United EPL top 4 hope slims after 2-2 draw with Saints, City cease summit


Manchester United recovered from a terrible start but were still held to a disappointing 2-2 draw in another unconvincing display at struggling Southampton.

Jose Mourinho’s side were facing an embarrassing defeat early on as the Saints went into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes.

Marcus Rashford inspired a comeback before half-time, with two goals in six minutes from Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera earning the visitors a point.

Manchester United recovered from a terrible start but were still held to a disappointing 2-2 draw in another unconvincing display at struggling Southampton.

Jose Mourinho’s side were facing an embarrassing defeat early on as the Saints went into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes.

Marcus Rashford inspired a comeback before half-time, with two goals in six minutes from Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera earning the visitors a point.

BBC reports that neither side were able to mount any real pressure in the second half, with the draw leaving the Saints in the relegation zone with just one win in their past 18 Premier League games.

That makes it almost half a season with just a solitary win, and Mark Hughes’ side will reflect on a costly capitulation at the end of the first half after fine goals from Stuart Armstrong and Cedric Soares had seemingly put them in control.

United move seventh – still six points off a Champions League place and a massive 16 shy of the lead held by rivals Manchester City.

reports that neither side were able to mount any real pressure in the second half, with the draw leaving the Saints in the relegation zone with just one win in their past 18 Premier League games.

That makes it almost half a season with just a solitary win, and Mark Hughes’ side will reflect on a costly capitulation at the end of the first half after fine goals from Stuart Armstrong and Cedric Soares had seemingly put them in control.

United move seventh – still six points off a Champions League place and a massive 16 shy of the lead held by rivals Manchester City.

Manchester City moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League as Raheem Sterling inspired a 3-1 win over Bournemouth, while Manchester United’s problems mounted as they escaped with a 2-2 draw at lowly Southampton on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Pep Guardiola’s side racked up their sixth successive league win thanks to a second half surge after Bournemouth shocked the Etihad Stadium.

City hold a significant lead over second placed Liverpool, but they can close the gap back to two points if they beat Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.

“A good win, after the Champions League it is always tough. People think it’s easy for us but that is not the truth, so I like to win in this way,” Guardiola said.

“In the second half one action from Raheem Sterling changed the game.

It was a landmark moment for former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola, who said: “My 400th win as a manager? I didn’t know that. Congratulations Pep!”

Guardiola left City’s record goal-scorer Sergio Aguero out of the squad, but even the Argentine star’s absence couldn’t halt the champions’ momentum.

City had scored 40 goals in their previous 13 league games and it took them just 16 minutes to shatter Bournemouth’s resistence as Bernardo Silva bagged his second goal of the season.

Leroy Sane’s shot was saved by Asmir Begovic, but Silva was on hand to tap into the empty net.

City were stunned in the 44th minute when Callum Wilson headed Bournemouth’s equaliser from a Simon Francis cross.

But the leaders restored order in the 57th minute as Sterling continued his mastery of Eddie Howe’s team.

Sterling netted from close-range after Begovic spilled Danilo’s shot, making it eight goals in six league appearances against Bournemouth for the City winger.

Ilkay Gundogan put the result beyond doubt when the German finished a fine move involving Bernardo Silva and Sane in the 79th minute.

While City remain the team to beat, their rivals United remain in turmoil after their winless league run extended to three games.

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