Manchester United fight back again but Arsenal extend unbeaten run in four-goal thriller

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (C) tries to hold off Arsenal's Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, UK, on December 5, 2018. (AFP / Oli Scarff)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Manchester United fight back again but Arsenal extend unbeaten run in four-goal thriller

  • Manchester United settles for a draw with Arsenal, avoiding damaging defeat

MANCHESTER, UK: Manchester United avoided another damaging defeat as Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard twice quickly levelled at Old Trafford to earn a 2-2 draw with Arsenal and offer some rest bite to beleaguered manager Jose Mourinho.
Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to 20 games and went ahead through Shkodran Mustafi and Alexandre Lacazette in each half only for United to respond almost instantly.
But Mourinho’s men remain eight points off the top four in eighth place after a fourth straight league game without a win.
Mourinho had opted to leave out-of-form big name stars Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku on his bench and when United conceded first, for the 11th time in 21 games this season, his supporters might have feared the worst.
Indeed, Arsenal’s opening goal featured that rarest of collector’s items, a mistake by United’s Spanish international goalkeeper David de Gea.
Chris Smalling slipped at Lucas Torreira’s 26th minute corner, allowing Mustafi the space to send a free header bouncing into the ground and goalwards.
It looked a routine save for United’s number one but he succeeded only in pushing the ball into the air, two-handed, over his own head and over the goalline, despite Ander Herrera’s desperation clearance.
Yet, as so often has been the case this season, United responded to going behind.
Rojo, playing for the first time this season after a long-term knee injury, unleashed a terrific shot which Bernd Leno kept out at the foot of his left-hand post.
Herrera responded quickly, although replays suggested he may have been fractionally offside, reaching the loose ball on the by-line and turning it into the six-yard area where Martial was able to convert.
That dramatic pattern would be repeated after 68 minutes when Arsenal regained a lead they could only hold, on this occasion, for 74 seconds.
Lacazette played a one-two with fellow substitute Henrikh Mkhitaryan and advanced into the area where Rojo tackled him from behind and succeeded only in turning the ball off the French international and into the net.
But there could be no faulting United’s response as Arsenal panicked at a long ball punted forward, almost directly from kick-off.
Lukaku caused uncertainty in the visitors’ area and as Sead Kolasinac tried to turn the ball back to his goalkeeper, he allowed Lingard to ghost in and complete a simple finish past Leno.
Error-strewn as it might have been, there could be no faulting the entertainment in the first Manchester United-Arsenal fixture since 1986 to take place without either Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger in one of the dug-outs.
De Gea made amends for his first-half error with two fine saves to deny in-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Mkhitaryan also wasting a good close-range chance in between.
Neither Mkhitaryan nor the injured Alexis Sanchez have shone since a January swap deal between the clubs, but only the offside flag denied the Armenian coming back to haunt United in stoppage time when he rifled home after another decent De Gea stop from Torreira.


Leonard stars as Raptors claw back with win over Bucks

Updated 20 May 2019
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Leonard stars as Raptors claw back with win over Bucks

  • Milwaukee’s MVP finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo struggles to just 12 points
  • He then fouled out in the first minute of the second overtime period

LOS ANGELES: Kawhi Leonard scored eight of his 36 points in the second overtime period Sunday to lead the Toronto Raptors to a gritty 118-112 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
The Raptors, who dropped the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Milwaukee, clawed their way back to 2-1 in front of home fans and will try to level the set when they host game four on Tuesday.
Pascal Siakam scored 25 points and Spanish center Marc Gasol added 16 for the Raptors, who got off to a quick start and led much of the night but had to battle to put the Bucks away.
“We just played a lot tougher,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “We were up guarding, we were physical. We were ready to play tonight.”
Milwaukee’s Most Valuable Player finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo struggled to just 12 points on five-of-16 shooting.
Antetokounmpo’s 23 rebounds helped the Bucks stay in touch, but he didn’t reach double figures in points until the middle of the fourth quarter and he produced eight of the Bucks’ 20 turnovers.
Antetokounmpo fouled out in the first minute of the second overtime period.
Moments later the Bucks managed to edge ahead 105-103 — taking the lead for the first time since Antetokounmpo scored the game’s opening basket — but Leonard and the Raptors roared back.
Leonard’s steal and dunk put Toronto ahead 112-109 and his driving bank shot gave Toronto a 114-110 lead with 32.4 seconds remaining.
Leonard played a key role in limiting Antetokounmpo and Nurse said his defensive play was “probably the biggest key of the game.”
“Not only did he just play good, but he made some huge plays with some steals and rip-aways and break aways,” Nurse said.
“Offense was hard to come by there for both teams for a while and any time you can get a steal and a break out it’s a huge momentum play.”
Toronto had a chance to win it in regulation, but they let a 96-91 lead slip away in the final 1:13 of the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee guard Khris Middleton’s putback basket from his own miss with 2.2 seconds left in regulation forced overtime.
The Raptors led 103-99 with 1:29 remaining in the first extra session.
But Malcolm Brogdon floated in a shot and George Hill drained two free throws to tie it before Leonard’s jump shot fell short.
The Raptors overcame a slow night from Kyle Lowry, who scored 11 points before fouling out with 6:12 left in the fourth.
Although Leonard scored 19 points in the fourth quarter and both overtimes, some grimaces from the Raptors star sparked concerns he might be injured.
“I’m feeling all right,” he said. “This is playoff basketball. Everybody’s hurting, you just have to keep fighting.”
Hill led the Bucks with 24 points and fellow reserve Brogdon added 20. Center Brook Lopez led the Bucks starters with 16 points.
“I feel like we gave ourselves several chances,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We weren’t able to get over the hump.
“When you have opportunities you’ve got to make them and we didn’t quite make enough of our good ones. I think we’ll be better in game four, Giannis, everybody.”