West Brom Demolish Ten-Man Chelsea, Hand Tuchel First Premier League Defeat

West Bromwich Albion's English striker Callum Robinson (L)scores his team's fifth goal past Chelsea's French-born Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3, 2021. John Walton / POOL / AFP
West Bromwich Albion’s English striker Callum Robinson (L)scores his team’s fifth goal past Chelsea’s French-born Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3, 2021. John Walton / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel suffered the first defeat of his reign as struggling West Bromwich Albion took advantage of Thiago Silva’s red card to earn a stunning 5-2 win on Saturday.

Tuchel had overseen a 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

But that impressive start came to an embarrassing end as West Brom ran riot at Stamford Bridge.

READ ALSO: Iheanacho Signs Contract Extension Deal With Leicester

Christian Pulisic put Chelsea ahead early in the first half, only for Brazil defender Thiago to get his marching orders moments later for a second booking.

That proved the turning point as Albion’s Matheus Pereira struck twice in first half stoppage-time.

Mbaye Diagne grabbed West Brom’s third goal and Callum Robinson netted twice to leave Tuchel shell-shocked.

Chelsea's German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures from the side-lines during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3, 2021. John Walton / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures from the side-lines during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3, 2021. John Walton / POOL / AFP

 

Mason Mount’s reply was no consolation as Chelsea’s bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top four finish in the Premier League suffered a significant blow.

The Blues, beaten for the first time in 10 league games, remain fourth for now, but both West Ham and Tottenham would go above them if they win on Monday and Sunday respectively.

After conceding just two goals in Tuchel’s reign, with seven consecutive clean-sheets since the defence was last breached at Southampton in February, this was a rude awakening for Chelsea.

For the first time since 2011 against Arsenal, Chelsea conceded five goals at home in the league.

It was the worst possible preparation for their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Porto on Wednesday.

West Brom remain second bottom but their first league win at Chelsea since 1978 gives them a glimmer of hope in the fight to avoid relegation.

Sam Allardyce’s team are seven points from safety with eight games left.

Thiago was making his first Chelsea start since February 4 after recovering from a thigh problem, but he was completely out of touch on his return.

Ominous signs

The early signs were ominous when Jorginho’s wayward pass was intercepted by Pereira on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area, forcing Thiago into a cynical foul that earned him a yellow card.

Despite their sloppy start, Tuchel’s men took the lead in the 27th minute.

Marcos Alonso’s 25-yard free-kick cannoned back off the post and Pulisic was first to react as he alertly steered his shot past Sam Johnstone from close-range.

But Thiago gifted Albion a lifeline two minutes later when he jumped into a rash two-footed foul on Okay Yokuslu.

Referee David Coote (R) shows Chelsea's Brazilian defender Thiago Silva (2R) the red card after two yellows during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3, 2021. John Walton / POOL / AFP
Referee David Coote (R) shows Chelsea’s Brazilian defender Thiago Silva (2R) the red card after two yellows during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3, 2021. John Walton / POOL / AFP

 

The 36-year-old could have no complaints about his first dismissal since he saw red while playing for Paris Saint-Germain in 2013.

In keeping with their erratic display, Chelsea were punished for some dismal defending in first half stoppage-time.

A long punt forward by Johnstone should have been dealt with easily, but Kurt Zouma allowed Pereira to run behind him and guide a superb lob over the exposed Edouard Mendy.

Suddenly incapable of getting out of their own half, Chelsea fell behind with virtually the last kick of the half.

James surrendered possession and Diagne found Pereira, who danced through the shambolic Chelsea defence before guiding cool low finish past Mendy from 10 yards.

Chelsea nearly drew level immediately when Johnstone made a hash of James’ cross, forcing Semi Ajayi to turn Alonso’s shot onto the post.

West Bromwich Albion's Brazilian midfielder Matheus Pereira (L) scores his team's opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3, 2021. Clive Rose / POOL / AFP
West Bromwich Albion’s Brazilian midfielder Matheus Pereira (L) scores his team’s opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3, 2021. Clive Rose / POOL / AFP

 

Mount, on as a half-time substitute, nearly caught out Johnstone with a clever free-kick, but Chelsea suffered a hammer blow in the 63rd minute.

