» Sports » EPL PIX: Man United back in top three; Chelsea lose

EPL PIX: Man United back in top three; Chelsea lose

Last updated on: April 09, 2023 00:15 IST
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IMAGES from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday

Manchester United's Scott McTominay celebrates scoring their first goal against Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester

IMAGE: Manchester United's Scott McTominay celebrates scoring their first goal against Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Manchester United's Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial secured a well-earned 2-0 victory over Everton as the hosts climbed above Newcastle United into provisional third spot in the Premier League on Saturday.


Erik ten Hag's United are in the thick of the race to finish in the top four, with 56 points from 29 games, three ahead of Newcastle, who have a game in hand, and six more than Tottenham Hotspur, with those sides playing later on Saturday.

The defeat for Sean Dyche's Everton, who are battling to avoid relegation, leaves them in 16th spot, outside the drop zone only on goal difference and level on 27 points with Nottingham Forest in 17th place and Bournemouth who are 18th.

"It was great football from ourselves and we were disappointed to only go in (at halftime) 1-0 up," United captain Harry Maguire told BT Sport. "The game should have been gone.

"The lads started on the front foot, we were aggressive, we created chance after chance after chance and I think if the score was three, four or five nobody would have any arguments."

United pressed goalkeeper Jordan Pickford into duty early at a sun-drenched Old Trafford and set up camp in Everton's half for most of the game.

Everton players wear a dejected look as Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates 

IMAGE: Everton players wear a dejected look as Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

They could have got on the board in the 12th minute when Antony's shot rebounded off the post to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who missed an easy tap-in, sending the ball wide of the far post.

Ellis Simms had Everton's best chance in the 20th minute. His shot beat keeper David De Gea but rolled just wide of the net and Dyche buried his head in his hands.

The Reds were finally rewarded in the 36th minute when Jadon Sancho threaded a pass to the charging McTominay who netted from close range.

Bruno Fernandes nearly doubled United's lead in the 67th minute but Pickford leapt to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Marcus Rashford, who had numerous chances on his 350th appearance for United in all competitions, set up Martial's goal in the 71st with a cross that found the second-half substitute alone in the box to score.

United were missing Casemiro, who completed a four-game ban on Saturday, but fellow midfielder Christian Eriksen returned from an ankle injury when he came on after 77 minutes for his first appearance since Jan. 28.

The Toffees have won only once on the road this season in early October against Southampton but have had improved results in recent weeks including a home draw with Spurs on Monday.

Since Dyche took over in January, Everton have lost just four of their last 10 games, a streak that included a victory over league leaders Arsenal.

Heung-min nets 100th Premier League goal in Spurs’ win

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on scoring their second goal

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on scoring their second goal. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane struck a late winner in a fiery 2-1 home victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday to boost his side's hopes of a top-four finish.

Son Heung-min's 100th Premier League goal, a superb curler in the 10th minute, had given Spurs the lead against the run of play but Brighton levelled through Lewis Dunk in the 34th.

Brighton were by far the better side and had two goals ruled out although the biggest talking point until Kane's 79th-minute winner was an altercation between Tottenham caretaker manager Cristian Stellini and Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi.

Both men were red-carded in the second half following a melee which had been brewing since the Italian pair exchanged angry words before the game kicked off.

England striker Kane at least sent the Spurs fane home happy as his deflected shot from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg beat Brighton goalkeeper Jason Steele.

Victory kept Tottenham in fifth place with 53 points but they have played a game more than Manchester United in fourth and Newcastle United who both have 56 after wins on Saturday.

Brighton's hopes of gate-crashing the top-four battle took a big knock and they dropped to seventh with 46 points.

After two costly draws against struggling Southampton and Everton, Tottenham's season appeared to be petering with grumbling from the stands but the reliable duo of Son and Kane at least kept them in the hunt for the top four.

Son's 10th-minute opener was the kind of goal he used to score for fun but has been sadly missing this season.

