Maya Yoshida

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Mourinho “really unhappy” at Man Utd’s penalty no-call

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At this point of his career and tenure as Manchester United manager, we’re so far down Jose Mourinho’s mind-games wormhole that it’s typically quite difficult nigh impossible to discern when — or, if ever — he’s being genuine and forthright with his comments, or attempting to twist the narrative in a way that’s more favorable to him and his team.

[ PL ROUNDUP: Chelsea leapfrog Man United for 2nd ]

Either Mourinho is a master of deception, or we’ve convinced ourselves over the last decade and a half that he is.

Fortunately for the simpletons among us, Saturday appeared to be one of the rare instances in which Mourinho was pretty plainspoken — or so he would have you believe — with his comments following his side’s 0-0 draw with Southampton. Asked about his general disappointment over ending 2017 with a draw — his side’s third straight — and slipping from second to third in the Premier League table, Mourinho went straight for his intended target: referee Craig Pawson — quotes from the BBC:

“I think it is also a disappointing afternoon for Craig, because he’s a fantastic referee, one of the best in Europe. Of course I think it was a penalty.

“We missed easy chances but I’m really unhappy with the penalty, not with Pawson’s performance — today I think Craig had a good performance, it was a big decision to make from Craig.”

Mourinho is, of course, referring to Pawson’s first-half non-call of a potential handball by Saints defender Maya Yoshida (WATCH HERE). As the incident occurred inside the Southampton penalty area, Mourinho is aggrieved his side was not awarded a penalty. He went on to explain his thought process in greater detail, while remaining mindful that a fine or suspension could be in his future (again) if he goes too far — quotes from the Independent:

“I saw it on the touchline and it was very clear. But I was 50 meters away from the decision so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

“Then when I see players like Juan Mata reacting so hysterically, I knew there was no doubt. At halftime, I watched it and it was a penalty — like the foul on (Marcus) Rashford against Leicester and the foul on (Ander) Herrera against City.

“I repeat that the three referees’ performances in those matches were good, but they were unlucky decisions for us. We have been punished.”

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.

Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield: No win in six for Saints

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  • Saints have won just one of their last 10 PL games (D3 L5) and are winless in their last six
  • Southampton haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 10 PL games
  • Huddersfield with 4 points from last 2 away games

Southampton’s winless run stretched to six Premier League games as they drew 1-1 with Huddersfield at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Charlie Austin gave Saints the lead but Laurent Depoitre equalized for the Terriers in a feisty festive clash.

With the point Saints move on to 19 for the season, while Huddersfield have 22 at the midway point of the season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Huddersfield started well with Tom Ince pulling the back to Aaron Mooy but the Australian took too much time to get his shot away and Jack Stephens blocked it.

The Terriers kept pouring forward and Christopher Schindler forced Fraser Forster into a fine save as he tipped the ball onto the bar and out.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Saints finally woke up and they took the lead midway through the first half. Austin stooped in to head home the opener to continue his fine recent form and give the home side the lead. 1-0.

Following the goal there was then a long stoppage in play as Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl was caught in the face by Austin’s boot, but referee Lee Probert decided to take no further action. Lossl denied Dusan Tadic before the break as Saints were worthy of their lead.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

In the second half Saints looked dangerous on the break with Nathan Redmond rushing clear but Austin fired wide, squandering a great chance.

Southampton were made to pay for that miss as Tommy Smith crossed from the right and Depoitre headed home after completely losing his marker. Terrible defending by Saints but the Terriers weren’t complaining. 1-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Huddersfield looked the most likely to grab the winner as Smith’s cross found Joe Lolley who then played in Scott Malone but his shot was saved by Forster.

Maya Yoshida saw a header hit the post, rebound of Lossl but fail to go in as the home side couldn’t find a winner.

Austin limped off with a hamstring injury late on to compound Saints’ misery as Pellegrino’s men now travel to Tottenham and Manchester United for their next two games.

Southampton 1-4 Leicester: Foxes thrash sorry Saints

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  • Okazaki scores twice
  • King, Mahrez grab a goal each
  • Four wins on the spin for Leicester

Leicester City beat Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday with former Saints boss Claude Puel seeing his side put on a show during his first return to Southampton.

The Foxes were 3-0 up at half time and it could’ve been more with Riyad Mahrez scoring a fine goal, then Shinji Okazaki and Andy King tapping home before the break.

Saints pulled one back through Maya Yoshida early in the second half as the hosts threatened an unlikely comeback but another devastating counter from Leicester saw Okazaki finish Southampton off.

With the win Leicester are in eighth place and five points off the top four with just one defeat in 12 games, while Saints have 18 points and are just four points above the relegation zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Saints started the game well as Maya Yoshida went close from two corners but Leicester always looked lively on the break and Jamie Vardy almost found Shinji Okazaki early on.

The home side didn’t heed that warning and Mahrez made it 1-0 to Leicester with a fine finish as he ran towards the box after two Saints players slipped up trying to tackle him, then struck low into the far corner from 25 yards out. Another beauty for the Mahrez collection.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Leicester took control of the game after going ahead with Okazaki’s deflected shot heading towards the top corner but Fraser Forster tipped wide.

Moments later the Japanese international through he had made it 2-0 but his shot was cleared off the line by Mario Lemina. Vardy was then brilliantly denied by Forster but soon after it was 2-0 as Christian Fuchs volleyed towards goal and Okazaki cleaned up in front of the net.

And it got worse for Saints as the Foxes flooded forward and from a set piece center back Harry Maguire whipped in a great cross for King to make it 3-0. Charlie Austin had a shot on target which Kasper Schmeichel beat away but that was as good as it got for Saints. A stunning first half for Leicester.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Saints were stunned and Manolo Gabbiadini came on at half time to try and salvage some pride.

They at least scored. A corner from the right found Yoshida and his header towards goal missed Tadic on the line and went in. 3-1. It should have been 3-2 soon after but somehow Schmeichel denied Austin from close range after a fine cross from Ryan Bertrand.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Any hope of a remarkable Saints comeback was extinguished with 20 minutes to go as a poor cross-field ball from Cedric found Mahrez who played the ball to Vardy and his cross was swept home by Okazaki for his second and Leicester’s fourth goal of the game. Game over.

Southampton 1-1 Arsenal: Giroud goal grabs point

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  • Austin produces three early chances, scores one
  • Arsenal with 67 percent possession
  • Giroud nods home equalizer

Southampton’s big striker Charlie Austin saw his early goal canceled out by Arsenal counterpart Olivier Giroud, as the Saints and Gunners split the spoils 1-1 at St. Mary’s on Sunday.

The point boosts Arsenal fifth with 29, while Southampton is 10th with 18.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Austin put Saints ahead in the third minute, driving his run forward to meet Dusan Tadic‘s chopped pass.

And he almost had a two on the scoreboard when Petr Cech made a sprawling stop on a similar enough low drive.

Arsenal had the better of the next 20 minutes, but the hosts came storming back just before the half hour mark. The intent and possession was there, but the touches sloppy in the box. It remained 1-0.

Fraser Forster came across his body to stop a low Aaron Ramsey drive in the 32nd minute.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Arsenal certainly produced its fair share of early shots, but it was Oriol Romeu who came close to an audacious second Southampton goal in the 62nd minute.

Ryan Bertrand came close to giving Saints a 2-0 lead when he dinked a ball over Cech only to see it meander wide of the far post.

Forster stopped an Alexis Sanchez free kick as the match hit the 85th minute.

Giroud got the job done in the 88th, coming off the bench to nod past Forster when Maya Yoshida mistimed his header.