A flowing move from the visitors ended with Robinson running onto Darnell Furlong’s cross to smash a superb volley past Mendy from 12 yards.

Chelsea were in tatters and West Brom compounded their misery with a superb 68th minute break that featured a flurry of deft passes before Diagne slotted home.

Mount reduced the deficit with a close-range finish from Timo Werner’s pass in the 71st minute.

But Tuchel’s misery was complete in stoppage-time when Robinson struck again with a dinked finish.

 

AFP

Man Utd Falter At West Brom, Aubameyang Treble Sinks Leeds

Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire (L) reacts at the end of the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on February 14, 2021.
Nick Potts / POOL / AFP

 

 

Manchester United’s faltering Premier League title challenge suffered another blow in a 1-1 draw at struggling West Brom, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 4-2 win against Leeds on Sunday.

United have dropped points in five of their last seven league games to allow Manchester City to pull seven points clear, with a game in hand.

A point was enough to nudge Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men back above Leicester into second on goal difference.

But that was of little consolation to United against a West Brom side that had conceded 24 goals in taking just one point from their previous seven home games.

Indeed, it was Sam Allardyce’s men who had the better chances to win the game and give their dwindling hopes of beating the drop a boost.

United made the worst possible start when Conor Gallagher swung in a cross and Mbaye Diagne outmuscled Victor Lindelof to power home a header after just 80 seconds.

“We gave ourselves a tough start,” said Solskjaer, whose side have fallen behind in eight of their 12 away league games this season.

“You’ve got 90 odd minutes to make amends so there is no need to panic but I didn’t feel we built that momentum until too late in the first half.

“Second half there was only one-way traffic but still there were a couple of moments where we could have lost the game.”

United struggled to make the most of their territorial dominance until Bruno Fernandes produced a moment of magic with a dipping volley on his weaker left foot a minute before half-time.

Sam Johnstone denied Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay had an effort cleared off the line as United pressed for a winner after the break.

But it was Diagne who twice should have won the game late on as he was denied when one-on-one with David de Gea before blazing an enticing low cross over the bar.

Johnstone was required once more deep into stoppage time when he tipped Harry Maguire’s header onto the post.

Aubameyang Propels Arsenal

At the Emirates Stadium, Gabon forward Aubameyang scored his first Arsenal treble since 2019 to get the Gunners back on track after two successive defeats and three games without a win.

Aubameyang has endured a difficult season marred by poor form and his mother’s illness, which prompted him to take a leave of absence recently.

The Arsenal captain struck in the 13th minute when he skipped away from Luke Ayling and fired low past Illan Meslier.

Aubameyang converted a 41st-minute penalty after Meslier lost possession and then fouled Bukayo Saka.

Hector Bellerin made it three on the stroke of half-time when his shot beat the hapless Meslier’s weak attempted save at his near post.

Aubameyang completed his hat-trick in the 47th minute with a diving header from Emile Smith Rowe’s cross for his 11th goal of the season.

Pascal Struijk’s 58th-minute header and Helder Costa’s strike in the 69th minute came too late for Marcelo Bielsa’s men as Arsenal climbed above Leeds into 10th place.

“The hat-trick means a lot. It’s been a tough time for me,” Aubameyang said.

“Everyone was giving a lot of love to me, my mum and my family. I have to say thank you to everyone at the club and the fans.”

Wolves moved 15 points clear of the drop zone after coming from behind for a 2-1 win that extended Southampton’s miserable run.

The Saints had beaten Nuno Espirito Santo’s men to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in midweek and made a promising start when Danny Ings converted Stuart Armstrong’s cross.

Scoring goals has been a problem for Wolves without the injured Raul Jimenez, but they were gifted an equaliser from the penalty spot when Ryan Bertrand was penalised for handball.

