Sports

EPL: Allardyce begins Baggies’ reign with defeat as Man United hammer Leeds

*Leicester beat Spurs, Brighton rescue point against 10-man Sheff Utd

Sam Allardyce’s reign as West Bromwich Albion manager got off to a miserable start as Aston Villa brushed aside the 10-man Baggies.
Anwar El Ghazi’s improvised close-range finish gave Villa an early advantage in a West Midlands derby that was one-sided even before Baggies captain Jake Livermore’s red card.
The visitors were utterly dominant once Martin Atkinson consulted his pitchside monitor and decided to dismiss Livermore for a studs-up lunge on Jack Grealish before half-time.
They sealed the points with two goals in the closing stages as Grealish set up Bertrand Traore’s cool side-footer and then won the penalty converted by El Ghazi for the Egyptian’s second.
Albion might be aggrieved that the VAR did not request Atkinson take a second look when Kortney Hause trod on the ankle of Baggies midfielder Grady Diangana shortly after Livermore’s sending-off.
But it was still a night to forget for Allardyce, whose side remain three points from safety in 19th, as he returned to a Premier League dugout for the first time since May 2018.
At Old Trafford Manchester United climbed to third in the Premier League with a remarkable victory over Leeds.
Scott McTominay scored twice inside the first three minutes, with Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof adding to the hosts’ lead.
Liam Cooper pulled one back for Leeds before the break, but a Daniel James strike and a Fernandes penalty made it 6-1 after half-time.
Stuart Dallas’ curling effort proved scant consolation for the visitors.
In London, Leicester City climbed to second in the Premier League as they overcame top-four rivals Tottenham to move four points behind leaders Liverpool.
In a hard-fought battle between the sides starting the day third and fourth in the table – Spurs one point above the visitors – it was the latter who established themselves as champions Liverpool’s closest challengers courtesy of Jamie Vardy’s penalty and a Toby Alderweireld own goal, reports the BBC.
Vardy confidently dispatched his spot-kick in the fourth minute of first-half injury time, after referee Craig Pawson was advised to review Serge Aurier’s needless shove on Wesley Fofana via the pitchside monitor.
A VAR review for offside disallowed James Maddison’s well-taken finish three minutes after the restart, but Vardy’s header from Marc Albrighton’s excellent cross deflected in off Alderweireld to double Leicester’s advantage after 59 minutes.
Vardy’s opener arrived at the end of a closely contested opening 45 minutes, during which Spurs captain Harry Kane’s saved free-kick in the 34th minute and Foxes midfielder Maddison’s deflected shot from distance were the only other attempts on target.
Son Heung-min was denied at close range by Kasper Schmeichel as Jose Mourinho’s disappointing hosts were left frustrated in search of a response, while Leicester went close to a late third through Youri Tielemans.
Beaten 2-1 by Liverpool in their top-of-the-table meeting on Wednesday, former pacesetters Tottenham find themselves six points adrift of the lead.
And Danny Welbeck rescued a draw for Brighton as 10-man Sheffield United survived relentless pressure to claim only their second Premier League point of the season.
Welbeck fired home from close range to cancel out Jayden Bogle’s opener for United, who had John Lundstram sent off in the first half.
The Blades midfielder was initially cautioned for a studs-high challenge on Joel Veltman, but referee Peter Bankes upgraded the yellow card to a straight red after consulting his pitchside monitor.
The hosts had Chris Wilder’s side pinned back inside their own half for the majority of the contest but failed to convert their chances, with Aaron Connolly, Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard all spurning promising opportunities in the first half.
Welbeck had a header cleared off the line deep into second-half stoppage time as Brighton went in search of a late winner, before Alireza Jahanbakhsh headed against the crossbar from point-blank range.
Brighton remain without a league win at Amex Stadium this season and sit just two points above the relegation zone.
RESULTS
Brighton 1 – 1 Sheff Utd
Tottenham 0 – 2 Leicester
Man Utd 6 – 2 Leeds
West Brom 0 – 3 Aston Villa

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