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Liverpool romping clear as City lose to United

  • Published at 07:21 am December 8th, 2019
Rashford
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford in action during their EPL match against Manchester City in Manchester Saturday AFP

United, who beat Spurs in midweek, blew City away with a dazzling first-half performance at the Etihad, which was capped by a Video Assistant Referee-awarded Marcus Rashford penalty and a strike from Anthony Martial

Liverpool took a giant step towards their first title since 1990 on Saturday when their 3-0 win at Bournemouth combined with Manchester United's 2-1 victory at Manchester City to leave the champion 14 points adrift of the Premier League leader.

With second-placed Leicester City, who play Sunday, 11 points behind Liverpool, Juergen Klopp's side are quoted as odds-on to finally secure the silverware that has eluded them for so long.

On a dramatic league day, individual honor went to Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min, who dribbled almost the length of the pitch to score in his side's 5-0 rout of Burnley, and Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson who inspired a 3-1 win over Chelsea in his first game in charge.

United, who beat Spurs in midweek, blew City away with a dazzling first-half performance at the Etihad, which was capped by a Video Assistant Referee-awarded Marcus Rashford penalty and a strike from Anthony Martial.

Although David de Gea had to be at his sharpest to keep City at bay after the interval, when City scored through Nicolas Otamendi, United were well worth their victory - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first as player or manager in a Manchester derby.

Pep Guardiola, whose team have dominated the Premier League with back-to-back title wins, was reluctant to talk about their position in the league.

The only sour note for United, who are now fifth, came in the second half when midfielder Fred appeared to be hit by a missile thrown from the crowd as he went to take a corner in front of agitated City supporters.

The Brazilian was not seriously hurt.

Fred was also the target of what appeared to a be a racist gesture from a fan in the crowd, captured by television images.

City said they were working with police to identify the fans involved in the incidents and said they had a "zero tolerance" approach to discrimination and "anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life".

Liverpool, who won 4-0 on their previous two visits to Bournemouth, again shuffled their side, making seven changes from the midweek Merseyside derby.

Two of Liverpool's lesser lights, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita, responded with goals before Mohamed Salah completed the formalities in a win which saw Liverpool keep a clean sheet for the first time in 14 games.

An injury sustained by defender Dejan Lovren was the only blot on Liverpool's day but Klopp said he was hoping it was just a touch of cramp.

At Goodison Park, Everton looked nothing like the side who had subsided so abjectly at Liverpool, obviously re-energized by the fiery presence of Ferguson in place of Marco Silva in the dressing-room.

The Scot's decision to switch formation was instantly rewarded with a goal for Richarlison before Dominic Calvert-Lewin added a double to send the crowd wild.

Although Ferguson said he had thoroughly enjoyed his first game in charge, he will not be asking for the job full-time.

The win moved Everton away from the relegation zone, with most of their rivals playing Sunday.

At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Spurs delivered exactly the sort of response to their defeat at United that manager Jose Mourinho wanted.

Although Harry Kane scored twice to make it eight goals in nine games against Burnley, Son took the headlines with a superb effort that started just outside his own area and saw the South Korean slalom through half the opposition before slotting home from inside the box.

Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko completed the scoring against a Burnley side who have conceded nine goals in four days.

Struggling Watford ended a string of three straight defeats against Crystal Palace in a scrappy game watched by their incoming manager Nigel Pearson, whose first game in charge could not be harder - a trip to Liverpool Saturday.