Ruben Neves stroked home the spot-kick before Pedro Neto’s strike just past the hour earned only a second win in 11 league games.

Southampton, who topped the table earlier in the season, have lost six league games in a row to slip to 13th.

Kane’s Return Lifts Mourinho As Spurs End Losing Streak

 

Harry Kane returned from injury to ease the pressure on Jose Mourinho as the Tottenham striker inspired a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Mourinho’s side had lost their previous three Premier League games to put their top four hopes in peril.

Revitalised by Kane’s earlier than expected return from an ankle problem suffered against Liverpool, Tottenham got back to winning ways just when the under-fire Mourinho needed it most.

Kane had missed the last two games, but he made up for lost time by opening the scoring in the second half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Kane’s 20th goal in all competitions this season took him to 208 goals in 317 Tottenham appearances — level in joint second place alongside Bobby Smith in the club’s all-time scoring list.

The England captain’s milestone goal was followed by a Son Heung-min strike moments later that killed off West Brom.

Amid criticism of Mourinho’s negative tactics and talk of rifts with several players, there is a long way to go before seventh-placed Tottenham are completely back on track.

Only three wins from the last 12 league games before this weekend — the same sequence that saw Mourinho’s predecessor Mauricio Pochettino sacked — had left the Portuguese coach in the spotlight.

But, in the midst of Mourinho’s winter of discontent, this was a small step in the right direction as snow flurries swirled around frozen north London.

Thursday’s defeat against Chelsea condemned Mourinho to consecutive home league defeats for the first time as a manager.

– Classy Kane –
In the circumstances, second bottom West Brom were ideal opponents for Tottenham to end their dismal decline.

Kane showed the class that Tottenham miss in his absence when he spun away from his marker and delivered a pin-point pass that Son couldn’t convert.

Inevitably at the heart of all Tottenham’s best moments, Kane was inches away from opening the scoring, taking Serge Aurier’s pass in stride and firing just wide.

There was a little sign of rustiness when Kane shot wide from Son’s pass, but he was back involved moments later when his blocked effort was nearly scrambled in by Lucas Moura.

Shifting Lucas’s pass into his right, Kane looked more like his old self when he unleashed a fierce strike that Sam Johnstone pushed away.

Johnstone made an even better save to keep out Aurier’s close-range diving header.

After being outplayed for the entire first half, West Brom’s Mbaye Diagne threatened to give the visitors a shock lead when his header almost squirmed away from Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris.

Kane’s defence-splitting pass sent Son racing through on goal, but again Johnstone rescued Albion with a good stop.

Tottenham’s incessant pressure finally paid off in the 54th minute as Kane beat the offside trap to collect Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s pass before guiding a low shot into the far corner.

Four minutes later, Son wrapped up the points after a rapier thrust from Mourinho’s men.

Taking Kane’s lay-off, Lucas ran from deep inside his own half to the Albion area and picked out Son, whose clinical finish took him to 17 goals in all competitions this term.

AFP

EPL: Rejuvenated Arsenal Thrash West Brom

Arsenal's French striker Alexandre Lacazette (L) scores their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on January 2, 2021. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP
Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (L) scores their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on January 2, 2021. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP

 

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Arsenal further eased their early season struggles by thrashing West Brom 4-0 at a snow covered Hawthorns on Saturday.

After seven Premier League games without a win, the Gunners have now won three in a week to dampen talk of a relegation fight and move back into contention for the European places.

Kieran Tierney’s stunning solo goal opened the floodgates as Sam Allardyce’s men have now conceded nine times in two games.

Bukayo Saka rounded off a brilliant team move to double the visitors’ lead before Lacazette struck twice in four second-half minutes.

West Brom are yet to win in four games since Allardyce took charge and the former England manager needs to quickly instill the defensive discipline he has made his trademark at previous clubs if the Baggies are to have any chance of survival.

Just over a week ago Allardyce said Arsenal were in a battle against the drop, but Mikel Arteta’s decision to finally put faith in his crop of talented youngsters has turned his side’s season around.

