United beat Huddersfield as City draws at Burnley

Alexis Sanchez scored his first goal for Manchester United as they comfortably beat Huddersfield to send the visitors into the Premier League’s relegation zone.

After an uneventful first half, Romelu Lukaku gave United the lead on 55 minutes with a close-range volley.

Sanchez was then fouled by Huddersfield defender Michael Hefele to win a penalty and the Chilean, a January signing from Arsenal, stepped up to take the spot-kick.

The forward saw his low shot saved by Jonas Lossl, but made no mistake with the rebound to double United’s lead on his home debut.

It was an emotional day at Old Trafford as United commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster with a minute’s silence before kick-off.

With Premier League leaders Manchester City drawing 1-1 at Burnley in the early kick-off, second-placed United narrowed the gap to 13 points.

But it was a fifth successive league defeat for Huddersfield, who are without a win in eight league games and now sit 19th.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola refused to blame Raheem Sterling for his side’s failure to beat Burnley after the England forward missed a glorious late chance to secure victory.

With City 1-0 up and less than 20 minutes away from their 23rd league win of the season, Sterling somehow failed to find the target from six yards after meeting Kyle Walker’s cross at the far post.

That buoyed the home crowd, as did Sterling’s substitution soon afterwards, and Johann Berg Gudmundsson levelled for Burnley with eight minutes remaining.

Clarets boss Sean Dyche felt Sterling’s miss “changed the feeling” of the game though: “The stadium erupted and everyone was with us. That started to grow.”

But Guardiola insisted he did not take off Sterling because he had failed to score, and did not feel it was a decisive moment in the game.

Meanwhile, Arsenal need to find the right balance between attack and defence if they are to finish the season successfully, manager Arsene Wenger says.

Wenger saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang score a debut goal and Aaron Ramsey his first hat-trick as his side thumped a disorganised Everton.

However, Arsenal have not kept a clean sheet in eight Premier League matches, and finished Saturday’s match five points adrift of a Champions League qualification place.

“Our challenge is to find a balance,” Wenger said. “We’re a very offensive team but need to find a balance between attacking and defending. That will be our challenge until the end of the season.”

Aubameyang, a club-record £56m signing from Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, chipped in from fellow new arrival Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s pass as the home side led 4-0 by half-time.

Television replays showed the goal should have been ruled out for offside, although the visitors could hardly claim the decision made a huge difference to the match.

Everton conceded three times in the opening 20 minutes amid defensive chaos, with Ramsey touching in the opener from Mkhitaryan’s cross.

Laurent Koscielny got in front of Aubameyang to head the second at the far post after Shkodran Mustafi glanced on Mesut Ozil’s corner, before Ramsey scored a deflected third.

Liverpool will seek to revenge the 4-1 thrashing at Wembly last year when they host Tottenham on Sunday.

 

  

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