Manchester United close the gap on top 4 while Spurs and Arsenal lose

(Football news) Manchester United closed the gap over Spurs and Arsenal with a 3-2 win over Norwich City at Old Trafford. A hat-trick by Cristiano Ronaldo saved the Red Devils the embarrassment of dropping points against what is the worst team in the Premier League. The Red Devils looked in prime position to get the three points when Ronaldo scored an early tap-in in the 7th minute and doubled the lead with a header in the 32nd minute.

Just when it seemed like it was destined to be a straightforward win for Manchester United, Kieran Dowell headed Teemu Pukki's cross at the stroke of halftime. If that wasn’t all, Pukki then broke the offside trap in the 52nd minute to level the score. Prior to the match, Manchester United fans protested against the Glazer ownership and seeing their side struggling to defeat bottom place Norwich turned the atmosphere toxic, with Paul Pogba being booed during his substitution. However, it was Ronaldo to the rescue once again and the 37 year old fired a thunderbolt freekick 15 minutes from time to restore Manchester United’s advantage and secure a priceless three points.

At the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a goal by Leandro Trossard in the 90th minute secured a 1-0 win for Brighton who also managed to defeat Arsenal last week. It was a frustrating afternoon for the hosts which went from bad to worse when Trossard showed some skill in the box and guided his shot past Hugo Lloris, ensuring Brighton’s win at Tottenham for the first time since 1981. Such was Spurs’ performance that they failed to register a single shot on target over the 90 minutes and Harry Kane cut an isolated figure up front with only 27 touches of the ball. The result means the gap between Antonio Conte’s team and Manchester United is reduced to three points.

Arsenal also failed to close the gap on the top 4 after losing to Southampton 1-0 at St. Mary’s Stadium. A first-half goal by Jan Bednarek a minute before half-time and Fraser Forster’s heroics ensured that the Gunners lost their third consecutive match. Speaking after the game, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said “It is difficult to explain because this is football, not basketball. In any other sport you win the game very comfortably. At the end of the day it's decided in the boxes, they scored one goal, we didn't for that amount of time we spent around the box, the clear-cut chances we had, we didn't put them in the goal because they have an exceptional goal have an exceptional goalkeeper today, and because we didn't have enough quality to break them down." 

Also read: Chelsea and Liverpool win their FA Cup semi-final fixtures


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