It was not the ideal weekend for Manchester United as they lost more ground on Manchester City in the title race. Following a disappointing 0-0 draw with Liverpool last weekend, a game against struggling Huddersfield would surely prove the perfect tonic, but it was anything but in the end. United lost the contest 2-1 as they were exceptionally poor throughout the game.
Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre scored the goals for the hosts as the visitors could only reply via Marcus Rashford, who looked lively throughout his appearance. What will infuriate Jose Mourinho is the mistakes from Juan Mata and Victor Lindelof that led to the goals, with United conceding as many goals in one game as they have across the entire league season.
Elsewhere, Brighton heaped the pressure on West Ham as they smashed three goals past their hosts in an emphatic win. There are a number of managers who are really feeling the pressure in recent weeks, but none more so than Slaven Bilic, with his side once again outclassed on the pitch. Reigning champions Chelsea were given a scare as they had to come back from 2-1 down to secure a 4-2 win over Watford. Michy Batshuayi was the hero as he scored two goals to stop Chelsea’s three-game winless run. Manchester City continued their outstanding run as they thumped Burnley 3-0, with a special mention for Kevin De Bruyn who was once again sublime.
Newcastle United made sure they sent Crystal Palace back down to earth with a bump following their win over Chelsea last weekend as they stole a 1-0 win to continue their march, while Stoke City fell 2-1 to Bournemouth as the pressure mounted on Mark Hughes. For the Cherries, it was just their second win of the season and means they are now just a point from safety. Swansea were another side that were brought crashing down as they were beaten by Leicester City, who remain without a manager. The game was the perfect chance for the Swans to gather some momentum, but they failed miserably. Southampton were indebted to a fine individual effort from Sofiane Boufal as they downed West Brom 1-0 in what was a drab affair for large parts of the game.
On Sunday, the London teams came out on top in their showdown with Merseyside. Liverpool fell 4-1 to Tottenham as Harry Kane scored a double, with Spurs benefitting from an atrocious performance from defender Dejan Lovren who Jurgen Klopp substituted in the first-half. Arsenal also won handsomely as they thumped Everton 5-2. Wayne Rooney opened the scoring, but the London side were too strong and despite an awful moment from Petr Cech as he gifted the Toffees a second, Arsene Wenger’s side now move onto 16 points while Everton drop into the relegation zone.
For United, the weekend was about as bad as it could get. City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal all won, while their own performance was awful. The gap between themselves and Pep Guardiola’s side is now five points, which looks insurmountable the way City are playing recently. While it of course is not, United cannot afford many more slip-ups against teams they should beat.
Their next fixture sees them take on Tottenham, who are in superb form. If they fail to beat the London side then not only will Spurs rise above them in the table, but City will likely extend their lead over them to eight points.