Premier League Round-Up

Liverpool close gap on Arsenal and ruin Wilder’s Sheffield United return

Elsewhere, Fulham fired five past Nottingham Forest while there were also wins for Brighton and Bournemouth.

Sky Sports Premier League / YouTube

Sheffield United 0

Liverpool 2

VIRGIL VAN DIJK and Dominik Szoboszlai goals ensured Liverpool ruined Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United homecoming with a 2-0 victory at Bramall Lane.

The Dutch centre-backfired home from a first-half corner and Szoboszlai added a second at the death to give the Reds all three points in South Yorkshire to extend their Premier League unbeaten run to eight games.

Jurgen Klopp’s men closed the gap on league leaders Arsenal to just two points.

Wilder was condemned to defeat in his first game back as Blades manager, two-and-a-half years after he left in March 2021, following Tuesday’s sacking of Paul Heckingbottom.

This was United’s 12th defeat from 15 games and although they are only four points behind Luton, they look to have a mountain to climb.

The 56-year-old was given a warm welcome before the game and his side started with enthusiasm, creating two openings in the first 20 minutes.

sheffield-uk-06th-dec-2023-virgil-van-dijk-4-of-liverpool-scores-a-goal-to-make-it-0-1-during-the-premier-league-match-sheffield-united-vs-liverpool-at-bramall-lane-sheffield-united-kingdom-6t Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring on 37 minutes. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Cameron Archer led a lightning quick counter-attack and played in James McAtee, who really should have done better than to just poke straight at Caoimhin Kelleher from eight yards out.

It was Archer who had the next chance as he was given space to run in on goal until Van Dijk came across and blocked his shot at the vital moment.

Liverpool were far from their fluent best but began to take control and took the lead in the 37th minute.

Van Dijk was left completely free from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner and he stroked home from 12 yards for his first goal of the season.

The visitors continued to control the game and Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham had to be alert to tip Alexis Mac Allister’s dipping shot over the crossbar before the break.

Foderingham made an even better save 10 minutes into the second half as he showed brilliant reactions to palm over Mohamed Salah’s volley from another Alexander-Arnold corner.

The Blades managed to get a foothold in the game but their lack of quality in attack ensured that Kelleher was untested in the Liverpool goal as he filled in for the injured Allison Becker.

liverpools-dominik-szoboszlai-scores-their-sides-second-goal-of-the-game-during-the-premier-league-match-at-bramall-lane-sheffield-picture-date-wednesday-december-6-2023 Dominik Szoboszlai wrapped up the three points in stoppage time. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

It was the Reds who had chances to kill the game as an incisive pass from the creative Alexander-Arnold played in Darwin Nunez but Foderingham again came to the Blades’ rescue.

United threw bodies forward in the final 10 minutes in a bid to try and earn a point, but they again failed to trouble Kelleher, with McAtee’s early effort their only shot on target in the match.

Instead, it was Liverpool who found a late goal, Szoboszlai clinically firing home after Nunez had won the ball back deep into time added on.

Sky Sports Premier League / YouTube

Fulham 5-0 Nottingham Forest

Alex Iwobi and Raul Jimenez scored doubles as Fulham heaped the pressure on Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper with a 5-0 victory at Craven Cottage.

Tom Cairney also found the net to ensure the Cottagers bounced back from their late disappointment at Anfield on Sunday and condemned struggling Forest to a fourth consecutive defeat.

Ireland international Andrew Omobamidele was named among Forest’s substitutes for the first time since his deadline day move, but finished the game as an unused substitute.

london-uk-6th-dec-2023-alex-iwobi-of-fulham-celebrates-scoring-his-sides-opening-goal-during-the-premier-league-match-at-craven-cottage-london-picture-credit-should-read-david-kleinsportimage Alex Iwobi leads the Fulham celebrations after opening the scoring. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Fulham took time to warm up after Sunday’s 4-3 agonising defeat at Liverpool, but after a scrappy opening, took the lead in the 30th minute.

Willian produced a moment of genius when he jinked inside onto his right foot and produced a perfect back-post cross to Iwobi, who avoided his marker to tap home from close range.

