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Premier League |  Manchester United lost to Nottingham, and City won

Premier League | Manchester United lost to Nottingham, and City won

Manchester City completed its weakest first half of the season in terms of points under coach Pep Guardiola with a 2-0 victory over bottom club Sheffield United. With 40 points from 19 rounds, the defending Premier League champions are two points behind Liverpool. The league leaders will not face Newcastle United until New Year's Day, but will then have played one more game than the Club World champions. Manchester United lost to Nottingham Forest 2-1.

Aston Villa continued to keep pace with the Cabazunders with a late 3-2 win over decimated Burnley. Unai Emery's team is equal on points with Liverpool, but has played one match more. Douglas Luiz scored the decisive penalty kick from under the crossbar (89). Arsenal can move past them by one point if they beat Fulham on Sunday.

In Manchester, Rodri made it 1-0 early with a single (14th) and Argentine world champion Julian Alvarez made the final tally (60th) after a brilliant combination. Phil Foden assisted on both goals. Playmaker Kevin De Bruyne returned to the bench for the first time after suffering a tear in his thigh muscle. Erling Haaland and Jeremy Doku are still missing.

Meanwhile, things are still going wrong for city rivals United. In Nottingham, coach Eric Ten Hag's team fell behind after just over an hour thanks to Nicolas Dominguez's goal (64). Although the Red Devils succeeded in equalizing through Marcus Rashford (78), Morgan Gibbs-White (82) finally made the hosts celebrate with a completed counterattack. United are still struggling with 31 points and currently occupy seventh place.

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Wolverhampton celebrated its third victory in a week by defeating Everton 3-0, and Wanderers, who are in eleventh place, are knocking on a place in the European Cup. Sasa Kalajdzic sat on the bench again. The ÖFB player was on the pitch for just two minutes in seven matches in December. Coach Gary O'Neill relies on the agility and running power of Hwang Hee Chan, Matthews Cunha and Pablo Sarabia in the attacking area. According to media reports, Kalajdzic's former club Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt are interested in a winter loan deal with the Viennese side.