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Dier fires Spurs to victory, Mourinho prepares for crucial test


London (AFP) – Tottenham got back on track after their European mauling at the hands of Lionel Messi as Eric Dier sealed a 1-0 win over Cardiff, while the pressure mounts on Jose Mourinho ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Newcastle on Saturday.

Mourinho has presided over United’s worst start to a season for 29 years amid the breakdown of his relationship with star midfielder Paul Pogba and several other key players.

United’s goalless draw against Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday meant Mourinho had gone four home matches without a win for the first time in his managerial career.

A report on Friday evening claimed United’s hierarchy have lost patience with the toxic atmosphere and will sack Mourinho regardless of the result in the 1630 GMT Premier League kick-off at Old Trafford.

Senior United sources strongly denied the suggestion Mourinho will be dismissed this weekend, insisting he retains the board’s support despite last Saturday’s wretched loss at West Ham and a shock League Cup exit against second-tier Derby.

However, if Mourinho is to prolong his United reign, the former Chelsea boss surely needs to go into the international break with a morale-boosting win over old rival Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle.

At Wembley, Tottenham recovered from Wednesday’s damaging 4-2 Champions League loss to Barcelona.

Messi had tormented Tottenham with a mesmerising display, capped by two goals, that left the north Londoners in danger of missing the knockout stage.

But Mauricio Pochettino’s side recovered against Cardiff to move into third place in the table.

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock joked he would play 10 defenders in a bid to stifle Tottenham and he might have regretted not doing exactly that as the hosts went in front after eight minutes.

Davinson Sanchez saw his header blocked by Joe Bennett and it span into the path of England midfielder Dier, who swept home from close-range for his first club goal since April 2017.

– Warnock incensed –

Cardiff were reduced to 10 men when Joe Ralls was sent off for chopping down Lucas Moura in the 58th minute, with Warnock incensed after Tottenham’s players surrounded the referee to demand a red card.

Matt Doherty condemned Crystal Palace to more misery on home turf as Wolves won 1-0 at Selhurst Park.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo set a Premier League record by naming an unchanged starting line-up for an eighth game in a row at the start of the season.

Doherty’s 56th-minute strike rewarded Nuno’s faith and left Palace without a goal or a win in their first four home games.

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a sublime goal to clinch his side a 2-1 win at 10-man Leicester.

Brazilian forward Bernard, signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in the close-season, marked his first Premier League start for Everton with an assist for his compatriot Richarlison, who bagged his fourth goal of the season with a simple finish in the seventh minute.

Portugal defender Ricardo Pereira equalised for Leicester in the 40th minute, firing home to celebrate his 25th birthday with his first goal since his pre-season move from Porto.

But Leicester centre-back Wes Morgan was sent off in the 63rd minute, booked twice for fouls on Richarlison, and Sigurdsson ensured the visitors took advantage when he produced a superb turn and long-range strike into top corner in the 77th minute.

Bournemouth extended their surprising start as Eddie Howe’s team climbed to fifth place with a 4-0 win at Watford.

David Brooks had netted with a superb finish in Bournemouth’s win over Crystal Palace on Monday and the winger opened the scoring against Watford with a cool strike in the 14th minute.

Joshua King doubled Bournemouth’s lead with a 33rd-minute penalty after Watford’s Christian Kabasele was sent off for bringing down the Cherries forward.

King struck again with a header on the stroke of half-time and Callum Wilson scored the fourth in the 47th minute.

Burnley drew 1-1 with Huddersfield after Sam Vokes puts the hosts ahead and Christopher Schindler snatched the equaliser.

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