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This article was first published 1 year ago  » Sports » EPL PIX: Man United see off Wolves; Spurs lose

EPL PIX: Man United see off Wolves; Spurs lose

Last updated on: May 14, 2023 10:00 IST
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Images from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday.

IMAGE: Anthony Martial, left, celebrates after scoring Manchester United's first goal with teammate Antony during the Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on Saturday. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Anthony Martial and Alejandro Garnacho struck as Manchester United notched a comfortable 2-0 Premier League home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday that moved them a step closer to a return to the Champions League.


With the top four qualifying directly for next season's group stage, United are fourth in the table on 66 points, four ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool with both sides having three games left. Wolves are 13th on 40 points.

In a game played mainly at a sluggish pace, United's Brazilian winger Antony curled a shot wide in the ninth minute after sloppy Wolves defending, and he continued to offer a creative spark as he regularly cut in from the right wing onto his favoured left foot to shoot.

The 23-year-old headed over from point-blank range on the half-hour mark but he made amends two minute later, tearing down the right on a quick counter-attack and squaring the ball for Martial to fire home.

Antony was in the thick of the action again on the hour mark as Bruno Fernandes back-heeled the ball to him on the edge of the box, but the 23-year-old Brazilian's shot deflected just wide of the near post.

IMAGE: Alejandro Garnacho scores Manchester United's second goal. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Fernandes should have made it two when he cut in from the left and fired from close range in the 64th minute but Wolves' debutant keeper Daniel Bentley saved his shot, and Jadon Sancho's similar effort was also kept out.

With the Wolves attack looking completely toothless, Casemiro forced another fine save from Bentley in the 82nd minute with a dipping shot, and substitute Wout Weghorst headed over the bar from close range from the resulting corner, but the second goal eventually came.

Brought off the bench in the 82nd minute after a long spell out due to an ankle injury, Garnacho wrapped up the three points with a long run and shot that bounced off the inside of the right-hand post deep into stoppage time to seal the win.

"We did our job, we needed to get the three points and win the game - after two defeats, we knew how important it was to get the momentum back to our side," United captain Fernandes said.

The Portuguese international praised 29-year-old Wolves keeper Bentley, who was playing his first Premier League game after a career spent at Southend, Brentford and Bristol City.

"We did a professional game and could have scored more, (but) their keeper had a really good game to keep Wolves in the game," Fernandes said.

"It wasn't a case of wasting our chances. Their keeper did a really good job, we have to compliment him."

Villa beat Tottenham as race for European spots hots up

IMAGE: Jacob Ramsey celebrates scoring the opening goal for Aston Villa against Tottenham Hotspur. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur's wretched Premier League away form continued with a 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday that left their hopes of qualifying for Europe in the balance.

Goals by Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz extended Tottenham's winless away streak to seven matches while Villa's sixth successive home win kept their European hopes very much alive.

Ramsey smashed home Villa's opener in the eighth minute and Villa should have been out of sight against a Spurs who failed to have a goal attempt in the first half.

Tottenham showed more desire after the break but there was no coming back after Luiz found the net with a 72nd-minute free kick that keeper Fraser Forster should have saved.

Villa were full value for the points, although they did have anxious moments late on after Harry Kane fired home a penalty and Son Heung-min thought he had equalised seconds from the end but was well offside.

Unai Emery's side moved up a place to seventh with 57 points - the same as sixth-placed Tottenham with both teams having two games left to play. Eighth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion, who face Arsenal on Sunday, are two points behind both Villa and Spurs but have three games in hand.

The side finishing sixth are likely to join the fifth-placed finisher in the Europa League with the club coming seventh destined for the Europa Conference League.

While the sun shone at Villa Park, the gloom in the end occupied by the away fans was palpable as Tottenham produced another bland display lacking spirit and flair.

The only bright spot was Kane equalling Mo Salah's record of scoring in 24 Premier League matches in a single season.

"We understand today was a big game (in terms of qualifying for Europe) and I'm very disappointed in the outcome," Tottenham interim manager Ryan Mason said.

"But we do have two games to put it right."

Villa, who have been transformed from possible relegation strugglers to top-six contenders since Emery replaced Steven Gerrard in late October, were quickly in front as Leon Bailey picked out Ramsey who finished clinically.

