EPL: Chelsea Pip West Ham In Crunch Top Four Duel As Liverpool Falter

Chelsea's German striker Timo Werner (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Chelsea at The London Stadium, in east London on April 24, 2021. Andy Rain / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s German striker Timo Werner (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Chelsea at The London Stadium, in east London on April 24, 2021.
Andy Rain / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea took control of the battle to secure Champions League football next season as Timo Werner’s goal earned a 1-0 win over West Ham on Saturday, while Liverpool conceded a stoppage time equaliser to draw 1-1 with Newcastle.

After a week dominated by England’s ‘big six’ aiming to guarantee top level European football every season via a breakaway Super League (ESL), Chelsea and Liverpool turned their attentions to trying to earn a top-four Premier League finish on the field.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham were the other four English clubs involved in proposals for the ESL, which collapsed within 48 hours of its launch after a furious backlash from governments, governing bodies, players and fans.

The Blues are now in pole position as just a second Premier League goal in 22 games for Werner opened up a three-point advantage over the Hammers in fifth.

Thomas Tuchel blamed the distraction of huge protests outside Stamford Bridge on the night the ESL proposals crumbled for a 0-0 draw against Brighton on Tuesday.

Tuchel made six changes with one eye also on the first leg of his side’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

However, Chelsea’s superior strength in depth showed against an injury-hit West Ham without Michail Antonio, Declan Rice and Aaron Cresswell.

The result could have been very different had Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilcueta not escaped strong claims for handball inside his own area as he deflected a shot wide midway through the first-half.

Werner has failed to live up to his £50 million ($69 million) price tag since joining from RB Leipzig last summer.

But the German ended his two-month goal drought with a composed finish from Ben Chilwell’s cross two minutes before half-time.

After the break, though, Werner showed the profligacy in front of goal that has characterised his season as he somehow turned the rebound wide after Lukasz Fabianski parried Mason Mount’s long-range effort.

The in-form Jesse Lingard came closest to an equaliser for the hosts as his looping effort drifted just wide.

But the Hammers’ hopes were killed off 10 minutes from time when Fabian Balbuena was harshly sent-off after a VAR review for his follow-through on Chilwell after clearing the ball.

Liverpool don’t ‘deserve’ Champions League

Liverpool are now four points adrift of the top four after throwing away a late lead against Newcastle, leading manager Jurgen Klopp to say they do not deserve a place in the Champions League.

Mohamed Salah had opened the scoring after just three minutes, but Liverpool wasted a host of chances to extend their lead and paid in stoppage time.

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp walks on the pitch ahead of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 24, 2021. DAVID KLEIN / POOL / AFP
Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp walks on the pitch ahead of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 24, 2021. DAVID KLEIN / POOL / AFP

 

The Reds even had a reprieve when Callum Wilson’s equaliser was ruled out after a VAR review for handball, but still could not hold on as Joe Willock’s deflected strike secured a vital point in the Magpies’ bid for top flight survival.

“If you deserve it, you deserve it,” said Klopp, echoing the critics of the ESL as a closed shop for Europe’s big clubs.

“I didn’t see us today playing like we deserve Champions League next year. We have another five games and we will see. We learn or we don’t play Champions League, that’s it.”

A protest outside Anfield on Saturday was more muted than the ones seen ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal’s home matches in recent days, but a number of flags and banners were attached to the gates around the ground calling out the “greed” of the club’s American owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG).

Despite not being in action until Sunday away to Leeds, Manchester United fans gathered outside Old Trafford on Saturday to also take aim at the Glazer family, who own the Red Devils.

EPL: Newcastle Boost Survival Hopes, Dent West Ham’s Top Four Bid

Newcastle United's English midfielder Joe Willock (C) reacts after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on April 17, 2021. STU FORSTER / POOL / AFP
Newcastle United’s English midfielder Joe Willock (C) reacts after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on April 17, 2021. STU FORSTER / POOL / AFP

 

Newcastle moved closer to Premier League survival after Joe Willock’s late goal capped a thrilling 3-2 win against 10-man West Ham that dented the visitors’ bid for a top four finish in the Premier League.

Steve Bruce’s side had squandered a two-goal lead in the closing stages at St James’ Park, but Willock came off the bench to snatch a priceless winner.

