Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal: Walcott helps Arsenal level late to stay in third

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Arsenal appeared second-best for much of the first half, but a late goal off the foot of Theo Walcott past substitute goalkeeper Victor Valdes gave the Gunners a strong road draw to keep them in third place.

The match started sluggishly, although Manchester United began with most of the early half-chances with Falcao and Marouane Fellaini proving a handful, despite poor with the final ball. Arsenal looked to play on the break, and had an opportunity with 20 minutes gone as Per Mertesacker launched a long-ball for Olivier Giroud up top.

The first half-hour was a tactical chess match, but it came to life on the 30-minute mark as Manchester United took the lead at home. Ashley Young chipped a cross to the far post, and Ander Herrera was there to rip it home past David Ospina who was late to track.

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That was all Old Trafford would see in the first half, as the game settled back into where it had been before the goal. The home side finished with 62% possession in the opening 45 minutes and it felt like more. However, Arsenal’s defense held strong and frustrated the Red Devils attackers.

With Wayne Rooney injured and watching from the stands, Manchester United crosses repeatedly fell to defenders in the box. After a promising first half, Falcao was relatively invisible early in the second, and he came off for Robin van Persie. Just past the hour mark, Arsenal looked for another counter-attack and Alexis Sanchez found Giroud but the Frenchman was smothered well by United goalkeeper David de Gea while free on goal.

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The game then burst open for a moment Santi Cazorla mistake ruined another great Arsenal chance before De Gea distributed the ball to start a United break, but Hector Bellerin was there to save the Gunners with a tackle after a heavy touch from Young.

A host of substitutions came on with 17 minutes to go, and confusion reigned for a moment as David de Gea went off the field with no warning, and he would eventually head to the tunnel with an apparent injury. Former Barcelona star Victor Valdes would come on to make his Manchester United debut.

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That would come into play just seven minutes later as substitute Theo Walcott took a long ball on the right flank and worked Tyler Blackett to the touchline before hitting a tight-angle shot past a falling Valdes to equalize. The goal was ruled an own-goal as it took a slight deflection off Blacket to direct it on net. Arsenal took control and nearly struck again a minute later but Giroud missed his one-timer wide from close range. Van Persie had a late opportunity of his own on the other end minutes later, but powered his shot high off the bounce.

Without the full three points, the Gunners are eliminated from contention for second place, but the draw is still important as they maintain a two-point lead over Manchester United for third place in the table. Third place earns a spot in the Champions League group stage, while fourth must play a play-off matchup, which now features a team from a stronger league thanks to the new rules.

LINEUPS:

Manchester United: De Gea (Valdes 74′), Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Rojo (Blackett 73′), Mata, Blind, Herrera, Young, Fellaini, Falcao (Van Persie 61′).

Goals: Herrera 30′

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin (Walcott 72′), Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla (Wilshere 73′), Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis (Flamini 90′), Giroud.

Goals: Blackett (og) 81′

Man City skates by West Ham in Premier League Asia Trophy

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Manchester City’s youth squad did the first-half job, which meant the heavy artillery coming off the bench was that much scarier. Man City came from behind to lead at halftime, and Raheem Sterling scored twice in the second half and the defending Premier League champions were no match for West Ham in a 4-1 victory in the semifinals of the Premier League Asia Trophy in Nanjing.

Pep Guardiola started a mostly second-choice lineup from the opening whistle, with David Silva and Aymeric Laporte the only true first-teamers in the squad. Claudio Bravo manned the net to begin, with new arrival Rodri also among the starters. West Ham’s lineup, meanwhile, was a strong one with Felipe Anderson, Mark Noble, Angelo Ogbonna, Jack Wilshere, Michail Antonio, and Manuel Lanzini all among a first-choice starting lineup.

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West Ham took the lead 25 minutes in through Noble who delivered from the penalty spot, but not without help from Felipe who was the star of the first half for the Hammers and won the penalty after sending Manchester City defender Angelino to the ground.

The lead didn’t last long as David Silva leveled things up in the 33rd minute, a wonderful start to his final season at Manchester City. He received a fabulous delivery from 18-year-old Spanish youth international Adrian Bernabe who rifled one to the far post where Silva was waiting, and the 33-year-old chested it down before unpacking a low finish from a tight angle.

City would go in front three minutes later as 20-year-old Man City youth product Lukas Nmecha won a soft penalty on a foul by Ogbonna, and the youngster took it himself and buried the spot-kick for the lead.

Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane all came on at halftime for the defending Premier League champions, while West Ham brought on the likes of Robert Snodgrass, Javier Hernandez, and Andriy Yarmolenko.

The changes for Manchester City overwhelmed West Ham, with Sane picking up a loose ball near the halfway line and feeding a beautiful pass through the back line to Sterling clean on goal who put City 3-1 up on the hour mark. That saw John Stones, Kyle Walker, Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko all come in off the bench for Pep Guardiola and into the fray.

The big three did it again in the 72nd minute as de Bruyne picked Carlos Sanchez’s pocket in the attacking third and fed Sane on the left. He sent it back to de Bruyne who layed it off for Sterling’s second goal of the match.

In squad notes, a pair of England youth internationals went the distance for Man City as Ian Poveda-Ocampo and Taylor Harwood-Bellis were the only two to complete the full 90 minutes. Notable for West Ham, Winston Reid came off the bench for the final 19 minutes, his first game action in over 16 months.

Rashford, James, Pogba star as Manchester United hammers Leeds in Perth

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Manchester United topped Leeds 4-0 in a comprehensive victory in Perth that saw Marcus Rashford and new signing Daniel James run rampant down the flanks.

Rashford scored in the 27th minute with a beautiful move down the left that threw two Leeds defenders into each other, while James struck the post just before halftime on an overlap down the right in his Red Devils debut.

Also on the scoresheet was 17-year-old Mason Greenwood who received a hard, low cross from fellow debutant Aaron Wan-Bissaka and beat two Leeds defenders in a footrace to the ball on the doorstep for a sliding finish. The move was started by Paul Pogba who found the new Manchester United defender down the right with a wonderful through-ball, leading to the delivery into the box. Greenwood has had quite the last 12 months, scoring for the Manchester United U-17, U-18, U-23, and now senior side all in that span.

After the break, Phil Jones found the back of the net by powering home a corner with his head, while Anthony Martial finished off the scoreline with a penalty after Tahith Chong was fouled in the area by Liam Cooper. Chong impressed throughout the second half, linking well with fellow Manchester United youth product Angel Gomes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer found playing time for just about every first-teamer, completely changing the side at halftime. Nemanja Matic was one of the halftime introductions, but was curiously withdrawn with 12 minutes to go, unclear if due to injury. The only Red Devil in the squad to not see the field was 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe.

Wolves rocks Newcastle in Premier League Asia Trophy

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A rough summer continued for Newcastle as the Magpies were hammered in Nanjing by a first-choice Wolves lineup 4-0 in Premier League Asia Trophy action.

Diogo Jota scored a pair, and England youth international Morgan Gibbs-White added a third as Wolves took a commanding 3-0 lead into the break. As both sides rung changes in the second half, an Allan Thomas own-goal with five minutes remaining finished the scoreline and doomed Newcastle to yet another summer misstep.

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For Wolves, it was a promising start to preseason play as the lineup featured a host of regulars, with only Mexican international Raul Jimenez, still resting after a successful Gold Cup campaign, missing from the starting eleven. Jota was particularly spectacular, with a brilliant touch in the buildup to his first goal rewarded with the finish, plus his second – Wolves third – where he snatched the ball straight off the feet of Newcastle defender Isaac Hayden in the penalty area.

Gibbs-White also scored off a Newcastle turnover in its own defensive third, with Jonny picking the pocket of Jamie Sterry on the left flank and finding the 19-year-old alone in the middle for a powerful finish from outside the top of the box.

Newcastle has had a rough summer, with the club losing manager Rafa Benitez, selling leading scorer Ayoze Perez, and failing to secure second-leading scorer Salomon Rondon on a permanent basis. The club has yet to sign a single player and was forced to overpay for Steve Bruce, who was in charge for the match against Wolves.

Watch Live: PL Asia Trophy – Newcastle v. Wolves, Man City v. West Ham

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The 2019-20 Premier League Asia Trophy kicks off in China on Wednesday, as four Premier League teams go head-to-head in one of the premier offseason competitions.

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Reigning PL champions Manchester City are involved, while Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle are also out in the Far East. This is the second time the tournament has been held in mainland China, with the two semifinals on Wednesday held in Nanjing, while the final and third-place match will be held in Shanghai on Saturday.

Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s games in Nanjing’s Olympic Sports Centre.

Newcastle United v. Wolves – 6 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Man City v. West Ham – 8:30 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE