Man Utd close on top four; Spurs defence errors anger Mourinho


Manchester United closed on the Premier League’s top four with a 2-0 victory at Burnley as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford struck late in each half to take United above Tottenham Hotspurs in fifth after Spurs were held 2-2 draw at Norwich.

Jose Mourinho bemoaned Tottenham Hotspurs’ inability to keep clean sheets after twice having to come from behind.

Mourinho not amused

Slack Spurs defending allowed Mario Vrancic to open the scoring and only a VAR review to harshly rule out Teemu Pukki’s goal prevented Mourinho’s men trailing 2-0 at halftime.

Christian Eriksen’s brilliant free-kick levelled for Spurs early in the second half, but Jose Mourinho’s men shot themselves in the foot again soon after as Serge Aurier’s own goal restored Norwich’s lead.

Manuel Pellegrini fired

Tottenham’s dominance after the break was rewarded eight minutes from time through Harry Kane’s penalty after the England international had been chopped down inside the area.

“We conceded two very, very bad goals,” bemoaned Mourinho. “You cannot concede as many goals as we do but our defensive mistakes are match after match.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have responded positively to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to then bottom-of-the-table Watford less than a week ago to head into the new year with fresh belief they can secure a return to the Champions League next season.

Everton celebrate their goal

If United are to achieve that goal, Martial and Rashford will be key and they again provided the goals for the Red Devils in a game of few clear-cut chances.

There were also positives for Solskjaer at the back as his side ended a club-record 14-match run without a Premier League clean sheet.

Burnley have not beaten United since 2009 and never looked likely to spring a surprise.

Watford v Aston Villa

A much-changed Leicester inflicted the final blow of Manuel Pellegrini’s time in charge of West Ham with a 2-1 win on Saturday that saw him get fired.

Pellegrini was sacked soon after the Hammers succumbed to a Leicester side that made nine changes after a Boxing Day thrashing by Liverpool.

Jamie Vardy was among those missing due to the birth of his daughter, but Kelechi Iheanacho and Demarai Gray made the most of their chance for a rare Premier League start by scoring either side of halftime.

Harry Kane scores from the penalty spot

The Foxes move 10 points behind Liverpool and stretch their lead in second over Manchester City to four points.

Carlo Ancelotti’s flying start at Everton continued with a 2-1 win at Newcastle thanks to a double from the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin to move into the top half.

The 22-year-old twice showed his predatory instincts from close range either side of Fabian Schaer’s equaliser.

Crystal Palace missed the chance to close to within three points of the top four as they surrendered a lead to draw 1-1 at Southampton as Danny Ings cancelled out James Tomkins’s opener.

Brighton climbed up to 14th, five points clear of the drop zone, as Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Aaron Mooy scored their first goals for the club in a 2-0 win over Bournemouth.

Watford closed to within three points of safety thanks to a second home win in as many games under Nigel Pearson as Troy Deeney scored twice in a 3-0 win over Aston Villa despite the Hornets playing half an hour with 10 men after Adrian Mariappa saw red.