The Cottagers had the bit between their teeth and scored a second in the 34th minute.

A well-timed challenge in midfield by Joao Palhinha saw Iwobi combine with Pereira before he slipped in Jimenez and the striker rifled his effort into the top corner.

The Mexican, who had struggled for goals earlier in the season, looked full of confidence and grabbed his second of the match in the 54th minute.

The creative Pereira found Jimenez and he brought it down on his chest and rounded Odysseas Vlachodimos before finishing with a deft backheel into the empty net.

nottingham-forest-manager-steve-cooper-looks-dejected-following-the-premier-league-match-at-craven-cottage-london-picture-date-wednesday-december-6-2023 Forest boss Steve Cooper apologises to the travelling supporters. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Fulham grabbed a fourth through Iwobi after 73 minutes. Harry Wilson found space down the byline and his cutback found the winger who finished first time to grab his brace.

Cairney got in on the action to make it 5-0 after 86 minutes. The skipper wandered into acres of space through the middle of Forest’s backline and calmly stroked home.

Brighton 2-1 Brentford

England U19 international Jack Hinshelwood claimed his first Premier League goal to earn Brighton a 2-1 comeback win over Brentford at the Amex Stadium.

The 18-year-old full-back, making only his fifth top-flight appearance, headed home Pascal Gross’ cross early in the second half, having cleared Yoane Wissa’s effort off his own goal-line just a minute earlier.

Stand-in Albion skipper Gross levelled for the hosts in the opening period after they fell behind against the run of play to a Bryan Mbeumo penalty.

brighton-and-hove-uk-6th-dec-2023-goalscorer-jack-hinshelwood-of-brighton-and-hove-albion-celebrates-after-the-premier-league-match-at-the-amex-stadium-brighton-and-hove-picture-credit-should-r Jack Hinshelwood was Brighton's matchwinner at the Amex. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Bees forward Mbeumo was later forced off by a nasty-looking ankle injury on a disappointing evening for the visitors, while his replacement Wissa was perhaps fortunate to avoid a second-half red card for swinging a hand into the face of Billy Gilmour.

The match-winning contribution of Sussex-born Hinshelwood, whose father Adam played 100 league games for Brighton between 2002 and 2009, earned his side a first home victory since 24 September following three successive score draws.

The Seagulls shaded a forgettable opening period devoid of goalmouth action before Brentford capitalised on sloppy defending to snatch the lead in the 27th minute with their first attack.

Bees captain Vitaly Janelt was pulled down by Jan Paul van Hecke following an impressive burst into the box and Mbeumo coolly sent Jason Steele the wrong way to find the bottom left corner from 12 yards.

Gross, leading the team in place of the banned Lewis Dunk, thumped home the eye-catching equaliser just four minutes later, taking a touch on the edge of the Bees’ 18-yard box after collecting the ball from Kaoru Mitoma before rifling a left-footed drive into the bottom right corner.

Teenager Hinshelwood took centre stage after the restart with a couple of key contributions in the space of two minutes to decisively turn the game in Brighton’s favour.

The academy graduate, who joined the club at the age of seven, was alert to deny Wissa a certain goal before rising above Bees substitute Keane Lewis-Potter at the other end to nod in Gross’ scooped cross from the left.

Sky Sports Premier League / YouTube

Crystal Palace 0-2 Bournemouth

Substitute Kieffer Moore’s second-half stoppage-time header sealed a 2-0 victory for surging Bournemouth over a frustrated Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Marcos Senesi put the Cherries ahead in the 25th minute with a nodded effort of his own in a first half that saw Tyrick Mitchell forced off in another worrying scene for the injury-plagued hosts.

Jefferson Lerma came closest for the Eagles when he hit the upright early in the second half, but his side remain in search of just their second Premier League victory at home.

Moore, who was introduced in the 88th minute, buried any hope of splitting the points in south London and ensured his side made it 13 points from their last six league games ahead of Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford.

bournemouths-kieffer-moore-scoring-his-sides-second-goal-during-the-premier-league-match-at-selhurst-park-london-picture-date-wednesday-december-6-2023 Kieffer Moore sealed the points for Bournemouth late on. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

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