New Telegraph

February 23, 2024

EPL: Bale’s first goal since Spurs’ return secures win

*Aubameyang penalty compounds Man United’s woes
*Magpies deny Toffees chance to go top with shock 2-1 win
*Ward-Prowse scores two free-kicks as Saints survive Villa fightback

Gareth Bale’s first goal since re-signing for Tottenham helped his side beat Brighton to go second in the Premier League table.
In an action-packed game, Harry Kane put Spurs ahead from the penalty spot, his 149th Premier League goal, after a video assistant referee check deemed Adam Lallana had fouled the England captain.
Tariq Lamptey scored a controversial equaliser, the exciting 20-year-old sweeping home after Solly March appeared to foul Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the build-up.
Referee Graham Scott consulted the pitchside monitor before allowing the goal to stand, much to Tottenham’s disbelief, before substitute Bale had the final say.
The Wales forward powered a cross by Sergio Reguilon past debutant Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez, his first Spurs goal since May 2013.
In the North East, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first league goal since the opening weekend of the season as Arsenal edged out Manchester United at a rain-soaked Old Trafford.
The Gabon forward broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after Paul Pogba had clipped the heel of Hector Bellerin in the area.
There were very few other chances.
Willian’s effort struck the bar, while a strike from substitute Donny van de Beek came off the post late on.
The Gunners now have 12 points and are up to eighth and United remain in 15th on seven points.
Earlier, Everton missed the chance to return to the top of the Premier League as Callum Wilson scored twice to give Newcastle a first win in three matches.
Former Bournemouth forward Wilson opened the scoring – converting a penalty he had won after being fouled by Andre Gomes – and then tapped in a second from Ryan Fraser’s looping cross.
The result means Carlo Ancelotti’s side remain second, three points behind Liverpool, while the Magpies move up to 10th.
After a largely uneventful first half, the game sparked into life in the second period.
And Newcastle, who had taken a point from their two previous matches, had Wilson to thank for their victory.
Steve Bruce’s side could have added to their tally but Sean Longstaff’s powerful close-range effort was brilliantly saved by Robin Olsen, starting in goal for Everton in place of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s late goal was not enough to prevent Ancelotti from losing consecutive league games for the first time since September 2014, when he was in charge of Real Madrid.
And club stalwart James Ward-Prowse marked his 26th birthday with two goals from fantastic free-kicks as Southampton moved up to third in the Premier League with victory at Aston Villa.
The England midfielder also provided the assist for the opener for Jannik Vestergaard before Danny Ings made it 4-0. Two stoppage-time goals from the home side took some of the gloss off the victory for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men.
As for Villa’s Dean Smith, his side have now lost their past two games and conceded seven goals in the process having won their first four fixtures, reports the BBC.
After having been denied a goal by the finest of margins following a VAR check in the third minute, Saints took the lead when defender Jannik Vestergaard thumped home a header from Ward-Prowse’s delivery from the right. It was the Dane’s second goal in the past two away games.
It was 2-0 shortly after the half-hour. Winger Theo Walcott, back in the starting line-up, won a free-kick near the edge of the area for a foul by Douglas Luiz. Ward-Prowse stepped up and whipped the ball past Emiliano Martinez.
And just before half-time, the club’s former youth player repeated the trick after Matthew Cash had handled a yard outside the box.
Ings curled in an exquisite shot after the break for Saints’ fourth before Tyrone Mings managed to pull a goal back with 28 minutes of regular time still remaining, but the hosts could not build on it until the game was in its final moments.
Ollie Watkins fired in from the penalty spot in the third minute of stoppage time, before Jack Grealish struck home from outside the area with almost the final kick of the match.
Smith’s side drop to seventh, a point behind Southampton.
Spurs 2 – 1 Brighton
Man United 0 – 1 Arsenal
Aston Villa 3 – 4 Southampton
Newcastle 2 – 1 Everton

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