Ollie Watkins almost doubled Villa's lead with a diving header and Emiliano Buendia clipped the top of the crossbar with a shot after Bailey's cutback.

Tottenham finally roused themselves in the second half and Kane should have equalised when he seized on a mistake by Luiz but he fired his shot straight at keeper Emiliano Martinez.

Substitute Dejan Kulusevski also curled a left-footed effort agonisingly wide for the visitors.

Villa doubled their lead when Cristian Romero gave away a free kick and Luiz's shot was too good for Forster who will be disappointed not to have kept it out.

Kane was brought down by Martinez late on and after a lengthy VAR check the England captain tucked away his spot-kick for his 27th league goal of the season but it would have been harsh had Villa not taken the points.

Forest grab priceless point with draw at Chelsea

IMAGE: Taiwo Awoniyi scores Nottingham Forest's second goal past Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest grabbed a precious point at Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, thanks to two goals from Nigerian forward Taiwo Awoniyi.

Steve Cooper's battling side earned the early advantage when Brazilian defender Renan Lodi lofted a ball into the Chelsea area in the 13th minute.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who had not played since suffering an injury playing for Senegal at the World Cup last year, came off his line but misjudged the flight of the ball and Awoniyi rose between two defenders to head home.

Raheem Sterling, lively from the start of the match, scored Chelsea's 51st-minute equaliser with a simple close-range shot from a pinpoint cross by defender Trevoh Chalobah.

The goal gave the home side the confidence that has been so lacking in recent games.

Conor Gallagher, Joao Felix and Enzo Fernandez all had second-half efforts saved or blocked and Sterling doubled his tally in the 58th minute with a fine curling shot after a surging run and pass from Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Chelsea, who have dropped into the second half of the table after a string of defeats, looked to be heading for their first home Premier League victory since a 1-0 win over Leeds on March 4.But barely four minutes later Forest were back level, Awoniyi grabbing his second with a close-range header after a long throw.

"The most important thing was to get the goals and that brought us into the game," Awoniyi told Premier League Productions. "Many times we sat off but that's the game plan and that's what we did."He said that as a striker he wanted to score every game but he could not achieve that without his team mates."If they don't bring the ball into the box, there is no way I can get the chance to score so it is all teamwork," he added."We still have two finals to go, the next one is Arsenal and from there we will see what happens."

The result kept the visitors three points clear of the drop zone with two games of the season left and their travelling supporters, in fine voice throughout the game, celebrated as though they had won.

Chelsea, under caretaker manager Frank Lampard, remained 11th as they limp towards the end of a disappointing campaign.

Southampton relegated after loss to Fulham

IMAGE: Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring Fulham's second goal against Southampton. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Southampton were relegated from the Premier League after losing 2-0 at home to Fulham on Saturday, bringing an end to their 11-year spell in the English top flight with two games remaining in the season.

Carlos Vinicius opened the scoring at St Mary's Stadium three minutes after halftime, with Aleksandar Mitrovic, who came off the bench for Vinicius, doubling their advantage to seal Southampton's fate.

Southampton, who had needed a win to stave off relegation, can no longer reel in 17th-placed Everton and Ruben Selles's side are bottom of the league on 24 points from 36 games.

The south-coast club earned promotion to the Premier League in 2012 and finished in the top eight for four straight seasons between 2013-17, but have earned only six league wins this season, racking up 24 defeats and six draws.

"Disappointing. It has been coming. We knew we were in a difficult position," Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse told the BBC.

"We need to go away individually and as a club and assess if we've done everything we possibly could. I don't think we have and that is a shame.

"I think we should perform at a better level than we have done. From the first day of the season until now you can tell the standards have slipped."

In a scrappy and disjointed opening 45 minutes, neither side could take control of the game, with Fulham having more possession and slightly better attempts but no luck in front of goal.

The best chance of the first half came when Willian unleashed a volley from close range in the 41st minute but Southampton defender Lyanco cleared the effort off the line.

Both sides tried to play with more attacking intent in the second half, as Carlos Alcaraz had a goal disallowed before Vinicius latched on to a loose ball in Southampton's box and tapped home in the 48th minute.

Mitrovic marked his return from an eight-match ban with a stooping header in the 72nd minute.

