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EPL PHOTOS: Chelsea fight back to at struggling Villa; Newcastle down Sheffield

Last updated on: June 21, 2020 23:43 IST
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IMAGES from the EPL matches played on Sunday.

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud celebrates with teammates on scoring the winning goal against Aston Villa at Villa Park, Birmingham

IMAGE: Chelsea's Olivier Giroud celebrates with teammates on scoring the winning goal against Aston Villa at Villa Park, Birmingham. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Pool via Reuters

Chelsea boosted their hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four as second-half goals from substitute Christian Pulisic and striker Olivier Giroud secured a 2-1 comeback win at relegation-threatened Aston Villa on Sunday.

The result left Chelsea fourth on 51 points from 30 games, five ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United, while Villa's hopes of avoiding the drop were dented as they stayed second-bottom on 26 points, one point adrift of the safety zone.

 

Defender Kortney Hause had fired the home side ahead against the run of play in the 43rd minute with his first Premier League goal, scrambling in a close-range rebound after Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga parried an Anwar El Ghazi shot.

Dominant Chelsea had 76% of possession in the opening half and missed a string of chances, with Villa keeper Oerjan Nyland twice denying Mason Mount while Mateo Kovacic volleyed inches wide from the edge of the penalty area.

American Pulisic equalised on the hour, five minutes after coming on, when he stabbed a Cesar Azpilicueta cross off the underside of the bar at the far post as Villa's defence finally cracked under intense Chelsea pressure.

Azpilicueta delivered another telling assist two minutes later, threading the ball to Giroud from a flowing move and the Frenchman's deflected shot on the turn gave Nyland no chance.

Joelinton ends goal drought as Newcastle overpower Sheffield  

Newcastle United's Joelinton celebrates scoring their third goal against Sheffield United during their Premier League match at St James' Park at Newcastle on Sunday

IMAGE: Newcastle United's Joelinton celebrates scoring their third goal against Sheffield United during their Premier League match at St James' Park at Newcastle on Sunday. Photograph: Michael Regan/Pool via Reuters

Record signing Joelinton scored his first Premier League goal since August as Newcastle United secured a convincing 3-0 win over 10-man Sheffield United on Sunday.

The Brazilian striker found the net from close range to round off a dominant display for Newcastle, who were playing their first game since the Premier League restart.

Sheffield United did not create many opportunities at St James' Park and were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when defender John Egan collected his second yellow card.

Egan, who was cautioned for clashing with Joelinton over an offside decision in the first half, brought down the Brazilian striker to receive his marching orders from referee David Coote.

Newcastle seized control of the contest in the 55th minute when midfielder Matt Ritchie's cross from the left wing found Allan Saint-Maximin, whose low shot found the net.

Ritchie doubled Newcastle's lead in the 69th minute with a swerving shot from the edge of the box, before Joelinton recorded only his second league goal of his debut campaign in the northeast.

Sheffield United's John Egan in action with Newcastle United's Miguel Almiron 

IMAGE: Sheffield United's John Egan in action with Newcastle United's Miguel Almiron. Photograph: Griffiths/Pool via Reuters

"I see Joelinton in training and he's working really hard to score," Saint-Maximin said.

"You have to know that a striker sometimes has a difficult time but I hope he can keep going and score against Aston Villa."

The result means Chris Wilder's Sheffield United, who played out a goalless draw against Aston Villa in their first match back, remain seventh in the standings and four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

The Blades next face fifth-placed Manchester United on Wednesday and will need to produce a much-improved display to keep their European qualification hopes alive.

"I'm sick and tired of people talking about Europe and Champions League," Wilder said.

"It's about working in the present and the present is that we’ve put in two bang average performances this week.

"We have to play at our maximum to get anything, we have to go at it full tilt, but we are off the pace at the minute."

Meanwhile, Newcastle moved up to 12th spot with 38 points to surely put any remaining relegation fears to rest.

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