Solskjaer’s United win again, City and Liverpool set for battle

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer salutes the travelling Manchester United fans after his side’s 2-0 win away to Newcastle. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer salutes the travelling Manchester United fans after his side’s 2-0 win away to Newcastle. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Manchester United made it four wins from four under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last night, as they beat Newcastle 2-0 at St James’ Park thanks to second-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford. With Rafael Benitez’s side looking to contain it took the visitors until the 64th minute to take the lead - substitute Lukaku scoring with his first touch - and they finished with a flourish as Rashford rounded off a fine breakaway move. Solskjaer’s United are now six points off fourth place after Chelsea were held to a goalless draw by Southampton at Stamford Bridge. Elsewhere Shane Duffy was on target as Brighton drew 2-2 with West Ham at the London Stadium, while Robbie Brady was sent off late on in Burnley’s 2-1 win over Huddersfield. Crystal Palace struck twice in the last 10 minutes to beat Wolves 2-0, and Bournemouth and Watford played out a 3-3 draw, with all six goals coming during a 26-minute spell in the first-half.

Tonight Manchester City welcome Liverpool to the Etihad with Pep Guardiola’s side needing a victory to reduce the deficit at the top of the table to four points and to breathe life into a faltering title defence. Ahead of the match, Guardiola said: “It is different pressure and we have to live it. We have to handle it. Maybe people expected we would always be top but we are Manchester City, we are not Liverpool or Manchester United. We are Man City - it is quite usual in the history [to be behind]. That is why it is nice after what we have achieved in the last decade to still be up there.”

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