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EPL week 24 review: Manchester clubs drop points to Newcastle & Burnley

TAGs: English Premier League, Manchester United

The first of two midweek evenings of English Premier League action draws to a close, and it was a night to forget for both Manchester Clubs, dropping points against relegation contenders Newcastle and Burnley.

EPL Wk 24 Review: Manchester clubs drop points to Newcastle & BurnleyOn a night when you expected Manchester City to pull within one point of league leaders Liverpool, and Manchester United to record their ninth straight win under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Newcastle and Burnley kicked off their shackles and placed them on the ankles of the Red and Blue sides of the place where it always rains.

City had not lost to Newcastle in 22 league games, and with Liverpool facing Leicester at Anfield on Wednesday night, and Sergio Aguero scoring the fastest English Premier League (EPL) goal of the season in just 24-seconds, you expected the gap to close.

Ah, the EPL, the most exciting league in the world, where anyone can beat anyone.

Newcastle had other ideas.

Rafa Benitez’s side allowed City to have possession without ever threatening, leaving me without a chance to share. It’s not as if Newcastle were going for gold either, but they took their two chances well when they came.

First, in the 66th-minute the excellent Salomon Rondon got on the end of an Isaac Hayden header to hook the ball past Ederson, and then with 12-minutes of tick-tock left on the clock, the usually composed Ferdandinho allowed Sean Longstaff to intercept his weak backpass, before bringing him down inside the box.

Up stepped Matt Ritchie.

And he waited.

And waited.

Two minutes later, after Ederson has received treatment, the Scot fired home one of the unlikeliest winners you will see this season.

The result means City has now dropped more points this season as in the entirety of last, and Liverpool can stretch the lead to seven points if they can beat the Foxes on Wednesday.

Man Utd 2 v 2 Burnley

It was less likely that Burnley would do a job on Man Utd after Sean Dyche’s side had failed to win at Old Trafford since 1962, drawing seven and losing 12. Add United’s seven-game winning streak into the equation, and you had a banker for your accumulator.

So the Old Trafford prawn sandwich munchers were a tad silent after Burnley took a two-goal lead thanks to a stunning strike from Ashley Barnes after Andreas Perreira lost possession in a critical area, and Barnes became the provider when Chris Wood headed home his cross with only nine minutes remaining.

Two down.

Ten-minutes to go.

If anyone can rouse a comeback, it’s Ole Gunnar Solksjaer after being in Sir Alex Ferguson teams that made this their forte. In fact, when Paul Pogba scored from the spot in the 87th-minute, the usually boisterous Norwegian didn’t even budge, giving you the sense that he knew it was coming.

Then two minutes into injury time, Ashley Young found Alexis Sanchez in the six-yard box, Tom Heaton saved the Chilean’s header only for Victor Lindelöf to scramble home the equaliser.

It was an excellent comeback and a sign that United are a different prospect under Ole, but it will still feel like two points dropped with Chelsea playing on Wednesday, and Arsenal moving two points clear of the Manchester outfit after beating Cardiff at The Emirates.

Burnley is starting to get their act together and move four points clear of the relegation zone; undefeated in five games.

Results in Full

Arsenal 2 v 1 Cardiff
Fulham 4 v 2 Brighton
Wolves 3 v 0 West Ham
Huddersfield 0 v 1 Everton
Newcastle 2 v 1 Man City
Man Utd 2 v 2 Burnley

To Be Played (Wednesday)

Southampton v Crystal Palace
Bournemouth v Chelsea
Liverpool v Leicester
Spurs v Watford

Premier League Table

1. Liverpool – 60 points
2. Man City – 56
3. Spurs – 51
4. Chelsea – 47
5. Arsenal – 47
6. Man Utd – 45
7. Wolves – 35
8. Everton – 33
9. Watford – 33
10. Leicester – 31
11. West Ham – 31
12. Bournemouth – 30
13. Brighton – 26
14. Newcastle – 24
15. Burnley – 23
16. Crystal Palace – 22
17. Southampton – 22
18. Cardiff – 19
19. Fulham – 17
20. Huddersfield – 11

Odds

To Win

Liverpool 4/11
Man City 9/4

Top 4 Finish

Spurs 2/7
Chelsea 2/5
Man Utd 2/1
Arsenal 5/2

Relegated

Huddersfield 1/66
Fulham 1/3
Cardiff 4/11
Burnley 7/4
Newcastle 7/1

Top Scorer

Mohamed Salah 4/6 (16 goals)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 11/4 (15 goals)
Sergio Aguero 6/1 (11 goals)
Harry Kane 14/1 (14 goals)

Next Manager to Leave

Claude Puel 4/9
Marco Silva 6/1
Rafa Benitez 7/1

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