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Pochettino Faces Criticism as Chelsea Suffers Defeat, Birthday Boy Hojlund Inspires Man Utd Victory

Pochettino Faces Criticism as Chelsea Suffers Defeat, Birthday Boy Hojlund Inspires Man Utd Victory

AFP – Mauricio Pochettino faced mounting pressure as his struggling Chelsea side suffered a dismal 4-2 defeat against Wolves. Meanwhile, Manchester United’s Rasmus Hojlund marked his 21st birthday with a goal in Sunday’s commanding 3-0 win against West Ham.

The Premier League spotlight shifted to Chelsea’s woes as they languished in 11th place, with fans expressing their frustration as Matheus Cunha’s hat-trick condemned them to a second successive defeat.

While Chelsea faltered, all eyes turned to the highly anticipated clash between Premier League leaders Liverpool and title rivals Arsenal. The outcome of this crucial match promised to shape the title race in the coming weeks.

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Chelsea endured a forgettable week as they suffered a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday, followed by an even more embarrassing loss to Wolves, who completed the double over the struggling west London side.

Cole Palmer initially put Chelsea ahead with a composed finish from Moises Caicedo’s precise pass in the 19th minute. However, their lead lasted only three minutes as Cunha’s shot deflected off Thiago Silva, leaving Blues goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic wrong-footed.

Pochettino’s frustration was evident when Rayan Ait Nouri’s shot resulted in an own goal off Chelsea defender Axel Disasi in the 43rd minute. The atmosphere turned toxic as Pedro Neto assisted Cunha for Wolves’ third goal in the 63rd minute.

Cunha’s 82nd-minute penalty, awarded after a foul by Malo Gusto, compounded Chelsea’s misery, despite Silva’s late consolation goal in the 86th minute.

It has been a disheartening first season for Pochettino, and the pressure on the former Tottenham boss is mounting. Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has shown his willingness to act decisively by sacking Graham Potter after less than seven months in charge last term.

With challenging fixtures against Aston Villa and Manchester City looming, Chelsea’s situation could worsen before they face Liverpool in the League Cup final at Wembley on February 25.

Hojlund Sparks Manchester United Revival

Manchester United’s striker, Rasmus Hojlund, celebrated his 21st birthday by playing a crucial role in his team’s 3-0 victory against West Ham.

Hojlund’s goal contributed to United’s impressive win, marking a positive turn of events for the team. The birthday celebration and notable performance come as Manchester United aims to strengthen its position in the Premier League.

Sparked by the resurgence of Hojlund, Manchester United secured their third consecutive victory across all competitions, propelling them past West Ham into sixth place.

Breaking free from a sluggish start to his inaugural season with United after his transfer from Atalanta, Hojlund ignited the celebration on his 21st birthday at Old Trafford. His strike in the 23rd minute, courtesy of Casemiro’s pass, showcased his skill as he found space for a powerful shot that beat Alphonse Areola from inside the area.

Having struggled to find the net in the league until December 26, Hojlund has now netted five goals in his last six matches across all competitions.

In the 49th minute, Alejandro Garnacho capitalized on a defensive lapse, his shot deflecting off West Ham’s Nayef Aguerd to extend United’s lead.

Before kick-off, United manager Erik ten Hag and West Ham boss David Moyes paid tribute to the victims of the 1958 Munich air crash, honoring the memory of the eight United players who perished while returning from a European Cup game in Belgrade.

Though the current United squad cannot match the legendary ‘Busby Babes’ lost in Munich, Ten Hag’s team paid homage with an enterprising display reminiscent of their predecessors.

In a fitting conclusion, Garnacho, United’s emerging talent, sealed the victory with a composed finish in the 84th minute.

Nottingham Forest finds themselves just two points clear of the relegation zone following a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Bournemouth.

Dutch striker Justin Kluivert handed Bournemouth an early advantage by slotting home in the fifth minute.

However, Callum Hudson-Odoi restored parity for Forest right before halftime with a superb curling effort from outside the box.

Bournemouth’s hopes took a blow in the 84th minute as Philip Billing received his marching orders for a foul on Hudson-Odoi.

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