Saka was again the shining light, while Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe also impressed.

Arsenal’s poor run was principally caused by a struggle to score goals, but they were a threat from the off despite the treacherous conditions.

Sam Johnstone denied Hector Bellerin and Saka inside the first 10 minutes, but he was powerless to stop Tierney’s stunning opener on 23 minutes.

The Scotland international left Darnell Furlong trailing in his wake before cutting inside onto his weaker right foot and curling into the top corner.

Arsenal’s second was reminiscent of their flowing football at the height of the Arsene Wenger era as Saka fed Lacazette, whose brilliant pass played Smith Rowe in behind the West Brom defence and he squared for Saka to tap into an empty net.

The one way traffic continued after the break and some comical West Brom defending led to the third as Semi Ajayi smashed a dangerous cross off his own post and the ball broke to Lacazette to apply a simple finish.

Moments later another raid from Tierney down the left teed up Lacazette for another finish from point-blank range.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has missed out on Arsenal’s return to scoring form over the past eight days as he turned a glorious chance from Willian’s mishit shot over before Johnstone produced another fine save from the Gunners’ captain.

However, four goals were more than enough to prove Arsenal’s return to form as they moved to within six points of the top four with two favourable fixtures against Crystal Palace and Newcastle to come.

West Brom on the other hand remain six points adrift of safety and showing little sign of life since Allardyce’s arrival.

 

AFP

West Brom Sack Slaven Bilic, Allardyce Among Favourites To Take Over

 

Slaven Bilic became the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season when he was sacked by struggling West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

The 52-year-old Croatian’s sacking comes with the side 19th in the table but on the back of an encouraging 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Tuesday.

Bilic had been at the club for only 18 months but had earned the admiration of the fans after leading West Brom to automatic promotion from the Championship last season.

Although results had been generally poor this term Bilic had been given little funding to bring in players in the close season. His budget for transfers was limited to £20 million ($27 million).

 

READ ALSO: Zidane Hails Benzema As Best Ever French Centre-Forward

West Brom have garnered seven points from their 13 matches so far and have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded 26 goals.

Bilic’s relations with the board appeared tense from the start of the campaign with no discussions talking place about extending or renewing his contract which was due to run out at the end of this season.

“West Bromwich Albion have today parted company with Head Coach Slaven Bilic,” read a club statement.

“Albion would like to thank Slaven and his coaching staff for their efforts in achieving promotion last season and wishes them all well in the future.

“The club will make no further comment at this time.”

Former England manager Sam Allardyce is among the favourites to fill the vacancy.

The 66-year-old’s last managerial post was with Everton, who he left in 2018.

Media reports suggest Allardyce will be offered an 18-month contract. In a sign that his appointment may be imminent, he has cancelled scheduled work with a radio station.

Bilic’s sacking makes him the latest first managerial departure in a Premier League season for six years, since it took 18 games for Cardiff City to dismiss Neil Warnock in the 2014-15 season.

-AFP

Chelsea Snatch Late Draw At West Brom In Thrilling Comeback

Chelsea's English striker Tammy Abraham (R) celebrates with Chelsea's English midfielder Mason Mount (L) after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on September 26, 2020. Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham (R) celebrates with Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount (L) after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on September 26, 2020. Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP

 

Free-spending Chelsea came from 3-0 down to salvage a 3-3 draw at newly-promoted West Brom on Saturday.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard handed the captain’s armband to Thiago Silva on his Premier League debut, but the Brazilian had a nightmare first 45 minutes as the Blues’ defensive deficiencies were easily exposed.

Callum Robison pounced on errors from Marcos Alonso and Silva to fire twice beyond Willy Caballero, who replaced Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal.

READ ALSO: Fernandes’ 100th Minute Penalty Hands Man Utd Win At Brighton

Kyle Bartley then made it 3-0 to the Baggies, who had lost their opening two games back in the top flight.

Chelsea have spent a reported £220 million ($280 million) to try and close the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City in the title race and even a spirited second-half fightback could not hide the embarrassment of his side’s defending for Lampard, who have taken just four points from their first three games.

