Football

Euro Leagues | Barkley’s strike ensures Villa’s unbeaten run continues

Superb finish: Aston Villa’s Ross Barkley, right, celebrates after netting a last-gasp winner against Leicester.  

Aston Villa claimed a fourth straight win to open the Premier League season as Ross Barkley scored in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 victory over Leicester.

Having scored seven goals against Liverpool before the international break, Villa just needed one to maintain its 100% start and move a point behind first-place Everton with a game in hand.

Barkley collected a pass from John McGinn, drove forward and sent in a shot from 25 yards that found the bottom corner in the first minute of added-on time at the King Power Stadium.

Touch and go

“It was touch and go whether he started today,” Villa manager Dean Smith said. “He had a knock to the knee but (it was) a great goal and a real battling performance by the whole team.”

The England midfielder has scored in both of his games since joining on loan from Chelsea.

It was a game of few clear-cut chances, with fourth-place Leicester lacking a cutting edge without injured striker Jamie Vardy.

Its best opportunity fell to Timothy Castagne, whose shot from an acute angle was smothered by Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in the first half.

Real Sociedad continued La Liga’s unpredictable start to the season by going top of the table on Sunday, after a 3-0 win away at Real Betis.

Villarreal had temporarily claimed first place earlier in the day by beating Valencia 2-1 at la Ceramica but Real Sociedad’s impressive victory put it ahead on goal difference.

Real Sociedad took advantage as Cristian Portu and Adnan Januzaj scored goals either side of Mikel Oyarzabal converting a penalty to consign Betis to a third defeat in four games under new coach Manuel Pellegrini. It drops to sixth.

Portu put Sociedad ahead shortly before halftime and Betis thought it had levelled early in the second period through Antonio Sanabria but the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside following a video review. Sanabria was then denied a penalty following another VAR review after grappling with Sociedad’s Robin Le Normand in the area and having his shirt torn by the French defender.

Betis’s disbelief deepened when Sociedad was awarded a penalty for a challenge by Marc Bartra on Alexander Isak and Oyarzabal converted from the spot.

Januzaj put an extra shine on the win with a superb late strike into the roof of the net from a tight angle after latching on to a pass from Isak.

The results: Premier League: Leicester 0 lost to Aston Villa 1 (Barkley 90).

LaLiga: Alaves 0 lost to Elche 2 (Milla Pena 39, Morente 86); SD Huesca 2 (Mir 52, Ramirez 56) drew with Valladolid 2 (Gonzalez 35, Rubio 51-pen); Real Betis 0 lost to Real Sociedad 3 (Portu 44, Oyarzabal 73-pen, Januzaj 88).

Serie A: Udinese 3 (Samir 28, Iacopini 52-og, Pussetto 89) bt Parma 2 (Hernani 26, Karamoh 70); Roma 5 (Pedro 31, Dzeko 35, 77, Veretout 69-pen, Perez 89) bt Benevento 2 (Caprari 5, Lapadula 55).

Bundesliga: Schalke 1 (Paciencia 69) drew with Union Berlin 1 (Friedrich 56).

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 5:05:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/euro-leagues-barkleys-strike-ensures-villas-unbeaten-run-continues/article32895250.ece

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