Southampton had the lion's share of possession in the closing stages but were unable to create anything of note and prevent a return to the second-tier Championship. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was born in Southampton, was one of the few fans who did not leave the stands before the final whistle.

Fulham moved up to ninth and stayed on course for a first top-half finish since 2012.

"We controlled the game until the last minute. We had one or two good chances to score before the 1-0 and then we scored the second," Fulham boss Marco Silva told Sky Sports.

"We knew before the match they were in a difficult situation and it was the last chance for them to keep believing with the supporters behind them but we took the ball from them in the first minute."

Leeds snatch draw with Newcastle

IMAGE: Callum Wilson, left, celebrates after scoring Newcastle United's first goal against Leeds United. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Defender Rasmus Kristensen scored a late equaliser to give Leeds United a share of the points in a thrilling Premier League 2-2 draw with Newcastle United that saw Leeds miss one spot kick, concede two more, and have a man sent off in stoppage time.

Leeds are still in the relegation zone but move up one spot to 18th on 31 points, one point behind Everton in 17th, while Newcastle remain third in the table on 66 points, three ahead of Manchester United and four ahead of Liverpool.

"A point today is massive for us, especially with how we did it," Leeds goal-scorer Ayling told BT Sport.

Leeds took the lead in the seventh minute as Rodrigo got his head on a Patrick Bamford cross and though Nick Pope saved superbly, Leeds captain Luke Ayling was on hand to fire home a rebound.

The home side could have gone two up in the 28th minute when Joelinton bundled over Junior Firpo in the box, but Bamford's spot kick was saved by Nick Pope, and it was to prove a costly miss minutes later when Newcastle striker Alexander Isak was hacked down by Maximillian Wober.

A penalty was awarded and Callum Wilson stepped up and stroked his effort low into the bottom-left corner to level just over three minutes after Bamford's miss.

Newcastle were awarded a second penalty midway thorough the second half when Firpo handled the ball, and this time Wilson blasted straight down the middle to put his side in front.

The drama wasn't over however, and when Newcastle failed to clear a corner in the 79th minute, Kristensen popped up on the edge of the area to hammer home a deflected equaliser and re-ignite the home crowd's hopes of top-flight survival as they held on for the draw.

Firpo was sent off in second-half stoppage time for a second yellow card, but Newcastle were unable to make the most of their advantage, much to the delight of the home crowd, who applauded the Leeds players off the pitch.

Eze double takes Palace past Bournemouth

Eberechi Eze celebrates scoring Crystal Palace's first goal against Bournemouth, at Selhurst Park, London.

IMAGE: Eberechi Eze celebrates scoring Crystal Palace's first goal against Bournemouth, at Selhurst Park, London. Photograph: Tony Obrien/Reuters

Eberechi Eze scored twice as Crystal Palace beat a disappointing Bournemouth 2-0.

Both teams came into the match with little to play for, with Palace already safe from relegation and 14th-placed Bournemouth just a point away from securing their survival.

That lack of jeopardy made for a drab opening 38 minutes in which neither side managed a shot on target, until a sublime piece of skill from Wilfried Zaha carved open the visiting defence.

The Ivorian left three Bournemouth defenders standing with a brilliant turn in the box and cut back a low cross from the byline that took a faint touch off Jordan Ayew before falling for Eze to smash home in the 39th minute.

"When Wilf is on the ball, you always know something is going to happen. I just had to put myself in the right position," Eze said.

Eze doubled Palace's lead 13 minutes into the second half, cutting in on his right foot and sending an unstoppable shot into the top corner for his 10th league goal of the campaign.

Six of Eze's goals have come since Roy Hodgson took over as Palace coach at the start of April.

"He has given me licence to run at people. Under him I do my best to positively affect the games," Eze added. "I just feel like I am more free."

Bournemouth failed to offer any attacking threat and went the entire match without a shot on target, with the only real blemish for Palace an apparent hamstring injury that forced Zaha off early in the second half.

The win moved 12th-placed Palace on to 43 points, level with Chelsea in 11th. Bournemouth, who are eight points clear of the relegation zone, will be safe if Manchester City beat Everton on Sunday or Leicester City fail to beat Liverpool on Monday.

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