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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Premier League round-up: Lucas Torreira acrobatics seal scrappy win for Arsenal

Ralph Hasenhuettl loses first game in charge of Southampton while Robert Snodgrass scores first Premier League goal for West Ham in comeback win over Crystal Palace

Arsenal's Lucas Torreira celebrates scoring a late winner against Huddersfield Town. Reuters
Arsenal's Lucas Torreira celebrates scoring a late winner against Huddersfield Town. Reuters

Lucas Torreira scored with a bicycle kick in the 82nd minute to earn Arsenal a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town in a scrappy Premier League game on Saturday.

The Uruguayan leapt to volley the ball from a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pass across the face of goal, securing all three points for the Gunners who otherwise only distinguished themselves by having three players booked for diving.

The victory moved Arsenal up to third in the table ahead of North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who play Leicester City in Saturday's evening kick off.

Huddersfield, who have not beaten Arsenal since 1971, were unable to register a shot on goal.

In the end, it fell to a moment of acrobatics from the little Uruguayan to rob the visitors of a much-needed point.

"It was a tough match, like many matches and today it is important because we didn't have rhythm but still won," Arsenal manager Unai Emery told BBC Sport. "I'm very happy with the result. It was hard for us to control the match today.

"Patience is the key word today. I wanted us to win more quickly but we needed to be patient.

"We can improve more and today we spoke that we want to win matches with more control. But we are very competitive and showed character."

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Southampton began life under new manager Ralph Hasenhuettl with a tame 1-0 defeat at fellow strugglers Cardiff City.

Callum Paterson took full advantage of a defensive howler by Southampton centre-back Jannik Vestergaard to slot in the winning goal in the 74th minute.

Vestergaard failed to deal with a ball forward and paid the price as the versatile Paterson, who can also play as a midfielder and full back, pounced to finish neatly past Alex McCarthy for his fifth league goal this season.

"The goal was a bit of a shank but we played very well and we deserved the win," goalscorer Paterson told BBC Sport.

"It was a tough game – Southampton are a tough team – but we did well. It was a tough chance to take, but you have to be alive to all opportunities and thankfully it went in.

Cardiff secured only their fourth win of the season to move to 14 points. Southampton are on nine points and remain in the relegation zone.

Burnley earned a badly-needed three points to move out of the Premier League relegation zone with a hard-earned 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

On a rainy, windy afternoon at Turf Moor, nothing was going to wipe away the smiles of manager Sean Dyche and the Burnley fans as James Tarkowski's goal late in the first half proved decisive before they finished by soaking up late pressure.

Though the goal was credited to Tarkowski, it was Jack Cork who was responsible for the 40th minute breakthrough when his shot deflected off the England defender's midriff into the net.

"It was a tough afternoon. We had to get a goal and hold on. We know we have not been playing great recently so it was a massive day and big three points," said Burnley's goalscorer.

"Our fans have been massive for us. We need them behind us."

West Ham United recorded a third straight win to move into the top half by coming from behind to beat Crystal Palace 3-2 thanks to second-half goals from Robert Snodgrass, Javier Hernandez and Felipe Anderson.

For Scotland international winger Snodgrass, it was a first Premier League goal for the club he joined from Hull City in January 2017.

"I have been waiting a long time to score a Premier League goal for West Ham so to get it in that fashion and get the win is delightful," he said.