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Monday, November 23, 2020

Manchester United ease pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with win at Everton

After losing to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir in back-to-back outings, Manchester United bounced back with a crucial 3-1 win at Goodison Park. The Red Devils now have 10 points from seven games.

By: Reuters | Updated: November 8, 2020 8:18:32 am
Everton's James Rodriguez in action with Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes. (Reuters)

Manchester United eased the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 3-1 win at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday with Bruno Fernandes scoring twice and Edinson Cavani grabbing his first for the club.

United have failed to win at home in the league this season and there were questions over Solskjaer’s future after the midweek defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.

The loss was the third straight defeat for Carlo Ancelotti’s side who, after being the early season pace-setters, have now slipped to fifth in the standings.

The pressure on Solskjaer intensified when Everton took the lead in the 19th minute with Brazilian winger Bernard’s low drive through Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s legs squeezing in the bottom corner.

Six minutes later though, United drew level when Fernandes met a Luke Shaw cross from the left with a perfectly angled and firm header.

Everton left-back Lucas Digne then struck the post from a promising position but United were growing into the game and it was no surprise when they took the lead.

Fernandes floated in a cross from the left which Marcus Rashford rose to head into the bottom corner but although the striker failed to connect, the ball went in off the post.

Substitute Cavani added the third in stoppage time, finishing off a counter-attack led by Fernandes for his first goal since joining the club on deadline day last month.

Chelsea up to third after 4-1 win over Sheffield Utd 

Chelsea’s Timo Werner celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Tammy Abraham. (Reuters)

Chelsea hit back in impressive fashion after going behind to overwhelm bottom club Sheffield United 4-1 at Stamford Bridge and move into third place in the Premier League on Saturday.

David McGoldrick’s neat flick gave the visitors a surprise ninth-minute lead but Chelsea responded with goals by Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell before halftime.

Frank Lampard’s side bossed the second half and captain Thiago Silva scored his first goal for the London club with a 77th-minute header before Timo Werner added a fourth.

Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech, another of Chelsea’s recent signings, claimed two assists in a masterful performance.

Chelsea have 15 points from eight games, one behind surprise leaders Southampton and title holders Liverpool, who visit Manchester City on Sunday.

Sheffield United are still looking for their first victory of the season and have picked up only one point so far — the joint-lowest total after eight games in Premier League history.

“Once they scored the reaction was important and the reaction of the team for the rest of the game was spot on,” Lampard said. “They are a hard team to play against, so some great signs, but we have to keep going.”

Chris Wilder’s side began brightly and took the lead with a well-worked short corner routine — the ball eventually played in by George Baldock to Sander Berge whose shot was cleverly re-directed by McGoldrick past goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Chelsea did not take long to get into their stride though and were level after 23 minutes when Abraham was picked out by Mateo Kovacic and his bouncing shot beat keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Ziyech was a constant threat to the United defence and his superb delivery almost embarrassed Ramsdale who scooped the ball away to Werner whose shot then struck the crossbar.

Another Ziyech ball a minute later caused more havoc and, as Ramsdale hesitated, Chilwell crept in at the far post to score.

It was Ziyech’s left foot that gave Brazilian central defender Thiago the chance to glance in Chelsea’s third.

“Ziyech has been a huge plus for us and he will continue to be so,” Lampard said of the former Ajax Amsterdam player.

Germany striker Werner wrapped up a good night for the Blues with a clinical right-foot finish after a loose ball rebounded kindly into his path in the 80th minute.

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