James Ward-Prowse

Watford 2-2 Southampton: Handball goal earns point

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  • Ward-Prowse scores two
  • Doucoure equalizer controversial
  • Watford remains top half

How has the linesman missed this?!?

James Ward-Prowse‘s first brace in nearly two years only helped Southampton to a draw, as a handled late goal from Watford sprung a 2-2 result at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Andre Gray and Abdoulaye Doucouré scored for the Hornets, the second a very late and extremely controversial goal as Watford moved 10th with 25 points.

Saints are just a point above the drop zone with the draw. Ward-Prowse’s only other Premier League brace came Jan. 16, 2016 against West Brom.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mauricio Pellegrino‘s men gave hm a positive start with a goal before the half hour mark, as Shane Long‘s cutback pass deflected to Ward-Prowse for a neat driving finish.

It was Long’s work again that cued up the second goal, his run feeding Dusan Tadic. The Serbian playmaker opted to find Ward-Prowse rather than shoot and it was 2-0 just before the break.

Gray pulled one back for Swans when he was first to a rebound off Daryl Janmaat‘s cross bar rip. And Doucoure’s controversial moment earned the point.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

https://twitter.com/OptaJoe/status/952220513153224704

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Manchester United 0-0 Southampton: Red Devils booed after draw

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  • United draws third-straight league match
  • Red Devils slip into third
  • Saints rise two points clear of the drop zone
  • Lukaku injured in first half

Manchester United dropped points for a third-straight Premier League match, as Southampton picked up one from a scoreless draw at Old Trafford on Saturday.

David De Gea made three fine saves for United, who wasted an advantage in shot attempts and was held tightly around the Saints 18.

The Red Devils lost star striker Romelu Lukaku early in the match to an apparent head injury.

Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino was rewarded for his risk of taking Fraser Forster out of the Saints’ Starting XI for the first time in 76 matches, as Alex McCarthy kept a clean sheet.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

David De Gea started the game in a manner befitting his outstanding year, getting low to slap away James Ward-Prowse‘s rip.

Romelu Lukaku had to leave the game after 13 minutes after a head-to-head collision with Wesley Hoedt.

Good work from Rashford, on for Lukaku, allowed a left-footed chance for Juan Mata in the 27th minute, but  McCarthy made the save.

United figured it had a penalty when a short-range ball struck Maya Yoshida‘s arm, but Craig Pawson was not interested in the idea.

Jesse Lingard nearly added a third goal to his weekly haul when he turned a Pogba header across goal, but the ball scooted wide of the far post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

De Gea was needed again in the 50th minute, stymying Shane Long with a superb right leg save.

Ashley Young may be in Team of the Season form, but he may miss some time for United after cameras caught him throwing an elbow into the midsection of Dusan Tadic.

United did little to trouble new goalkeeper McCarthy despite an abundance of possession as the match neared the hour mark.

Pogba tapped in a free kick from an offside position, much to his chagrin in the 82nd minute.

Chelsea 1-0 Southampton: Blues edge Saints

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  • Alonso’s free kick on half time seals win
  • Southampton with 1 win in 9
  • Chelsea in third place

Chelsea edged by Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday with Marcos Alonso‘s free kick the difference between the two teams.

Antonio Conte‘s side dominated for large periods and missed several good chances, yet Saints had opportunities on the break but failed to take them.

With the win Chelsea solidify third-place in the table, while Saints remain on 18 points and continue their slide down the table to 12th place.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Saints had a decent chance early on as Ryan Bertrand whipped in a delightful cross but Gary Cahill cleared under pressure from James Ward-Prowse.

Cedric was then forced off with injury for Saints after a heavy challenge from Cahill and Mario Lemina came on with a defensive reshuffle.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Willian went close but curled an effort wide and on the break Manolo Gabbiadini threatened but Fraser Foster was busy and Bertrand made a great last-ditch tackle to deny Willian.

Pedro‘s deflected effort hit the post just before the break but Saints couldn’t hold on until the break. Alonso caught Forster napping and snuck in a fine free kick at the near post to put Chelsea 1-0 up.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Willian danced free of Saints’ defense in the second half but fired well over and the visitors had their first big chance of the game as Charlie Austin came off the bench and his first act was to race free but Thibaut Courtois saved well.

Another substitute, Cesc Fabregas, went close as he almost made the most of quick free kick from Willian but his audacious effort went just wide.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Late on Saints pushed hard for an equalizer but Chelsea held on comfortably for their eighth win in their last 10 games.

Hardly champagne football from Chelsea, but Conte’s boys got the job done.

Brighton 1-1 Southampton: Southern spoils split

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  • Saints take lead off free kick
  • Gross sets up Murray equalizer
  • First league meeting since 2012

Steven Davis and Glenn Murray traded goals as South Coast Derby spoils were split between Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton at the Amex Stadium on Sunday.

Saints move ninth with 13 points, while the hosts sit 11th with 12.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

James Ward-Prowse presided over a sixth minute free kick as Saints looked for first blood. The effort struck the bar, but Davis was got to the rebound to head into the yawning goal. 1-0, 7′.

The hosts had most of the ball in a bid to respond quickly, though incisive efforts were few and far between as the game reached the half hour mark.

Saints established some possession after 30 minutes, and Dusan Tadic won a corner with a deflected attempt in the 34th minute.

The Seagulls were back at it before halftime, though, with Anthony Knockaert missing the goal before chipping a cute back post pass that was headed over frame.

Murray made it 1-1 early in the second half when he took advantage of a back post size mismatch with Cedric and nodded a cross past an offguard Fraser Forster.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

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PL Sunday preview: Unexpected battlers at the top, bottom

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Sunday’s slate of fixtures features a pair of relegation battlers as well as a pair of top-six chasers, only very few of the above happen to be who you thought they’d be at the start of the season…

[ PL ROUNDUP: Man City, Spurs win while everyone else drops points ]

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Everton — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Of the four sides set for action on Sunday, only Brighton have started the season as many predicted: in 16th after seven games, just two points clear of the relegation zone. Of the other three, Newcastle United would have been the next most likely to be faced with a relegation battle, but alas it’s Everton who head into Falmer Stadium 17th in the PL table, one spot and four goals worse off than the newly promoted Seagulls.

After spending $200 million in the summer, the Toffees were supposed to be the ones bidding to break up the top-six hierarchy — not Newcastle, as is actually the case.

“I accept that everyone is entitled to his opinion and as a coach I don’t run away from criticism,” Everton boss Ronald Koeman said this week. “We know within Everton that we currently play under our level and that the results should be better. The moment I made the move from Southampton to a club with such ambitions, I knew I could be in a difficult situation if investments were not accompanied by results. I’m pretty calm with it.”

As for Brighton, things are slowly but surely turning around. Having scored just five goals through seven games, four of the five have come in their last two home games — 3-1 and 1-0 victories over West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle, respectively. Brighton boss Chris Hughton, for one, isn’t panicking.

“We could have had slightly more than seven points but we’re a new team coming into this division and we’ve already played Arsenal and Man City,” he said this week. “There’s not a sense of satisfaction at this moment because when you have competitive players, you don’t like losing. But there’s more positives to come from the game than negatives.”

INJURIES: Brighton — OUT: Tomer Hemed (suspension), Steve Sidewell (back), Beram Kayal (leg), Sam Baldock (calf); QUESTIONABLE: Davy Propper (thigh) | Everton — OUT: Ross Barkley (hamstring), Ramiro Funes Mori (knee), Seamus Coleman (leg), Yannick Bolasie (knee); RETURNING: James McCarthy (knee)

[ MORE: De Bruyne’s brilliance lauded | Klopp no fan of Mourinho’s style ]

Southampton vs. Newcastle United — 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

A win at St. Mary’s Stadium on Sunday could see Newcastle climb as high as fifth in the league table, depending on the margin of victory (a run-of-the-mill five-goal win would do the trick). Rafa Benitez‘s side is undoubtedly one of the biggest stories of the still-young season, having lost their first two games following a tumultuous summer of transfer dealings, only to rebound with three straight wins and points from four of the following five games.

As for their opponents, back-to-back losses to Manchester United and Stoke City leave Southampton chasing three points just to climb back into the top half of the table. While Newcastle will have been disappointed for the recent international break to arrive when it did (their 1-1 draw with Liverpool two weeks ago put everyone on notice), it couldn’t have come at a better time for Saints. These kind of early-season struggles are to be expected, though, according to midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

“This season we have a new manager, a new style of play and a few new signings as well, which have had a positive impact on the team,” he said this week. “It’s a building process still for us all, but it’s a positive one in the making. After this two weeks, it’s a great chance for us to hit the ground running and take the league by storm now.”

INJURIES: Southampton — PROBABLE: Shane Long (hip) | Newcastle — OUT: Paul Dummett (hamstring); PROBABLE: Jonjo Shelvey (finger), Matthew Ritchie (thigh), Christian Atsu (knee)