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Premier League Wrap: Solskjaer's men bounce back as Rashford and Mata inspire; Chelsea shrug off home struggles

By Ryan Benson

London, Jan 11: Manchester United bounced back from defeat to Manchester City in emphatic fashion, as Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata inspired a comfortable 4-0 win over rock-bottom Norwich City.

Premier League Results | Premier League Table

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men were woefully inept in the 3-1 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg loss at Etihad Stadium, but on Saturday they found their groove, playing some eye-catching football en route to a straightforward win.

Norwich, who were without injured talismanic forward Teemu Pukki, rarely troubled United in a first half dominated by the home side, who went into the interval 1-0 up after Mata teed up Rashford.

Rashford got his second from the penalty spot early in the second period, before Mata – starting only a third Premier League game since the start of October – set up Anthony Martial to extend the lead and Mason Greenwood finished Norwich off, as United held on to fifth place to stay five points adrift of Chelsea.

Despite establishing control almost immediately, United struggled to create clear chances during the early exchanges.

But Juan Mata carved the Canaries open in the 27th minute, cutting in off the right flank and playing a lofted pass towards the back post for Rashford to turn in.

Norwich highlighted the precariousness off United's slender lead just before the break, when David de Gea just about reached Todd Cantwell's curling effort.

Tim Krul was less impressive at the other end just after the break, however, rushing out and sending Brandon Williams tumbling in the box, allowing Rashford to sweep home the resulting penalty.

Martial got in on the act two minutes later, heading in Mata's right-wing cross after Norwich switched off at a corner.

Williams should have increased the lead when he blazed over from a couple of yards out, but there was to be another moment for United to savour, as Greenwood – Rashford's replacement – drilled into the bottom-right corner from 20 yards to wrap up the win in 76th minute.

What does it mean? Solskjaer can rest easy… For now

After the loss to Pep Guardiola's men, and the manner of the defeat, the pressure on Solskjaer was ramped up once again, as it was a third successive match across all competitions without a win.

There is no denying United were massively improved on Saturday, with the midfield trio of Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira and Fred using the ball much quicker than perhaps they have been known to, but with a trip to Anfield on the horizon, Solskjaer cannot assume he is completely safe.

Mata makes it happen

Given United's problems breaking many teams down this season, it is surprising Mata has only been afforded six Premier League starts. Against Norwich, he made two key passes and both lead to goals, making a decisive impact.

A day to forget for Krul

While there was not a great deal Krul could have done for most of the goals, his decision to rush out and foul Williams for the penalty was unnecessary and left Norwich with a mountain to climb.

What's next?

United return to FA Cup action on Wednesday, as they host Wolves in their third-round replay, before going to league leaders Liverpool four days later. Norwich host Bournemouth next Saturday.

Jorginho, Abraham and Hudson-Odoi provide home comforts for Lampard

Callum Hudson-Odoi scored his first Premier League goal as Chelsea shrugged off their home struggles with a 3-0 win over Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard had seen his team lose three of their past four top-flight matches on their own patch and they had an early scare when a debatable offside call denied Jeff Hendrick the opener.

However, Jorginho's 27th-minute penalty and Tammy Abraham's 15th of the season in all competitions settled nerves.

Hudson-Odoi then got in on the act and only some later wastefulness from Abraham averted a heavier defeat for Burnley, who are four points above the relegation zone in 15th having played a game more than the four sides immediately below them.

Burnley thought they were ahead in the 18th minute, but Ben Mee was flagged offside when he nodded Dwight McNeil's free-kick back across goal for Hendrick to finish.

A VAR review allowed a marginal call from the referee's assistant to stand and the visitors again had no help from the video official when Chelsea went ahead.

Although Matthew Lowton pulled his boot out of a challenge on Willian, who appeared to be anticipating contact, he still clattered into the Brazil winger and Jorginho coolly dispatched from 12 yards.

McNeil's set pieces were causing Chelsea problems, with Kepa Arrizabalaga turning a low attempt to his near post behind before Mee's header from the resulting corner was cleared off the line by Ross Barkley.

Mee's positioning might have inconvenienced Nick Pope when the Burnley goalkeeper waved Abraham's header into his net.

Pope partially atoned for that bizarre lapse with a sharp stop from Reece James, who crossed impeccably for Abraham's goal.

Lax Burnley defending allowed Hudson-Odoi to slide in Cesar Azpilicueta's cross four minutes after the restart, with a VAR check concluding Abraham did not get a flick on that would have seen the goal ruled out for offside.

Abraham misjudged to head over at the near post, having been denied by a reflex stop from Pope, who kept out a Willian piledriver and first-time Mason Mount strike inside the final 15 minutes.

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Story first published: Saturday, January 11, 2020, 22:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 11, 2020
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