Football: Kiwi Chris Wood capitalises on Arsenal gaffe to claim share of points for Burnley

A dreadful defensive error from Arsenal's Granit Xhaka has gifted Burnley an equaliser, as the sides drew 1-1 at Turf Moor in the Premier League.

Dani Ceballos hit the post in stoppage time after some late VAR drama saw a penalty and red card against Burnley overturned as the Lancashire side, 15th in the table, drew for the fifth straight home game.

The Gunners had taken a sixth minute lead when Willian ran at the Burnley defence and fed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose low shot snuck in at the near post despite Burnley keeper Nick Pope getting a hand to the ball.

Mikel Arteta's side looked comfortably in charge of the game, until the shocking mistake six minutes before the break.

Arsenal attempted to play the ball out from the back with keeper Bernd Leno passing to Xhaka deep in the penalty area, but the Swiss international's attempted pass to David Luiz struck Clarets striker Chris Wood and ricocheted into the net.

The North Londoners struggled to put Burnley under pressure after the interval, with Arteta eventually turning to Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette to liven up his attack.

Arsenal felt they should have had a penalty when the ball struck the arm of Burnley's Erik Pieters in the box, but shortly after the Dutchman went close to putting his side ahead, with a volley that Leno did well to tip over the bar.

Leno was in action again when Matej Vydra slipped the ball across the box to Wood, but the striker's shot was superbly kept out by the diving German keeper.

Pepe missed a good opportunity at the other end and was then involved in some VAR drama when referee Andre Marriner awarded a penalty and sent off Pieters for handball, as he cleared a goalbound Pepe shot.

Both decisions were then overturned by VAR after replays showed Pieters had chested the ball.

An unfortunate afternoon for Arteta's 10th-placed side concluded when Ceballos' fierce drive in stoppage time rattled against the bar.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche said the VAR decision was an example of the value of the system.

"That is what VAR is for, those exact moments. That is when it (VAR) is worth its weight in gold, because it clearly hits him on the shoulder," he said.

"The only thing I would say about the referee, is that he couldn't wait to get the red card and I don't know why that is. Just take a moment and absorb it and then make a decision, in my opinion," added Dyche.

Arsenal keeper Leno said Xhaka had been unfortunate with the Burnley goal.

"We wanted to build out again because it had been working, and it was very unlucky from Granit but it happens.

"There is always risk to play out from the back, but this is our style. I think we have more than enough situations where it works to our advantage," he said. 

Southampton triumph in Sheffield

Che Adams celebrates his goal
Che Adams celebrates his goal Photo credit: Getty

Southampton has claimed their first Premier League victory in 10 games as skipper James Ward-Prowse's first-half penalty and a thunderbolt from Che Adams secured a 2-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Southampton, league leaders in November, have been dragged into the bottom half of the table due to poor form and injuries, but Ralph Hasenhuettl's 14th-placed side showed their battling qualities in his 100th game in charge.

"It's a huge relief," Ward-Prowse said.

"We all admit it's been a tough run but getting that first win after a while is great... When you go through a spell like we did, everybody starts to talk, but there's belief in the manager and we executed our plan perfectly."

Southampton went ahead in the 32nd minute through midfielder Ward-Prowse's penalty after Ethan Ampadu mistimed his challenge on Nathan Tella, with the Saints midfielder bearing down on goal after latching on to a long ball from Ibrahima Diallo.

Substitute Adams, who came on for the injured Danny Ings in the first half, doubled Southampton's lead with a right-footed rocket from distance against his former club as the bottom-placed hosts failed to clear their lines.

"It's been a long time since my last goal so I'm proud to get a goal for the boys," Adams, whose last league goal was against Sheffield United in December, told Sky Sports.

Sheffield had earlier responded strongly and could have made it 1-1 towards the end of the first half, but striker David McGoldrick's chipped effort in a one-on-one situation with Fraser Forster was saved by the goalkeeper.

Southampton continued to threaten throughout the second half and could have added to their tally, but Tella's shot was pushed wide by Aaron Ramsdale, while Takumi Minamino fired his effort wide with only the goalkeeper to beat shortly after.

"The team did what we had to do against a side fighting for everything. We could have scored more. That's the only thing I could criticise," Hasenhuettl said.

"There are still a lot of games to go. We've been much higher in the table then we had this negative run. It's important we can turn it round now." 

Villa hold Wolves after Saiss miss 

Wolves' Romain Saiss fires over the bar from inches out
Wolves' Romain Saiss fires over the bar from inches out Photo credit: Getty

Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Romain Saiss has provided a contender for miss of the season during a 0-0 Midlands derby stalemate away to Aston Villa in the Premier League.

The Moroccan somehow scooped the ball over the crossbar from almost on the goalline as Wolves enjoyed much the better of the second half after Villa were on top in the opening period.

Villa, needing a win to rekindle their top-four hopes after losing to bottom club Sheffield United in midweek, twice hit the woodwork in a largely forgettable first half.

They also went close near the end with Ollie Watkins having a shot cleared off the line and Ezri Konsa firing wide.

The draw left Villa in ninth place on 40 points from 26 games with Wolves in 12th spot on 35 points. 

Leicester up to second after comeback win

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Daniel Amartey of Leicester City celebrates Caglar Soyuncu of Leicester City, Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City and Wesley Fofana of Leicester City after scoring to make it 1-2 during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City at American Express Community Stadium on March 6, 2021 in Brighton, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty

Leicester City have climbed back into second place in the Premier League as they came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Brighton & Hove Albion thanks to a late goal by Daniel Amartey.

Adam Lallana scored his first goal for Brighton in the 10th minute and was close to adding a second when he hit the post with a header before halftime.

An impressive Brighton also had a goal disallowed in the first half but Leicester improved after the break and Kelechi Iheanacho equalised in the 62nd minute.

The hosts looked nervy late on and Amartey stooped to head in from close range in the 88th minute.

It was tough on Brighton, who remained down in 16th position, three points above the relegation zone after three narrow defeats in a row.

Injury-hit Leicester, now unbeaten in 10 league away games, moved two points ahead of Manchester United into second place with 53 points from 28 games. United face runaway leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

"The first half was not good enough at all. It was not difficult to do better in the second half," Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, who set up the equaliser, said.

"It feels like a very big result."

With injuries to key players such as James Maddison taking their toll, there have been signs that Leicester were beginning to falter having looked on course for a top-four finish.

Defeat by Arsenal and a draw with Burnley in their last two games had raised doubts and they struggled throughout the first half.

When Neal Maupay played in Lallana with a clever pass he made no mistake with a cool finish past Kasper Schmeichel for his first goal in 32 league games.

Superb Save 

Leicester were denied an equaliser by a superb save by home keeper Robert Sanchez from a thunderous strike by Sidnei Tavares but Brighton were agonisingly close to making it 2-0 when Pascal Gross whipped in a free kick and Lallana's glancing header hit the far post.

There was still time before the break for Maupay to produce an exquisite finish from Lallana's pass but Leicester were saved by an offside decision.

Brighton were to rue those opportunities just past the hour mark when Tielemans's sliderule pass took out the Brighton defence and Iheanacho dinked a finish past Sanchez.

Lallana had a chance to restore Brighton's lead, but it was Leicester who looked menacing with Jamie Vardy having a penalty appeal turned down after a last-ditch tackle by Lewis Dunk.

Sanchez then flapped at Marc Albrighton's corner and Amartey was in the right place to head home.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers admitted his side had started slowly.

"We needed to be more aggressive. Once we did that we had more energy on the ball," he said. "The mentality has been incredible - to be up there challenging with 10 games to go." 

Reuters