SPORT / MISCELLANY
City end Chelsea hex
Manchester United pay penalty
Published: Sep 26, 2021 05:13 PM
Gabriel Jesus (left) of Manchester City shoots against Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy on Saturday in London, England. Photo: IC

Gabriel Jesus (left) of Manchester City shoots against Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy on Saturday in London, England. Photo: IC

Manchester City ended their Chelsea hoodoo on Saturday, beating the European champions 1-0 while Bruno Fernandes missed a last-gasp penalty in Manchester United's shock 1-0 Premier League defeat by Aston Villa.

Liverpool failed to take full advantage of those results, twice squandering the lead in a pulsating 3-3 draw at Brentford in the evening kickoff.

Elsewhere, Jamie Vardy netted twice at the right end against Burnley after scoring an early own goal in a 2-2 draw for stuttering Leicester while Norwich slumped to their sixth consecutive league defeat.

Gabriel Jesus' second-half strike proved decisive for Pep Guardiola's City, who gained a measure of revenge for three consecutive defeats by Chelsea last season, including a painful loss in the Champions League final in Porto.

Guardiola said earlier in the week that his side lacked a "weapon" to match Chelsea's record signing Romelu Lukaku or United's Cristiano Ronaldo to decide games inside the box.

But Jesus ultimately made the difference for City, who could have won more convincingly but for a combination of wasteful finishing and some impressive last-ditch defending.

The Brazilian forward got the break City deserved in the 53rd minute as his effort deflected off Jorginho to leave goalkeeper Edouard Mendy flat-footed.

"Sometimes we believe we need a proper striker to finish, but the important thing is the way we play," Guardiola told the BBC. 

"The most important thing is doing it as a team and as a unit. It's like last season. Sergio [Aguero, who has left the club] was injured all year and we won the Premier League."

Fernandes miss

Villa arrived at Old Trafford with a woeful record of one win in their previous 45 Premier League games against Manchester United, including 33 defeats. The home side, boasting a star-studded attack including Ronaldo, Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood, had 28 shots but Villa missed some gilt-edged chances of their own.

Just when it appeared the game was drifting toward a draw, Villa defender Kortney Hause flicked a near-post header beyond David de Gea from a Douglas Luiz corner in the 88th minute.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) consoles midfielder Bruno Fernandes after he missed a penalty on Saturday in Manchester, England. Photo: VCG

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) consoles midfielder Bruno Fernandes after he missed a penalty on Saturday in Manchester, England. Photo: VCG

Moments later he went from hero to villain when he handled Fernandes' cross but the United playmaker skewed his spot kick high over the bar - just the second time he has failed to score from a penalty in 23 attempts for the club.

It was a second home defeat of the week for United and a first in the ­Premier League this season, while they also lost defenders Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to injuries.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side have lost three of their past four matches in all competitions, criticized the way Fernandes was surrounded before his penalty.

"First of all the way they get round the penalty spot, get round Bruno and that, that's not to my liking," he said. "Bruno is usually very good in those positions and unfortunately he missed this one.

"It doesn't get in Bruno's head. He's strong mentally and he'll step forward again. The decision [on who takes penalties] is made before the game."

In the late kickoff, Liverpool, who had only conceded one goal in their opening five Premier League games, shipped three against an enterprising Brentford side.

Salah scored his 100th goal in 151 Premier League games for Liverpool in the 54th minute after Diogo Jota canceled out Ethan Pinnock's opener in the first half. The prolific Egyptian has reached a century of goals in the top flight in fewer appearances than any other player in the club's history.

Brentford equalized through Vitaly Janelt before Curtis Jones hit a thunderbolt to restore Liverpool's lead but the home side were not to be denied and substitute Yoane Wissa levelled with eight minutes to go.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was disappointed that Liverpool had missed chances and twice let their lead slip.

"We're an intense team as well but there's a lot of room for improvement for us today," he told Sky Sports. "We controlled it a little bit better in the second half but unfortunately we couldn't hold on for the win."

Earlier, Everton saw off bottom side Norwich 2-0 to move level on 13 points with City, Chelsea and United, one point behind Liverpool. West Ham overcame struggling Leeds 2-1 while Watford drew 1-1 with Newcastle.


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