Soccer-Spurs and Arsenal lose as Ronaldo fires United back into fourth place race

16/4/2022 9:31:00 PM

Soccer-Spurs and Arsenal lose as Ronaldo fires United back into fourth place race

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Soccer-Spurs and Arsenal lose as Ronaldo fires United back into fourth place race

MANCHESTER (Reuters) - Fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur suffered a surprise 1-0 home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal lost at Southampton allowing Manchester United back into the race for a Premier League top four place.

With the title-chasing top two of Manchester City and Liverpool in FA Cup semi-final duty -- with Juergen Klopp's side winning 3-2 at Wembley [L2N2WE073] - the focus in the league turned to the battle for the fourth Champions League spot behind third placed Chelsea.

The results leave Spurs in fourth, on 57 points from 32 games. Fifth-placed United are level on 54 points with Arsenal, who have a game in hand.Antonio Conte's Spurs produced a lacklustre display and looked set for a frustrating stalemate before Leandro Trossard made things even worse with a 90th-minute winner.

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick for United in an unconvincing 3-2 win over Norwich City as fan protests against the club's owners returned to Old Trafford.With Tottenham Hotspur losing 1-0 at home to Brighton & Hove Albion earlier on Saturday, the door was open for United to close on the Champions League qualification places with victory over bottom side Norwich and they just about took advantage.Sunday, 17 Apr 2022 12:07 AM MYT Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Norwich City - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - April 16, 2022 Manchester United fans displays a"Glazers Out" banner REUTERS/Craig Brough MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Thousands of Manchester United supporters staged a protest against the team's owners outside Old Trafford before their Premier League clash with Norwich City on Saturday, demanding that the Glazer family"get out of the club".United have won three of their last 12 matches in all competitions and are seventh in the Premier League standings, six points off fourth place and the final Champions League spot with seven games left.

With the title-chasing top two of Manchester City and Liverpool in FA Cup semi-final duty -- with Juergen Klopp's side winning 3-2 at Wembley [L2N2WE073] - the focus in the league turned to the battle for the fourth Champions League spot behind third placed Chelsea. The results leave Spurs in fourth, on 57 points from 32 games. However, Kieran Dowell's goal out of nowhere in first-half stoppage time got the visitors back in the contest, before Finnish forward Teemu Pukki completed the Norwich comeback to stun Old Trafford into silence seven minutes after the break. Fifth-placed United are level on 54 points with Arsenal, who have a game in hand. Many fans waited outside the stadium, singing their anti-Glazer songs until the 17th minute before entering - a minute's protest for every year the Glazer family have owned the club. Antonio Conte's Spurs produced a lacklustre display and looked set for a frustrating stalemate before Leandro Trossard made things even worse with a 90th-minute winner. United's France midfielder Paul Pogba was booed by his own fans as he was substituted before Ronaldo stole the show once again with a sensational winner 14 minutes from time to drag United out of the mire once more. Trossard cut in from the left and beat Hugo Lloris with a low angled shot with the outside of his foot to end Spurs' run of four straight wins. "As a manager, you always have to question what you could have done better but I have no regrets .

Conte was disappointed but said his team needed to embrace the pressure of holding on to fourth place. Norwich stay bottom on 21 points. Although the club have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012, the Glazers retain majority ownership. "Now there are six games to go. This race is a big opportunity for us to start to try to cope with the pressure, because when you play without targets.. Come the end of the season, it will be five years without a trophy for United, and nine since their last league triumph.. That's the reason I'm not happy at all with what we've achieved so far.

instead, we deserve to stay in this race and go for a place in the Champions League," he said. Arsenal looked to be favourites for that place at the start of the month but they have now suffered three straight losses with the latest reverse coming against a Southampton side who had been winless in five. Jan Bednarek got the decisive goal, one minute before halftime after Mohamed Elyounoussi evaded the offside trap and crossed for the defender to finish past goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. Arsenal were on top for large parts of the game but came up against Southampton keeper Fraser Forster in inspired form. "It’s a really difficult one to take.

The way we controlled the game makes it difficult to understand how we lost the game," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. "We performed but didn’t get a result. We need both. You have to put the ball in the net. You have to make the decisive moments count to win football matches and at the moment we’re not doing that," added the Spaniard.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 50th club career hat-trick earned below-par United three vital points. A first-half double from veteran striker Ronaldo seemingly put the hosts on course for a comfortable win in the sunshine, with Norwich struggling to keep pace. However, Kieran Dowell's goal out of nowhere in first-half stoppage time got the visitors back in the contest, before Finnish forward Teemu Pukki completed the Norwich comeback to stun Old Trafford into silence seven minutes after the break. Fans who protested against the club's owners ahead of the match were singing"you're not fit to wear the shirt" in the second half as their team were second best to a team seven points adrift of the Premier League safety zone. United's France midfielder Paul Pogba was booed by his own fans as he was substituted before Ronaldo stole the show once again with a superbly taken winner 14 minutes from time.

"The results elsewhere were good. But it doesn't make sense to look to other results. We need to raise our game," said United's interim manager Ralf Rangnick. 19th placed Watford slipped further towards the drop with a 2-1 home defeat to Brentford leaving them on 22 points, six behind 17th placed Everton having played two games more. Norwich are bottom on 21 points from 32 games while 18th placed Burnley, who sacked manager Sean Dyche on Friday and are on 24 points, play at seventh placed West Ham on Sunday.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar) Article type: metered .