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Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Man City breathe a sigh of relief; In-form Everton beat Chelsea

PIX: Man City breathe a sigh of relief; In-form Everton beat Chelsea

Last updated on: December 11, 2023 00:14 IST
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IMAGE: Manchester City's Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring their first goal. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish scored three minutes apart as Manchester City came from behind to beat Premier League newcomers Luton Town 2-1 on Sunday and breathe a collective sigh of relief with their first victory in five league games.

The win kept the champions -- who were missing striker Erling Haaland through injury -- in fourth place on 33 points, four shy of leaders Liverpool in a crowded title fight. Luton remain in the drop zone on nine points, four adrift of 17th place.

 

The home fans were celebrating at halftime at a raucous Kenilworth Road after Elijah Adebayo rose to meet a cross from Andros Townsend and headed in the opener seconds before the break.

But after numerous City near-misses, Silva scored in the 62nd minute when he curled a low left-footed strike into the far corner past goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski.

Grealish netted his 50th career goal three minutes later when Julian Alvarez sent a cross across the face of the goal that the 28-year-old stretched to slot in.

"We knew we had to keep calm today and buzzing to get back to winning ways," Grealish told Sky Sports.

IMAGE: Manchester City's Mateo Kovacic in action with Luton Town's Tom Lockyer. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/Reuters

"I think a lot of people like to talk about City and go on like it's a big crisis; in reality we've played very good teams -- Spurs who've been unbelievable, Liverpool who are top, Chelsea and Villa away, who've got one of the best records in Europe."

City arrived at Luton reeling from three draws and a midweek defeat by Aston Villa that saw last season's treble winners plummet to fourth having topped the standings a month ago.

A lengthy loss of Haaland, who has what manager Pep Guardiola called a "stress reaction" in his foot, could be devastating for City's bid to retain their title.

For much of Sunday's match, Luton, whose rags-to-riches story saw them climb from non-league football to the Premier League in nine years, appeared poised to inflict more misery on the Manchester giants.

Luton ran out of steam in the second half in another solid performance for the Hatters, who held leaders Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at infamous Kenilworth this season while Arsenal needed an added-time winner to seal three points there.

City had 18 shots to Luton's four but they either went wide or they were stopped by Kaminski before Silva ended the drought. Kaminski made some terrific saves for the home side, particularly a diving stop on Phil Foden's low hard shot in the first half.

Doucoure and Dobbin earn in-form Everton 2-0 win

IMAGE: Everton's Abdoulaye Doucoure celebrates. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Abdoulaye Doucoure scored in his 100th Premier League appearance for Everton and substitute Lewis Dobbin netted a late second goal to earn a 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday that inflicted a third away defeat in a row on the mid-table London club.

Dwight McNeil surged forward with the ball in the 54th minute and slipped a pass to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez saved the one-on-one chance, but Doucoure drilled the rebound into the far corner of the net.

Academy product Dobbin scored his first league goal in an Everton shirt when he thrashed home a loose ball from a corner in stoppage time to seal the three points.

IMAGE: Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson and Everton's Nathan Patterson clash after the match. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Reuters

Chelsea slip to 12th in the table with 19 points from 16 games, while Everton have 13 points from their 16 matches. Without their 10-point deduction for financial breaches, against which they have appealed, Everton would be in 10th, four points ahead of Chelsea.

"Football is about scoring goals and we were not clinical in front of goal," Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino told the BBC.

Chelsea have slipped 14 points behind in the race for Champions League qualification places.

Fulham score five again

IMAGE: Fulham's Carlos Vinicius celebrates scoring their fifth goal with Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Harry Wilson. Photograph: Tony O’brian/Reuters

A spirited Fulham side registered their second straight 5-0 victory in the Premier League on Sunday when they beat West Ham United at home in a one-sided London derby, with five different players getting their names on the score sheet.

Fulham, who also beat Nottingham Forest 5-0 on Wednesday, have hit a purple patch in front of goal in recent weeks and Sunday's win marked the fourth straight game in which they had scored at least three goals.

IMAGE: Fulham's Carlos Vinicius in action with West Ham United's Nayef Aguerd. Photograph: Tony O’brian/Reuters

Fulham started the day 14th in the standings and victory moved Marco Silva's side up to 10th on 21 points, three behind ninth-placed West Ham.

"We keep getting in the right areas. We were doing that earlier this season but maybe the runs weren't there or we weren't filling the spaces," said Harry Wilson, who scored one goal from long range and assisted another.

Tottenham end winless run as Richarlison hits two in Newcastle rout

Tottenham Hotspurs' Richarlison celebrates his goal against Newcastle United

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspurs' Richarlison celebrates his goal against Newcastle United. Photograph: Premier League/X

Tottenham Hotspur secured a first Premier League win since October as Brazilian striker Richarlison also returned to form with two goals in a 4-1 drubbing of a jaded-looking Newcastle United on Sunday.

Ange Postecoglou's side earned the dubious distinction of being the first Premier League team to lead 1-0 in five successive games without winning any of them in midweek.

But this time, after Destiny Udogie tapped in his first goal for the club from captain Son Heung-min's cutback after 26 minutes, they never looked back.

Richarlison was also fed by the outstanding Son to make it 2-0 before halftime and struck again on the hour as Tottenham began to run riot against a Newcastle side perhaps distracted by next week's vital Champions League clash with Milan.

Son capped a tireless display by converting an 85th-minute penalty after being brought down by keeper Martin Dubravka.

Joelinton scored a late consolation for Newcastle but it could not take the gloss off Tottenham's win which left them in fifth place with 30 points from 16 games, seven behind leaders Liverpool in what is shaping up to be a compelling title race.

A sixth league defeat of the season following this week's 3-0 defeat by Everton, leaves Eddie Howe's Newcastle in seventh place with 26 points.

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