A late Marcus Rashford strike has lifted Manchester United to within two points of Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 1-0 win over Wolves at Old Trafford.
The visitors looked to have withheld a late onslaught but Rashford’s shot in the third minute of added time took a big deflection off Romain Saiss to leave Rui Patricio wrong-footed and United celebrating a fourth win in five.
“Last season we didn’t win many points towards the end of games and we have a tradition of it at this club,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
“Now we’ve won quite a few points towards the end of games and that’s both a mental aspect and also a physical aspect.”
Arsenal followed up their encouraging win over Chelsea with another three-point haul as Alexandre Lacazette scored within 21 seconds of coming on as a substitute to beat Brighton 1-0.
The Frenchman’s decisive 66th-minute strike moved the Gunners nine points clear of the relegation zone, further easing the pressure on manager Mikel Arteta.
“This is what all the managers dream of, to bring people from the bench to win you the game like he’s done,” Arteta said.
“Apart from the finish, it was his (Lacazette’s) movement, the counter move that he made to create the space for himself. It was a brilliant goal.”
Brighton remain just two points above the drop zone after failing to end their lengthy wait for a victory at Amex Stadium.
Leeds claimed their biggest Premier League win in 17 years as they outlined the full scale of the task facing Sam Allardyce with a 5-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.
Romaine Sawyers’ own goal was followed up by Ezgjan Alioski, Jack Harrison and Rodrigo efforts in the first half.
Raphinha also netted a superb strike in the second half as Leeds recorded their biggest victory in the top flight since a 6-1 win over Charlton in 2003.
“We have to keep doing the same and keep doing it over a longer period of time. We have had a lot of highs and lows. Only two games ago we had an important defeat and our idea is to play in a consistent manner,” Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa said.
The result leaves Allardyce still seeking his first win since taking charge of a side now five points adrift of safety.
Still, West Brom’s situation looks considerably better than that of Sheffield United, who went down 1-0 at Burnley to remain winless in the league heading into the new year and now 11 points adrift of 17th place.
Ben Mee’s first-half header left Chris Wilder’s side with just two points from 16 games, the first top-flight team without a victory at this point on the calendar since Bolton in 1902-03.
The win leaves Burnley five points above the drop zone with only one defeat in their last six.
Southampton, playing without manager Ralph Hasenhuttl as the Austrian self-isolates, took a point from a goalless draw at home to West Ham.