Not too way back, Manchester United had been being touted, albeit with some optimism, as a believable darkish horse contender for the Premier League championship.
Now, even a top-four end is wanting removed from assured for a membership up on the market and searching for Champions League qualification as one other attraction for potential patrons.
United’s 2-0 loss at Newcastle on Sunday additional intensified the race for the 2 possible spots behind Arsenal and Manchester Metropolis, the Premier League’s runaway prime two, in Europe’s prime competitors subsequent season.
Second-half objectives by Joe Willock and Callum Wilson gave Newcastle partial revenge for its loss to United within the English League Cup closing on Feb. 26. They lifted the Saudi-controlled northeast group into third place, above United on purpose distinction. Tottenham is some extent behind each groups in fifth place forward of its sport at Everton on Monday.
“I do suppose Newcastle are an excellent aspect, however I don’t suppose they gained the sport on high quality at the moment,” United defender Luke Shaw mentioned. “They gained it on ardour, starvation, want, and perspective. That they had the next motivation than we had. That may’t be doable.”
“You can say it was coming,” Shaw added. “Earlier than the worldwide break, we dropped ranges. It was clear to see at the moment it wasn’t up there.”
For United, it’s only one level – a 0-0 dwelling draw with struggling Southampton – from a doable 9 in its final three league video games. That’s a worrying drop in kind amid a busy fixture schedule for Erik ten Hag’s group, which remains to be concerned within the FA Cup and Europa League.
Additionally hurting United is the present absence of Casemiro in league play due to the Brazil worldwide’s four-match suspension within the competitors. The group’s midfield was overwhelmed at St. James’ Park as Newcastle laid siege to David de Gea’s purpose, which was solely breached after halftime.
Willock nodded in from point-blank vary to make it 1-0 within the sixty fifth minute after Allan Saint-Maximin headed again throughout purpose, earlier than Wilson – simply on in its place – headed in Kieran Trippier’s free kick within the 88th.
“For a very long time, we’ve at all times disliked Man United as Newcastle followers,” mentioned Newcastle defender Dan Burn, a boyhood supporter of his group. “We owed them one this season.”
It was a 3rd straight league win for Newcastle, which appears to be like over a blip in the beginning of the 12 months the place the group claimed simply three factors in a five-game spell.
“Our confidence ranges must be via the roof after that,” Newcastle supervisor Eddie Howe informed his gamers within the locker room.
On a day when each Chelsea supervisor Graham Potter and Leicester supervisor Brendan Rodgers misplaced their jobs, the stress was eased on West Ham’s David Moyes due to a 1-0 win over Southampton in a tense sport between the groups which began Sunday as the underside two.
Nayef Aguerd’s Twenty fifth-minute header was sufficient to raise West Ham from nineteenth to 14th and go away last-place Southampton three factors adrift of security in one of many tightest relegation battles in years.
“Look, I’m in a outcomes enterprise; I’ve to get outcomes,” Moyes mentioned. “There’s no safety to cease me from shedding my job.”
West Ham are nonetheless just one level above the relegation zone.
Southampton haven’t been out of the Premier League since 2011-12.