Man Utd stunned by Palace, Arsenal grabs late winner


LONDON: Manchester United suffered a miserable start to their Premier League campaign as Wilfried Zaha fired Crystal Palace to a shock 3-1 win at Old Trafford, while Arsenal struck late through substitute Eddie Nketiah to beat West Ham 2-1.

On a day of high drama Leeds edged Fulham 4-3 to earn their first top-flight victory since 2004 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) and Everton went top of the table as Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 destruction of 10-man West Brom.

On the second weekend of the new campaign, United were playing for the first time after being given an extra week of rest because of their involvement in the latter stages of last season’s Europa League.

London: Arsenal’s English striker Eddie Nketiah (R) celebrates scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 19, 2020. AFP PHOTO

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s lethargic side were well below their best and Palace took full advantage thanks to Andros Townsend’s seventh minute strike and Zaha’s double against his former club.

There was a hint of controversy about Zaha’s first goal as VAR ruled Victor Lindelof had handled Jordan Ayew’s shot even though the ball was hit with force at him from close quarters.

David de Gea saved Ayew’s spot-kick, but VAR intervened again to order a retake as United’s keeper had strayed off his line and this time Zaha converted from the spot.

United’s only close-season signing Donny van de Beek came off the bench and the former Ajax midfielder reduced the deficit with a debut goal in the 80th minute.

But Zaha, who endured a difficult spell at United before rejoining Palace, showed why the Eagles are so keen to keep him amid speculation over his future as the Ivory Coast winger lashed home in the 85th minute.

For the first time in six years, United were beaten in their opening league game.

It was a chastening start to the season for United, who have come under fire from fans frustrated at their relatively modest transfer outlay compared to their title rivals.

Arsenal capitalized on the chance to open up a six-point gap over United in the battle for a top-four finish despite a poor performance of their own.

Alexandre Lacazette headed the Gunners into a 25th minute lead from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross.

But Mikel Arteta’s men were largely outplayed by the Hammers, who faced stinging criticism after a 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle on the opening weekend.

Michail Antonio levelled just before half-time and came close putting the visitors’ in front when his header came crashing back off the crossbar.

But Arsenal grabbed all three points five minutes from time when Dani Ceballos broke the West Ham offside trap and squared for Nketiah to tap home.



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