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EPL PIX: Nunez scores late winner for Liverpool; Spurs win

Last updated on: March 03, 2024 00:53 IST
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Images from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday.

Liverpool edge Forest; go four points clear

IMAGE: Darwin Nunez scores the winner for Liverpool in the 99th minute during the English Premier League match against Nottingham Forest. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Darwin Nunez headed in a last-gasp winner as Premier League leaders Liverpool snatched three points with a wild 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday.


Nunez's 99th-minute goal put Liverpool four points clear of second-placed Manchester City with 63 points from 27 matches -- although Pep Guardiola's side have a game in hand. The result left a shattered Forest four points above the relegation zone in 17th.

"Most difficult game we played because of the circumstances," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. "Four games in 11 days is really tricky with the squad situation we have.

"It was super special. You could see it didn't go easy for us today in any part of the game. It's so hard. Wonderful feeling. I'm really happy. I can't ask for more than what the boys are doing."

There was bedlam after the final whistle with referee Paul Tierney surrounded by Forest's enraged staff, with coach Steven Reid being shown a red card.

"We play good, we have chances and we are being punished, it's tough to take," Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo said.

Liverpool dominated possession, but struggled in the final third against Forest's diligent defensive effort and the game looked destined for a draw.

Liverpool continued to press with Forest goalkeeper Matz Sels making some terrific late stops including a brilliant diving save of a Nunez header minutes before the substitute's late heroics on Alexis Mac Allister's cross that had the Liverpool bench leaping to their feet in celebration.

"In that moment I knew it was last minute and I just had to put it in," Mac Allister said. "Darwin is such an important player for us. There is no easy game in the Premier League. Very happy, very happy."

Klopp praised Mac Allister's poise.

"The goal was set up by a guy who was the calmest on the whole pitch," he said. "He was calm. He chips the ball there. Super assist and super important goal."

Liverpool's hectic 11 days included a league win over Luton Town, a fifth-round FA Cup win over Southampton, and a victory over Chelsea in the League Cup final.

Klopp has also wrestled with an injury crisis that has sidelined key players including talisman Mohamed Salah -- who sat out again Sunday with a hamstring injury -- forcing him to plug holes with young players.

"If you'd told me 12 days ago we would win all four games I would have said no chance, it was impossible," Klopp said. "In the circumstances winning the games is ridiculous."

Substitutes Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai returned from injury on Saturday, and their impact was immediately felt.

Werner sparks Tottenham comeback win over Palace

IMAGE: Timo Werner converted from close range for Tottenham's first goal in the 77th minute. Photograph: Tony Obrien/Reuters

Timo Werner's first goal for Tottenham Hotspur sparked a 3-1 comeback victory at home against Crystal Palace to revive their top-four hopes in the Premier League on Saturday.

The German former Chelsea forward, on loan from RB Leipzig, converted from close range in the 77th minute to cancel out Eberechi Eze's superb free kick that had given Palace the lead.

Having struggled for most of the game to create chances, Tottenham were suddenly rejuvenated and they went ahead three minutes later when Cristian Romero headed in.

Captain Son Heung-min completed the job with a typically clinical finish after being put through one-on-one.

Victory lifted fifth-placed Tottenham to 50 points from 26 games, two behind Aston Villa who were at Luton Town later.

Werner's last goal in English football was two years ago and his loan move to Tottenham was designed to restore some confidence in a player who once scored goals for fun.

He came closest to opening the scoring in a turgid first half in which Tottenham enjoyed more than 80% possession but lacked the imagination to break down a gritty Palace.

Son's instant pass sent Werner clear but instead of shooting early, he tried to round Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone who managed to block the German's shot.

That was the sum total of Tottenham's attacking threat before the break but the second half began in more lively fashion with Son firing against the foot of the post from Dejan Kulusevski's cut back.

But it was Palace who took the lead in the 59th minute.

A free kick was awarded on the edge of the penalty area in a central position and Eze, who returned to the starting line-up after a month out with a hamstring injury, stepped up to arrow and unstoppable effort beyond Guglielmo Vicario.

Tottenham desperately needed some spark and it was provided by substitute Brennan Johnson.

He showed great persistence down the right to gain possession as Palace tried to play out from the back and then evaded a weak tackle by Jefferson Lerma before sliding a pass across the area for Werner to side foot home his first goal since scoring for Leipzig in October.

"I understand goals make players feel better, but in general I thought he was aggressive with his running and his general play was good," Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou said.

"He didn't stop believing. You kind of need a goal to break open a team that sits so deep. But I was pleased with our approach and it was great for Timo to score."

