Arsenal captain Xhaka enraged; Liverpool beats Tottenham

Sports

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, right, celebrates with his teammate Jordan Henderson after scoring his side’s second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

LONDON (AP) — Arsenal and Tottenham scored early before it all started to unravel for the north London clubs in the Premier League on Sunday.

Arsenal established a two-goal lead over Crystal Palace before capitulating, conceding twice and seeing its captain appearing to storm off in anger in a 2-2 draw.

Tottenham took a shock lead at Anfield but there would be no first away win since January as unbeaten Liverpool fought back to win 2-1 and restore its six-point lead over champion Manchester City at the top.

But Manchester United did win on the road for the first time in the league since February, overcoming Norwich 3-1.

CAPTAIN RAGES

The decision by Arsenal manager Unai Emery to withdraw captain Granit Xhaka in the second half was initially greeted by large cheers.

They turned to jeers as Xhaka took his time to leave the field despite the score being level.

Xhaka reacted by waving his arms, cupping his ears and seemingly mouthing a profanity twice as he pushed away a handshake from Emery. Xhaka took off his shirt and headed straight down the tunnel.

“He’s wrong but we are going to speak inside about that situation,” Emery told the BBC. “I want to be calm but, really, he was wrong in this action.”

It had started so well, with goals in the opening nine minutes.

Arsenal defensive duo Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz scored inside 106 seconds.

But it started to go wrong in the 32nd minute when Luka Milivojevic netted a penalty that was awarded after a VAR review. Palace winger Wilfried Zaha had initially been booked for diving.

“I didn’t understand the referee and VAR reaction,” Emery said. “For me there is no confusion. It is not a good decision.”

Jordan Ayew’s fourth goal in eight games brought Palace level before further VAR drama as Sokratis was denied a late winner when the review spotted a foul by Calum Chambers moments earlier.

LIVERPOOL RECOVERY

Liverpool’s breakthrough on its way to a sixth European Cup by beating Tottenham in June came when Mousa Sissoko handled after 22 seconds to concede a penalty. Redemption came after 148 days for the French midfielder, and almost as quickly.

Sissoko launched a counterattack that was completed by Son Heung-min hitting the bar and Tottenham striker Harry Kane heading in the rebound after 47 seconds.

But Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson volleyed in the equalizer seven minutes into the second half.

And Mohamed Salah, who netted the early penalty in the Champions League final, was on target again for the spot after Serge Aurier fouled Sadio Mane.

Tottenham was left with only 12 points from 10 points in Pochettino’s worst start since taking charge in 2014.

Liverpool, which was held by Manchester United last weekend, has 28 points from a possible 30 as it chases a first title since 1990. Juergen Klopp’s side is six points ahead of Manchester City ahead of the second-place champions’ visit to Anfield in two weeks.

UNITED DOUBLE

For the first time since the opening weekend victory over Chelsea, United scored more than once in a league game.

United broke the deadlock through Scott McTominay’s low drive and in the process became the first club to score 2,000 Premier League goals.

The visitors were then awarded a penalty after a VAR review in the 28th minute, only for Tim Krul to save Marcus Rashford’s effort, but the forward made up for it moments later to get his 50th United goal.

United missed its second penalty before halftime when Anthony Martial was denied as Krul again guessed correctly to keep his side in the game.

It was 3-0 in the 73rd as Martial made up for his penalty miss before Norwich pulled one back in the 88th through halftime substitute Onel Hernandez, who became the first Cuban goalscorer in Premier League history.

NEWCASTLE DENIED WIN

Wolverhampton, playing its 20th game of the season due to Europa League commitments, trailed to Jamaal Lascelles’ first-half header for Newcastle.

But the visitors dominated the second half and got their reward when Jonny leveled from close range in the 73rd minute after goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka palmed Matt Doherty’s cross into his path.

Newcastle had Sean Longstaff sent off in the 82nd for a challenge on Ruben Neves.

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