The Premier League top 5 has been shaken up again following victories for Manchester United & Newcastle United last night, drawing the Toon and the Red Devils level on points in 3rd and 4th place.
Both sides enjoyed victories at their home stadiums last night, with Manchester United seeing off Brentford 1-0 and Newcastle handing West Ham a 5-1 pasting at St James’ Park.
United came out strong against the Bees, following a 2-0 defeat away to Newcastle on Sunday. Ten Hag’s men had Brentford on the back foot from the word go, piling on the pressure in the first half. Despite corner after corner, and the Bees struggling to get the ball into United’s half, it took the home side the best part of half an hour to take the lead.
The decisive goal came from their main man, Marcus Rashford, following United’s 6th corner of the game 27 minutes in. The initial corner was cleared, as were the previous 5, but this time the ball fell to the feet of Sabitzer. The Austrian national delivered a perfect chip back into the box into the path of Rashford, who expertly struck the ball first time on the half volley to send it soaring into the roof of the net.
Brentford came into their own in the second half, finally managing to find ways to challenge United further up the field, but a resilient and measured performance from ten Hag’s men at Old Trafford secured them the vital 3 points.
Newcastle made their night look much easier than any other team playing yesterday. They took the lead just 6 minutes in through Callum Wilson. This was complimented by a contribution from Joelinton just another 7 minutes later, putting the Toon 2-0 up before 15 minutes had been played.
Although Newcastle have been on form of late, their finishing scoreline was perhaps aided by a complete lack of organisation from West Ham. Despite being pulled from pillar to post by Newcastle, they did however manage to grab a goal back before halftime via Kurt Zouma.
Any hopes of a comeback were very short lived for the Hammers, with it taking just a single minute of the second half for Newcastle to add another to their tally. Callum Wilson once again found the back of the net to put them up 3-1 and discourage any potential rally from West Ham.
Newcastle continued to pile on the pressure throughout the night against a flailing Hammers side, and found their final 2 goals in the final 10 minutes through Alexander Isak and Joelinton. Their 3 points were won with a decisive scoreline of 5-1, putting them at the number 3 spot in the Premier League top 5 and adding a handsome chunk to their +26 goal difference.
Last night’s results shuffled the last 3 of the top 5 positions, with Newcastle taking 3rd place ahead of Manchester United on goal difference alone, and Tottenham finding themselves pushed down to 5th place, 3 points behind both sides. Both the Toon and the Red Devils also have games in hand over Tottenham, with ten Hag’s men having 1 more game to draw level and Eddie Howe enjoying a 2 match buffer.