Newcastle are nine points clear of the relegation zone with just six games remaining in a turbulent season on Tyneside.

The Magpies had taken control in the first half thanks to Issa Diop’s own goal and a blunder from West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski for Joelinton’s strike.

West Ham defender Craig Dawson was sent off for two bookings in between those goals.

But the Hammers set up a tense finale when Diop got one back before Jesse Lingard equalised with a penalty 10 minutes from full-time.

On-loan Arsenal midfielder Willock settled a pulsating encounter with his thunderous header, putting Newcastle in position to avoid relegation.

Staying up would be an impressive achievement for Bruce, who has battled with dressing room rifts and distracting takeover talk.

“I’m not going to take anything for granted. I’ve always said it’s the accumulation of points, and 35, in my opinion, is not enough, so you won’t get me jumping and hollering at the moment,” Bruce said.

Newcastle United's Brazilian striker Joelinton (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on April 17, 2021. dave rogers / POOL / AFP
Newcastle United’s Brazilian striker Joelinton (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on April 17, 2021.
Dave Rogers / POOL / AFP

 

“We’ve still got six games to play. Can we beat last year’s points tally of 44? We’ll try our utmost.”

The defeat was a big blow for West Ham as they chase an unexpected place in next season’s Champions League.

David Moyes’ side remain fourth, but Chelsea are just one point behind with a game in hand, while fifth-placed Liverpool would go above the Hammers if they beat Leeds on Monday.

“I wouldn’t say it was a chance lost, it was an opportunity for us to pick up three points,” Moyes said.

“We like talking about the Champions League, we love the sound of that when everybody says it, but we’re realistic.”

Dawson misery

Newcastle took the lead in the 36th minute when Dawson, in his attempts to recover from a heavy touch, felled Joelinton on halfway.

He could only look on as Allan Saint-Maximin sped away, twisted his way past the retreating Mark Noble and then saw his weak shot bundled over the line by Diop as referee Kevin Friend allowed play to continue.

Dawson’s misery was compounded when, having already been booked for a 12th-minute foul on the Brazilian, he received a second yellow card.

Joelinton, who had previously scored only two Premier League goals this season, was gifted his third by Fabianski when he spilled Matt Ritchie’s 41st-minute corner, leaving the Brazilian striker with a tap-in that he couldn’t miss.

However, Diop headed the Hammers back into it with 17 minutes remaining.

West Ham draw level when, after a VAR check, Ciaran Clark was penalised for handball and on-loan Manchester United midfielder Lingard struck from the spot for his ninth goal in 10 games.

But there was a sting in the tale as Willock, who had only been on the pitch for seconds, thumped his header past Fabianski from Ritchie’s cross in the 83rd minute.

 

AFP

Lingard Scores As Arsenal Survive West Ham Scare In London Derby 

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette stretches for the ball during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Arsenal at The London Stadium, in east London on March 21, 2021. JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP

 

On-loan Manchester United star, Jesse Lingard opened the scoring on Sunday as Arsenal pegged West Ham in a London Derby that saw David Moyes’ side netting five of the six goals.

The English midfielder who has been enjoying a fine form with the Hammers, scored a screamer in the 15th minute to give them the lead in a match that ended 3-3.

One goal each from Jarrod Bowen and Thomas Soucek – all in the first half- saw West Ham race to a 3-0 lead in a game of two halves.

But own goals from Soucek and Craig Dawson cut Arsenal’s deficit before Alexandre Lacazette’s header rescued a point eight minutes from time.

A share of the spoils from a thrilling encounter did little for either side’s hopes of a top-four finish.

 

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (L) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Arsenal at The London Stadium, in east London on March 21, 2021. JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP

 

West Ham remain in fifth, but are two points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Arsenal’s realistic hopes of Champions League football next season now hinge on success in the Europa League as they are nine points adrift of the top four down in ninth.

“I am very disappointed because I cannot accept my team to play in the manner as we did for certain periods in the first half,” said Arteta.

“What I expect is for us to play at the level we showed in the second half. We could have scored six or seven goals.

“We are all the time in reverse because we have two faces. The first face is about giving goals to the opponent and not doing what we have to do and it is not good enough.”

Hammers boss David Moyes has been accused of not being brave enough to take games to traditional top six opponents despite a season that has surpassed all expectations.

