Manchester City wasted more points against West Ham on Saturday, leaving them in the bottom half of the Premier League table as Manchester United and Chelsea played a wet stalemate.
Substitute Phil Foden saved a 1-1 draw at London Stadium but the disappointing result means Pep Guardiola’s side have only taken five points in their last four games.
City remain favorites to secure the Premier League title from Liverpool but there are growing doubts about their ability to win momentum for the Big Six in an upside-down season.
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Hammers take points from the oomph
The injured city without Fernandinho, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake and Gabriel Jesus dominated possession but rarely found top equipment against West Ham in the early kick-off.
Already five points behind leaders Everton, who plays Southampton (local) on Sunday, they look more vulnerable than they have ever been since Guardiola’s first responsible season.
West Ham beat Mikhail Antonio in the first half with an excellent overhead kick from Vladimir Coufal’s cross.
Foden, who came on at half time, restored parity minutes later and coolly checked Joao Cancelo’s cross before shooting home.
But the guests couldn’t turn their dominance into goals. West Ham was indebted to Lukasz Fabianski, who scored some important late saves.
A frustrated Guardiola said City was struggling with injuries and a hectic schedule.
“I’d rather have results, but we have to analyze where we are,” he said. “Lots of injuries, a lack of preparation, no recovery time and tough games that we’ve played so far.
“But the players gave everything on the pitch. Now let’s take a rest and think about the next game. ”
Hammer’s acrobatic effort!
Guardiola, who said Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, who recently returned after a long hiatus, had a suspected hamstring injury.
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West Ham manager David Moyes was delighted to see his side drew after their spectacular comeback against Tottenham last week, with three late goals creating a 3-3 draw.
“It was different from Tottenham last week because they had to try to hold on to something and they did,” Moyes said.
“We’re improving as a team, our football is getting better and I’m very happy with how things have gone.”
Zaha helps Eagles boss Fulham
– Cavani debut –
Edinson Cavani made his Manchester United debut against Chelsea but the teams canceled each other in a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on a night of heavy rain.
Both teams are hoping to take advantage of the slow starts of City and Liverpool but have struggled to find their rhythm.
United’s last two home games in the Premier League this season resulted in a 9-2 record against Crystal Palace and Spurs.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tossed Paul Pogba and Cavani just over half an hour from time and the Uruguayan almost hit with his first touch.
Teenage striker Mason Greenwood came on in the 83rd minute as United went for victory, but neither side managed to break the impasse. Edouard Mendy saved late against Marcus Rashford.
The result means that for the first time since 1972/73 United have not won any of their first three home league games in a season.
Mad Maguire escapes punishment
Previously, goals from Jairo Riedewald and Wilfried Zaha had promoted Crystal Palace Fulham to their fifth loss in six games.
Tom Cairney pulled back a goal for 10-man Fulham in the last few seconds, but Roy Hodgson’s side held on to win 2-1 and climb to fifth.
Champions Liverpool face Sheffield United late evening in their first Premier League encounter without Virgil van Dijk, who sustained a knee injury against Everton last week that could rule him out for the remainder of the season.
Jürgen Klopp’s team, who beat Ajax 1-0 in the middle of the week, started their title defense in style, but have lost five points in the last two games.
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