Man United reclaim Premier League lead with win against Fulham

Sports Desk, Jan 20 (efe-epa).- Manchester United had to come from behind Wednesday to beat Fulham 1-2 and reclaim the top spot in the Premier League.

The Red Devils found themselves trailing just five minutes into the match at London’s Craven Cottage thanks to a lapse in concentration that set up Ademola Lookman to beat David De Gea with a fine shot.

United pulled level in the 21st minute with Edinson Cavani’s first goal since returning from injury. The Uruguayan nudged the ball across the line after Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola block a Bruno Fernandes cross.

The sided remained deadlocked at 1-1 until Paul Pogba’s blast from close range put United ahead in the 65th minute.

Areola stopped Cavani from making it 3-1 seconds later, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek tested De Gea with 15 minutes left in regulation.

United, undefeated in their last 17 away matches, lead the league with 40 points, 2 more than cross-town rivals Manchester City. Fulham remain in 18th place on 12 points.

Earlier Wednesday, Man City extended their winning streak to nine on Wednesday with a 2-0 victory at the Etihad over visiting Aston Villa.

City had 68 percent possession and eight shots on target compared with four for Villa, playing their first Premier League match since New Year’s Day amid a Covid-19 outbreak at the Birmingham club.

Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was forced into action in the fourth minute, making an impressive stop against Bernardo Silva, while Matty Cash was quick to send the loose ball over the cross-bar before City’s John Stones could pounce.

Joao Cancelo, Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne likewise failed to make the most of opportunities and the contest remained scoreless until the 79th minute, when Silva scored.

Villa coach Dean Smith protested, insisting that City’s Rodri interfered with Tyrone Mings after coming from an offside position.

The officials said that Mings played Rodri onside, an explanation that did not mollify Smith, who received a yellow card and – seconds later – a straight red card.

Ilkay Gündogan sealed the victory from the penalty spot in the final minute of regulation after a shot from Gabriel Jesus struck Cash’s upraised arm.

City are second on 38 points, the same as Leicester City but with a better goal difference. Villa remain in the 11th spot with 26 points. EFE msg/dr

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