Mourinho loses in return to Old Trafford; Liverpool cruises

STEVE DOUGLAS
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Britain Soccer Premier League

Tottenham's manager Jose Mourinho shakes hands with Manchester United's Harry Maguire the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Jose Mourinho was standing on the edge of his technical area near the halfway line when Manchester United midfielder Daniel James came sliding off the field and clattered head-first into the right knee of the Portuguese coach.

Mourinho just about stayed on his feet but grimaced as he clutched his knee before hobbling away.

It was a rough return to Old Trafford for the former United manager on Wednesday.

Two weeks into his time at Tottenham and Mourinho has finally lost a game — and it just had to be against the club that fired him a year ago.

United won 2-1 to end Tottenham’s run of three wins since the arrival of Mourinho, with Marcus Rashford scoring both of the homes team’s goals and celebrating them maybe with a little dig at his old manager.

“Doubters just spur me on,” Rashford wrote on Twitter after the match, potentially a reference to Mourinho who, in one standout incident during his time at United, turned his back to Rashford and folded his arms in disgust after the striker missed an easy chance in a Champions League match against Young Boys in November last year. Less than a month later, Mourinho was fired.

Tottenham has now conceded two goals in each of the four games Mourinho has been in charge, a statistic that must concern a coach who usually sets his teams up to defend resolutely.

If Tottenham can't stop allowing goals, Liverpool can't stop scoring them.

The unbeaten leaders netted four goals in the first half and added a fifth late on in a 5-2 thrashing of Everton in the Merseyside derby to stay eight points clear of Leicester, which beat last-place Watford 2-0.

Liverpool scored five in a league game against Everton at home for the first time since 1965, despite leaving out two of the team’s formidable attacking trio — Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino — as well as captain Jordan Henderson.

Everton couldn’t take advantage and slipped into the relegation zone on another dark day for its under-pressure manager Marco Silva, who might not stay in the job after this latest loss given the manner of his team’s defending at Anfield.

There were also wins for Chelsea and Wolves — the teams in fourth and fifth place, respectively — while Southampton beat Norwich 2-1 in a match between relegation contenders.

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