Sub Martial shows value with winner for United
ANTHONY Martial once again proved his value off the bench after his 81st-minute strike gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory over Tottenham in a cagey affair at Old Trafford.
With the rain bucketing down in the north-west neither side was able to dictate the tempo in an even contest, and it seemed the spoils would be shared when Lukaku’s header came back off a post.
But a defensive lapse from the visitors allowed an unmarked Lukaku to flick on for substitute Martial, whose bobbled effort went beyond Hugo Lloris for the Frenchman’s fourth goal as a substitute this season.
More importantly for United, Martial’s strike maintained their 100 per cent winning record at home this season, in which they have not conceded either, as they moved three points clear of third-placed Spurs in the Premier League.
Rivals Manchester City retained a five-point cushion at the top of the standings but were given a brief scare before running out 3-2 winners at West Brom.
Free-scoring City went ahead in the 10th minute when Leroy Sane slammed home but they were almost immediately pegged back when Gareth Barry’s lofted ball allowed Jay Rodriguez to outmuscle John Stones and lift over Ederson.
Normal service resumed in a frantic opening quarter of an hour as Fernandinho’s deflected strike crept past Ben Foster, whose net was breached again in the 64th minute when Raheem Sterling slotted home from David Silva’s low cross.
Matt Phillips profited from a Nicolas Otamendi error to score in stoppage time but City’s eighth successive league win was never in doubt.
Liverpool’s second-half blitz brought Huddersfield crashing back down to earth following the Terriers’ win over Manchester United last week.
Mohamed Salah missed a first-half penalty but any Reds nerves were settled through goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino before Georginio Wijnaldum netted to clinch a 3-0 win.
Wilfried Zaha scored in the seventh minute of time added-on as rockbottom Crystal Palace battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with West Ham.
First-half goals from Javier Hernandez and Andre Ayew looked to have given under pressure Hammers manager Slaven Bilic a much-needed lift but Luka Milivojevic’s penalty and Zaha’s last-gasp strike helped the Eagles claim a point.
Darren Fletcher grabbed his first goal for Stoke and his 16th-minute volley proved decisive in the Potters’ 1-0 victory at Watford, while an Eden Hazard goal was enough to give Chelsea a 1-0 win at Bournemouth.