26 Feb 2018

Man United sink Chelsea; Spurs in late win

6:47 am on 26 February 2018

Manchester United moved back into second place in the English Premier League thanks to a crunch 2-1 home victory over Chelsea.

Romelu Lukaku of Manchester Utd

Romelu Lukaku of Manchester Utd Photo: All Rights Reserved

Chelsea were the brighter team early on with Alvaro Morata, brought back into the side, volleying against the bar after only four minutes.

The Londoners deserved to go ahead when Willian gave them the lead after 32 minutes, taking Eden Hazard's pass and beating David de Gea at his near post.

But Romelu Lukaku ended his scoring drought against the league's top teams by levelling for United with six minutes left in the first half.

The Belgium striker then crossed for substitute Jesse Lingard to head home the winner for the Red Devils in the 75th minute.

It meant Jose Mourinho's side leapfrogged Liverpool to move within 13 points of leaders Manchester City while fifth-placed Chelsea are now two points outside the top four.

Mourinho said: "We beat a fantastic team, for some reason they were the champions last season, and for some reason they played well against Barcelona, and for some reason they started the game very well.

"We had to be organised, everybody had to follow the game plan and have spirit. We beat a very good team."

Earlier, Harry Kane headed a late winner as Tottenham bolstered their top-four hopes with a 1-0 victory over injury-hit Crystal Palace.

The England striker got on the end of Christian Eriksen's deep corner to nod over Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey in the 89th minute, just when it looked like the injury-depleted hosts would hold on for an unlikely point.

Kane should have put the visitors ahead early on when the ball fell to him in the middle of the box after a mistake by Patrick van Aanholt, but Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey spread himself well and the striker's shot ballooned over the bar.

Kane was also guilty of a more glaring miss early in the second half when Eriksen passed from the right and Kane, with time and space on the left, shot wide of the far post.

But he made amends at the death for his 24th Premier League goal of the season and his 150th for Tottenham in all competitions.

Chelsea's later defeat meant Spurs are now fourth while Palace are in deep trouble, only outside the drop zone on goal difference.

"We left that very late," Kane said.

"I thought it weren't going to be our day, because we had a few chances, especially me, and Serge Aurier had one at the end too, but we kept going until the end and eventually got our rewards."

- Reuters