United crash, City go five clear

Huddersfield's Laurent Depoitre rounds Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea to double his side's lead. The last time Huddersfield recorded a win over their illustrious opponents was in 1952.
Huddersfield's Laurent Depoitre rounds Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea to double his side's lead. The last time Huddersfield recorded a win over their illustrious opponents was in 1952.PHOTO: REUTERS

Mourinho admits Huddersfield deserve win, City stretch lead with victory over Burnley

MANCHESTER • Perfect would hardly do justice in summing up the sentiments of Manchester City and their fans yesterday, as the Premier League leaders opened a five-point gap at the top over their neighbours Manchester United.

The hero for City was the familiar figure of Sergio Aguero. The Argentinian striker, just 23 days after he damaged his ribs in a car crash in an Amsterdam taxi, broke the deadlock with a 30th-minute penalty after Burnley goalkeeper Tom Pope was adjudged to have fouled Bernardo Silva.

Aguero, who joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011, calmly converted to send City to a win over the Clarets at the Etihad Stadium.

It was the 29-year-old's 177th goal for the Citizens, taking him level in the record books with Eric Brook, who played for the club between 1928 and 1939.

Goals from Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane in the space of two minutes late in the second half meant Pep Guardiola's team have started the season with 11 straight wins.

If that was not enough cause for celebration in the blue half of Manchester, news of United's shock 1-2 loss at Huddersfield would surely have been icing on the cake.

United boss Jose Mourinho said afterwards: "I was not expecting that, but it was the reality of the game. The team that started with emotion, aggression, intensity, desire, the team that was playing the game of their lives, was the team that won. So we didn't deserve more."

His side had conceded a miserly two goals in their previous eight games, keeping seven clean sheets.

Yet David de Gea was beaten twice in the first half at the John Smith's Stadium. Juan Mata was dispossessed by Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy, who continued his run to finish a rebound after Tom Ince's shot was saved in the 28th minute.

United's defending was equally abject as the Terriers doubled their lead five minutes later. Goalkeeper Jonas Lossl's long punt upfield was misjudged by substitute Victor Lindelof, on for the injured Phil Jones.

Huddersfield forward Laurent Depoitre was able to collect the ball, round de Gea and score.

Mourinho, who showed little emotion from the sidelines as both goals were scored, rang the changes at the interval. He hauled off the ineffectual Mata and Anthony Martial and brought on Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford, using up all his three stipulated substitutions by the second half.

United were better and more incisive in attack but under the lashing rain, could not create any clear openings against Huddersfield's disciplined back four until Rashford's header from a Romelu Lukaku cross in the 78th minute reduced the deficit.

It was all United could muster as they suffered a first league loss of the season, their first defeat by Huddersfield since 1952 to complete a perfectly miserable day.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 22, 2017, with the headline 'United crash, City go five clear'. Print Edition | Subscribe