Manchester United suffered another humbling home defeat as neighbours Manchester City outclassed them in a 2-0 Premier League win that ratcheted the pressure back up on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Solskjaer’s side never looked like being buried as they were in a 5-0 loss to Liverpool a fortnight ago but the defeat was just as hard to stomach for the home fans, thousands of whom headed for the exits before the end.
A seventh-minute own goal by United defender Eric Bailly gave City a dream start and they doubled their advantage just before halftime when Bernardo Silva poked home from close range.
City won at a canter and enjoyed a bonus as league leaders Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw at home to lowly Burnley.
Chelsea lead the standings with 26 points, three ahead of City, while Liverpool can close to within a point if they win at fourth-placed West Ham United on Sunday.
United’s 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend relieved some of the pressure on Solskjaer although they were fortunate to get a 2-2 draw away to Atalanta in midweek courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo’s last-gasp equaliser.
There was no salvation on Saturday though and Solskjaer cut a sombre figure in the rain.
“Of course it’s very disappointing,” Solskjaer said. “It’s a big step backwards, it is a way of losing that we don’t like.
“When you lose a game against a good team you want to see a better Man United team than that.”
Chelsea could hardly believe their misfortune as they dominated Burnley with 25 goal attempts but were robbed of two points, according to manager Thomas Tuchel.
Kai Havertz headed Chelsea in front from a Reece James cross but 18th-placed Burnley levelled late on through Matej Vydra.
“That’s why everyone loves the game – a team can steal a point if the other team forgets to score the goals they deserve,” said Tuchel, whose side’s run of seven successive wins in all competitions came to an end.
TIME FOR A CHANGE
Norwich City enjoyed a first league win of the season as they hung on for a 2-1 victory at Brentford but it was not enough to keep coach Daniel Farke in his job.
Hours after Canaries fans celebrated in west London, news broke that Farke had left the club after four-and-a-half years.
“I know how determined Daniel and his staff were to succeed at this level, but we feel that now is the right time for a change to give ourselves the best opportunity of retaining our Premier League status,” sporting director Stuart Webber said in a club statement.
Norwich briefly climbed off the bottom of the table but ended the day back in 20th spot as Newcastle United drew 1-1 at Brighton and Hove Albion.
With expected new manger Eddie Howe watching from the stands, Newcastle earned a point as Isaac Hayden cancelled out Leandro Trossard’s first-half penalty.
Brighton ended the game with 10 men and centre half Lewis Dunk in goal after keeper Robert Sanchez was sent off for fouling Callum Wilson just outside the area with the striker clear on goal, but Newcastle could not take advantage and are still without a league win after 11 games.
Norwich and Newcastle have five points.
Crystal Palace extended their unbeaten league run to six games as goals by Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher secured a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The win lifted Palace into the top half of the table.