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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Manchester United ease back into second place ahead of Liverpool

Romelu Lukaku reached 100 league goals by scoring in the first five minutes as United dominated a Swansea side who have been revitalised under manager Carlos Carvalhal.

By: Reuters | London | Published: March 31, 2018 10:02:13 pm
Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their first goal with Jesse Lingard. (REUTERS)

Manchester United quickly regained second place in the Premier League with a routine 2-0 home win over Swansea City on Saturday, hours after Liverpool deposed them with a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace. Jose Mourinho’s team were still 13 points behind leaders Manchester City, who visit Everton in the late game ahead of the Manchester derby next Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku reached 100 league goals by scoring in the first five minutes as United dominated a Swansea side who have been revitalised under manager Carlos Carvalhal. Alexis Sanchez added the second goal before the interval and United comfortably saw out the victory.

Liverpool came from behind to win at Palace in manager Juergen Klopp’s 100th league game in England and move five points ahead of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who visit fifth-placed Chelsea on Sunday. Mohamed Salah scored their late winner, his 37th of the season in all competitions, after the equaliser by Sadio Mane.

Palace’s Serbian penalty expert Luka Milivojevic had converted his seventh spot-kick out of eight this season to put the home side in front early on. They had barely 30 percent of the play but still missed chances on the counter-attack, notably twice in quick succession through former Liverpool striker Christian Benteke.

GOOD HEART
His old club were left in good heart ahead of an exciting week, with a Champions League quarter-final first leg at home to Manchester City on Wednesday and the Merseyside derby at Everton three days later. “It is usual for us that we need to fight here, especially after a difficult start, but it makes it more special at the end,” Klopp said.

Palace, however, remained in trouble, only two points above the relegation zone. “It is a bit of a groundhog day playing against these top teams,” their manager Roy Hodgson said after his side conceded a late winner again, just as they had to Manchester United and Tottenham in their previous two home games.

West Ham jumped above their London rivals with a comprehensive 3-0 home victory over a poor Southampton side, who were three goals down at halftime in manager Mark Hughes’s first league game in charge and stayed in the bottom three. Marko Arnautovic, who fell out with Hughes after leaving Stoke City for West Ham in the close-season, scored two of the goals.

Huddersfield Town remained in trouble, three points above relegation, after losing 1-0 at Newcastle United to a goal by Ayoze Perez.
Bottom club West Bromwich Albion, who have won only one league game out of 30 since beating Burnley in August, lost to the same opponents 2-1 at The Hawthorns. Ashley Barnes, with a spectacular bicycle kick, and Chris Wood against his former club were the scorers before Salomon Rondon grabbed a late consolation for West Brom.

Brighton were beaten 2-0 by Leicester City in a dramatic finish after Glenn Murray had his penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel and Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi was sent off. In the other mid-table game, Jermain Defoe’s equaliser in stoppage time earned Bournemouth a 2-2 draw at Watford.

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