New United boss benches Ronaldo vs. Chelsea, Man City close gap at top



Cristiano Ronaldo was benched by Manchester United’s new caretaker coach Michael Carrick as they held league leaders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Monday (AEDT).

Jorginho had to atone for a major error to score from the penalty spot as both goals arrived in the second half.

Chelsea, who had largely dominated proceedings, saw their gap at the top cut to just one point after champions Manchester City beat West Ham 2-1 in the snow at the Etihad.

Man United, led by Carrick for the first time in a league game and seemingly awaiting a new interim boss in German Ralf Rangnick, took the lead five minutes into the second half when Jadon Sancho pounced on a dismal Jorginho touch and slotted past Edouard Mendy.

But Jorginho redeemed himself when Chelsea were awarded a penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka fouled Thiago Silva, the Italy midfielder making no mistake from the spot.

“I am absolutely happy with the performance,” Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said, while looking frustrated at how his dominant side side had dropped crucial points.

“We dominated from the first minute, we were aggressive and never stopped attacking… We have to swallow the result. We played very well and I am happy.”

Carrick reckoned he was a bit frustrated too. “When you’re in front in a game like this, to have it taken away from you is disappointing,” he said.

“I’m immensely proud of the players, it’s been a tough week and some difficult moments for us all but I’m proud of the response.”

At the Etihad, Ilkay Gundogan broke the deadlock for City in the 33rd minute with a tap in, capitalising on a deflection from Riyad Mahrez’s effort.

The ground staff were out at halftime to clear the pitch after heavy snowfall throughout the opening period.

Fernandinho then scored a settler for City in the 90th minute before Manuel Lanzini netted a consolation for the visitors.

The results meant that Chelsea remain on top with 30 points from their 13 matches, with City now on 29 and Liverpool on 28 as the big three begin to stretch away from the rest.

West Ham’s defeat leaves them fourth on 23 points, ahead of Arsenal on goal difference.

Elsewhere, a Jamie Vardy brace for Leicester dampened Claudio Ranieri’s return to the King Power Stadium as his Watford side were beaten 4-2.

The hosts took the lead through James Maddison in the opening 20 minutes after he punished a misjudgement from William Troost-Ekong.

Joshua King levelled from the spot but Vardy restored Leicester’s lead minutes later and netted a second just before halftime.

Emmanuel Dennis pulled a goal back for Watford after the break but Ademola Lookman restored the two-goal advantage in the 68th minute.

Everton’s winless run has been extended to seven games as Ivan Toney’s first-half penalty was enough for Brentford to earn their first win since the start of October.

Andros Townsend caught Frank Onyeka in the head with a high challenge and after a consultation with the VAR monitor at pitchside, the referee awarded a penalty which Toney subsequently converted.

Burnley’s game against Tottenham at Turf Moor was called off just under an hour before kick-off due to heavy snowfall.

© AAP

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