London (AFP) – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under renewed pressure after Manchester United were outclassed 2-0 by Manchester City on Saturday as Burnley ended Chelsea’s winning streak in the Premier League.
Eric Bailly’s own goal and Bernardo Silva’s strike on the stroke of half-time proved the difference at Old Trafford but there was a huge gulf in quality between the teams.
Struggling Burnley scored late to earn a 1-1 draw against Premier League leaders Chelsea, while Eddie Howe watched a 1-1 draw from the stands in Brighton as Newcastle edged closer to appointing a new manager.
Two weeks after their embarrassing 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool, United were again palpably second best in a limp display at Old Trafford.
Only a string of stunning saves from goalkeeper David de Gea prevented Solskjaer’s men from another humbling in a match in which they could muster just a single shot on target.
United have won just one of their past six Premier League games, giving Solskjaer — and club bosses — plenty to ponder during the international break.
Last week’s 3-0 win at Tottenham gave Solskjaer hope his team had turned the corner and a late Cristiano Ronaldo goal earned them a valuable Champions League point against Atalanta in midweek.
The Norwegian admitted his men, who finished second behind City in the Premier League table last season, were well below par.
But despite the string of poor results, he said he did not feel he was on borrowed time at the club, who have been trophyless since 2017.
“I have good communication all the time with the club and that’s very up front and honest about the situation,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.
“I work for Man United and I want the best for Man United and of course as long as I’m here I want to do what I can to improve this.”
City deservedly took the lead in the seventh minute when Bailly sliced Joao Cancelo’s cross into his own net.
De Gea almost single-handedly kept the marauding City attackers at bay but was at fault for their second when Silva stretched a leg to meet Cancelo’s cross and the United stopper allowed the ball to squirm into his own net.
City boss Pep Guardiola praised his team after the win, which lifted them above Liverpool to second in the table and to within three points of Chelsea.
“The best way to silence Old Trafford is to have the ball with a lot of passes and attack the box in the right moments and we did that,” he said. “We played a really good game.”
– Wasteful Chelsea –
Chelsea were frustrated as Matej Vydra’s late equaliser ended the European champions’ four-match winning run despite 25 shots from the home side.
The Blues led through Kai Havertz’s first-half header and were 11 minutes away from moving five points clear at the top before Vydra stabbed home from close range.
“Of course I’m disappointed,” said Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel. “If we played this game 100 times, we’d win 99 times. Today we didn’t win it.
“The second goal would have decided it. It’s always possible you miss one ball, one cross, and this can happen.”
Liverpool can now move to within one point of the leaders if they beat West Ham on Sunday.
Norwich briefly lifted themselves off the bottom of the table by beating Brentford 2-1 for their first league win of the season.
Newcastle edged back off the foot of the table on goal difference thanks to a point at Brighton.
The Magpies are understood to have agreed a deal in principle with former Bournemouth manager Howe to take over at St James’ Park, more than two weeks after head coach Steve Bruce’s exit following a Saudi-led takeover.
But despite the enormous resources at his disposal, Howe faces a huge task just to keep the northeast club in the English top flight.
Newcastle were again second best and fortunate to escape with a draw thanks to Isaac Hayden’s second-half strike to cancel out Leandro Trossard’s penalty.
Crystal Palace are up to ninth as Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher scored in a 2-0 win over Wolves.
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