– Lingard strikes again –

But the home side were rewarded for an enterprising start as Lingard smashed into the top corner on 15 minutes to celebrate his recall to the England squad this week.

 

West Ham United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Arsenal at The London Stadium, in east London on March 21, 2021. JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP

 

The on-loan Manchester United midfielder has been rejuvenated since his January move to the London stadium and two minutes later, Lingard’s quick thinking created the second as his free-kick caught Arsenal napping and Bowen beat Bernd Leno at his near post.

The Gunners were all over the place defensively in the opening half-hour and were caught out again when Michail Antonio’s header was deflected in by Soucek.

West Ham were cruising towards three points which would have brought them level on points with Chelsea at that stage.

However, Arsenal awakened from their slumber before the break.

Soucek was credited with a deflected goal at both ends as Lacazette’s fierce strike flicked off the Czech and high beyond former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

“Unfortunately we gave them a goal before half-time, that gave Arsenal a foot up,” said Moyes.

Bukayo Saka was denied by Fabianski and Lacazette had a lobbed effort cleared off the line by Issa Diop either side of half-time as Arsenal upped the pressure.

But it was another West Ham mistake which got the visitors right back in the game just after the hour mark as Dawson diverted Calum Chambers’s driven cross into his own net.

The home side were penned back inside their own box for much of the second period, but still had two clear chances to seal victory on the break.

 

West Ham United’s English striker Jarrod Bowen (2R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Arsenal at The London Stadium, in east London on March 21, 2021. Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP

 

Kieran Tierney made two brilliant blocks to deny Bowen and Antonio before Antonio hit the post from point-blank range as he stretched to reach Said Benrahma’s cross.

A week on from being dropped for ill-discipline prior to the north London derby, Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was hauled off by Arteta 10 minutes from time as he chased an equaliser.

But Aubameyang was still making his way back to the bench when Lacazette headed home another brilliant cross from the Arsenal right, this time by Nicolas Pepe.

 

John Stones Sends Man City 13 Points Clear

Manchester City’s English defender John Stones (2L) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 27, 2021. Manchester City won the match 2-0.
Martin Rickett / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester City moved 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League as John Stones sealed a 2-1 win against West Ham that made it 20 successive victories in all competitions for the leaders.

Pep Guardiola’s side are closing in on their third Premier League in four seasons thanks to priceless contributions from their in-form centre-backs.

Ruben Dias, imperious since signing from Benfica in September, put City ahead with his first goal for the club.

Michail Antonio equalised for West Ham just before half-time, but the revitalised Stones bagged the winner with a fine strike after the break.

City are enjoying the longest ever winning streak by an English top-flight team, with 14 of those 20 victories coming in the league to leave their title rivals trailing in their wake.

They are unbeaten in 27 games across all competitions, one match shy of their longest run without defeat under Guardiola in 2017.

Second-placed Manchester United and third-placed Leicester can close the gap back to 10 points if they beat Chelsea and Arsenal respectively on Sunday.

But it is hard to imagine anyone catching City over the last 12 games of the season.

They survived a stern test from fourth-placed West Ham and home games against Wolves and Manchester United next week offer a chance to put the title within touching distance.

Ominously for the rest of the league, Sergio Aguero returned to the City starting line-up for the first time in four months, making just his 11th appearance this season due to injury and illness.

Once he gets his sharpness back, City’s record goalscorer will provide a boost to their bid to win an unprecedented quadruple.

West Ham had won seven of their previous nine league games, but even they couldn’t halt City’s relentless march to the title.

 

West Ham United’s Scottish manager David Moyes reacts on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at The London Stadium, in east London on February 21, 2021.
NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP

– Tasty dish –

Hammers boss David Moyes compared Guardiola to celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal this week for the way City’s manager successfully cooks up winning teams from unlikely ingredients.

Guardiola was at it again as he concocted a tasty dish with seven changes to the team that beat Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League last 16 first leg.

After half an hour without a single shot, Dias put City in front of their first incisive attack.

Kevin De Bruyne was the catalyst with a sublime driven cross that picked out Dias’s run to the far post, where the centre-back powered his header past Darren Randolph.

There was an unusual lack of cohesion in the City defence at times and Antonio nearly exploited their vulnerability when he met Jesse Lingard’s cross with a shot that clipped the outside of the post.

It was a warning that City failed to heed and they were punished in the 43rd minute.

Aguero surrendered possession in midfield, leaving City’s back four exposed, and the ball was quickly worked wide to Vladimir Coufal as he surged away from the out-of-position Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Coufal’s cross was diverted goalwards by Lingard before Antonio applied the finishing touch from virtually on the line.

Having conceded a league goal at home for the first time since December, City took a while to shake off the shock.

But Guardiola’s men have too much quality to be subdued for long and they sealed the points in the 68th minute.

Zinchenko found Riyad Mahrez on the left and the Algerian’s dazzling footwork left Ben Johnson bewildered as he flashed over a cross that Stones met with a superb finish from 12 yards.

Issa Diop nearly provided a sting in the tale when the West Ham defender headed just wide in the final seconds of stoppage-time.

-AFP

EPL: On Loan United Star Lingard Scores As West Ham Beat Toothless Tottenham

West Ham United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard (C) celebrates with team-mates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at The London Stadium, in east London on February 21, 2021. Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP

 

 

Jose Mourinho admitted troubled Tottenham’s top-four hopes are in tatters after West Ham moved into fourth place with a 2-1 win on Sunday.

Mourinho’s side slumped to a fifth defeat in their last six Premier League games as they paid the price for a sloppy defensive display at the London Stadium.

Michail Antonio put West Ham in front early in the first half and Jesse Lingard doubled the hosts’ advantage after the break.

Lucas Moura reduced the deficit with his first league goal since September, but spluttering Spurs were unable to salvage a point.

READ ALSO: Osaka Aims To Inspire New Generation But Says Williams Is Still The Queen

West Ham climbed two points above Chelsea into the Champions League spots as their unexpected European challenge gathered pace with a seventh win in their last nine league matches.

It was a first triumph for West Ham boss David Moyes in 16 meetings with Mourinho.

And while Moyes has sparked a remarkable revival at West Ham, who were in a relegation battle when he arrived last season, Mourinho’s Tottenham are in the middle of a woeful campaign.

They are languishing in ninth and trail West Ham by nine points, albeit with a game in hand.

“It is very difficult to think about the top four. The top six teams are getting points. It will be very hard,” Mourinho said.

“The Europa League is a great motivation to get a Champions League spot and a trophy at the same time.”

Tottenham have already lost eight league games this season — the second-worst return of Mourinho’s career after losing nine with Chelsea in 2015-16.

Mourinho will have to turn the tide quickly to save his job after Tottenham’s latest flop.

“I feel sad, obviously. We started the game with a mistake and started the second half with another one,” Mourinho said.

“The team in the second half was trying absolutely everything. We were the team that tried to play but the boys were not lucky.”

On West Ham’s top four dreams, Moyes said: “We have only done half a job. If we continue this way we will be close. I don’t want to be negative in any way.

“We are enjoying it but are also not going to be daft. We will keep calm and hopefully keep pushing the teams at the top.

“This time last year you were asking me if we can avoid relegation so it is a great feeling that is gone.”

Tottenham had conceded nine goals in their last three games in all competitions and Antonio exploited more dismal defending to open the scoring in the fifth minute.

When Son Heung-min’s slow reaction allowed Jarrod Bowen to whip in a cross from the left, Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga stood flat-footed as Antonio got between them.

Antonio’s initial toe-poked effort was saved by Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris and the West Ham forward quickly got to his feet to stab in the rebound from close-range.

– Toothless Tottenham –
Tomas Soucek was left with blood streaming down his face after a clash of heads with Tanganga, putting West Ham down to 10 men for five minutes while the midfielder went off to be stitched up.

Even then, toothless Tottenham couldn’t make any headway.

Aided by Tottenham’s statuesque rearguard, Lingard broke clear to drive a fine finish into the far corner in the 47th minute.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Welsh striker Gareth Bale (L) runs away from West Ham United’s English defender Ben Johnson (R) during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at The London Stadium, in east London on February 21, 2021.
Clive Rose / POOL / AFP

 

An offside flag looked like it might spare Spurs, but a VAR review overturned the decision as Lingard belatedly celebrated his third goal since signing on loan from Manchester United.

