Manchester United loses ground on Premier League’s top four

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MANCHESTER, England: Manchester United lost ground in the race for the top four of the Premier League after being held by Newcastle in a 0-0 draw on Sunday.

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With fourth-place Chelsea winning 2-0 at Aston Villa, the London club moved three points clear of United in fifth, with Erik ten Hag drawing for the first time since taking charge at Old Trafford.

Substitute Marcus Rashford could have secured a late win for the home team but Newcastle held on for the point after the forward failed to convert Casemiro’s cross in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Newcastle looked dangerous in the first half, with Callum Wilson seeing an early penalty appeal ignored before Joelinton hit the crossbar and sent his follow-up onto the post.

In the second half United improved and Cristiano Ronaldo saw two goals ruled out.

Sean Longstaff’s challenge on Jadon Sancho was among a string of dismissed penalty appeals.

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Groans greeted the unsatisfactory conclusion of an afternoon that had started with cheers for former United manager Alex Ferguson as he made presentations to two of his finest signings.

Ronaldo was given an engraved plate after scoring his 700th club goal last weekend, with David De Gea receiving a plate to mark the fact Sunday was his 500th United appearance.

Newcastle could have been celebrating a 24th-minute goal when Kieran Trippier’s free kick struck the wall, but the right back reacted quickly to lift a cross to Joelinton, who headed onto the crossbar.

De Gea was on the ground as Joelinton met the rebound, only to head onto the post.-AP


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