Updated: February 9, 2019 11:35:40 pm
Manchester United rolled confidently to their 10th win in 11 games under caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 3-0 win at Fulham on Saturday, climbing into the Champions League places in the Premier League.
Paul Pogba fired United ahead from an impossibly tight angle in the 14th minute, springing in behind the defence and onto a pass from Anthony Martial on the left, turning and shooting first time between keeper Sergio Rico and the near post.
Martial doubled the lead nine minutes later in style, collecting the ball on the halfway line, jinking past Denis Odoi and racing all the way into the area before stroking his shot beyond the reach of Rico.
Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku had an anonymous first half, outshone by his two French team mates. But he helped create the penalty that led to the third goal when he charged forward to pass to Juan Mata, who was bundled over inside the area by Fulham’s Maxime Le Marchand.
Pogba converted from the spot to put the game beyond Fulham’s reach, and was then substituted, most likely to keep him fit ahead of a tough schedule in the coming weeks.
United face French champions Paris St Germain in a Champions League last-16 tie, Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round, and host arch-rivals Liverpool all within the month.
The win at Fulham lifts United into fourth place in the league, ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Manchester City on Sunday.
Fulham remain in relegation territory in 19th place, and they too have a tough schedule ahead. Yet to win away from home this season, their next three visitors at Craven Cottage are all powerhouses – Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Liverpool back on top after 3-0 win over Bournemouth
Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a confident 3-0 victory over Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday. The win moves Juergen Klopps’s side three points above second-placed Manchester City who face Chelsea on Sunday and would return to the top on goal difference with a victory.
After consecutive draws, the pressure was on Liverpool to dispel any talk of nerves setting in and after surviving an early scare when keeper Alisson Becker had to parry out a Ryan Fraser shot in the second minute, Klopp’s side looked close to their best again.
Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a well-placed header from a James Milner cross – the Senegalese forward’s fourth straight league match with a goal. Ten minute later, Georginio Wijnaldum, whose return to the midfield after injury made a noticeable difference, doubled the lead with a gloriously executed lob over Artur Boruc after collecting a lofted pass from Andy Robertson.
Three minutes after the interval, Mohamed Salah, who had wasted two good opportunities in the first half, made no mistake after being played in by a clever back-heel from Roberto Firmino.
The pair combined again in the 76th minute, this time Salah striking the bar with a well-struck left-foot effort.
Iwobi, Lacazette lead Arsenal to win at Huddersfield
Arsenal returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over bottom side Huddersfield Town on Saturday, but remain the only side without an away clean sheet in the Premier League this season.
Arsenal had suffered four defeats in their last nine league games, including a 3-1 loss at Manchester City last week, but Alex Iwobi put them ahead in the 16th minute with a deflected shot.
Huddersfield pressed and harried but rarely troubled the Arsenal goal in the first half, with the difference in quality showing as the visitors doubled their advantage through Alexandre Lacazette’s 10th league goal of the season a minute before halftime.
Adama Diakhaby had two good chances to get Huddersfield — who had drawn once and lost 11 of their previous 12 league games — back into the match, but failed to really test Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal.
Sead Kolasinac put through his own net in stoppage time to give Huddersfield late hope, scoring Huddersfield’s first goal in over nine hours of football in all competitions, but the visitors held on for the win.
Victory moved Arsenal level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea, who play Manchester City on Sunday, while Huddersfield stayed bottom, 13 points from safety.
Andre Gray strikes to sink Everton
Substitute Andre Gray scored a second-half winner as Watford beat Marco Silva’s Everton 1-0 in the Premier League on Saturday to heap the pressure on their former manager. Everton boss Silva’s first visit to Vicarage Road since being sacked by Watford last January ended with the home fans singing that he would suffer a similar fate at the Merseyside club after a run of three defeats in a stuttering campaign.
Forward Gray, who came on for midfielder Ken Sema after the break, latched on to Will Hughes’s cross from the right following a delicate layoff from Craig Cathcart to tap the ball into the net on 65 minutes.
Gray said Watford were desperate to ensure that Silva, who left Watford after a poor run of results following Everton’s initial approach, did not leave with three points.
“With the ex-manager here there was extra spice in the game, especially with the fans, it pushes you on,” the 27-year-old, who scored his fourth league goal of the season, said.
“In the second half we had that edge. We didn’t play well but we got over the line. Regardless of the edge of the match, we’d have gone for it because we were desperate for the win.”
Stunned by the goal, Everton struggled to create clear chances in the second half of a scrappy game as Watford held firm to secure the victory and move up to 37 points.
Watford had nearly gone ahead in the 11th minute after Troy Deeney chested a hopeful cross into the path of Etienne Capoue, whose rising volley from point blank range glanced off goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s head and over the crossbar.
Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster saved Cenk Tosun’s stinging shot from distance in the 34th minute before Gylfi Sigurdsson’s lobbed effort came off the crossbar in the second half on a frustrating afternoon for the visitors.
Everton’s day got worse when Kurt Zouma was sent off for confronting the referee after the final whistle and the French defender will miss their next match at Cardiff City.
Skipper Tom Davies said Everton, who have collected 11 points from their last 14 games, were not up to the mark. “We underperformed again today, we had enough chances,” the 20-year-old midfielder added. “We’re not happy and we have to look back on this match to see what we need to change.”
Kenneth Zohore gives Cardiff 2-1 win over Southampton
Cardiff City’s Kenneth Zohore struck deep into stoppage time to secure a crucial 2-1 win on Saturday away to fellow Premier League strugglers Southampton, who thought they had snatched a point with a 91st-minute leveller.
Southampton’s Jack Stephens bundled the ball into the net in stoppage time, but Cardiff went back up the other end and substitute Zohore scuffed home a shot to give Cardiff only their second away win of the season.
After a slow start, Southampton upped the tempo in the second half but they were hit by a sucker punch when centre back Sol Bamba pounced, volleying home Callum Paterson’s knockdown from Cardiff’s first corner of the game in the 69th minute.
The win lifted Cardiff out of the relegation zone and into 15th place, while Southampton will slip into the bottom three if Burnley get at least a point in Saturday’s late kickoff against Brighton and Hove Albion.
It was another emotional day for Cardiff following the recovery earlier in the week of the body of striker Emiliano Sala, who died in a plane that crashed taking him to join up with the Welsh club after he signed from French Ligue 1 side Nantes.
The game was preceded by a minute’s silence for the 28-year-old Argentinian, who was Cardiff’s record signing, and the players of both teams wore black armbands.
Wilfried Zaha earns Crystal Palace a point at home to West Ham
Wilfried Zaha’s deflected goal earned Crystal Palace a 1-1 draw at home to fellow Londoners West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday. It had looked as though Mark Noble’s 27th-minute penalty and Palace’s profligacy in front of goal would condemn Palace to a damaging loss in their bid to climb away from relegation trouble. But Zaha eventually beat West Ham’s keeper Lucasz Fabianski with a shot that looped up off the boot of Issa Diop.
West Ham had been the better side before the break with Noble calmly putting them ahead from the spot after Palace keeper Vincente Guita hauled down Michail Antonio.
Palace, who began the day four points and four places above the bottom three, were much improved in the second half and created numerous chances to equalise. Substitute Michy Batshuayi should have scored before James McArthur struck the post with only Fabianski to beat.
The draw left Palace with 27 points from 26 games, three points above the relegation zone while West Ham, in 10th place, have now gone five games without a win all competitions.
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