LONDON: Manchester United suffered more woe from the penalty spot as they went down to a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace on an eventful Premier League yesterday which saw Frank Lampard celebrate his first win as Chelsea manager.
On another dramatic day in England’s top-flight, United’s hopes of continuing a promising unbeaten start to the campaign were undone by Palace’s 93rd-minute strike from Patrick van Aanholt in a 2-1 victory for Roy Hodgson’s strugglers.
Daniel James thought he had earned United a point by cancelling out Jordan Ayew’s first-half goal in the 89th minute but United were left to rue their second missed penalty of the week. After Paul Pogba had missed on Monday against Wolverhampton Wanderers, this time it was Marcus Rashford who spurned the opportunity, his shot hitting the inside of the post.
Once again, it seemed bound to call into question United’s wisdom of having no designated penalty taker but just a pair who decide between them who should take the spot kicks. In the lunchtime match, Lampard was relieved to celebrate his first managerial victory for the Blues at the fourth attempt as Tammy Abraham’s double inspired a thrilling 3-2 win at Norwich City for his youthful side.
Lampard, back at the club he graced for 13 years as a player, fielded the youngest Chelsea side in a league match for 25 years with an average age of 24. He was left delighted to see one of those young guns, 21-year-old Abraham, score his first goals for the club. Abraham struck in just the third minute, and after Norwich had twice fought back from a goal down, he also proved the match-winner at Carrow Road with another superb strike in the 68th minute.
Another of Lampard’s starlets, Mason Mount, also scored a fine goal while Teemu Pukki continued his dazzling start to the season for Norwich by netting a league-leading fifth goal. The Finn’s equaliser to make it 2-2 eventually proved in vain as Lampard got off the mark after a loss at Manchester United, defeat to Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup and a draw with Leicester City.
“Our performances haven’t given us what we deserved so far — but today it did,” said Lampard. Abraham, who became the youngest player to score twice in a Premier League match for Chelsea for 21 years, added: “It is something I have always dreamed about doing, to score for my childhood club.” Manchester United and Norwich were among those sides who missed out on the chance to temporarily take top spot before the League’s top two clubs, Liverpool and Arsenal, put their perfect six-point records on the line in Saturday’s late match.
Leicester City moved up to third place on five points after a first-half goal from Jamie Vardy and a thunderously struck winner from Harvey Barnes repelled the fightback from Sheffield United, for whom record signing Ollie McBurnie scored his first goal. Brighton & Hove Albion’s encouraging start under Graham Potter also hit the buffers after the 30th-minute sending off of Florin Andone allowed Southampton to take control and win 2-0 on the road with second-half goals from substitute Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond.
Watford saw their painful, pointless start to the season continue with a 3-1 defeat at Vicarage Road to West Ham United, for whom new record French signing Sebastien Haller scored a second-half double. – AFP