Mkhitaryan on target as Man U sinks Spurs

Published On: December 13, 2016 08:30 AM NPT By: Reuters

LONDON, Dec 13: Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first Premier League goal earned Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United a much-needed 1-0 victory over high-flying Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Sunday. 

The Armenian, who was carried off on a stretcher with 10 minutes remaining after a heavy tackle by Danny Rose left him clutching his ankle, blasted home on 29 minutes after Ander Herrera intercepted a sloppy Harry Kane pass in midfield.

Herrera fed the ball through and Mkhitaryan, a 25 million pounds close-season buy from Borussia Dortmund who was left out in the cold earlier in the campaign, did the rest with a rocket of a shot over keeper Hugo Lloris.

The unmarked Victor Wanyama missed a good chance to grab an equaliser for Spurs following a free kick in the 56th minute, his header going inexplicably wide at the back post, while Paul Pogba struck the woodwork for United in the 64th.

The hosts remained sixth with 24 points, three behind fifth-placed Tottenham who might otherwise have overtaken Manchester City -- beaten 4-2 at champions Leicester City on Saturday -- on goal difference.

United remain one of the two current Premier League teams that Kane, last season’s top marksman, has yet to score against and the England forward offered little in the way of danger despite Tottenham having plenty of possession.
The victory was United’s first at home in the league since September and ended a run of three games without a win in the top flight.

Klopp does not  BLAME GOALKEEPER’

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp refused to criticise Loris Karius for failing to keep out West Ham United’s opening goal by Dimitri Payet as the home team were held to a 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

One week after Karius gifted Bournemouth their winner in a 4-3 victory on the south coast, the German keeper palmed the ball weakly into the net despite getting across goal to meet Payet’s 27th-minute free kick.

Asked if his fellow countryman was standing too far to the left, Klopp replied “no idea” in his post-match television interview, saying he had only seen the goal live and would need to watch it again before giving a considered view.

“For the first goal, don’t make the foul, don’t lose the ball,” Klopp added. 
“The second goal (by Michail Antonio) was unlucky. (Defender) Joel Matip made a fantastic game and in this moment he couldn’t clear the ball. Loris Karius was surprised and it was too late.”

Klopp said that while Liverpool blew a winning position for the second time in a week, Sunday’s result was very different from the Bournemouth defeat.

“Similar to last week? No, these games are not comparable. We drew. We are a good football side,” he added. 

“The goals could have been avoided. That’s how it is in football. Mixed emotions, it’s still a point. A draw doesn’t feel too good. doesn’t feel too bad.”

Klopp did however say that Liverpool were below their best and should have won a game where they enjoyed 59 touches in the opposition box against West Ham’s five at the other end.

“Below our best? Yes, that’s right. Actually we had this in other games where we were ahead and clear. The situation is what it is,” said the German. 

With England forward Daniel Sturridge injured, Liverpool’s striking options were restricted to 17-year-old Ben Woodburn on the substitutes’ bench. 

“In a game like this it’s quite difficult to bring the young players on as substitutes,” said Klopp. 

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