Tottenham needed an immediate response and Harry Kane was just off-target with a fierce free-kick before Lucas got one back in the 64th minute.

Gareth Bale’s corner arrowed towards Lucas at the near post and the Brazilian edged in front of his marker to glance a header past Lukasz Fabianski.

Bale almost equalised with a blistering effort from the edge of the area that cannoned off the bar.

Tottenham’s luck was out again in stoppage-time when the ball rebounded off Son but looped onto the post and bounced to safety.

AFP

EPL: Man City Go Top, Arsenal Gain Revenge On Southampton

A photo combination of Arsenal and Manchester City players celebrating their goals in their Premier League games on Tuesday, January 26th, 2021.

 

Manchester City thrashed West Brom 5-0 to move back top of the Premier League on Tuesday as Arsenal aided their push towards the European places with a 3-1 win at Southampton.

City have now won 11 consecutive games since West Brom earned a shock 1-1 draw at the Etihad last month.

Pep Guardiola’s men have hit top form since and did not miss the presence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne in blowing away the Baggies by scoring four goals before half-time.

READ ALSO: Pinnick Declared Eligible For Membership of FIFA Council

Ilkay Gundogan opened the floodgates by curling home from the edge of the box before Joao Cancelo’s controversial strike doubled City’s lead.

Manchester City’s Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal with teammates during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on January 26, 2021. Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP

 

The West Brom defence was distracted by a wrongly raised offside flag before the Portuguese full-back found the net, but the goal stood after a VAR review.

Gundogan then took his tally to seven goals in his last eight league games before Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling rounded off the scoring.

“There’s not really a secret,” Gundogan said of his scoring streak. “I’m just in the right spaces at the right moment. I’m in a bit more of an offensive role, if I get the chance close to the box I try to make the right decisions.”

West Brom have now conceded 17 goals in Sam Allardyce’s four home games in charge as they remain second bottom of the table, six points off safety.

– Arsenal on the rise –
Guardiola’s former assistant Mikel Arteta is also enjoying a fine run of form as Arsenal have taken 16 from the last possible 18 points.

The Gunners avenged their FA Cup to Southampton at the weekend despite falling behind after three minutes to Stuart Armstrong’s sweet strike.

Nicolas Pepe quickly levelled before Bukayo Saka rounded Alex McCarthy and slotted home to give the visitors at half-time lead.

“I think we were good from the start. We conceded a goal from a corner but responded straight away,” said Arteta.

“It showed a lot of intelligent and resilience from the team in the way they managed the game.”

Southampton’s English midfielder Theo Walcott shoots but fails to score during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on January 26, 2021. Naomi Baker / POOL / AFP

 

Alexandre Lacazette sealed a vital three points 18 minutes from time as Arsenal moved up to eighth and within five points of the top four.

– West Ham go fourth –
West Ham occupy the fourth Champions League place as Tomas Soucek scored twice in a 3-2 win at Crystal Palace.

The Hammers suffered an early setback when Wilfried Zaha put Palace in front after just three minutes.

But the stronger mentality that David Moyes has lauded in West Ham this season showed as Soucek struck twice in 16 minutes to turn the game around.

Only Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has scored more Premier League goals from midfield than the Czech since he joined from Slavia Prague a year ago.

Craig Dawson headed in Jarrod Bowen’s corner 25 minutes from time to make it 3-1 before Michy Batshuayi scored a late consolation for Palace.

 

West Ham United’s English defender Craig Dawson (R) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and West Ham United at Selhurst Park in south London on January 26, 2021. Clive Rose / POOL / AFP

 

A sixth consecutive win in all competitions takes Moyes’s men above Liverpool in the table and Jurgen Klopp’s struggling Reds will be wary of their trip to the London Stadium on Sunday.

At the other end of the table, Newcastle lost 2-1 at home to Leeds to stretch their winless run to 11 games

“This league is demanding and cruel at times,” said beleaguered Magpies boss Steve Bruce.

Raphinha slotted home Rodrigo’s cut-back to give Marcelo Bielsa’s men a deserved half-time lead.

Miguel Almiron levelled with Newcastle’s first goal for five games early in the second half, but parity lasted only four minutes before Jack Harrison’s sensational finish with the outside of his left foot claimed all three points for the visitors.

