Don’t doubt our spirit – but the quality must improve, says Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists his young Manchester United squad have the stomach for a fight, but just lack the ringcraft.

United slipped to a demoralising 2-0 defeat at West Ham, stretching their winless run on the road to seven Premier League matches.

They also face an anxious wait for the results of a scan on Marcus Rashford’s groin after their last striker standing limped off.

It was a lifeless display at the London Stadium, but Solskjaer maintained: “It’s a good group to work with, they are determined.

“Sometimes along the road you’re going to hit some bumps. This group is determined, they showed the desire we want. There’s a good atmosphere in the dressing room and they’ve got their focus right.

“This group want to do what we are trying to do, we are working in training. There are key moments in games that can tip games in our favour.

“It might be a bad decision on a pass. But the attitude and desire is there. That’s not the problem, it’s the quality in our decision making and execution.”

West Ham winger Andriy Yarmolenko landed the first blow a minute before half-time and full-back Aaron Cresswell supplied the knockout punch with a spectacular late free-kick.

“All of us know Manchester United are one of the biggest teams in the Premier League,” said Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini.

“They are always close to fighting for the title or for the Champions League spots.

“I think the season is just starting, they have a manager that knows the club very well, he did well last season – but on Sunday we did better than them.”

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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Style is secondary for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp insists points mean prizes

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Jurgen Klopp says his Liverpool side do not have to compete with Manchester City‘s style as they restored their five-point gap at the top of the Premier League.

Klopp’s side won their 15th league game in a row at Chelsea as first-half goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino set up a 2-1 win.

It came 24 hours after reigning champions City posted a club-record Premier League win when they beat Watford 8-0 and this fascinating battle between to two teams continues.

Their win at Stamford Bridge was far from pretty and they were hanging on at the end after N’Golo Kante’s fine goal got Chelsea back in it.

Klopp, who watched City’s highlights after training on Saturday, says it is points that matter and that is where Liverpool have the early advantage.

Asked what he thought of City’s win, the German replied: “I wanted to see the goals. I saw a 2:50 summary when we left the training pitch. I saw eight goals and three times the woodwork.

“I have to watch fully to really understand it. If it can happen against anyone it can happen against City. It happened to us a few years ago when we lost 5-0.

“I said it before, they are the best team in the world. I don’t want to put pressure on Pep (Guardiola), they are brilliant in moments – we are not bad as well.

“This type of football not a lot of teams can play, but we play in our way, we try to win football games. In the end we need to get the points, there is no competition in technical things, it is about the points.

“I still don’t see that it is only two teams. At the moment we don’t have to think about it. It’s matchday six, we are talking about the title with 32 games to go, I think that it is a bit early.”

It looked like being a routine three-point haul for the Reds as Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant free-kick was added to by Firmino’s free header.

Chelsea, who had a goal ruled out by VAR at 1-0, did not wilt after the break, though, and Kante’s fine individual strike had Liverpool hanging on.

“It was very good in moments, Chelsea had their moments of course because they are so good,” Klopp said.

“We scored two wonderful goals, we had a lot of brilliant pressing situations but we didn’t use the ball well enough.

“After half-time we had two big chances and it could have been three or four but we didn’t score.

“When Kante scored his great goal it was game on. It’s a difficult place to come, it’s a while ago that we won here. It’s a big win.

“The boys did really well, they fought really hard. I don’t think there is any other way to win here. It’s a big win.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Exuberant Chelsea make Liverpool sweat but shoddy defending holding them back

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Jurgen Klopp’s reached that point in his Liverpool career where he must feel ever so comfortable. He’s had enough time at Anfield to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and so satisfied is he with the end result that the thought of making additions to his squad over the summer was not at all appealing.

His team not only employs the attractive brand of football he’s always preached, but has also had time to mature tremendously within the system and now control games more often than not with oppositions rendered helpless against their staunch defence and irresistible attack.

However, this was not the case in his 150th Premier League match as manager and neither he nor his team were ever made to feel ‘comfortable’ at Stamford Bridge.

The results will reflect that the Reds came away with a sixth victory in as many league games this season as was expected going into the weekend. But the 2-1 win at Chelsea was hardly straightforward.

On the balance of play, you could even argue that Frank Lampard’s young side, that’s enduring a season of transition, were the better team.

Liverpool scored their goals from two set-pieces. Trent Alexander-Arnold first dispatched his free-kick from the edge of the box emphatically with a little lay-off from Mohamed Salah in the 14th minute.

Roberto Firmino’s header then doubled their advantage after half an hour with Andrew Robertson’s delivery from the left setting him up.

Before the Brazilian’s goal though, Chelsea had began to fight their way back into the contest and Tammy Abraham was even played clean through on goal but couldn’t get his effort past Adrian when a square ball to Mason Mount was also on.

They even restored parity momentarily before VAR intervened. The home team carved Liverpool open with a fine move before Cesar Azpilicueta applied the finishing touch only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside against Mount in the build-up.

Moments later, Firmino put the visitors 2-0 up.

The hosts even had to cope with injuries to Emerson Palmieri and Andreas Christensen in the opening 45 minutes but Liverpool’s two-goal lead at the break seemed a little generous.

Lampard urges his side to play quick, attacking football and while they created a host of chances in the first half, they certainly upped the ante after the restart.

In fact they ended the game with 13 efforts at goal to Liverpool’s six and after N’Golo Kante halved the deficit with a superb individual strike in the 71st minutes, they have every right to feel aggrieved not to at least earn a draw.

Such a fearless performance comes against a phenomenal Liverpool side who reigned supreme in Europe last season and pushed the mighty Manchester City all the way in the league. Pep Guardiola has even gone as far as to say that the Merseyside Reds are one of the best teams he’s ever seen.

Yet, they were made to sweat in west London and cling on to the result at the death with Klopp bringing on an extra centre-back in Joe Gomez for Salah to see out the result.

Chelsea deserve huge credit for their part in this encounter and some of their attacking play was truly exhilarating. That 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the opening round now seems like a distant memory.

That said, they were undone by their own shortcomings in defence against Liverpool. And as much as the attacking play is a joy to watch, that must be a huge source of frustration for their fans.

Christensen’s clumsy foul on the edge of his own box afforded Alexander-Arnold the opportunity to fire home while the marking was non-existent when Firmino nodded in Robertson’s free-kick delivery.

Especially given their exuberant display in the second half, Lampard – though proud of his young side no doubt – must be left wondering what could’ve been.

For Liverpool, they will be second best on the rare occasion over the course of the season but the fact they still secured the three points is hugely encouraging as they mount another title challenge.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have their eyes on the top four and with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham all proving less than convincing, they have a real chance to steal a march on the competition.

They’re the only ones standing in their way.

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