(MENAFN - Gulf Times) ‘I think we deserved the win. We were the best team. We controlled the game for a long time'
Manchester United kept their faint Premier League titles hopes alive with a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion, while Liverpool moved back into the top four with a 4-0 rout of Bournemouth yesterday.
With Manchester City romping away with the title race, United had to win at the Hawthorns to have any chance of reeling in their local rivals.
Romelu Lukaku put Jose Mourinho's side in front with a 27th-minute header and Jesse Lingard netted with the aid of a deflection to double the visitors' lead in the 35th minute.
But what looked destined to be a comfortable win became tense when Gareth Barry prodded home for Albion in the 77th minute. United ended the game defending for their lives before claiming the win that left them 11 points behind City.
'I think we deserved the win. We were the best team. We controlled the game for a long time, Mourinho said.
United spurned opportunities to kill the game off when Rashford slashed a right-footed shot wide in the 57th minute and Lingard fired straight at West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster. They then switched off at a set-piece to allow Barry to score and were lucky not to concede an equaliser when Jay Rodriguez headed wide from point-blank range with five minutes remaining.
'We had a few chances to kill the game but I knew they would react, Mourinho added.
'The intensity in the first half maybe we didn't have in the second half.
West Brom manager Alan Pardew, who was appointed last month after Tony Pulis was sacked, made one change to the side who drew 0-0 against Liverpool on Wednesday.
'The team I picked, in hindsight, was not the right team, Pardew said. 'I should have put some fresh legs in there, but they did so well at Liverpool that, I'm a new manager, I wanted to show some faith in those players. 'But I should have maybe made two or three changes. We looked leggy.
At Dean Court, Liverpool demonstrated their goal power with a clinical display that took them above Arsenal and Burnley into fourth place.
Egyptian winger Salah is the first Liverpool player since Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in 2013-14 to hit the 20-goal mark in all competitions, and he has done it in only 26 matches.
Brazil forward Coutinho moved into double figures for the campaign despite only playing his first game of the season in mid-September because of injury. Both Salah and Coutinho scored wonderful individual goals to put Liverpool in control at Dean Court.
Dejan Lovren was also on target as Liverpool swept to a victory which was confirmed by a second-half Roberto Firmino header. The result lifted Jurgen Klopp's side above Arsenal into fourth place. It also erased memories of this fixture last season when Liverpool famously surrendered a 3-1 lead with 15 minutes to go to lose 4-3.
Klopp surprisingly left out Sadio Mane as he made four changes to his line-up after drawing 0-0 with West Bromwich Albion in midweek.
Despite that, Liverpool made a bright start and almost took the lead after 11 minutes when Coutinho's curling free-kick came back off the upright. Nine minutes later they made their domination count with a wonderful solo goal from the same man. Coutinho raced away down the left, weaving past two players with exquisite balance before cutting the ball into the net past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Firmino almost doubled that lead with an effort which deflected wide after excellent work by the ever-dangerous Salah.
From the resulting corner, Lovren dived to head home after Firmino had somehow kept the ball in play.
Two down with only 26 minutes on the clock, Bournemouth were already on the ropes. Junior Stanislas set up a good chance for Jermain Defoe before half-time, sending the striker clean through on goal - only to see him shoot against the left-hand post rather than into the net.
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