United, Chelsea shocked

Published: Sunday | December 8, 2013 Comments 0
Manchester United's Robin van Persie wipes his face as he walks from the pitch after his team's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle in their English Premier League football match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, yesterday.-AP
Manchester United's Robin van Persie wipes his face as he walks from the pitch after his team's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle in their English Premier League football match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, yesterday.-AP

MANCHESTER, England (AP):The most unpredictable Premier League season in years threw up more surprises yesterday when Chelsea conceded a 90th-minute winner at Stoke and beleaguered defending champions Manchester United lost to Newcastle for a second home defeat in four days.

With Manchester City being held 1-1 at Southampton, Liverpool were able to capitalise on their rivals' slip-ups by thrashing West Ham 4-1 to go second, with Luis Suarez following up his spectacular quadruple in midweek by scoring again at Anfield.

It was a good day for Arsenal, who retained their four-point lead ahead of today's game against Everton. Chelsea's 3-2 loss at Stoke, sealed by Oussama Assaidi's late strike, saw Jose Mourinho's side drop to third on goal difference behind Liverpool.

United's flimsy hopes of retaining their title took another battering by losing 1-0 to Newcastle at Old Trafford, leaving the champions languishing in ninth place - 12 points behind Arsenal - and placing further scrutiny on David Moyes in his turbulent first season as Alex Ferguson's successor.

"I don't think (the fans) or me expected us to have lost five games by this time of the season," said Moyes, who still believes United will be "very close" to the title come May.

Yohan Cabaye's 61st-minute goal earned Newcastle their first win at Old Trafford in 41 years and left United supporters further disheartened after a loss by the same scoreline to Everton on Wednesday.

The way the champions are playing, a place in next season's Champions League could even be out of reach, although the top four is wide open with the big teams continuing to drop points.

There was a minute's applause before each Premier League game in honour of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95. Other results: Crystal Palace 2 Cardiff 0; Norweich 2 West Brom 0; Sunderland 1 Tottenham 2.




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