Cutting in from the left he curled an unstoppable shot into the opposite top corner to become the first Asian player to score a century of goals in the Premier League.

He dedicated the goal to his grandfather who recently died.

"Scoring 100 goals in the Premier League is a massive thing. I was really emotional because I have had tough moments in the last few weeks," he said.

"I hope all the Asian players -- especially in South Korea -- look at this achievement and believe they can do it as well."

While Tottenham's fans celebrated the win, it was another lacklustre display from their side and Brighton will wonder how Dunk's 34th-minute header from a corner was their only reward for a display that was too lively for their hosts at times.

Home defender Eric Dier cleared a Kaoru Mitoma corner off the line early on, Mitoma had an effort ruled out for offside and Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris was forced into saves from Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo.

Solly March fired wide after Dunk's equaliser and Brighton thought they had taken the lead after the break only for Welbeck's effort to be ruled out by VAR because it had brushed Mac Allister's arm on the way into the net.

Tempers boiled over on the touchline as De Zerbi and Stellini got into a furious argument that briefly stopped play before referee Stuart Attwell dismissed both men who continued their verbal slanging match down the tunnel.

Lampard makes a losing return as Wolves beat Chelsea 1-0

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Nunes scores their first goal against Chelsea at Molineux Stadium

IMAGE: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Nunes scores their first goal against Chelsea at Molineux Stadium. Photograph: Chris Radburn/Reuters

Frank Lampard got off to a losing start on his return as interim Chelsea manager on Saturday with the Blues beaten 1-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers and still toothless in the Premier League.

Matheus Nunes scored a 31st minute screamer at Molineux, the Portugal midfielder hitting the ball on the volley from the edge of the box on the right and past Kepa Arrizabalaga into the far corner.

The victory took some of the relegation heat off Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui with his side, who had captain Ruben Neves serving a two-match suspension, moving up to 12th and four points clear of the drop zone. Chelsea stayed 11th, eight points ahead.

Chelsea great Lampard's appointment was announced on Thursday after Graham Potter paid the price for a string of poor results which left the team in mid-table and with a Champions league quarter-final away leg at Real Madrid looming next Wednesday.

The club's record goalscorer, himself dismissed as manager in January 2021, drew a warm reception from the travelling fans as he arrived for his first match in charge.

Lampard also got a clear picture of the task he faces over the eight remaining games, with a tame Chelsea failing to find the net for their third game in a row.

Chelsea, still without the injured Mason Mount, had only one shot on target in the first half and, while looking livelier after the break, were unable to make their passing and possession count.

They had no shots on target in the second half and have played more games (30) than goals scored (29). They have only four wins from their last 21 games.

The goal was Nunes's first in the league since the club's record signing joined from Sporting in August last year.

"I thought the performance in the first half was 70% or so," said Lampard, who started with Raheem Sterling and Conor Gallagher and brought on the little-used Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a second half substitute.

"It was enough for it to be an even game and there was a rocket from them out of nowhere. In the second half there was more energy, more chances and we got more people in the box," he told the BBC.

"There has been a lot of change and that's not an excuse but things need to improve and I think that performance summed it up. I have to get an understanding of it," he added.

"You have to get used to winning and make it a habit. Credit to Wolves today, they were physical and stuck in for a win."

Newcastle back up to third with win at Brentford after Toney misses penalty

Newcastle United's Alexander Isak celebrates scoring their second goal against Brentford at Brentford Community Stadium in London

IMAGE: Newcastle United's Alexander Isak celebrates scoring their second goal against Brentford at Brentford Community Stadium in London. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images via Reuters

Newcastle United moved back up to third in the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Brentford on Saturday after Ivan Toney missed a penalty for the London side for the first time in his career.

An own goal from David Raya and Alexander Isak's second-half winner gave Newcastle a fifth consecutive win that moved them up to 56 points from 29 games -- the same as Manchester United -- but Eddie Howe's side have a superior goal difference.

