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EPL 2021, news, scores, results, Manchester United vs Watford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacking, video, highlights, Premier League

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is clinging to his job as Manchester United manager after a 4-1 thrashing at Watford on Saturday as Chelsea cruised to victory at Leicester to stretch their Premier League lead to four points.

Liverpool moved up to second by ending Arsenal’s 10-match unbeaten run with ease, winning 4-0 at Anfield, while former Reds captain Steven Gerrard got off to a winning start as Aston Villa boss thanks to two late goals to beat Brighton 2-0.

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Gerrard claims first win as Villa coach | 01:23

Solskjaer has clung onto his job despite a run of just one win in seven Premier League games to slip to seventh, 12 points adrift of the leaders.

United’s hierarchy has remained loyal to Solskjaer despite intense pressure in recent weeks to make a change.

But their resolve looks to have been ended by another miserable performance with reports that a board meeting on Saturday evening will bring Solskjaer’s three-year reign to an end.

Watford could even afford to miss an early penalty twice as David de Gea saved from Ismaila Sarr and Kiko Femenia’s follow-up from the first spot-kick was ruled out for encroaching.

Joshua King and Sarr struck before halftime to give the Hornets a deserved 2-0 lead.

Solskjaer responded by introducing Donny Van de Beek at halftime and his refusal to give the Dutchman more opportunities will be questioned after he made an instant impact to turn home Cristiano Ronaldo’s header across goal.

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‘Nightmare after nightmare’: Utd hold emergency Ole meeting after ‘embarrassing’ loss

However, just as the visitors were building momentum, captain Harry Maguire’s miserable season suffered another setback when he was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis rubbed more salt into United’s wounds in stoppage time.

“Sometimes you’ve got to say ‘Sorry’,” said Solskjaer, who held his hands up in apology to the travelling fans at full-time. “I feel for the fans and I feel the same as them.”

Liverpool swat Arsenal aside with ease | 00:46

– Chelsea, Liverpool show their class –

The gulf between United and the title contenders was exposed by brilliant performances from Chelsea and Liverpool.

Chelsea toyed with Leicester as Antonio Rudiger’s header opened the scoring at the King Power before N’Golo Kante came back to haunt his old side with a brilliant run and strike from the edge of the box.

Substitute Christian Pulisic put the seal on a brilliant all-round performance and 3-0 win for the European champions, who also had two goals ruled out for off-side.

“It’s a good away game, an excellent result,” said Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel. “We knew we needed to be strong from first to last minute. This is what we did.”

Wolves end West Ham’s winning streak | 01:24

Arsenal travelled to Anfield full of confidence having not tasted defeat since August.

But the Gunners were blown away after Sadio Mane’s header opened the floodgates six minutes before halftime.

Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino all struck in the second half as Liverpool bounced back from their first defeat in 26 games before the international break at West Ham.

“We were all over them — they were just seeing red blurs all over the place,” said Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. “That second half was outstanding.”

Gerrard got off to a dream start at Villa Park as his new side moved four points clear of the relegation zone.

England internationals Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings produced stunning finishes in the final six minutes to edge a nervy contest against Brighton.

Newcastle slipped to the bottom of the table in the absence of their new boss Eddie Howe, who tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, as the Magpies were held 3-3 at home by Brentford.

Canaries soar high over Southampton | 01:28

Norwich also got a bounce from a new manager as they moved off the foot of the table in Dean Smith’s first match in charge thanks to a 2-1 win over Southampton.

Che Adams put the Saints in front, but Teemu Pukki and Grant Hanley lifted the Canaries to within three points of safety.

Burnley remain rooted in the bottom three after another six-goal thriller at Turf Moor ended 3-3 with Crystal Palace.

West Ham missed the chance to move into second as Raul Jimenez scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for Wolves at Molineux.

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Premier League 2021/22 talking points, results, news, reaction, ladder, Chelsea form, Ralf Rangnick, Manchester United

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Ralf Rangnick won his first match as Manchester United interim manager this weekend after the top three in the Premier League swapped positions, with Manchester City now in the driving seat.

Newcastle at last tasted victory to give new manager Eddie Howe hope they can escape relegation while Steven Gerrard won his third match in four since taking over at Aston Villa.

Here are three talking points from the action in the English top flight.

