Man Utd blow business lead twice against Everton, Villa outgun Arsenal
Manchester United missed from a share of top spot found in the Premier League after twice throwing out leads in a 3-3 draw with Everton, while Arsenal's top-four it’s likely that fading fast following a 1-0 defeat in Aston Villa on Saturday.
United looked place to move level in points with leaders Manchester City until Dominic Calvert-Lewin snatched a point for Everton in the 95th minute at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men continued their goalscoring form from a 9-0 thrashing of Southampton on midweek as Edinson Cavani's header and a sumptuous lob from Bruno Fernandes gave them a 2-0 half-time lead.
However the defensive problems that have blighted United's likelihood of a first group title in eight years were exploited by Carlo Ancelotti's men after half-time.
"In the years ahead we were very great, but we must stop conceding easy goals," said Solskjaer, who claimed expectations of a title obstacle were asking an excessive amount of a part that finished 33 tips behind champions Liverpool last season.
"We're not discussing winning titles," added the Norwegian. "This group has come a long way."
Two goals in seven minutes from Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez early on in the second-50 percent brought Everton level.
Scott McTominay's header restored the Red Devils' lead 20 mins from time, but they could not hold on as Calvert-Lewin slotted home after a hopeful free-kick in to the box with practically the previous kick of the game.
A spot aids Everton's bid for Champions Group qualification as they close to within three factors of fourth-placed Liverpool, who web host City on Sunday.
- Villa dream -
Arsenal's hopes of a good top-four surface finish are receding because they stay in 10th after a second defeat to Villa this year.
The Gunners fell behind after just simply 74 seconds to Ollie Watkins's deflected shot and were not able to muster a convincing response.
Villa, however, can imagine making the Champions Group because they climb to eighth, five points off fourth with a casino game in hand.
The closest Mikel Arteta's men came to a reply was a gorgeous save from former Arsenal 'keeper Emiliano Martinez to turn Granit Xhaka's free-kick behind.
"In the Premier Group when you give a aim to the opponent -- and we gave them another 3 opportunities to be good, just providing them with to them -- and then you aren't ruthless in the opponent's container, you don't win games," explained a frustrated Arteta.
- 'Embarrassing' Soucek red -
West Ham remain fifth, but did little to assist their likelihood of a top-four surface finish with a 0-0 draw in struggling Fulham.
Scott Parker's Fulham remain without a win in 12 games, but could easily have shaded a casino game of few clear-slice chances when Ademola Lookman's free-kick flew just wide.
However, the effect was overshadowed simply by a controversial refereeing decision simply by Mike Dean deep into stoppage period when West Ham's Tomas Soucek was sent-off immediately after a VAR assessment for an unintentional clash with Aleksandar Mitrovic.
"I'm actually quite embarrassed for Mike that he'd include made that decision," said West Ham boss David Moyes.
Fulham remain eight factors adrift of protection after Burnley originated from behind to earn a good 1-1 draw against Brighton.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson's equaliser built amends for an earlier mistake when he let Lewis Dunk's header squeeze past him at risk for Brighton's opener.
A six-game unbeaten go has allowed Brighton to start a 10-stage gap on the bottom three.
Newcastle also pulled clear of the drop area with an exciting 3-2 win in St James' Park to help ease the pressure on beleaguered boss Steve Bruce.
Southampton got off to some other nightmare start while Joe Willock struck on his Newcastle debut before two goals from Miguel Almiron, either area of Takumi Minamino's reply for the Saints, set the Magpies 3-1 up.
An excellent James Ward-Prowse free-kick dragged the site visitors back to it and Southampton must have taken advantages after Jeff Hendrick's crimson card and Fabian Schar's premature departure through damage -- which left Newcastle down to nine because they had used almost all their substitutes.
But Newcastle held to claim only their second get in 14 attempts in every competitions as they moved 10 items clear of the relegation zone.