Mason Mount got the comeback started to a swerving long-range effort.

Substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi then swept home 20 minutes from time after a neat one-two with Kai Havertz.

And Tammy Abraham secured a point in stoppage time when he rolled in the rebound after Sam Johnstone had parried Mount’s initial effort.

Iwobi Features, Calvert-Lewin Nets Hat-Trick As Everton Wallop West Brom

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the lone goal against Tottenham to inflict the first opening day managerial defeat on Jose Mourinho. Photo: [email protected]

 

Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi came on as a substitute Saturday in Everton’s 5-2 win over West Brom, a game that saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagging a hat trick for the Toffees.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side fell behind to Grady Diangana’s early goal at Goodison Park. But Calvert-Lewin equalised and James put them ahead before West Brom imploded. Kieran Gibbs was dismissed for pushing James in the face in first-half stoppage-time.

Then Albion boss Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands after storming onto the pitch for a furious rant at referee Mike Dean.

Matheus Pereira equalised for Albion after the interval, but Michael Keane restored Everton’s lead and Calvert-Lewin sealed the points with his second and third goals.

At 23, Calvert-Lewin is the youngest Englishman to score a Premier League hat-trick for Everton.

Everton’s English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores their fifth goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England on September 19, 2020. / AFP / POOL / Michael Regan

 

 

After a summer spending spree, Ancelotti is under pressure to deliver a big improvement on last season’s 12th place finish and the early signs are promising.

Having beaten Tottenham in their opening game last weekend, Everton have started a Premier League season with consecutive victories for the first time since 2012-13.

Calvert-Lewin already has four goals and Colombia midfielder James, making his first home appearance since his £12 million from Real Madrid, looks a quality addition.

If West Brom are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship, they will have to improve their defence rapidly after shipping eight goals in successive defeats.

Diangana put West Brom ahead in the 10th minute when he advanced from inside his own half before drilling a long-range drive past Jordan Pickford.

Calvert-Lewin equalised in the 31st minute with a back-heel from virtually on the goalline after Albion defender Darnell Furlong inadvertently headed Seamus Coleman’s cross into his path.

The goal was initially disallowed for offside before a VAR review changed the decision in Everton’s favour.

James put Everton in front in the 45th minute when he took Richarlison’s pass and lashed a fine low finish into the far corner from 20 yards.

Gibbs added to West Brom’s woes when he was sent off for lashing out at James in retaliation for a challenge by the Colombian.

West Bromwich Albion’s English defender Kieran Gibbs (2R) is handed a red card during the English Premier League football match between Everton and West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England on September 19, 2020. / AFP / POOL / Alex Livesey /

 

Bilic lost his cool as well moments later, angrily telling Dean that his decisions could “kill” his team.Now watching from the stands after his dismissal, Bilic saw Pereira equalise with a superb free-kick in the 47th minute.But Keane poked Everton back in front after Richarlison’s header was pushed out by Sam Johnstone in the 54th minute.Calvert-Lewin struck again in the 62nd minute, the striker sliding in to meet Richarlison’s cross with a close-range finish.

And Calvert-Lewin’s red-hot start to the season continued four minutes later when he completed his hat-trick as the ball bounced off his back into the net.

AFP

Vardy Nets Brace As Leicester Start Season On Winning Note

Vardy has scored in all five of his away Premier League appearances against West Brom. Photo: [email protected] League.

 

 

Leicester bounced back from a disappointing end to last season to get their new campaign off to a winning start as Jamie Vardy scored two penalties in a 3-0 win at West Brom.

Belgian international Timothy Castagne opened the scoring on his debut as West Brom were given a harsh lesson on the step-up in quality they face on their return to the Premier League.

Leicester won just two of their last 10 games to miss out on a place in the Champions League on the last day of last season and Brendan Rodgers had voiced his frustration at a lack of funds to help their chances of success in four competitions this season.

