#PremierLeague: Bournemouth, Watford in six-goal thriller, wins for Palace, Burnley
Bournemouth and Watford produced a frantic flurry of first-half goals, with visiting captain Troy Deeney scoring twice in a 3-3 Premier League draw at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday.
With the kickoff delayed by 15 minutes because of a fire alarm in the East Stand, the real sparks were produced on the pitch.
Deeney opened the scoring in the 14th minute for eighth-placed Watford with a low header into the bottom corner, and made it 2-0 from just inside the area in the 27th.
The Bournemouth fans did not have long to wait for a reply, with Nathan Ake pulling one back in the 34th and Callum Wilson then equalising with a header at the near post three minutes later.
That was just the beginning, with Ken Sema making it 3-2 to Watford in the 39th and Ryan Fraser again equalising in the 40th – four goals in the space of six minutes.
Watford at least ended an unwanted seven-year sequence of losing their opening game of the New Year, while Bournemouth ended the evening in 12th place.
* Wolverhampton Wanderers saw their impressive Premier League campaign run into the buffers as two goals in the dying minutes enabled Crystal Palace to take all three points with a 2-0 win at Molineux on Wednesday.
Looking out of sorts at the start of the year, Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves had only needed a draw to become the first promoted team to garner 30 points after 21 matches in a top-flight season since Birmingham City in 2009-10.
Instead, their hopes of rising as high as seventh were spoiled as Palace deservedly took the spoils, with Ghanaian international Jordan Ayew firing home his first goal for the club in the 83rd minute.
Luka Milivojevic then converted from the penalty spot, five minutes into added time, after Ryan Bennett had brought down Wilfried Zaha.
It gave Palace consecutive away wins in the same Premier League season for the first time in two years, and Roy Hodgson’s team were well worth the points.
They dominated the first half, with only their profligate finishing letting them down – with Andros Townsend’s dismal ballooned right-footed shot, and James Tomkins’ missed header proving the most glaring examples.
Wolves, as befits their reputation this term as second-half revivalists, looked much sharper on the resumption, creating more chances in the opening four minutes after the break than in the entire first half.
* Marko Arnautovic scored twice in the space of two minutes as West Ham salvaged a 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion after conceding two second-half goals at the London Stadium on Wednesday.
After a dull first half, with striker Andy Carroll making his first Premier League start in a year as the lone target man before being replaced at the interval, the game between the two mid-table sides burst into life.
Brighton took the lead in the 57th against the run of play when goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski punched out a corner shot as far as Dale Stephens, who volleyed the ball home from the edge of the area.
The visitors went 2-0 up in the 59th through Shane Duffy, again off a corner kick, who flicked the ball in from a tight angle at the back post.
If West Ham looked to have crumbled, Arnautovic had other thoughts.
The Austrian pulled one back from close range in the 66th and equalised in the 68th, when substitute Michail Antonio crossed from the right – with the ball almost over the byline – for him to fire home.
* Huddersfield Town suffered a club record eighth straight defeat as they fell to a 2-1 home loss to fellow strugglers Burnley at the John Smiths Stadium on Wednesday.
Sean Dyche’s Burnley climb out of the bottom three and up to 16th with their second win in a row, while Town are rooted to the bottom of the table now, eight points from safety.
Burnley went close to an opener in the 31st minute when Ben Mee met an Ashley Westwood free kick with a powerful header, which Town keeper Jonas Lossl did well to keep out.
Two minutes later though, Huddersfield grabbed the lead when Steve Mounie snuck between two Burnley defenders to head home a swinging cross from the left by Isaac Mbenza, the striker’s first goal of the season.
The home crowd’s joy was short lived though as Burnley drew level in the 40th minute when Chris Wood turned in a low cross from Dwight McNeil, the Kiwi’s second goal in as many games.
That's 100 league wins as Burnley manager for Sean Dyche 👏🎯 pic.twitter.com/TLvcefHkoT— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) January 2, 2019
A minute later, Huddersfield found themselves down to 10 men after defender Christopher Schindler was sent off for a second yellow card after hauling down McNeil on the edge of the area.
Burnley were well on top after the break, but it was not until the 74th minute that they were able to get in front when Ashley Barnes finished off a well constructed move with a confident side-foot finish.
The visitors had substitute Robbie Brady sent off in the final minute of normal for a lunging foul from behind on Mbenza.Reuters