Newcastle have a seven-point cushion over the bottom three, but have now played two games more than Fulham in 18th.

AFP

West Ham Into Top Four, Leeds Compound Newcastle’s Woes

West Ham United’s English defender Craig Dawson (R) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and West Ham United at Selhurst Park in south London on January 26, 2021.
Clive Rose / POOL / AFP

 

West Ham moved into the Premier League’s top four as Tomas Soucek scored twice in a 3-2 win at Crystal Palace, while Leeds inflicted more misery on Newcastle with a 2-1 victory at St James’ Park on Tuesday.

The Hammers suffered an early setback when Wilfried Zaha put Palace in front after just three minutes.

But the stronger mentality that David Moyes has lauded in West Ham this season showed as Soucek struck twice in 16 minutes to turn the game around.

Only Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has scored more Premier League goals from midfield than the Czech since he joined from Slavia Prague a year ago.

Soucek powered home a header from close range from Michail Antonio’s cross and then bundled home Aaron Cresswell’s free-kick at the back post.

West Ham could have been out of sight by half-time as Antonio then twice struck the post.

A third goal was no more than the visitors deserved and it came 25 minutes from time when Craig Dawson headed in Jarrod Bowen’s corner.

Michy Batshuayi pulled a goal back with virtually the last kick of the game but it was too little, too late for Palace.

A sixth consecutive win in all competitions takes Moyes’s men above Liverpool in the table and Jurgen Klopp’s struggling Reds will be wary of their trip to the London Stadium on Sunday.

 

READ ALSO: Pinnick Declared Eligible For Membership of FIFA Council

 

Newcastle United’s Swiss defender Fabian Schar reacts during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Leeds United at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on January 26, 2021.
STU FORSTER / POOL / AFP

 

At the other end of the table, Newcastle’s dreadful form continued as their winless run stretched to 11 games to pile more pressure on beleaguered boss Steve Bruce.

The Magpies have a seven-point cushion over the bottom three, but have now played two games more than Fulham in 18th.

Leeds had been on a poor run themselves, but secured their first win of 2021 to move 14 points clear of the drop zone in 12th.

Raphinha slotted home Rodrigo’s cut-back to give Marcelo Bielsa’s men a deserved half-time lead.

Miguel Almiron levelled with Newcastle’s first goal for five games early in the second half, but parity lasted only four minutes before Jack Harrison’s sensational finish with the outside of his left foot claimed all three points for the visitors.

-AFP

West Ham Grab Late Winner To End Everton’s Winning Run

West Ham United’s Italian defender Angelo Ogbonna (L), West Ham United’s Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek (C)and West Ham United’s Czech defender Vladimir Coufal react at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on January 1, 2021.
Jan Kruger / POOL / AFP

 

Everton missed the chance to go a point behind local rivals Liverpool at the top of the Premier League as Tomas Soucek’s late strike earned West Ham a 1-0 win at Goodison Park on Friday.

In a disappointing game of few chances, Soucek was in the right place to stab home Aaron Cresswell’s deflected shot four minutes from time as David Moyes enjoyed a winning return to his former club.

Victory for the Hammers moves them to within three points of third despite sitting 10th in the table.

Everton on the other hand were left to rue a huge missed opportunity to bolster their European credentials.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men had enjoyed nearly a week off after their clash with Manchester City on Monday was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak among the City squad.

Ancelotti was able to welcome back Richarlison from a concussion and James Rodriguez made his return from injury off the bench in the second-half, but the Toffees rarely put West Ham stand-in goalkeeper Darren Randolph under any pressure.

The visitors had the best chance of the first-half when another Cresswell shot flew across goal and this time beyond Jarrod Bowen at the back post.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick when the sides met in the League Cup in September, but the England international was largely anonymous.

West Ham were playing for the third time in six days, yet it was Moyes’s men who ended the game stronger and grabbed the late winner.

Soucek’s goals from midfield have played a big part in his side’s success this season and the Czech international scored for the fourth time in seven games when Cresswell’s effort broke kindly to him.

Later, Manchester United have the chance to move level on points with Liverpool when they host in-form Aston Villa, who could go third with victory at Old Trafford.

