Manchester United’s dismal season plummetted to a new low on Saturday as Everton became the latest side to deliver a blow to their fading hopes of Champions League football.
Anthony Gordon’s deflected effort all but condemned United to a place in the Europa League at the very best. Meanwhile, Heung-min Son’s hat-trick inspired Tottenham’s win over Aston Villa later in the day as they stretched their lead in the final spot for the elite European competition to six points.
Ralf Rangnick can take comfort in the fact the teams currently above United in the table have to play each other in the run-in and that could provide yet another lifeline for his side. Here’s how the run-in looks.
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7th Manchester United – 51 pts
Norwich City (H) – Saturday, April 16
Dean Smith’s side dented the hopes of fellow strugglers Burnley on Sunday as Pierre Lees-Melou and Teemu Pukki inflicted potential damage to Sean Dyche’s Premier League stay. On paper, the clash sees the odds fall heavily in favor of the hosts and they will need to use that advantage to return to winning ways.
Liverpool (A) – Tuesday, April 19
United were on the receiving end of a demolition job when Liverpool visited Old Trafford in October. Many have already written off their hopes of salvaging a result at Anfield after their latest showing.
Arsenal (A) – Saturday, April 23
Their trip to the Emirates Stadium is likely to determine who remains in pole position for the European places. For Mikel Arteta’s side, they face the possibility of losing out on the Champions League places to their north London rivals Tottenham and, at the time of writing, the Gunners sit three points clear of United with a game in hand.
Brentford (H) – Monday, May 2
Thomas Frank will visit Old Trafford in one of United’s final home matches of the season. Despite their promising start, the Bees have slowly fizzled out and remain in the bottom half of the table. For United, they will need to make home advantage count if they are to muster a late charge.
Brighton (A) – Saturday, May 7
Like Brentford, Brighton are a side that showed early promise in this campaign but a recent dip has seen them topple down the standings. The AMEX Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for United in recent seasons and their last defeat there was four years ago under Jose Mourinho.
Crystal Palace (A) – Sunday, May 22
United face a trip to Selhurst Park on the final day of the season. It will be the final hurrah for interim manager Ralf Rangnick who will be looking to end his temporary chapter in the Old Trafford hot seat on a high, but will they need a win to secure European qualification? Will it already be sealed? Or could the season be over before a ball is kicked? Only time will tell.
Chelsea (H) – TBC
There has been no official date set for Chelsea’s visit to Old Trafford in what will be the penultimate game of the season for United. Should Thomas Tuchel’s side fail to beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup next weekend, the clash will be played on Sunday, May 15.
8. Wolves – 49pts
Burnley (A) – April 24
Brighton (H) – April 30
Chelsea (A) – May 7
Norwich (H) – May 15
Liverpool (A) – May 22
Manchester City (H) – TBC
6. West Ham – 51pts
Burnley (H) – April 17
Chelsea (A) – April 24
Arsenal (H) – May 1
Norwich (A) – May 7
Manchester City (H) – May 15
Brighton (A) – May 22
5. Arsenal – 54 points
Southampton (A) – April 16
Chelsea (A) – April 20
Manchester United (M) – April 23
West Ham (A) – May 1
Leeds (H) – May 8
Spurs (A) – May 12
Newcastle (A) – May 16
Everton (H) – May 22
4. Tottenham Hotspur – 57 points
Brighton (H) – April 16
Brentford (A) – April 23
Leicester (H) – April 30
Liverpool (A) – May 7
Arsenal (H) – May 12
Burnley (H) – May 15
Norwich (A) – May 22
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