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 Mourinho hails United, Hammers fans fume
 ( Published On Thursday 15 March 2018, 28 Jumada II 1439, Time: 10:24)

Mourinho hails United, Hammers fans fume


LONDON — Jose Mourinho slammed criticism of Manchester United's cautious approach in its 2-1 win over bitter rival Liverpool Saturday, while West Ham fans rebelled in ugly scenes during their 3-0 defeat against Burnley Saturday.


Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first 25 minutes at Old Trafford as United held off a Liverpool fightback to move five points clear of their visitors in second place in the Premier League.


United also closed to within 13 points of Manchester City, but barring a late-season collapse by the runaway league leader, that gap looks unbridgeable.


More significantly, Mourinho's men moved another huge step closer to guaranteeing a top-four finish by opening up a 12-point lead on fifth-placed Chelsea.


Liverpool was left to rue a slow start as Rashford twice finished impressively after Romelu Lukaku had outmuscled Dejan Lovren.


Jurgen Klopp's side dominated possession as United sat back for long periods and Eric Bailly's 66th-minute own goal set up a tense finish.


But United stuck to Mourinho's conservative game-plan to clinch the points and the Portuguese coach was in typically defiant mood when asked about the defensive tactics.


"If people don't think we deserved it, I don't care," Mourinho said.


"I am a bit tired, we have a match on Tuesday. I don't care what people say. The boys are happy, I'm happy."


Just a second defeat in 21 Premier League games leaves Liverpool still in third, but it could drop to fourth if Tottenham wins at Bournemouth Sunday.


At the London Stadium, West Ham could face a heavy fine or possibly even a temporary ground closure as a result of their fans' shameful behavior.


Ashley Barnes blasted Burnley in front from 18 yards out in the 66th minute, prompting an angry West Ham supporter to run onto the pitch, where he was tackled to the ground by Hammers star Mark Noble.


The mood among the home fans turned even more toxic when Burnley's Chris Wood doubled the visitors' lead in the 70th minute.


Supporters flocked toward the directors box chanting "sack the board" at co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold, while another ran onto the field to grab the corner flag.


Wood added insult to injury in the 81st minute when he tapped in after a mistake by Hammers goalkeeper Joe Hart.


Gold and Sullivan were asked to leave the stadium for their own safety before the final whistle as the West Ham fans continued to turn their anger on the directors.


Burnley's coaching staff allowed children caught up in the chaos to shelter in their dug-out and Hammers boss David Moyes, whose side is only three points clear of the relegation zone, admitted he could understand why tensions boiled over.


"The players understand. We want to do well, just like the fans do," Moyes said.


Newcastle boosted its survival bid and kept Southampton in trouble with a 3-0 win at St James' Park, the goals coming from Kenedy's brace and a Matt Ritchie strike.


West Brom remains rooted to the bottom of the table as Leicester's 4-1 win at the Hawthorns increased the pressure on boss Alan Pardew.


Pardew's side, currently eight points from safety after a sixth successive league defeat, struck first when Salomon Rondon converted Oliver Burke's eighth-minute cross.


Jamie Vardy equalized with a stunning strike in the 21st minute and Riyad Mahrez put Leicester in front in the 62nd minute.


Kelechi Iheanacho made it three in the 76th minute and Vicente Iborra capped the rout in stoppage-time.


Everton eased the pressure on boss Sam Allardyce with a 2-0 win over Brighton at Goodison Park, while Swansea drew 0-0 at Huddersfield despite having Ghana striker Jordan Ayew sent off in the 11th minute. — - SG

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