Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho masterminded a brilliant and unexpected 2-0 home victory over former club Chelsea on Sunday to breathe new life into the Premier League title race.
Mourinho gambled by resting Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera’s goals gave United a win that leaves Chelsea just four points above Tottenham Hotspur with six games to play.
Sevilla’s alarming slump in form continued but the visitors were grateful to escape with a point from a 0-0 draw at Valencia.
Valencia were denied a fourth consecutive win as Italian striker Simone Zaza had a goal ruled out for handball 17 minutes from time.
Roberto Firmino fired Liverpool to a 1-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion that moved Jurgen Klopp’s men back into third place in the Premier League.
Firmino settled a scrappy game with a close-range header in first half stoppage-time to condemn Albion boss Tony Pulis to his first ever home league defeat against the Reds.
Injury-hit Spartak Moscow took a huge step towards a first Russian title since 2001 on when Alexander Samedov hit a late winner in a 2-1 victory over Zenit St Petersburg.
MOST DOMINATING WIN – UNITED’S HOLD OVER CHELSEA
A 2-0 win hardly comes off as emphatic but the manner of it and given that it came against the league leaders speaks volumes. It was arguably United’s best performance of the season, stifling Chelsea’s attack superbly as they failed to register a single shot at goal.
Meanwhile, they terrorised Chelsea’s back-line with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard causing all sorts of problems.
BEST CONTEST – WEST BROM 0-1 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool dominated the early proceedings without quite finding an end product. They did eventually make the breakthrough from a set-piece as Lucas’ flicked header was then nodded in by Roberto Firmino at the back post.
In the second half both teams had chances as The Baggies looked for an equaliser and Liverpool found space on the break. There were a few exciting moments in the closing stages when Ben Foster decided he didn’t fancy playing in goal anymore.
BEST GOAL – BAFETIMBI GOMIS
Marseille’s first goal from Florian Thauvin was a neat finish in itself but Befetimbi Gomis’ effort definitely upstaged it. The former Swansea City striker received the ball slid into the his path quite superbly, flicking it up, juggling it and then volleying it into the far corner.
BIGGEST BLUNDER – ALBERTO MORENO
With West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster stranded up the pitch, after a corner kick, Alberto Moreno found himself charging at a couple of defenders trying to block his route to an unmanned goal.
The Spaniard had runners in support of him to his left and right but chose to have a pop himself and shot wide. A simple pass either side would’ve seen the Reds kill the game. Fortunately, they won all three points anyway.
PLAYER OF THE DAY – ANDER HERRERA
The United midfielder played like a man possessed and definitely exorcised a few demons after his sending off in the FA Cup defeat to Chelsea.
He produced the assist for the first goal and scored the second himself. Much of his contribution came off the ball though as he hounded Eden Hazard every time the Belgian tried to drift infield.