Saints held, Burnley finally win in EPL

Theo Walcott (c) celebrates his first Southampton goal since 2006 in the 1-1 draw at Wolves.
Theo Walcott (c) celebrates his first Southampton goal since 2006 in the 1-1 draw at Wolves.

Southampton missed the chance to go third in the Premier League after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Wolves at Molineux on Monday night.

Conor Coady had played every minute of Wolves' 84 league games since their promotion back to England's top division in 2018, but was out after discovering he inadvertently came into contact with somebody who tested positive for coronavirus.

With fellow centre-back Romain Saiss also out after contracting the virus, the hosts switched to a four-man defence for the first time since May 2017 - before the arrival of current manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

The Saints led through a 58th-minute tap-in from on-loan Everton forward Theo Walcott.

The 31-year-old netted for the south-coast club, where he started his professional career, for the first time since January 2006.

"I'm happy to work with Theo, he definitely showed it means something to him to play for this club," Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said.

"You can feel how much he invests working for the team.

The former England winger missed a one-on-one chance soon after, shooting wide of the post when clean through.

And that cost the visitors when Raul Jimenez's effort came back off the post to allow substitute Pedro Neto to sweep home the rebound in the 75th, leaving the Saints fifth.

"We had some good spells of possession and we finished the game very strongly, on the front foot, pressing and creating huge problems for Southampton and having good chances," Wolves manager Espirito Santo said.

Wolves climb to ninth ahead of games against Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Aston Villa before Christmas.

Burnley meanwhile finally claimed their first victory of the campaign, winning 1-0 against a Crystal Palace side missing star forward Wilfried Zaha after he tested positive for coronavirus.

Kiwi Chris Wood scored in the eighth minute to secure the win at their eighth attempt, helping the Clarets climb out of the bottom three and up to 17th on five points.

"It gets a bit nervy because we hadn't found that first win," Burnley manager Sean Dyche said, "so to get that one done will do us the world of good."

Wood's goal was Burnley's first at home in the league this season and only their fourth in total.

Palace struggled to create any clear-cut openings without Zaha, who appeared in their last 59 Premier League games stretching back to February 2019.

The Eagles' best chance fell in added time to substitute Christian Benteke, whose close-range effort was blocked by the outstretched left hand of goalkeeper Nick Pope.

Australian Associated Press