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CITY AND UNITED PUT DISTANCE BETWEEN THEMSELVES AND THE CHASING PACK
Posted by Alex King on Mon, 02/10/2017 - 14:38
The feeling that Manchester holds the balance of power in the Premier League was reinforced at the weekend, as Manchester United romped to another impressive win and Manchester City overcame Chelsea.
The second season has always been when Jose Mourinho has made his mark at the clubs he has managed, and his Manchester United are executing the script to perfection.
At times last season, watching United was about as enjoyable as hammering splinters under your nails. This term, the old Red Devil swagger is back and Old Trafford is lapping it up. For the sixth time this season, United put four goals past an opponent – with a hapless Crystal Palace the latest lambs to the slaughter.
Juan Mata opened the scoring inside three minutes, breaking into the box ahead of his marker to slot home Marcus Rashford’s cross.
For a side who have yet to score a goal this season, conceding so early was a hammer blow to Palace.
A Paul Pogba-sized gap is in Manchester United’s midfield, with no date set for the France international’s return from a hamstring injury. There was a fear that the Red Devils would struggle to replace Pogba’s drive and dynamism. Not so, as the much-maligned Marouane Fellaini has stepped up in style. He helped himself to two goals, while he also worked hard in midfield and produced telling clearances in his own box.
Romelu Lukaku helped himself to the fourth goal in the final five minutes as United moved on to 19 points from seven games.
United are second in the table behind Manchester City who produced a brilliant display to beat Chelsea 1-0.
City dominated on Chelsea’s turf and Kevin de Bruyne’s goal on 67 minutes secured Pep Guardiola’s men a sixth win of the season and top spot in the league.
The defeat is the second of the season for Chelsea, snapping an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions – and it reinforced the opinion that Guardiola and Mourinho have their sides tuned superbly.
The momentum they have behind them at present is significant, and both managers will be ruing the fact that an international break has arrived to bring a temporary halt to proceedings.
Tottenham Hotspur leapfrogged Chelsea into third thanks to their 4-0 win at Huddersfield Town. The red-hot form of Harry Kane continued, with the England striker bagging himself two goals – with Ben Davies and Moussa Sissoko the other names on the scoresheet for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Arsenal lifted themselves into the top five courtesy of a polished 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. Nacho Monreal fired the Gunners ahead after a goalmouth scramble on 16 minutes and the three points were secured when Alex Iwobi found the net on 56 minutes.
Liverpool dominated their game with Newcastle United, but were forced to settle for a point after Joselu scored to cancel out a stunning strike from Philippe Coutinho in a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park.
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