Manchester United on Sunday came from behind to beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 to cut Manchester City’s lead at the top of the English Premier League to 14 points, while Tottenham Hotspur’s top-four challenge suffered a setback as Joe Willock’s late strike rescued a 2-2 draw for lowly Newcastle United.
Not for the first time this season, Manchester United needed a second-half fightback after a dismal first 45 minutes to take all three points thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.
Danny Welbeck deservedly opened the scoring for the Seagulls against his old club, before Lewis Dunk hit the crossbar for the visitors.
However, Brighton also repeated the story of their season as they failed to make the most of their dominance before halftime.
Rashford slotted home an equalizer on 62 minutes from a Bruno Fernandes pass to reward their marked improvement.
Fernandes was involved again for the winner as his cross was volleyed back across goal by Paul Pogba and into the path of Greenwood, who headed just his second league goal of the season.
Manchester United’s chances of chasing down Manchester City look forlorn with the runaway league leaders needing just 11 points from their remaining seven games to seal a third title in four seasons, but the victory opened an 11-point cushion over fifth-placed Spurs and Liverpool in their quest to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
“It’s a long way up [to Manchester City], but we want to consolidate second place,” Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
Spurs were left to rue letting another lead slip away at St James’ Park.
Jose Mourinho’s side were just five minutes away from moving into fourth place thanks to Harry Kane’s first-half brace.
Joelinton had put Newcastle ahead and Steve Bruce’s men were rewarded for a much-improved performance when on-loan Arsenal midfielder Willock smashed in off the underside of the bar five minutes from time.
Tottenham edged ahead of Liverpool on goal-difference, but are still two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
“I’m frustrated. We needed to win the match. We created some instability with so many individual defensive mistakes that we made,” Mourinho said.
Asked why Tottenham have struggled to hold onto leads when his teams have been so solid defensively in the past, Mourinho replied: “Same coach, different players.”
“The Premier League is hard and is high-level football, and when in some actions you don’t show that you belong to that high level of football, it’s difficult,” he said.
Willock’s goal could prove invaluable for fourth-bottom Newcastle as they moved three points clear of Fulham, who were beaten 3-1 at Aston Villa.
Fulham looked set to move out of the relegation zone when Aleksandar Mitrovic pounced on a loose pass by Tyrone Mings to score his first league goal since September last year.
Villa had looked devoid of ideas without the injured Jack Grealish, but Dean Smith’s men suddenly sparked into life to score three times in the final 12 minutes.
Egyptian winger Trezeguet came off the bench to score twice in three minutes to turn the game around.
Ollie Watkins then tapped home from Bertrand Traore’s cross to round off the scoring.
Earlier, Southampton took a huge step toward survival by coming from 2-0 down to beat Burnley 3-2.
Chris Wood’s penalty and Matej Vydra’s strike gave the visitors a dream start inside 28 minutes, but Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side hit back impressively as Stuart Armstrong and Danny Ings scored before halftime. Nathan Redmond bagged the 66th-minute winner.
“These points were important,” Hasenhuttl said. “When you see five goals it’s always good for TV, but not so good for the hearts of the managers.”
After only their second league win in 13 games, Southampton are three points above Burnley, who sit seven points ahead of Fulham.
TAKE TWO: Tainan TSG are the favorites going into this season, which starts on Sunday. They have fearsome forwards and national ’keeper Pan Wen-chieh between the posts Defending champions Tainan TSG (Taiwan Steel Group) face a tough challenge from their southern neighbors Taipower and CPC FC when the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) season starts this weekend with four matches on Sunday. Promoting grassroots soccer, and organizing relegation and promotion between the top and second divisions last year was important for the progression of Taiwanese soccer, CTFA chairman Chiou I-jen told a news conference in Taipei yesterday. “We are going in the right direction ... and becoming more competitive” for international competitions, Chiou said. Still the favorites, Tainan TSG have the league’s most fearsome forwards, with three international star players.
INSULT: Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby was involved in a heated exchange with Cadiz’s Juan Cala before indicating to the referee that he was leaving the pitch Valencia’s players on Sunday walked off during their La Liga game with Cadiz in protest against racist abuse, with coach Javi Gracia later claiming they were told they would be punished if they refused to resume the match. The fixture was stopped in the 37th minute after Valencia said their player Mouctar Diakhaby was the victim of a racial insult. Diakhaby had been involved in a heated exchange with Cadiz’s Juan Cala before indicating to the referee David Medie Jimenez that he was leaving the pitch. The Frenchman’s teammates followed him off and Cadiz also went down the tunnel soon after. About 15
Nine-year-old Thai kickboxer Pornpattara “Tata” Peachaurai is eager to get back in the ring after COVID-19 curbs brought his fight season to a halt more than five months ago. The money he earns is vital income for his family. “All the money from boxing, the regular payment and the tips, it all goes to mum,” the lean young fighter said. “I’m proud to be a boxer and to earn money for my mum.” Tata’s last fight was in October last year, before a second COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand shut down sports events as bans on large gatherings were reimposed. “I cannot box. I
After several humbling losses to the West Division leaders, the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday sent quite the message to the Colorado Avalanche in their last of eight regular-season matchups. Eight was more than enough for the Wild to slow the Avalanche. Kevin Fiala notched his first career hat-trick, while Kirill Kaprizov had two of Minnesota’s three power-play goals as the sharp-shooting Wild beat Colorado 8-3 to hand the Avalanche their first regulation loss in 16 games. “We can play against you guys,” Fiala said. “If we’re going to meet them in the playoffs.” Luke Johnson, Ryan Hartman and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored as