The Red Devils couldn’t have done better than a draw against West Bromwich and let their neighbor slip away. Carried by a hat-trick from Aubameyang, Arsenal got the better of Leeds.
Manchester United could not bring back better than a draw (1-1) from penultimate West Bromwich Albion, Sunday for the 24th day of the Championship of England, which makes the business of City which is stands at the top of the ranking.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men see their title dreams faded with just one win and three draws in the last five matches. If they regain second place at Leicester on goal difference, they are now 7 lengths behind the Citizens who will play a game late in the middle of next week, at Everton.
Failed start of the match
In the penultimate and worst defense of the championship, Manchester United managed to miss the start of the match by finding themselves behind after less than two minutes of play. On a rather innocuous center, Victor Lindelof was completely eaten up by the determination of Mbaye Diagne, arrived this winter on loan from Galatasaray, whose header deceived David De Gea (1-0, 2nd).
Not really enough to panic for the Red Devils who found themselves behind for the 12th time this season, to end up winning 7 times. But this is the first time that they share the points in the end, thanks to a volley of the shin, but spectacular despite everything, of Bruno Fernandes, shortly before the break (1-1, 44th), on a cross of Luke Shaw.
An almost happy draw if we consider that at the very end of the match, Diagne had the balloons to make the difference and offer three points that would have done a lot of good to a team which took only 7 out of 14 last days.
The Senegalese first resisted a charge from Harry Maguire to stand alone against De Gea, but the Spanish goalkeeper managed a decisive double save (79th). He then missed a goal deemed unmissable at the far post, by not framing his recovery on a fleeing center (88th).
A header from Maguire in extra time, deflected with the tips of his fingers by Sam Johnstone on the post, will give the Mancunians some regrets, but their lack of offensive edge makes this draw ultimately quite balanced.
Arsenal does not abdicate
After three games without a win, Arsenal returned to the forefront by beating Leeds again very inconstant (4-2), with a hat-trick from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, his first in the Premier League.
With 34 points, the Londoners are only 10th but they are only 6 points behind Liverpool, 4th and last team virtually qualified for the next Champions League. Marcelo Bielsa’s men remain safe from all fear with an 11th place and 32 units.
Even more than the success, it is Aubameyang’s good performance that is encouraging for Arsenal, even though he was well helped by a once again permeable Leeds defense.
The Gabonese, who seemed affected by the health problems of his mother recently, opened the scoring on a good individual action before the end of the first quarter of an hour (1-0, 13th), before transforming a penalty stupidly conceded by French goalkeeper Ilan Meslier (2-0, 41st).
He added a third close and header goal to bring the score to 4-0 (47th) just after the break, while Hector Bellerin scored the 3-0 goal just before half-time, taking advantage of ‘A Meslier once again not exempt from all reproach by badly covering his first post.
In a burst of pride, Pascal Strujik (4-1, 58th) and Helder Costa (4-2, 69th) made the setback less severe for the Peacocks while consolidating their reputation as a great show team, with 40 goals scored and 42 conceded in 23 matches.
Everton se rate
Surprisingly amorphous, Everton was beaten at home (2-0) by the relegation Fulham and misses a great opportunity to get closer to European places.
A success would have allowed the Toffees to return to equal points with Liverpool, 4th with 40 units, before the derby which will oppose them at Anfield Road next weekend.