09.12.2023 21:28 h

Man Utd embarrassed, Liverpool go top

Manchester United's shambolic season took another turn for the worse in a 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth as Liverpool went top of the Premier League on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool were fortunate to win 2-1 at 10-man Crystal Palace after Jordan Ayew's harsh red card changed the game late on.

Liverpool's victory in the day's early kick-off gave them a one-point lead over second placed Arsenal, who blew the chance to regain top spot later as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat at surging Aston Villa.

Third placed Villa's club record 15th consecutive home league victory lifted them to within two points of the leaders.

United's season hit a new low as Bournemouth secured their first ever victory at Old Trafford in style.

Erik ten Hag's side had risen to sixth thanks to six wins in eight Premier League games.

But a dreadful display put the Dutchman's position back under the spotlight ahead of a likely exit from the Champions League at the group stage in midweek.

Dominic Solanke put Bournemouth in front after just five minutes when he turned home Lewis Cook's cross.

Philip Billing rose to head home Marcus Tavernier's cross in the 68th minute before Marcos Senesi set the seal on a famous victory for Andoni Iraola's men.

"I think as a squad we are not good enough to be consistent and we have to work to improve that," Ten Hag said.

"Of course, I'm annoyed and disappointed, definitely."

At Villa Park, Unai Emery's side completed a memorable week by following Wednesday's 1-0 victory against champions Manchester City with another statement success against the team who started the weekend in first place.

John McGinn's seventh minute goal proved decisive as the Scotland midfielder controlled Leon Bailey's pass before turning to drill a powerful finish past David Raya from close-range.

There was late VAR drama when Kai Havertz's goal was disallowed for handball as the Arsenal forward bundled it over the line in stoppage-time.

It was a sweet moment for Villa boss Unai Emery, who was sacked by Arsenal after less than two seasons in charge in 2019.

The Spaniard has revitalised Villa since arriving from Villarreal last season, with four wins in their last five league matches giving fans hope of a first title since 1981.

Arsenal's first defeat in five league games was a frustrating setback after their recent march to top spot.

Hinting he was unhappy with the disallowed goal, Arteta said: "It's clear and obvious for me.

"I'm really proud of the way the team played in this stadium against this team. We deserved to win."

Of Villa's title dreams, Emery said: "It was a fantastic three points in a tough week. We have to be happy but also keep balance."

At Selhurst Park, Liverpool fought back to maintain their own title challenge.

Palace were denied a first-half penalty by a VAR intervention but were awarded a spot-kick early in the second period as VAR spotted a foul on Jean-Philippe Mateta by Jarell Quansah.

Mateta converted the penalty, but the Eagles were undone by two controversial yellow cards shown to Ayew.

Liverpool took advantage of the red card within seconds as Mohamed Salah's deflected shot brought up his 200th goal for the club.

Substitute Harvey Elliott then fired home a 91st-minute winner from outside the box to take Liverpool a point clear of Arsenal at the top of the table.

"I'm a very happy manager in this moment, but I know we were lucky as well," said Klopp. "For 76 minutes it was a really bad performance."

At the bottom of the table, Chris Wilder kickstarted his second spell in charge of Sheffield United with a 1-0 win over Brentford.

Burnley remain off the bottom on goal difference after holding on for a 1-1 draw at Brighton.

Wilson Odobert put the Clarets ahead, but Simon Adingra rescued a point for Brighton, who remain eighth.

Nottingham Forest eased the pressure on manager Steve Cooper by ending a four-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw at Wolves.