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Arsenal fight back from two goals down to draw at Chelsea

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LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Arsenal fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw and preserve their unbeaten start to the Premier League season in a high-energy encounter at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with late goals from Declan Rice and Leandro Trossard.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea, who looked good for their lead until midway through the second half, had gone ahead in the 15th minute through a cool Cole Palmer penalty.Report this ad

Arsenal defender William Saliba rose to hold off Mykhailo Mudryk and the Ukrainian’s header glanced off his opponent’s hand. Referee Christopher Kavanagh awarded the spot kick after a VAR check.

Mudryk, ever busy in attack, scored Chelsea’s second three minutes after the break, lifting the ball into the top right hand corner of the net over the stranded Raya.

There was some debate over whether he meant to cross the ball or was aiming for the goal, but the jubilant crowd, who have watched their side struggle for points in recent months, did not care.

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It was an evening of goalkeeping nerves with both Raya and Chelsea keeper Robert Sanchez making errors in the high energy encounter.

Sanchez’s sloppy distribution led to Arsenal’s 76th minute strike from Declan Rice, who pounced on the loose ball before the Chelsea defenders and sent it past the out-of -position keeper into an open goal.

Rice, a former Chelsea junior, said he had to decide quickly what to do with the ball.eport this ad

“Instead of driving the ball with my laces I had to curl it. It was a quick instinct about whether to pass the ball to someone or take it on,” he told BBC.

Arsenal, encouraged, poured forward and Chelsea were forced to defend deeply in the final quarter of the game.

Substitute Leandro Trossard then silenced Stamford Bridge in the 84th minute with a neat finish from a fine Bukayo Saka cross to earn Mikel Arteta’s side a point.

They returned to second in the table, level on 21 points with leaders Manchester City while Chelsea are ninth, on 12.

Reporting by Clare Lovell; Editing by Hugh Lawson

anchester United head coach Erik ten Hag said Harry Maguire is “playing like we want him to” after a man-of-the-match showing in the 2-1 victory at Sheffield United.

Maguire started his second successive Premier League game and managed to stand out against his boyhood club at Bramall Lane as the Red Devils marked the death of Sir Bobby Charlton with three points in South Yorkshire.

The England centre-half’s career at Old Trafford appeared to be over after he was stripped of the captaincy and given permission to pursue a move to West Ham in the summer, but he was always committed to regaining Ten Hag’s favour.

He looks to be doing that now, with the Dutchman – who is among the favourites to win the Premier League sack race – impressed by his Bramall Lane performance.

“I have to say Harry is playing like we want him to play,” he said.

“Very proactive out of possession, dominating his opponent, stepping in when necessary, reading the game, good covering but also in possession very proactive, stepping in, delivering good passes, switching, yes, I am happy with his performance.”

The Red Devils hardly put in a fitting performance to remember Charlton by but they got the job done against a team who are yet to win this season.

They went ahead against the run of play when Scott McTominay scored his third goal in two games but Oli McBurnie’s penalty quickly levelled for the Blades before the break.

READ MORE: Transfer gossip… £60m Man Utd bid ‘would be accepted’; Arsenal, Newcastle, Spurs ‘scout’ £87m starlet

Ten Hag’s men improved after the interval and won it in the 77th minute through Diogo Dalot’s curling effort.

A long season is on the cards for the Blades, who have taken just one point from their opening nine games of the season.

They have been hit hard by injuries, losing captain John Egan and vice-captain Chris Basham to serious knocks, and they suffered more bad news on that front.

Anel Ahmedhodzic missed out with a hamstring injury, while McBurnie limped off with a groin problem.

On Ahmedhodzic, boss Paul Heckingbottom said: “It’s his hamstring. He jumped for a header in training and hurt his hamstring. He’s had a scan. It will be weeks.”

“Oli’s groin started impacting him. It was sore at half-time and we tried taping it up but you could see it was impacting him running.

“We had to bring him off because he was hindered by that but also to protect him as well.”

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