EPL: Chelsea stay top, United wallop Spurs to give Solskjaer breathing space

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ten goals in two games without Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner see Chelsea maintain their grip on the top spot in the EPL.

On Saturday, they needed two more goals from Reece James and a penalty from Jorginho to put some space between themselves and the chasing pack.

Newcastle held on for 65 minutes before James, who also scored against Norwich broke the deadlock with a wonderful left-footed shot.

Another strike, 12 minutes later, gave Chelsea the insurance goal and when Kai Havertz was tripped by Karl Darlow in the 79th minute, Jorginho stepped up and scored his first goal of the season. The Italy international became the 18th player to score for Thomas Tuchel’s team.

Chelsea Football Club
Chelsea Football Club

It was said that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had three games to save his job and on the evidence of Saturday’s 3-0 win over a hapless Tottenham, it is one down, two to go.

Solskjaer tweaked his formation, naming three centre-backs to give them more solidity with the return of Raphael Varane.

He has named two strikers-Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani with a combined age of 70.

The player who has received most of the flak has been Ronaldo but he silenced the critics with a well-taken opener in the 39th minute – his fourth EPL goal. He also provided the assist for Cavani in the 64th minute. Marcus Rashford came off the bench to add the third to give United and their manager a much-needed win.

Over in Anfield, Liverpool lost a 2-0 lead over Brighton as they were held 2-2. Jordan Henderson scored as early as the fourth minute and Said Mane added the second 20 minutes later.

Liverpool players were cruising but they were shocked back to life in the 41st minute when Enoch Mwepu lobbed Alisson from 40 yards, Leandro Trossard got the equaliser in the 65th minute and as much as Liverpool pressed for the winner; in the end, they had to settle for a point as Trossard’s second goal was disallowed for offside.

The shock of the weekend was at the Etihad, where Manchester City lost a second straight game under Pep Guardiola.

Wilfred Zaha opened the scoring in the sixth minute and got Aymeric Laporte sent off in first-half added time.

Chelsea loanee, Connor Gallagher scored the second with two minutes left on the clock. City has now lost to Palace and has been held by Southampton at the Etihad-normally matches that should have fetched lost of goals and points.

At the end of Saturday, Chelsea leads the table with 25 points, three better than Liverpool and five from Manchester City. Manchester United are up to fifth and Arsenal in sixth place, both with 17 points.

West Ham will have the chance to extend the gap to United on Sunday when they travel to Villa Park to face Aston Villa, who have lost three consecutive matches. (Premium Times)


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