Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United beat their arch-rivals Liverpool 2-1, yesterday, to consolidate second place in the Premier League table.With runaway leaders Manchester City on course for a third Premier League title, second place is the best the chasing pack can hope for, and United moved five points ahead of Liverpool.
United stifled Liverpool’s exhilarating attack early on and raced into a two-goal lead with 24 minutes on the clock after a double from Rashford.Eric Bailly’s bizarre own goal gave Liverpool hope in the second half, but United held on for a first victory over their North West rivals since January, 2016.
“Perfect result. I wouldn’t go so far as saying it was a perfect performance. In the first half, the game gave us the opportunity to be direct, fast and score goals, more than we did. We were worth the win,” United manager Jose Mourinho said.
However, even without the injured Paul Pogba, it was United who started on the front foot, adopting a more direct style with Romelu Lukaku the target and the Belgium striker was influential in both Rashford goals.
Rashford’s double - on his first Premier League start since Boxing Day - proved decisive, as Liverpool couldn’t add to the Bailly own goal as they slipped to a first defeat in eight games in all competitions.
In the North East, Newcastle United secured a 3-0 victory over Southampton to move five points clear of the bottom three, piling the pressure on Saints boss, Mauricio Pellegrino.