Man United, Newcastle tighten grip on Champions places

Sports Desk, May 13 (EFE).- Manchester United beat Wolverhampton 2-0 and Newcastle United drew 2-2 with Leeds United on Saturday to edge closer to nailing down the last two Champions League slots, while Chelsea had to settle for a draw with 16th-place Nottingham Forest.

With the Premier League title race down to defending champions Manchester City (82 points) and Arsenal (81), the Red Devils, the Magpies, and late-charging Liverpool are battling for third and fourth.

Saturday’s results leave Manchester United and Newcastle level on points at 66, but the Magpies are third thanks to a much better goal difference.

Liverpool (62 points) are away to second-from-bottom Leicester City on Monday.

Hosting 13th-place Wolves at Old Trafford, Man United outshot the visitors 27-5 despite having less than 50 percent possession and putting nine attempts on target while allowing none to their opponents.

Only an impressive performance by goalkeeper Daniel Bentley in his first Premier League outing spared Wolverhampton a rout.

After Brazil international Antony fired wide on a chance in the 9th minute and headed over the cross-bar at the half-hour, Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, assisted by the Brazilian.

Bentley came up with great stops to deny Jadon Sancho in the 73rd minute and Antony in the final minute of regulation before Alejandro Garnacho scored in the 94th to seal the victory for United, now unbeaten at home in 27 matches.

Battling to avoid relegation, Leeds started brightly against visiting Newcastle and went ahead in the 7th minute on a goal by Luke Ayling.

The Whites were poised to double their lead after winning a penalty in the 27th for a foul by Joelinton on Junior Firpo, but Newcastle keeper saved Patrick Bamford’s strike from the spot.

Maximilian Wober took down United’s Alexander Isak in the Leeds box at the half-hour and Callum Wilson converted the penalty to make it 1-1.

With 23 minutes left in regulation, the Magpies won a second penalty for a Firpo hand ball, and Wilson scored again to give the visitors the advantage.

Leeds weren’t done, however. The Whites had a corner and the ball ended up with Rasmus Kristensen, whose shot took a lucky deflection off Kieran Trippier to beat Pope and secure a point for the home side.

Chelsea fans, suffering through their team’s worst season in years, are still waiting for a first home win under club legend Frank Lampard, serving as caretaker manager.

The 11th-place Blues fell behind to Nottingham Forest in the 13th minute at Stamford Bridge, as Taiwo Awoniyi beat keeper Edouard Mendy to a cross into the box and headed into the net.

Raheem Sterling brought Chelsea level in the 51st minute with his first goal since New Year’s Day and he completed the brace seven minutes later to make it 2-1 for the home team.

But Awoniyi scored his second of the game in the 62nd minute to level the score at 2-2 and the teams shared the points.

EFE /dr

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