Liverpool in Premier League driver’s seat
Manchester teams crash: United and City both lose on the same day
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — Liverpool might never have a better chance to end its long wait for a Premier League soccer title.
Leader Liverpool is enjoying an eight-point advantage over defending champion Manchester City after its closest rival stumbled going into the international break.
Sunday went badly wrong for Manchester teams, with United and City losing on the same day for the first time in more than six years.
Man United entered the late match at Newcastle with its worst seven-game start to a league season in 30 years, and dropped to 12th after Matthy Longstaff scored in a 1-0 win for the hosts.
City had a shock defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers with Adama Traore scoring twice in the closing stages for a 2-0 win.
It was the first loss at home for Pep Guardiola’s team in any competition since a 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace in the league last December.
City’s chances of reeling in Liverpool are being hampered by injuries in defence and the loss of Kevin De Bruyne, who is injured again after a run of problems last season.
City had dominated possession but failed to really trouble Rui Patricio in the Wolves goal. David Silva struck the post with a free kick but it was as close as City was going to get before Traore finished off a break started by Raul Jimenez in the 80th.
Traore grabbed his second in similar fashion in injury time after Wolves withstood the home side’s desperate attempts to equalize.
It left Guardiola contemplating the side’s second defeat of the season and the third game in which it has dropped points.
Liverpool maintained its perfect start with a late 2-1 win over Leicester on Saturday. Liverpool has not won the league title since the 1989-90 season.
Guardiola said, “When one team is eight points in front it is better not to think too much about that. It is better to think about what is next.”
City next plays at Crystal Palace on Oct. 19, one day before Man United hosts Liverpool.
Solskjaer under pressure
Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under pressure after his side’s third league defeat left it just two points above the relegation zone.
The 19-year-old Longstaff, who clipped the crossbar in the first half, sealed a dream debut with the winning goal in the 72nd minute. Jetro Willems ran at the static United defence and cut the ball back for Longstaff, who let fly from outside the penalty area past the helpless David De Gea in the United goal.
The visitors were without the likes of Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.
“We do lack quite a few key players but that’s no excuse now,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “The players work hard, they ran their socks off, at the moment we’re in a position we’re not used to.”
Counterpart Steve Bruce enjoyed his first home win as Newcastle manager — and his first win as a coach over his former side United at the 23rd attempt across all competitions.
Chelsea wins again
Chelsea beat Southampton 4-1 away to stretch the team’s winning run to four games across all competitions under Frank Lampard.
Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and N’Golo Kanté scored in the first half, before Christian Pulisic brilliantly set up fellow substitute Michy Batshuayi for Chelsea’s fourth goal in the 89th minute. Pulisic had only come on in the 80th for his first appearance in the league since Aug. 31. The U.S. midfielder dinked the ball in behind the Southampton defence for former Borussia Dortmund teammate Batshuayi to complete the scoring.
The win lifted Chelsea to fifth place, just behind Leicester on goal difference.
Former Chelsea defender David Luiz helped Arsenal move up to third with his first goal for the Gunners in a 1-0 win over Bournemouth.
Luiz headed home off a corner from Nicolas Pepe with only nine minutes gone.
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Adama Traore, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring in an English Premier League soccer match against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. The Wanderers won the contest, 2-0.