The result marked only the second time Brentford had lost at home this season after losing to Arsenal in September as Thomas Frank's side missed an opportunity to leapfrog eighth-placed Liverpool, sitting ninth with 43 points.

"It was a tough game, this is a tough place to come to. They have been unbeaten here for a very long time," Isak told Premier League Productions.

"It was a tough task and we felt that in the first half. But we turned it around with different energy (in the second). We are happy with the three points."

Newcastle were sluggish in the opening stages and invited Brentford pressure which nearly resulted in an opening goal for the home side when Toney scored from a parried save but VAR ruled it out for a marginal offside.

That was the wake-up call Newcastle needed and they slowly found their rhythm to peg Brentford back, but it was almost undone by Sven Botman who clumsily brought down Kevin Schade as he sprinted into the box with the ball at his feet.

Nick Pope came to Newcastle's rescue as he guessed correctly to deny Toney who missed from the spot for the first time since 2018 having converted his previous 24 attempts.

But Brentford were given another lifeline when Isak fouled Rico Henry and the referee awarded another penalty after watching the replay. This time, Toney made no mistake and beat Pope to score his 18th league goal of the season.

The tide turned in the second half, however, as Newcastle came out firing and equalised nine minutes after the restart when Joelinton's attempted cross went in off goalkeeper Raya's foot.

An unmarked Isak then made amends with an emphatic finish after he was set up by his strike partner and second half substitute Callum Wilson, with the Swedish striker guiding his effort past Raya to make it 2-1.

Wilson had the ball in the back of the net again from a set-piece but his celebration was cut short after VAR ruled it out for a handball from the striker while at the other end Pope denied Toney once again with a reflex save from a header.

"We changed things tactically (in the second half). Sometimes that can give you a lift in itself. We knew we were desperate for the result and threw caution to the wind a little bit," Howe told BBC.

"The players responded well physically, even though we were a little bit fatigued from the week we have had. That is down to the characters we have."

Traore and Watkins on target as Villa sink Forest

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins celebrates scoring their second goal against Nottingham Forest at Villa Park, Birmingham

IMAGE: Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins celebrates scoring their second goal against Nottingham Forest at Villa Park, Birmingham. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

Second-half goals from Bertrand Traore and Ollie Watkins earned Aston Villa a 2-0 Premier League win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday to keep Unai Emery's side on track for a place in Europe next season and send their opponents into the relegation zone.

After a cagey first half in which neither side created much of note, Traore broke the deadlock with a fine effort three minutes after the interval to score his second goal for Villa in as many games.

The Burkina Faso international, who Emery recalled from a loan spell in Turkey, was brought on as a first-half substitute after Leon Bailey was forced off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Traore latched on to Ashley Young's pass down the right in the 48th minute and drove to the byline before hitting a low cross that Forest keeper Keylor Navas could only parry at his own defender Jonjo Shelvey.

The ball bounced off Shelvey and back into the path of Traore, who had continued his run, and the 27-year-old bent his shot into the far corner to give Villa a deserved lead.

The goal forced Forest to attack and Villa took advantage of the resulting space in behind, with Watkins dinking over Navas deep in injury time to add gloss to the scoreline.

"I've worked a lot on my finishing," said Watkins, who is in a rich vein of form having found the net nine times in his last 11 games.

"I don't think I'd do that finish at the start of the season or maybe last season, dinking the keeper. I'd maybe have tried to go low and it may get saved. I've worked a lot on a variety of finishes and I'm happy to be scoring."

Forest's best chance came in the 76th minute, when Danilo played Taiwo Awoniyi clean through the middle, but Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez was quick off his line to clear away the danger.

Forest boss Steve Cooper set his side up to pack the middle of the park and force Villa wide and the strategy worked well in the opening period, with chances at a premium.

Navas was called into action for the first time in the 25th minute, when Watkins met Bailey's cross with a stooping header at the near post that the Costa Rica international batted behind.