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‘NOT GOOD ENOUGH’: Arteta fumes as Gunners gunned down

Toffees notch sweet win over Gunners | 01:33

RANGNICK RESTORES ‘ORDER’ AT UTD

Ralf Rangnick was given an early sight of the job that lies ahead of him to ensure the Red Devils do not miss out on the top four.

The high-energy style the 63-year-old has built his reputation on in German football was on show early on at Old Trafford, just days after his arrival to replace the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But United struggled to maintain that intensity or break Palace down until Fred’s fine strike from outside the box 13 minutes from time.

A first home clean sheet of the season gives Rangnick a platform on which to build, but that was more due to the visitors’ caution and a glaring miss from Jordan Ayew than great defending.

United are now sixth in the table after a second straight win, just three points behind fourth-placed West Ham.

Rangnick bags first win with United | 01:26

However, Rangnick has an enticing run of fixtures coming up, with Norwich, Brentford, Brighton, Newcastle and Burnley to come before the end of the year.

United great Gary Neville said Rangnick got the “order” he would have wanted in the victory over Crystal Palace.

“I really enjoyed it,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show. “Was it flamboyant football? Were Manchester United at their absolute best in the last hour? It was a struggle at times.

“… 48 hours to be with his team and lets be clear in the last six to seven weeks Manchester United have been a mess defensively. They hadn’t had a clean sheet at home in 16 matches.

“They were conceding goals like you wouldn’t believe, getting battered at home against Liverpool and City. All the over teams have cut through them. What Ralf Rangnick would’ve wanted yesterday was order. Order in the performance and I think we got that.”

LIVERPOOL’S FORGOTTEN ‘LEGEND’ DELIVERS WHEN IT MATTERS

Divock Origi marked his 100th substitute appearance for Liverpool on Saturday with the latest in his collection of crucial late goals.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had dominated Wolves at Molineux but could not find a way through until the Belgium forward struck in the 94th minute, sparking scenes of delirium from the Liverpool bench.

Other memorable moments for Origi have included an 87th-minute strike in the 2019 Champions League final win against Tottenham and a last-gasp winner in a 2018 derby against Everton.

“He is a top striker, a top boy,” said Klopp, who described the 26-year-old as a “legend”.

“He is already here at Liverpool for a long time — he came here very young and has scored some of the most important goals in the history of this club.”

Origi saves Liverpool | 01:29

PROBLEMS FOR CHELSEA AS DESPERATE MOVE BACKFIRES

It is too soon to talk of serious problems at Chelsea after they suffered just their second Premier League defeat of the season against high-flying West Ham.

But they have now dropped points in three of their past five league games at a time when Manchester City and Liverpool have hit the accelerator.

The Stamford Bridge side are built of tough stuff under Thomas Tuchel and the game at the London Stadium was just the third time in 53 matches under the German that they had conceded more than once.

Tuchel acknowledged West Ham’s winner from Arthur Masuaku was a freak goal but bemoaned earlier mistakes.

He will be concerned at the lack of goals from his main forwards, particularly the out-of-sorts Romelu Lukaku, who was used as a substitute at the London Stadium.

Masuaku cross downs Chelsea | 01:31

Defender Reece James and attacking midfielder Mason Mount are the club’s top scorers this season, with five goals each in all competitions.

Big summer signing Lukaku has struggled with form and fitness this season and has not scored since mid-September after a bright start at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel conceded that he made a mistake in playing Lukaku at all against West Ham United after admitting the striker was not at the level of fitness required to play an influential role.

“It’s my fault,” the German boss said of Lukuka, who came on after half-time.

“I don’t think he is ready for 45 minutes physically but still we decided to bring him on for his height because we lost Kai (Havertz).

“Kai had a crucial role in defending set-pieces, which is a huge threat from West Ham, so this is on me. I took the decision so it’s my responsibility.”

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FA Cup draw in full: Man Utd get Gerrard's Aston Villa as minnows land dream Chelsea tie

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THE FA CUP draw has thrown up plenty of opportunity for giant killings when the third round gets underway shortly after the new year.

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta furious with players for failing to 'execute' plans vs Everton

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ARSENAL lost 2-1 to Everton on Monday night to put a serious dent in their Champions League hopes.

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