Football: Man Utd inflict first Spurs defeat for Mourinho as Liverpool romp clear

Football: Man Utd inflict first Spurs defeat for Mourinho as Liverpool romp clear

Premier League - Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho remonstrates with the fourth official. (Photo: Reuters/Andrew Yates)

LONDON: Jose Mourinho endured an unhappy return to Manchester United as Marcus Rashford's double beat Tottenham 2-1 while Liverpool restored their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 5-2 romp against Everton.

Second-placed Leicester equalled their top-flight league record of seven consecutive wins with a 2-0 victory against bottom side Watford while Chelsea bounced back from two consecutive league defeats to beat Aston Villa 2-1.

Mourinho's first defeat since taking charge of Spurs eases the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United moved above Tottenham, to sixth in the table.

Marcus Rashford smashed United into an early lead with the help of some poor goalkeeping by Paulo Gazzaniga as the England international's powerful shot crept in at his near post and had chances to extend the home side's lead.

Yet for all United's dominance in the first 45 minutes, one moment of brilliance for Dele Alli got Mourinho's men level before the break.

Alli plucked the ball out of the air and skipped beyond two United defenders with one touch before slotting home his fourth goal in as many games since Mourinho took charge.

United were handed the chance to retake the lead when Rashford went down under Moussa Sissoko's challenge early in the second half and picked himself up to defy his struggles from the penalty spot this season by sending Gazzaniga the wrong way.

"The three points are massive for us," said Solskjaer.

"We've had too many draws this season and given too many points away from winning positions. It's a great lesson the last two games (Sheffield United and Aston Villa) and we came back in a great manner."

Mourinho, sacked by United last December, described his reception at Old Trafford as "nice and polite".

"It's a step back against a team that is playing with the same objective as us, trying to get up the table and reach the top six," he said. "We need to keep going. We made mistakes but it's not good to be crying about them now."

ORIGI DOUBLE

Liverpool emphatically restated their title credentials by thrashing their city rivals 5-2, surging eight points clear of Leicester after their 14th win in 15 games. Manchester City, in third place, are 11 behind the leaders.

All but one of the goals came before half-time as Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri, who replaced the rested Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, put Liverpool 2-0 up inside 17 minutes.

Michael Keane pulled a goal back for Everton before Origi got his second and Sadio Mane finished off a blistering counter-attack to make it 4-1.

The scoring did not stop there as Richarlison cut the deficit once more, but Georginio Wijnaldum hammered the final nail in the Everton coffin as an eighth defeat in 11 league games sees the Toffees slip into the bottom three.

"All the goals were incredible, outstanding," said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. "Wonderful goals, sensational passes, super pieces of football. I loved it a lot.on

"We needed fresh legs and I had to show my respect to the boys in the squad, that's all. They proved it. It is much more fun making changes, all of the boys are ready to deliver performances like this."

Leicester moved back above Manchester City as Liverpool's closest challengers.

Brendan Rodgers' side were awarded a penalty after the break when Jonny Evans went down clutching his face inside the area and Jamie Vardy made no mistake, scoring for the seventh straight game.

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy's scoring streak continued as Leicester beat Watford 2-0. (AFP/Lindsey Parnaby)

James Maddison sealed the points deep into stoppage time.

Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham, who was prolific during a loan spell at Aston Villa last season, proved the difference against Villa, heading in Reece James's cross to open the scoring.

Trezeguet bundled home to bring the visitors level before the break, but Abraham then turned provider by chesting down for Mason Mount to brilliant volley high past Tom Heaton.

Tammy Abraham (second left)
Tammy Abraham (second left) opens the scoring for Chelsea against Aston Villa. (AFP/Glyn KIRK)

Wolves, in fifth place, remain unbeaten in the league since September and goals from Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone either side of half-time gave them a 2-0 win against a disappointing West Ham at Molineux.

Southampton moved out of the bottom three with a 2-1 win against Norwich.

English Premier League results:

Wolves 2 West Ham 0

Liverpool 5 Everton 2

Man Utd 2 Tottenham 1

Chelsea 2 Aston Villa 1

Southampton 2 Norwich 1

Leicester 2 Watford 0

Source: AFP/de

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