Manchester United’s slim hopes for a top-four finish got a big boost on Saturday following Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick in their 3-2 win over Norwich City.
A first-half brace from Ronaldo appeared to have put the hosts on course for a comfortable win against the Championship-bound Norwich team. However, Kieran Dowell’s goal out of nowhere in first-half stoppage time got the visitors back in the contest, before Finnish forward Teemu Pukki completed the Norwich comeback to stun Old Trafford into silence seven minutes after the break.
Fortunately for United, Ronaldo still had something left in his reserve tank and he delivered when it mattered most; scoring a sumptuous free-kick 14 minutes from time to drag United across the line once more this season.
The win, United’s first in four games in all competitions, moved them above Arsenal, who lost 1-0 at Southampton, into fifth on 54 points from 32 matches, with Spurs now just three points ahead of them.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s chance of securing Champions League football for next season is dwindling by the day with the latest blow to their aspiration coming from Jan Bednarek’s solitary strike away at Southampton.
Bednarek put the hosts ahead on the stroke of half-time, with Fraser Forster making two excellent saves as Southampton inflicted on Arsenal a third straight Premier League defeat.
While Ronaldo’s effort is helping United’s course, the same cannot be said of Emmanuel Dennis who returned to goalscoring ways for Watford on Saturday.
The goal by the Nigerian striker which is just his second in the league in 2022 was not enough as Brentford ran away with a 2-1 win over the Hornets.
This latest defeat for Watford is their 10th straight loss and the chance of beating the drop is now almost extinguished. Watford have played two games more than 18th-placed Burnley and 17th-placed Everton.
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