Manchester United went some way to dispel the doubts that had started to creep in after their loss to Huddersfield, with a clinical 1-0 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford.
United played a back three and were solid defensively, with David De Gea barely tested in the United goal. Once again, Anthony Martial came off the bench to score. He now has four goals as a substitute in the Premier League this season, more than any other player.
United stayed five points behind City, who survived a scare to win 3-2 at West Brom. Leroy Sane continued his fine recent form with a smart finish, but West Brom equalized with a Jay Rodriguez goal that City could have defended better. Fernandinho scored with a deflected effort soon after, and Raheem Sterling made it 3-1 midway through the second half. Matt Phillips scored in stoppage time, but City held on. Down on the south coast, a solitary Eden Hazard goal was enough for Chelsea to claim three points, and relieved some of the pressure on Antonio Conte that seems just one defeat away at Stamford Bridge these days.
Arsenal continued their recent renaissance, with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Swansea at home. Sam Clucas opened the scoring for the visitors, who had drawn three and won one of their last six visits to the Emirates. However, Sead Kolasinac and Aaron Ramsey scored second half goals to take Arsenal level with Chelsea and only a point behind Spurs.
Liverpool made short work of Huddersfield, Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum scoring in the second half to bring the Terriers crashing back down to earth after their win over United last weekend. Elsewhere, United old boy Darren Fletcher scored the only goal of the game to down high-flying Watford, and relieve some pressure on Mark Hughes. It was only Stoke’s third win of the campaign so far, and their second in five games.
West Ham blew a two goal lead, secured by Javier Hernandez and Andre Ayew, to draw 2-2 away to Crystal Palace. Luka Milivojevic scored a 50th minute penalty to halve the deficit, and after Palace had hit the woodwork twice, Wifried Zaha scored in the seventh minute of stoppage time to leave Slaven Bilic despondent. West Ham had the chance to pull clear of the bottom three, but with only a point separating them from the relegation zone and Liverpool up next, the Croatian may not be in charge for much longer.
Ronald Koeman’s old side Everton continued in the same vein as before, losing 2-0 at the King Power. A simple tap-in from Jamie Vardy and a deflected Demarai Gray effort were enough to keep David Unsworth’s side in the relegation zone, with only one win in their last nine games, while Claude Puel will have been pleased with his side’s display. Brighton and Southampton played out a 1-1 draw at the Amex, Steven Davis’ early opener cancelled out by a Glen Murray header, which Fraser Forster should have done better with.
While all of United’s other title rivals picked up wins over the weekend, United’s third consecutive 1-0 win over Spurs at Old Trafford was the perfect reaction to the loss at Huddersfield. United were solid at the back and much better creatively than in the draw at Anfield, and it sets up the clash against Chelsea at the Bridge quite well. With Manchester City playing Arsenal next weekend, a good result against Jose Mourinho’s old team could potentially bring United a lot closer to City at the top.