Manchester City beaten by rivals United in blow to title defence

manchester-united-celebrates-goal-in-front-of-city-players

Manchester City players react after Manchester United's Anthony Martial scoring his side's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (Rui Vieira/AP)

MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City fans hurled objects at Manchester United midfielder Fred as their Premier League title defence faded further with a 2-1 loss in the city derby on Saturday.

In the same incident, as Fred prepared to take a corner with United leading 2-0, a fan was caught on camera appearing to mimic a monkey at the Etihad Stadium.

City’s problems were not just coming from their fans.

The champions were torn apart by the fifth-place visitors in the first half, conceding goals in a six-minute span from Marcus Rashford’s penalty and Anthony Martial’s strike.

Although Nicolas Otamendi’s header reduced the deficit in the 85th, City couldn’t prevent United from claiming only a second away win of the season.

It left City with as many losses — four — as last season. And Pep Guardiola’s side fell 14 points behind Liverpool, which is 11 points ahead of Leicester.

Everton beats Chelsea as Ferguson takes temporary charge

LIVERPOOL, England — Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice as Everton beat Chelsea 3-1 in the Premier League on Saturday to give caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson a winning start.

Richarlison scored the opening goal after just five minutes, rising above the defence to head home and send the animated Ferguson charging down the touchline.

It set the tone for a performance unrecognizable from the final games under Marco Silva, who was fired on Thursday.

Calvert-Lewin netted twice in the second half, either side of Mateo Kovacic’s first Premier League goal for Chelsea.

Chelsea is fourth in the standings, while Everton moved to two points above the relegation zone.

Everton lost its last three games under Silva, including 5-2 to Liverpool on Wednesday, but showed much more fight in the first game under Ferguson, the former striker who played 239 league matches for the club.

Ferguson didn’t have to wait long before he was punching the air and running down the touchline to celebrate Richarlison’s close-range header from Djibril Sidibe’s cross.

The hosts continued to impress as Theo Walcott’s low cross just evaded Richarlison at the far post and Calvert-Lewin shot straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Everton then doubled its lead four minutes into the second half. Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma, who was on loan at Everton last season, failed to deal with a high ball and Calvert-Lewin capitalized.

But Kovacic pulled one back within three minutes with a first-time shot from outside the box after the ball was cleared into his path.

Both sides missed further chances as Walcott skipped past N’Golo Kante but shot at Kepa after ignoring Richarlison alongside him, while Christian Pulisic steered wide from Kante’s knockdown.

Calvert-Lewin made the win safe when he poked a loose ball between Kepa’s legs in the 84th, with Ferguson celebrating by hoisting a ball boy into the air.

Son nets solo wonder goal as Tottenham routs Burnley

VAL THORENS, France — Canadian Kris Mahler returned from injury to claim the gold medal Saturday in ski cross for his first World Cup podium.

France’s Bastien Midol was second while Jean Frederic Chapuis, also of France, finished third.

Olympic gold medallist Brady Leman of Calgary and Kevin Drury of Toronto both qualified for the small final and finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

On the women’s side, Courtney Hoffos of Windermere, BC, had another another strong performance, taking the bronze medal, following up on her silver medal yesterday.

The 24-year-old Mahler from Canmore, Alta., injured his shoulder in 2017, then injured his knee the following year.

"After two long years of rehab and too many sick days I can’t even believe it," said Mahler. "That’s one way to come back that’s for sure. I stayed focused and we found some lines that were working."

Hoffos was starting only her fourth World Cup race in her first full season with the team.

"So much fun," she said. "One heat at a time. Ski fast. I’m excited to keep performing and inspiring kids back home."

Sherret of Invermere, B.C., finished fourth. Zoe Chore of Cranbrook, B.C., qualified for the small final and finished eighth while Marielle Thompson of Whistler, B.C., was ninth.

Salah on target as leader Liverpool beats Bournemouth

BOURNEMOUTH, England — Mohamed Salah’s 10th goal of the season capped Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday that sent the Premier League leaders 11 points clear.

The three goals came in the space of just 19 minutes either side of halftime, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita netting before the break.

The move that led to the opener in the 35th minute started with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

After receiving the ball from his goalkeeper via Dejan Lovren, midfielder Henderson deceived Bournemouth centre back Chris Mepham with a long, diagonal pass. That allowed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to volley his sixth goal of the season beyond goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

There was a blow with Lovren forced off injured before the lead was extended.

Keita, making his first league start of the season, received the ball from Salah’s back-heel before taking a touch and calmly prodding past Ramsdale from 10 yards (meters) out.

Calamitous home defending led to the result being put beyond doubt just nine minutes into the second half.

Inexperienced centre back Jack Simpson gave the ball away to Keita. The Guinea international then advanced to slip in Salah, who raced away from Mepham to roll home past Ramsdale and atone for a close-range miss in first-half stoppage time.

Liverpool’s lead at the Premier League summit will be reduced again to eight points if Leicester beats Aston Villa on Sunday.

New Watford boss Pearson watches on as team held by Palace

WATFORD, England — New Watford manager Nigel Pearson watched his team for the first time from the stands and saw his players struggle in front of goal in a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

Interim boss Hayden Mullins took charge for the last time at Vicarage Road but clear-cut chances were limited for the Premier League’s bottom club.

It was the ninth time in 16 top-flight matches this season that the Hornets failed to score.

Watford has now won only once in the league this season and sits at the bottom of the standings.

Quique Sanchez Flores was fired less than three months into his second spell as Watford manager.

Pearson ensured Leicester stayed in the Premier League in 2015 when the team’s prospects looked bleak. He left before the team’s improbable run to the title a year later.

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