Monday 16 September 2019

Premier League round-up: Four Irish starters as Sheffield United draw, but Jeff Hendrick is benched by Burnley

Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring his second goal (Martin Rickett/PA)
Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring his second goal (Martin Rickett/PA)

Sheffield United made an encouraging start on their return to the Premier League, with four Republic of Ireland internationals starting for the Blades as they drew 1-1 at Bournemouth.

Enda Stevens, John Egan, David McGoldrick and Callum Robinson were all in the Blades line-up for the trip to the Vitality Stadium and they were all toasting a late goal that salvaged a draw.

Veteran striker Billy Sharp struck a late equaliser as the promoted Blades secured a welcome draw after Chris Mepham had bundled in the opener for the Bournemouth on 62 minutes after a Callum Wilson effort had been blocked.

United battled on and were rewarded when substitute Sharp poked home amid a goalmouth scramble late on, the goal being confirmed after a VAR check.

Burnley made a strong start as they overpowered Southampton 3-0 at Turf Moor thanks to a second-half Ashley Barnes double and a further effort from Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

Barnes rifled in the opener after 63 minutes and then volleyed in a second from an Erik Pieters cross seven minutes later, before Gudmundsson curled in a fine third 15 minutes from the end.

Republic of Ireland international Jeff Hendrick will have been disappointed to be dropped to the bench for Burnley and he now faces a fight to get back into the Clarets line-up.

Wilfried Zaha appeared as a second-half substitute as Crystal Palace were held to a goalless draw by 10-man Everton at Selhurst Park.

Palace star man Zaha was linked with the Toffees after handing in a transfer request earlier this week and he had to make do with a limited role after staying at the London club.

Glyfi Sigurdsson thought he had put Everton ahead early in the second half but Patrick Van Aanholt made a fine goalline clearance.

The Merseysiders had to hold on for the final 14 minutes after Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off for a second bookable offence.

In the lunchtime kick-off, Manchester City began their Premier League title defence with an emphatic 5-0 win in a VAR-dominated game at West Ham.

Gabriel Jesus put City ahead in Saturday's early game at the London Stadium but was later denied a second goal by VAR after Raheem Sterling was ruled fractionally offside in the build-up.

Sterling scored City's second and was on the right end of a VAR offside decision in the netting the third.

Sergio Aguero had a penalty saved by Lukas Fabianski but was allowed a retake after the video official spotted that Declan Rice had encroached into the area. Aguero made no mistake to make it 4-0 at the second attempt and Sterling wrapped up his treble in injury time.

City's victory was a strong response after Liverpool opened their campaign with a 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday.

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