Morgan Gibbs-White was Forest's liveliest player, providing an outlet down the right for the visitors, but they failed to carve out many clear chances.

Villa's fourth league win in a row moved them up to sixth in the table, while Forest, who have the worst goal difference in the league, dropped one place to 18th on 27 points after their ninth game without victory.

Leicester slump to defeat by Bournemouth after Maddison error

Leicester City's relegation plight worsened as they suffered a 1-0 home defeat by fellow strugglers Bournemouth on Saturday, their seventh defeat in eight Premier League games.

England midfielder James Maddison's terrible back pass which allowed Philip Billing to score in the 40th minute gifted Bournemouth three crucial points in their bid to stay up.

Leicester created little and were indebted to keeper Daniel Iversen for keeping them in the game.

They were booed off at the end of a dismal display which left them second-from-bottom with 25 points.

Bournemouth moved up to 15th place with 30 points.

Maddison earned rave reviews for his performance for England against Ukraine last month but he suffered a horror moment that condemned his side to another damaging defeat on Saturday.

He attempted to play a pass back to his keeper under no pressure but got it all wrong and massively under-hit it, playing in Billing to slot a shot past Iversen.

Leicester, with Adam Sadler again in charge after the sacking last week of Brendan Rodgers, had looked woefully short of confidence even before going behind.

They rarely looked like salvaging something from a game they badly-needed to win to address their slide with striker Jamie Vardy starved of service.

Bournemouth were impressive and would have won by a wider margin had Iversen not made several fine saves, notably to deny Billing and Dominic Solanke.

Maddison did come close to atoning for his error when his fierce drive was kept out by Bournemouth keeper Neto but it would have been harsh on the visitors had they not taken three points.

Leicester, champions of England in 2016, appear to be drifting towards relegation and defender Wout Faes said the club needed to do something soon to stop the rot.

"The club needs to decide about a manager. We don't know anything. I guess they are working on it," he told the BBC.

"It is not going to be easy to stay up, but we need to stick together."

Own goal gives strugglers West Ham 1-0 win at Fulham

A first-half own goal gave West Ham United three vital points in the battle against relegation as they beat Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage in their Premier League clash on Saturday.

Having started the day among four clubs on 27 points, including third-bottom Bournemouth, the Hammers overcame Fulham's dominance in possession to secure a win that lifts them to 13th spot on 30 points.

West Ham and manager David Moyes, under pressure since a humiliating 5-1 home defeat by Newcastle United on Wednesday, took the lead when Jarrod Bowen's pull-back was steered into his own net by Fulham midfielder Harrison Reed in the 23rd minute.

Mid-table Fulham created a total of 16 efforts on goal, but only two on target as they failed to convert their possession into decent scoring opportunities, often settling for aimless crosses into the box that were easily dealt with.

They were not helped by the fact that their Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was sitting in the stands as he serves an eight-match ban for pushing the referee during their FA Cup tie with Manchester United last month.

West Ham continued to threaten from set pieces, with defender Kurt Zouma heading over from Aaron Cresswell's free kick in the 67th minute, while Declan Rice drove a free kick from a very tight angle that was deflected behind for a corner two minutes later.

Fulham's best chance came in the 83rd minute as Andreas Pereira attempted to go around West Ham's Lukasz Fabianski, but the goalkeeper got a touch on the ball to avert the danger.

Substitute Maxwel Cornet wasted a great chance to make it 2-0 in stoppage time for West Ham, firing straight at keeper Bernd Leno, but it made no difference as Moyes's side hung on for their first away win since August.

"A brilliant away performance, sometimes you have to play in a style when you're not in the best form and maybe not in the best position in the league, and we did a brilliant job at it," Moyes said in a post-match TV interview.

The West Ham boss acknowledged that his side had been under the cosh, but praised them for their character in a game where they spent long spells without the ball.

"We defended really well today, probably the best we've defended for a long time ... Fulham dominated a lot of the ball but I still felt that we always looked a bit of a threat on the break," Moyes said.


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