Matt Ritchie condemned Manchester United to a shock 1-0 defeat at struggling Newcastle, while Huddersfield climbed out of the relegation zone after a 4-1 win against Bournemouth on Sunday. United’s second defeat in their last three Premier League games leaves them 16 points behind leaders Manchester City, who saw Sergio Aguero score four in a 5-1 victory over Leicester City on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s second-placed side, beaten by Tottenham in their last away game, were rarely at their best at St James’ Park and paid the price in the 65th minute.
United defender Chris Smalling was booked for diving inside his own half and from the resulting Jonjo Shelvey free-kick, Dwight Gayle latched onto a header and played a backheel towards Ritchie. Ritchie’s run was completely untracked by United’s sloppy defence and the Newcastle winger fired low past David De Gea.
Mourinho responded by pulling off Paul Pogba after another underwhelming display from the France midfielder. And United should have equalised soon after, but when Newcastle failed to clear a corner, Anthony Martial saw two shots blocked on the line by Gayle.
Newcastle had kicked off in the relegation zone, but a first win in five league games — their first success against United since 2013 — lifts them to 13th place.
Earlier at the John Smith’s Stadium, goals by Beninese striker Steve Mounie either side of halftime put Huddersfield into a deserved two-goal lead after Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas had cancelled out Alex Pritchard’s early strike for the hosts with a precise finish.—AFP
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