-AFP

Man Utd Put On Second-Half Show For Fans’ Return

Manchester United’s Brazilian defender Alex Telles (L) and Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire (R) challenge West Ham United’s Algerian midfielder Said Benrahma during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester United at The London Stadium, in east London on December 5, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney / POOL / AFP) 

 

Manchester United gave the West Ham support the second-half show they did not want to see as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men won 3-1 in the first Premier League match with fans inside the stadium since March.

A crowd of 2,000 Hammers fans saw their side take a deserved first-half lead through Tomas Soucek at the London Stadium.

But United kicked off a huge week with a much-needed win as three goals in 13 minutes from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford moved the Red Devils up to fourth and within two points of the Premier League leaders.

“It’s something everyone knows the game has missed,” said Rashford on the return of fans. “It’s just a great feeling to have some fans back, 2,000 is much better than nothing.”

United have now come from behind to win in all five away league games this season.

“We need to stop doing that. If we keep more clean sheets we will definitely win more games. It is good that we showed spirit, but ideally we don’t want to be conceding,” added Rashford, who was summoned from the bench at half-time, along with Bruno Fernandes to turn the game in United’s favour.

Solskjaer’s side need a point when they travel to RB Leipzig on Tuesday to secure a place in the Champions League last 16 before hosting Manchester City next weekend.

However, the manager’s plan to give Fernandes and Rashford a rest before the trip to Germany backfired as United were lucky to stay in the game before the break.

 

West Ham United’s Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (L) clears the ball from Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester United at The London Stadium, in east London on December 5, 2020. (Photo by Justin Setterfield / POOL / AFP) 

 

“Football is ups and downs,” said Solskjaer. “Poor first half. In the second half of course the goal changes the mood, the first one. Great goal by Paul, then Mason’s goal is special.

“I am very, very pleased with the performance. Last week we were 2-0 down at Southampton so this was a step forward, we were only one down!”

Haller slip costly

Jarrod Bowen had a goal ruled out for offside before he teed up Pablo Fornals to head a great chance into the side-netting.

Fornals came even closer moments later when the Spaniard stabbed a shot off the post.

But the goal West Ham deserved came seven minutes before the break when Soucek turned home Declan Rice’s flick-on from a corner at the back post.

Sebastien Haller should have doubled the lead for David Moyes’s men, but the Ivorian slipped with the goal at his mercy after rounding Dean Henderson, who was deputising for the injured David de Gea.

Fernandes and Rashford were summoned at the break and United were a different side in the second half.

Pogba produced the flash of brilliance he is capable of but has so rarely shown in a United shirt to kickstart the comeback as he curled home a long-range shot from Fernandes’s pass.

West Ham boss David Moyes was furious on the touchline as he believed the ball had gone out of play from Henderson’s punt into Fernandes’s path, but VAR could find no conclusive proof to disallow the goal.

Three minutes later, the visitors led as Alex Telles’s cross was brilliantly controlled and thrashed into the net by Greenwood for his first Premier League goal of the season.

United was now in full flow as they could counter-attack into acres of space behind the Hammers’ defence.

 

Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford (2R) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal with Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester United at The London Stadium, in east London on December 5, 2020. (Photo by Adam Davy / POOL / AFP)

 

Rashford had a sighter as he struck the post from a brilliant Fernandes through ball.

But the England international was clinical with a second chance as this time Mata unlocked the West Ham defence and Rashford coolly lifted the ball over the advancing Lukasz Fabianski 12 minutes from time.

Jota Caps Liverpool Fightback As Man City, Chelsea Win

Liverpool’s Portuguese striker Diogo Jota (C) runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on October 31, 2020. (Photo by Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP)

 

Diogo Jota capped Liverpool’s dramatic fightback as the Premier League champions beat West Ham 2-1 to move three points clear at the top, while Manchester City and Chelsea both won to keep in touch with the leaders on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were rocked by Pablo Fornals’ early strike at Anfield as the West Ham midfielder punished a poor header from Joe Gomez in the 10th minute.

The Reds drew level in the 42nd minute when Mohamed Salah was fouled by Arthur Masuaku and the Egyptians stepped up to convert the penalty for his eighth goal of the season.

Liverpool thought they had claimed the lead with just over 10 minutes remaining when substitute Jota turned in a loose ball.

