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Manchester clubs hit by surprise defeats in English Premier League

LONDON – It was not a good day for the Manchester clubs in the English Premier League on Saturday, as both City and United suffered defeats by teams they should have beaten.

City finally lost their first league game this season following six consecutive victories with a 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Wolves stunned Pep Guardiola’s champions as early as the 13th minute, when Ruben Dias put the ball into the bottom corner of his own net after attempting to block the ball from a cross.

City then equalised in the 59th minute when Julian Alvarez struck from a brilliant free kick from the edge of the box.

The home side, however, did not give up and took the lead for good just eight minutes later when Matheus Cunha passed the ball to the feet of striker Hwang Hee-chan, who slotted the ball into an empty net.

“After the work (I put in) I was happy that the ball went in! I am happy to get the three points,” said Hwang.

Wolves forward Pedro Neto added: “Up front we have very good players. We are playing against the best team in the world but we had belief that this could be a turning point for us. We work hard and we take the three points.”

Palace took advantage of a slow start by United as Joachim Andersen scored from a brilliant strike in the 25th minute, which proved crucial in the end in their 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

The Danish centre-back took a perfect first touch inside the box following a free kick, before beating goalkeeper Andre Onana with a shot that hit the roof of the net.

The Red Devils lacked energy throughout but picked up the pace after half-time to push for an equaliser.

Erik ten Hag’s men thought they should have had a penalty in the 59th minute after a handball by Joel Ward in the box, but their appeals were waved away following a VAR check.

Under the heavy rain, United suffered their fourth defeat in seven league games this season as they were booed by their home fans at the final whistle.

“There are a lot of things to work on, a lot of things to look at,” said United midfielder Mason Mount.

Elsewhere, Arsenal clinched a vital 4-0 win at Bournemouth to keep the pressure on City.

Bukayo Saka got the Gunners off to a bright start in the 17th minute when he found space inside the box and scored with a header inside the right post.

Captain Martin Odegaard then made it 2-0 with a penalty just before the break, after Maximillian Aarons committed a foul inside the box.

The Gunners had another spot kick in the 53rd minute, which was converted by Kai Havertz for his first Arsenal goal in 10 games in all competitions.

Mikel Arteta’s men then scored their fourth right at the end with a Ben White header.

In the earlier kick-off, a hat-trick from England striker Ollie Watkins fired Aston Villa to a sensational 6-1 thrashing of high-flying Brighton and Hove Albion.

Brighton travelled to the Midlands having lost only once all season, but they were put to the sword by a rampant Villa in the first half, with a Watkins double and Pervis Estupinan own goal catapulting the hosts into a 3-0 lead by half-time.

Substitute Ansu Fati’s first goal since signing on loan from Barcelona early in the second half gave the visitors some hope, but Watkins’ third put the game to bed in the 65th minute.

Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz added to the humiliation with two late goals to crown a fine victory for Villa.

“I’m very happy,” said Villa boss Unai Emery.

“Defensively and offensively, we’re trying to keep it consistent over 90 minutes and three points are very important.

“Of course, when you’re winning matches you feel confident, but you still have to win again and again.” REUTERS