Manchester United and Liverpool both took care of business in Week 18 of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign, beating West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth, respectively, on Sunday.
The Red Devils survived a late rally from the Baggies, winning 2-1, while the Reds enjoyed another simple outing, crushing the Cherries 4-0.
Here’s a look at what those results mean for the standings. The gameweek wraps up on Monday as Everton plays at Swansea.
- Manchester City 52 (44)
- Manchester United 41 (27)
- Chelsea 38 (18)
- Liverpool 34 (18)
- Arsenal 33 (11)
- Burnley 32 (4)
- Tottenham Hotspur 31 (13)
- Leicester City 26 (1)
- Watford 22 (-6)
- Everton 22 (-8)
- Huddersfield Town 21 (-14)
- Southampton 18 (-7)
- Brighton & Hove Albion 18 (-9)
- Crystal Palace 17 (-13)
- West Ham United 17 (-15)
- Bournemouth 16 (-9)
- Stoke City 16 (-20)
- Newcastle United 15 (-11)
- West Bromwich Albion 14 (-11)
- Swansea City 12 (-13)
United and West Brom came out flat in the first half of their contest, but manager Jose Mourinho’s troops made the most of their chances, scoring twice.
Romelu Lukaku broke the deadlock with an excellent header―once again celebrating in silence―and Jesse Lingard added to the lead with a deflected effort. Per sportswriter Ryan Baldi, his progression this season has been noticeable:
West Brom improved after the break but couldn’t find the net until the final 15 minutes, when Gareth Barry took advantage of poor defending to power home a corner kick.
The hosts had several good chances to grab a late equaliser, and United defender Chris Smalling, who took the captain’s armband after Antonio Valencia limped off with an injury, took to social media after the match, acknowledging the Red Devils played with fire
Winning the ugly contests is the hallmark of a top team, however, and a visit to the Hawthorns is never easy. With the win, United again took sole position of second place after Chelsea tied the Red Devils on points after a victory on Saturday over Southampton.
In Sunday’s other match, Liverpool’s exciting attack again came through, scoring early and often against Bournemouth.
At half-time, the Reds were already up by three goals, courtesy of Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Mohamed Salah. The latter is enjoying a special season, per sportswriter Richard Jolly:
Roberto Firmino added to the lead after the break, and the Reds cruised from there.
Liverpool’s next outing will be a daunting trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on Friday.