But the one new signing the Foxes have added made a big impact as Castagne’s towering header from Dennis Praet’s cross opened the floodgates 11 minutes into the second half.

Despite Leicester’s drop-off in the second half of the campaign, Vardy still won the Premier League’s golden boot last season and the 33-year-old launched his challenge to be top scorer once more with two expertly taken spot-kicks in the final 16 minutes after he and James Justin had been felled inside the area.

AFP

FA Cup: West Ham Suffer Defeat As Southampton Relish Draw Against Tottenham

West Ham United’s French striker Sebastien Haller (L) controls the ball during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at The London Stadium, in east London on January 25, 2020. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

 

West Ham crashed out of the FA Cup as their former manager Slaven Bilic led West Bromwich Albion to a surprise 1-0 win, while Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton in Saturday’s fourth-round action.

Albion boss Bilic, sacked by the Hammers in 2017, made eight changes as he prioritised the Championship leaders’ push to return to the Premier League.

But Albion took a shock lead at the London Stadium when Conor Townsend drilled in his first goal for the club after nine minutes.

West Ham, struggling in the top-flight under new boss David Moyes and now without a win in four games, were given a lifeline when West Brom’s Semi Ajayi was sent off in the 72nd minute after his push earned a second yellow card.

Sebastien Haller should have equalised with a headed chance and Manuel Lanzini then dragged his shot wide, but Albion held on.

West Ham were jeered off by their furious fans, while Croatian Bilic, who also played for the east Londoners, celebrated a sweet success with his Albion players.

At St Mary’s, Christian Eriksen was left out amid reports in Italy suggesting the Tottenham midfielder has agreed to a move to Inter Milan, while Gedson Fernandes made his full debut for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Tottenham’s last visit to Southampton was a painful one, with Harry Kane suffering a torn hamstring in a Premier League defeat on New Year’s Day, a clash that saw Mourinho embroiled in a touchline row with a member of the Saints’ coaching staff.

Mourinho’s side struck in the 58th minute on their return to the south coast.

South Korea forward Son Heung-min fired home from Erik Lamela’s pass for his 12th goal of the season.

But Southampton hit back to equalise through Sofiane Boufal’s powerful strike from Danny Ings’ cross in the 87th minute.

 Newcastle frustrated 

Newcastle had to settle for an embarrassing 0-0 draw with third tier Oxford at St James’ Park as their wretched FA Cup form haunted them again.

Steve Bruce’s side are looking to make the fifth round for the first time since 2006, but they needed a replay to beat minnows Rochdale in the previous round and they will have to go the distance again after this limp display.

Burnley and Norwich made a combined total of 12 changes at Turf Moor, with the Canaries running out 2-1 winners.

Grant Hanley’s 53rd-minute goal and a 57th-minute strike from Josip Drmic put Norwich in control before Erik Pieters reduced the deficit in the 74th minute.

Cardiff fans were warned not to sing “racist or homophobic songs” after two incidents were reported during their 1-1 draw at fellow Championship side Reading.

Sheffield United won 2-0 at second-tier Millwall through Muhamed Besic’s 62nd-minute goal and Oliver Norwood’s 84th-minute strike.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s early goal sealed a 1-0 win for Leicester at Championship side Brentford.

Brendan Rodgers’ team are chasing a trip to Wembley on two fronts and they took the next step in the FA Cup after surviving a hard-fought fourth-round clash in west London.

Leicester, who have never won the FA Cup, are hoping to reach the final for the first time since 1969.

In the League Cup, they are through to the semi-finals and head to Aston Villa in the second leg on Tuesday after being held to a 1-1 draw in the first match at the King Power Stadium.

Despite Jamie Vardy’s absence with a glute injury, it took Leicester just four minutes to go ahead when Nigerian striker Iheanacho met James Justin’s cross with a clinical close-range finish.

Chelsea travel to second-tier Hull in Saturday’s late game.

