Tue | Dec 18, 2018

Wolves spoil Ferguson's Man United homecoming

Published:Sunday | September 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Joao Moutinho (centre left) celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester yesterday.
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson waves as he takes his seat in the stands before the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford stadium yesterday.
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LONDON (AP):

English Premier League newcomers Wolverhampton turned party-pooper on the day Alex Ferguson made an emotional return to Old Trafford.

The most successful coach in British football history was back at his former stamping ground yesterday for the first time since undergoing emergency brain surgery in May. But Manchester United were unable to mark the occasion with a win as they were held 1-1 by Wolverhampton.

Ferguson received a standing ovation from the crowd of 74,000 when he took his seat in the directors' box before the game. He reacted with a wide grin and by raising his arms to salute the crowd.

"It's great to be back," the 76-year-old Scot said. "It's obviously been a long journey, but I'm making steps forward, doing what my son tells me and what the doctors tell me.

"It was important getting the right time and the right rest before coming to a game. The number of e-mails, texts, and personal cards that came to the house, it was just amazing. I'm overcome by it and overwhelmed by it."

Ferguson retired from coaching in 2013, after amassing 38 trophies in almost 27 years at United.

Meanwhile, Liverpool moved alone to the top of the standings and stayed perfect after beating Southampton 3-0 for a sixth win in six matches.

Manchester City are second overall after routing Cardiff 5-0 but could be leapfrogged by Chelsea, who visit West Ham today.

Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka was hit by a bottle in a goalless home draw with Newcastle, Tottenham overcame Brighton 2-1 in the rain, and Burnley ended its worst start to a top-flight campaign in nearly a century by crushing top-five side Bournemouth 4-0.

United scored early when Paul Pogba produced a lovely touch on the edge of the penalty area and steered the ball into the path of scorer Fred.

But Wolves were always in the game, and it was no surprise when they equalised in the second half. Ra?l JimÈnez set up Joao Moutinho, giving coach Nuno Espirito Santo a draw against his mentor JosÈ Mourinho.

"The result is fair," United manager Mourinho said. "We deserve the punishment of only getting one point. They started better, were more aggressive, had more intent, and I don't know why, but they were more motivated."

 

LIVERPOOL STILL PERFECT

 

An own goal from Wesley Hoedt and strikes from Joel Matip and Mohamed Salah, all in the first half, led Liverpool to a seventh straight win to start the season for the first time since 1990.

"The boys are in good shape," Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said.

They need to be for their next four games: Chelsea twice, Napoli in the Champions League, then Man City.

 

MAHREZ'S CITY DOUBLE

 

New signing Riyad Mahrez scored twice in the second half, his first goals for Man City, as they turned on the goal power and sparkled at Cardiff.

Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, and Ilkay Guendogan were also on target in the first half.

Cardiff still seek their first win.

 

KANE TIES DEFOE

 

England striker Harry Kane moved alongside Jermain Defoe as Tottenham's joint fifth-highest scorer on 143 after converting a penalty at Brighton.

Erik Lamela also netted, his fourth goal in four league games, to take the heat off Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino following a run of three consecutive defeats in all competitions.

Results: Fulham 1 Watford 1; Burnley 4 Bournemouth 0; Cardiff 0 Manchester City 5; Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 0; Leicester 3 Huddersfield 1; Liverpool 3 Southampton 0; Manchester United 1 Wolves 1; Brighton 1 Tottenham 2.