Romero then nodded in a delightful lobbed pass by James Maddison and with Palace deflated, Son ran through to grab his 13th league goal of the season.

Late Disasi header rescues Chelsea

IMAGE: Axel Disasi celebrates scoring Chelsea's second goal against Brentford. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Chelsea fought back with a late Axel Disasi equaliser in the closing minutes to salvage a point at Brentford in a 2-2 draw on Saturday, as the Blues inconsistent form in the Premier League kept them stuck in the bottom half of the table.

Chelsea took the lead with a glanced header by Nicolas Jackson from an inch-perfect Malo Gusto cross in the 35th minute.

But Brentford battled back and looked like they were heading for a comeback win after Mads Roerslev pounced on a loose ball in the 50th minute and Yoane Wissa then smashed a shot into the net with an acrobatic scissor kick in the 69th minute.

Chelsea - looking tired after losing the League Cup final in extra time to Liverpool last Sunday and then beating Leeds United with a last-gasp winner in a 3-2 thriller in the FA Cup on Wednesday - pushed again and Cole Palmer crossed for Disasi to level in the 83rd minute in the West London derby.

The draw left the expensively assembled Chelsea 11th in the table, in what has been a tough first season at Stamford Bridge for coach Mauricio Pochettino who celebrated his 52nd birthday on Saturday.

Many Chelsea fans voiced their frustration with Pochettino and the club's American owners when their side was 2-1 down.

"I think it's the frustration. We need to understand that fans are emotional," the Argentine said, adding he had not heard the chants himself.

"I am fighting with all my sense to try to provide the team with the best tools to work and improve and to play in the best way... We're going to fight."

The Blues' inconsistent form has secured only 10 wins from their 26 league games so far this season.

Brentford, who have suffered a string of injuries particularly in defence, are six points above the relegation zone although Luton Town, in the highest of the drop spots, were playing in a late kick-off against Aston Villa.

The draw extended Brentford's unbeaten run against Chelsea to five matches with the draw following two 2-0 wins in the preceding two meetings.

At a meeting on Tuesday following a 4-2 defeat by West Ham United on Monday, some players spoke about wanting to do better and resolved to stick together, Brentford coach Thomas Frank said. "(We) Adjusted a few things, a tiny bit, so big credit to them," he said.

Boos were also heard from Brentford fans after Chelsea went ahead in the first half. But as the hosts fought back in what Frank deemed an impressive second half, the fans were brilliant, he added.

"I don't think there's any fans that don't want the best for the team," the Dane said.

Newcastle beat Wolves for first home win of the year

IMAGE: Valentino Livramento scores the third goal for Newcastle United against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters

Newcastle United returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday after goals from Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon and Tino Livramento gave Eddie Howe's side their first home win of 2024.

Newcastle had gone four games without a win at St James' Park and victory moved them up to eighth place with 40 points while Gary O'Neil's Wolves are two points behind in 10th.

It was Eddie Howe's 100th win in the Premier League as a manager while Newcastle kept their first clean sheet in 10 games as they look to move up the standings and secure qualification for European competition for a second straight season.

"A big win for us. We hadn't won at home here in 2024 and our home form has been so good since I've been here," Howe said.

"Our home form has been the bedrock of our success, so to come back from our first wobble is great."

Wolves started the contest the better of the two teams and even dominated possession in the first half, but Newcastle's defence stood firm while the home side capitalised on counter-attacks to get on the board.

Newcastle took the lead against the run of play when Gordon initiated a counter and his pass found Bruno Guimaraes bursting into the box.

The Brazilian's shot was blocked by Maximilian Kilman but as the ball looped up in the air, Isak was on hand to head it in for his 15th goal in all competitions this season.

As the rain came lashing down, Gordon doubled their lead when he capitalised on a mix-up after Wolves keeper Jose Sa's effort to block a low cross saw the ball fall to the winger, who scored with aplomb.

Joe Willock nearly made it 3-0 soon after the restart when he connected with a diving header which beat Dan Bentley -- who had replaced Sa at halftime -- but his effort was blocked on the line by some last-ditch defending from Toti.

Wolves managed to make inroads into Newcastle's box in the second half and they could have denied them a clean sheet but goalkeeper Martin Dubravka made three smart saves to deny Nathan Fraser, Pablo Sarabia and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde.

As the clock wound down and fans began to celebrate a first home win since mid-December, Livramento provided the icing on the cake with an unexpected solo goal in stoppage time, firing home as he fell over -- his first goal for the club.

"I took away a few players, all I had to do was keep running and shoot when I got the opportunity. Very happy to score my first goal," Livramento said.

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