Grumbling to himself and shaking his head, Cristiano Ronaldo headed straight for the tunnel at the final whistle of Manchester United’s latest misstep at Old Trafford.
He had enough to be annoyed about.
Not only had his team dropped more points at home in the Premier League, the 36-year-old Ronaldo had barely got half an hour on the pitch against Everton after starting as a substitute after two 90-minute displays in the past week.
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The goalscorer of the goal that denied United a win may have contributed to Ronaldo’s frustration and had the audacity to copy the Portuguese star’s famous celebration.
In what he said was a tribute to his ‘idol’, Everton winger Andros Townsend performed a Ronaldo-style pirouette after his equalizing 1-1 draw when United went there for the second consecutive Saturday in the top-flight. division of England failed to win.
“He’s my idol,” Townsend said after the game. “I trained for hours to perform his techniques. Maybe I should have put more effort into the celebration because it wasn’t a great performance. It was a bit of respect for him.”
A week after a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa, United were sloppy and ill-disciplined against Everton in a performance that barely showed his title records and may well increase scrutiny over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over whether he is the manager for the title to get. best of United’s star-studded squad.
Ronaldo started between the substitutes with Solskjaer looking for the striker’s minutes, given the effort he put in over the past seven days, including scoring the stoppage time winner against Villarreal on Wednesday.
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The game against Everton came less than 72 hours later, so Solskjaer made five changes – and one of them scored the opener, with Anthony Martial driving home from the left for the first time after a superb touch and pass from Bruno Fernandes.
Everton were always dangerous on the counter and scored from one of those breaks. In fact, it came from a corner cleared by Everton. United midfielder Fred failed to regain possession twice, leading Abdoulaye Doucoure to fire a low shot from the edge of the area in Townsend.
“These last two home games have not been good enough in the Premier League,” Fernandes said. “If we want silverware at the end of the season, we have to do a lot better.”
Ronaldo had only one chance to add his five goals since moving to United for a second time, but he took a left footed shot wide from a narrow angle.
Chelsea, another title contender, also looked to drop points at home until Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell scored late goals to seal a 3-1 win over Southampton.
The turning point came in the 75th minute when James Ward-Prowse, who equalized from a penalty spot for Southampton in the 61st, slipped dangerously into Jorginho’s ankle from behind and was sent off after video review with the 1-1 score.
Chelsea dominated the final minutes at Stamford Bridge and Werner tapped home in the 85th before Chilwell added third in the 89th.
The win put Chelsea in first place ahead of Sunday’s game at Anfield between Liverpool and Manchester City, which came top two in the seventh round.
Leeds scored their first league win of the season beating Watford 1-0 at home thanks to Diego Llorente’s corner goal, while South Korean forward Hwang Hee-chan scored twice for Wolverhampton in a 2-1 win over Newcastle.
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Arsenal continued their recovery from losing their first three games of the season with a 0-0 draw at Brighton, while Burnley and Norwich also drew 0-0.
Werner’s goal in the 85th minute proved vital for Chelsea in beating Southampton, with the German forward scoring their first in the league since February.
Werner has seen 16 league goals disallowed since joining Chelsea in 2020, the last of which came in the first half on Saturday.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he was impressed by Werner’s perseverance.
“We are all relieved, him and I and the whole club,” said Tuchel. “Every time he scores, we feel like there is a decision by the VAR to take it away from him. A lot of very scary decisions have been made. He has to go on and a lot of improvement.”
Trevoh Chalobah, a 22-year-old reserve defender, gave Chelsea the lead in the ninth minute with his second goal of the season.
It was a successful end to a tough week for Chelsea, who lost to Manchester City in the league last Saturday and Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday.
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