Infotainment Factory: Big United win, Man City and Chelsea lose

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Saturday, 22 December 2018

Big United win, Man City and Chelsea lose


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Manchester City have stumbled to the most sensational defeat of the Premier League season before neighbours Manchester United began their brave new world under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a glorious reminder of long-forgotten attacking swagger.

After City's sensational 3-2 home loss to Crystal Palace, United seemed liberated and re-energised after Jose Mourinho's mid-week sacking as they romped to a 5-1 win at Cardiff City - the first time they have scored five in the league since Alex Ferguson's final match in charge in 2013.

A remarkable 30-metre thunderbolt from Andros Townsend adorned Palace's remarkable comeback from a goal down in the rain as Pep Guardiola's champions City had their 100 per cent league home record this season shattered.

Fourth-placed Chelsea also squandered their unbeaten home record with a 1-0 defeat by Leicester City.

Arsenal kept up their pursuit in fifth, thanks to a double from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a 3-1 home win over Burnley that put the Gabonese striker top of the league's goalscoring charts.

After 18 matches, Liverpool are now the only unbeaten side left in England's top four divisions on 48 points, with City on 44 and Tottenham Hotspur, who visit Everton on Sunday, third on 39.

Chelsea and Arsenal both have 37, while United are on 29.

On a rain-sodden afternoon at the Etihad, Manchester City went ahed on 27 minutes through Ilkay Gundogan but Palace responded quickly with a Jeffrey Schlupp strike.

Just minutes later a wondrous volley from 30 metres from Townsend, which will be a contender for goal of the season, gave the visitors the lead at the break.

Luka Milivojevic put the visitors further clear with a penalty after the break before Palace survived a late onslaught that saw Kevin De Bruyne score five minutes from time.

"It's complicated but we fight until the last second. We are in December and we will try and recover and try and win games again," Guardiola said, conceding that his side needed to "recover mentally and recover physicality".

In stark contrast, Manchester United seemed mentally and physically re-born with Paul Pogba reinstated to the starting XI.

Marcus Rashford's free kick put United ahead after just three minutes and further goals before halftime from Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial and a second-half double from Jesse Lingard made it a perfect start for interim boss Solskjaer.

"Football is easy if you have good players. This is such a great group of players. The quality is just unbelievable," Solskjaer told BT Sport.

Leicester stunned Chelsea with Jamie Vardy's first-time finish soon after the break lifting the Foxes up to ninth.

At the Emirates Stadium, the predatory Aubameyang took his season-leading tally of league goals to 12 with his double in the win over Burnley.

Mesut Ozil starred on his return to the Gunners line-up while lex Iwobi scored a late sealer after Ashley Barnes halved the deficit on 63 minutes.

Fulham earned a goalless draw at Newcastle United but remained bottom of the table on goal difference, just behind Huddersfield Town who were beaten 3-1 by a Southampton side rejuvenated under new Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuettl.

Watford moved into seventh place with a 2-0 win at West Ham United, thanks to goals from Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu.

Manchester City have stumbled to the most sensational defeat of the Premier League season before neighbours Manchester United began their brave new world under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a glorious reminder of long-forgotten attacking swagger.

After City's sensational 3-2 home loss to Crystal Palace, United seemed liberated and re-energised after Jose Mourinho's mid-week sacking as they romped to a 5-1 win at Cardiff City - the first time they have scored five in the league since Alex Ferguson's final match in charge in 2013.

A remarkable 30-metre thunderbolt from Andros Townsend adorned Palace's remarkable comeback from a goal down in the rain as Pep Guardiola's champions City had their 100 per cent league home record this season shattered.

Fourth-placed Chelsea also squandered their unbeaten home record with a 1-0 defeat by Leicester City.

Arsenal kept up their pursuit in fifth, thanks to a double from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a 3-1 home win over Burnley that put the Gabonese striker top of the league's goalscoring charts.

After 18 matches, Liverpool are now the only unbeaten side left in England's top four divisions on 48 points, with City on 44 and Tottenham Hotspur, who visit Everton on Sunday, third on 39.

Chelsea and Arsenal both have 37, while United are on 29.

On a rain-sodden afternoon at the Etihad, Manchester City went ahed on 27 minutes through Ilkay Gundogan but Palace responded quickly with a Jeffrey Schlupp strike.

Just minutes later a wondrous volley from 30 metres from Townsend, which will be a contender for goal of the season, gave the visitors the lead at the break.

Luka Milivojevic put the visitors further clear with a penalty after the break before Palace survived a late onslaught that saw Kevin De Bruyne score five minutes from time.

"It's complicated but we fight until the last second. We are in December and we will try and recover and try and win games again," Guardiola said, conceding that his side needed to "recover mentally and recover physicality".

In stark contrast, Manchester United seemed mentally and physically re-born with Paul Pogba reinstated to the starting XI.

Marcus Rashford's free kick put United ahead after just three minutes and further goals before halftime from Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial and a second-half double from Jesse Lingard made it a perfect start for interim boss Solskjaer.

"Football is easy if you have good players. This is such a great group of players. The quality is just unbelievable," Solskjaer told BT Sport.

Leicester stunned Chelsea with Jamie Vardy's first-time finish soon after the break lifting the Foxes up to ninth.

At the Emirates Stadium, the predatory Aubameyang took his season-leading tally of league goals to 12 with his double in the win over Burnley.

Mesut Ozil starred on his return to the Gunners line-up while lex Iwobi scored a late sealer after Ashley Barnes halved the deficit on 63 minutes.

Fulham earned a goalless draw at Newcastle United but remained bottom of the table on goal difference, just behind Huddersfield Town who were beaten 3-1 by a Southampton side rejuvenated under new Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuettl.

Watford moved into seventh place with a 2-0 win at West Ham United, thanks to goals from Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu.

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