AFP

West Brom Suffer Late Penalty Pain As Leeds Held In Championship

 

Ten-man West Brom missed the chance to extend their lead in the Championship as Charlton forced a dramatic 2-2 draw in stoppage time at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The Baggies went ahead in the 10th minute through midfielder Matt Phillips but Charlton equalised on the hour from Macauley Bonne’s header.

In the 67th minute, West Brom saw defender Nathan Ferguson shown a straight red card for a foul on Chris Solly.

Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu then looked to have secured the hosts’ victory with just nine minutes left but Charlton were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time and Josh Cullen kept his cool from the spot.

Earlier, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds both spurned the opportunity to move to the top of the table.

The Yorkshire rivals had to settle for a point from a 0-0 draw at rain-soaked Hillsborough.

Preston took advantage to move up into second place after coming from 2-0 down to beat Blackburn with a late goal from Tom Barkhuizen.

Rovers had taken the lead inside the opening minute when Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd spilled Sam Gallagher’s header. The forward then curled home a second.

Barkhuizen’s header reduced the deficit early in the second half following a mistake by Rovers keeper Christian Walton.

Preston were level in the 65th minute through a penalty from Dan Johnson after Elliott Bennett had fouled Alan Browne.

Barkhuizen completed the turnaround when he curled in a shot from the edge of the penalty area to send Preston above Leeds on goal difference.

At the other end of the table, Huddersfield moved out of the bottom three with a 2-1 win over struggling Barnsley.

New Millwall boss Gary Rowett got his first win with a 2-0 defeat of former club Stoke and Birmingham beat Luton 2-1 with a late goal from Lukas Jutkiewicz.

In-form forward Jarrod Bowen scored both goals as Hull beat Derby 2-0.

Middlesbrough dropped into the bottom three after a goalless draw at home to Fulham.

Nottingham Forest’s home game against Reading was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

AFP

Aston Villa Beat West Brom On Penalties To Reach Playoff Final

Source: Twitter

 

Aston Villa progressed to within one game of a return to the Premier League after edging West Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion 4-3 on penalties in the Championship playoff semi-finals on Tuesday.

West Brom won 1-0 on the night at the Hawthorns to level the tie at 2-2 on aggregate thanks to Craig Dawson’s first-half header.

However, the Baggies’ hopes of an immediate return to the top-flight were dented when captain Chris Brunt was sent off 10 minutes from the end of normal time.

The hosts held out manfully during extra-time, but Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer saved West Brom’s first two penalties of the shootout from Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi.

“There’s obviously a lot of luck involved but wow,” Steer told Sky Sports. “We practise penalties, so I think I must’ve faced a 100 a day the last few days.”

Conor Hourihane, Mile Jedinak, Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham kept their cool from the spot as Villa set up a May 27 Wembley meeting with Leeds or Derby for a lucrative place in the Premier League.

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds hold a 1-0 first-leg lead over Frank Lampard’s Rams ahead of the second leg at Elland Road on Wednesday.

Villa missed out in the playoff final last year, losing 1-0 to Fulham and Grealish, who has been linked with a summer move to Tottenham, is keen to make amends in what could be his final game for the club.

“The crowd made it tough with the atmosphere but in the end I felt we ran out worthy winners,” said the midfielder.

“It’s no good getting to Wembley and falling at the final hurdle again, so fingers crossed. All of us are very hungry.”

Four-Goal Leeds Return To Top Spot In English Championship

Leeds United moved back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table with an emphatic victory over fellow promotion rivals West Bromwich Albion. Credit: Leeds United Website

 

Leeds ran out impressive 4-0 winners over promotion rivals West Brom on Friday to return to the top of the English Championship.

Pablo Hernandez opened the scoring after just 17 seconds while Patrick Bamford doubled the advantage before the break at Elland Road.

Bamford added his second midway through the second period with Ezgjan Alioski making it 4-0 in stoppage time.

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“For me the most important thing was the effort, attitude and state of mind of the whole team during the whole game,” Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa told BBC Radio Leeds.

Leeds have a one-point lead over Norwich who go to struggling Millwall on Saturday.

AFP