Manchester City stun rivals United at Old Trafford, after Wayne Rooney spoils the Merseyside derby for Liverpool and Olivier Giroud saves Arsenal at Southampton.
Manchester City took a giant step towards the Premier League crown, as a fractious win at rivals United gave them an 11 point lead in the title race.
David Silva couldn’t miss from three yards out as he scored for the second game running two minutes before half-time. But Marcus Rashford tucked home the leveller four minutes later in stoppage time when Fabian Delph failed to clear a through ball.
The tension began to simmer at Old Trafford, with Jesse Lingard and Fernandinho having their own feud altogether. And the stress levels rose still further when City netted an uncannily similar goal to their first. Taking advantage of Romelu Lukaku’s shanked clearance, Nicolas Otamendi swept in just like Silva before him on 54 minutes. The big Belgian was then denied at the other end as City stopper Ederson pulled off a stunning double save.
Pep Guardiola’s men then saw out time to secure a deserved win that could well prove decisive come the sharp end of the campaign.
Liverpool 1-1 Everton
Wayne Rooney’s penalty helped Everton put the freeze on Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. The old foe of the Reds smashed in from 12 yards on 77 minutes to steal a point for the Toffees. A Mohamed Salah scorcher had initially warmed Liverpool hearts on a freezing Anfield afternoon against city rivals Everton.
The Egyptian’s curling 42nd-minute goal was as pure as the Stanley Park snow. And it looked like taking Jurgen Klopp’s men up to third in the Premier League table, above reigning champions Chelsea. But Dejan Lovren’s clumsy second-half foul in the area put paid to all that, allowing the former England striker to level.
Southampton 1-1 Arsenal
Arsenal salvaged a Premier League point at Southampton, thanks to super-sub Olivier Giroud. The French international headed home on 88 minutes, with the hosts having led for almost the entire match at St Mary’s. Charlie Austin’s cool finish had put the Saints into a third-minute lead.
And it could have been much worse for the Gunners in double quick time. The in-form striker forced Petr Cech into a smart save and struck the woodwork, albeit with the flag up for offside, all before ten minutes were on the clock. Mauricio Pellegrini’s side sought to protect what they had, with Arsenal increasingly coming into the game.
But it was home midfielder Oriol Romeu who came closest after the break, crashing a long-range effort off the bar. Until Giroud popped up to score from off the bench yet again, that is.
Author: Sports reporter