LONDON – Spending is the reason Manchester City is speeding clear of Manchester United in the English Premier League race, according to Jose Mourinho.
After salvaging a 2-2 draw against Burnley on Tuesday, second-placed United trails City by 12 points and Pep Guardiola’s side can extend that advantage when it faces Newcastle on Wednesday.
“Manchester City buy the full backs for the price of the strikers,” United manager Mourinho said, referring to the summer purchases of Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy for a combined figure of more than 100 million pounds ($133 million).
“Is not enough, is not enough,” Mourinho said of his own expenditure at United, about 300 million pounds in the last 19 months.
“And the price for the big clubs, the price for the big clubs is different from the other clubs, so the big, historical clubs are normally punished in the market for that history.”
It could have been worse for United. Jesse Lingard came off the bench at halftime to score twice and cancel out first-half strikes from Burnley’s Ashley Barnes and Steven Defour.
United was at least on the right side of a stoppage-time equalizer this time, having conceded in the final moments last Saturday to give up the lead at Leicester.
United was just one point ahead of third-placed Chelsea, which continued its strong home form by beating Brighton 2-0.
Harry Kane scored successive hat tricks to break the record for the most league goals in a calendar year as Tottenham thrashed Southampton 5-2. Liverpool was similarly ruthless in thrashing bottom side Swansea 5-0.
Here’s a look at Saturday’s games:
After netting three times at Burnley on Saturday, Kane delivered another treble at Wembley Stadium to take his league tally for 2017 to 39.
Each goal broke new ground for Kane; his first took him clear of Alan Shearer’s 36 Premier League goals in 1995; the second saw him overtake Lionel Messi as the player from Europe’s five major leagues to have the most goals (56) for club and country in 2017; and the third gave him a record sixth Premier League hat trick in a calendar year.
“It’s been amazing, it’s been a fantastic year – one I’m very proud of,” Kane said. “When you get compared to them players, the Messis, the Shearers, that’s what it’s all about.”
Liverpool displayed the ruthlessness it has often lacked in recent weeks to dispatch struggling Swansea.
Philippe Coutinho, the Reds captain for the day, scored early to give his side a narrow halftime lead. But Liverpool’s superiority showed after the break.
Roberto Firmino scored twice and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also found the net.
Swansea is on the bottom with just 11 goals, and 13 points from 20 games.
Chelsea’s Spanish contingent was largely responsible for a sixth consecutive home win in the league.
For the sixth time this season, Morata was assisted by Spain teammate Cesar Azpilicueta. The defender produced an inch-perfect cross, allowing Morata to head home.
The victory was sealed as two more Spaniards combined. Cesc Fabregas picked out Marcos Alonso with his corner and the wing back headed in at the near post.
WINLESS WEST BROM
West Bromwich Albion’s winless run was extended to 18 games after going 0-0 with Everton.
Alan Pardew has failed to change the Baggies’ fortunes since taking over as manager in late November, with the club one short of equaling Aston Villa’s record for the most league games without a win.
Everton was undefeated in six games under its new coach Sam Allardyce and remained in the top half of the table.
Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson scored a heavily disputed stoppage-time equalizer against West Ham to cap a thrilling 3-3 draw.
After the goal was initially disallowed by the linesman for offside, referee Bobby Madley overruled the decision despite West Ham’s claims the goal should have been ruled out for offside and handball by Wilson.
It looked as though Marko Arnautovic won it for the Hammers after scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to give West Ham the lead.
Also, Tom Ince’s first league goal since February 2014 was canceled out by Ramadan Sobhi’s second in four days as Huddersfield and Stoke drew 1-1. Watford ended a six-game winless run as it came from behind to defeat Leicester 2-1 at Vicarage Road. A tap-in from Molla Wague in his first league start, and against his former club, plus an own goal from Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel canceled out Riyad Mahrez’s opener.
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