Chelsea as the only teams to have won every top-tier game so far.

The drama of the second half could not have been predicted after a dull opening 45 minutes for fans at Vicarage Road, including former Watford owner Sir Elton John.

In the end, it needed a Watford player to put through his own net to give Tottenham a 53rd-minute lead.

After the Hornets failed to clear the ball properly, Lucas Moura drove the ball across goal and it cannoned off Doucoure and into the bottom corner.

Deeney climbed highest from Jose Holebas' dangerous free kick to power a header into the bottom corner in the 69th for the equalizer.

And Watford showed its prowess from set-pieces again seven minutes later when Cathcart thundered an effort in from a corner to put his side in front.

Tottenham should have equalized as late as the 87th but Harry Kane, whose sub-par performance set the tone for his team, headed over from close range.

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