Rampant Man United beat Bournemouth, not missing departed Ronaldo

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw, second from left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Bournemouth at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. (AP

On the day Cristiano Ronaldo was presented at his new Saudi Arabian club, his former team Manchester United again showed it is not missing the Portugal superstar.

United has won four straight matches since agreeing to terminate Ronaldo’s contract during the World Cup, the latest coming Tuesday in a 3-0 victory over Bournemouth in the Premier League.

And without Ronaldo, who hours earlier was presented to thousands of fans at Al Nassr against a backdrop of fireworks and smoke machines, United is firmly ensconced in the top four and looking good to qualify for the Champions League on current form.

Winning the title might be a stretch, though.

Arsenal is still in the driver’s seat after a 0-0 draw at home to third-place Newcastle that pushed Mikel Arteta’s team eight points clear of Manchester City, whose game in hand is against Chelsea on Thursday.
Newcastle is tied on points with Man United — one behind City — but is ahead courtesy of a superior goal difference. Newcastle and United are five points clear of fifth-place Tottenham.

In other games Tuesday, Brighton routed Everton 4-1 away as Argentina’s World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister made a successful return to league play and Fulham won 1-0 at Leicester to consolidate seventh place.

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