Jota had pounced after Lukasz Fabianski saved Sadio Mane’s shot but after a lengthy delay that saw referee Kevin Friend make use of the pitchside monitor, the goal was ruled out for a foul by the Senegal winger.

In the 85th minute, Jota ran onto Xherdan Shaqiri’s pass to score his fourth goal since joining from Wolves in September.

 

Liverpool’s Portuguese striker Diogo Jota celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 31, 2020. – Liverpool won the game 2-1. (Photo by PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /

It was Liverpool’s fourth successive victory since influential defender Virgil van Dijk was sidelined for several months with a serious knee injury suffered against Everton.

Despite their defensive issues this term, Liverpool have opened up a three-point lead over second placed Everton, with their Merseyside rivals in action at Newcastle on Sunday.

“It’s not about shining, or flying, or whatever, it’s about hard work. That was absolutely necessary against this opponent,” Klopp said after Liverpool equalled their club record of 63 home league games unbeaten.

“We had a lot of good football, not 500 chances or whatever but enough. I want to see us dig in and we did that, and I’m so happy.”

While Liverpool were completing their win, government officials confirmed the Premier League could continue despite a new national lockdown that will last until at least December.

“The world is in a difficult place and we are happy to be allowed to play football,” Klopp said.

Title rivals City have yet to hit the free-scoring form of Pep Guardiola’s side at their best, as for the third consecutive league game they were held to a solitary goal.

But Kyle Walker’s long-range strike against his former club was good enough to earn a 1-0 win at goal-shy Sheffield United.

It was his first goal for a year in his 100th Premier League appearance for City.

A fourth win in five games in all competition edges City up to eighth, five points behind Liverpool.

And there was another boost for City after the game as Guardiola ruled out a return to Barcelona despite interest from presidential candidates at the Catalan giants to bring the club’s most successful ever coach back to the Camp Nou.

“I said many times, my period as a manager in Barcelona is over,” said Guardiola, whose contract at the Etihad expires at the end of the season.

“I am incredibly happy here, still I have the desire to do well and this is the most important thing.”

– Chelsea hit their stride –
Chelsea are also finding their form after a slow start to the season as Frank Lampard’s men ran out 3-0 winners at Burnley to stretch their unbeaten run to nine games.

Hakim Ziyech was handed his first Premier League start after scoring in a 4-0 Champions League win away to Krasnodar in midweek and the Moroccan’s shot wrong-footed Nick Pope to open the floodgates for the visitors on 26 minutes.

Kurt Zouma’s bullet header then doubled Chelsea’s advantage from Mason Mount’s corner just after the hour mark.

Timo Werner was due to be rested until an injury in the warm-up to Christian Pulisic forced the German international into Lampard’s line-up.

And Werner rounded off an excellent second-half performance from the Blues with a fine finish from Ziyech’s pass.

After much criticism of his side’s defending, Lampard will be equally delighted at a fourth straight clean sheet as Chelsea moved up to fourth place.

West Ham Ruin Leicester’s Unbeaten Start, Saints Beat West Brom

West Ham United’s English striker Jarrod Bowen (R) scores the third goal past Leicester City’s Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and West Ham United at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on October 4, 2020. Alex Pantling / POOL / AFP

 

 

West Ham shattered Leicester’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a surprise 3-0 win, while Oriol Romeu’s superb strike inspired Southampton’s 2-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

After thrashing Manchester City 5-2 last weekend, second-placed Leicester were brought back down to earth as their three-game winning run came to an end at the King Power Stadium.

Goals from Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen ruined Leicester’s bid to win their opening four league games for the first time in their history.

West Ham, who crushed Wolves 4-0 in their previous league game, have won three of their four matches since boss David Moyes tested positive for the coronavirus in September.

“I had hoped to be back with the squad for today’s fixture but I’m not quite ready to return just yet,” Moyes told West Ham’s website before kick-off at the King Power Stadium.

“I’m feeling generally fine but I have had some mild symptoms so we are taking it day by day and following the advice of the medical experts.”

Alan Irvine again managed from the dugout, while Moyes, watching at home on television, liaised with assistant Stuart Pearce by phone.

Moyes’ quarantine hasn’t affected West Ham and they took the lead in the 14th minute.

Having won a free-kick when he was fouled by Caglar Soyuncu, Antonio made a well-timed run to the far post, where he headed home from Aaron Cresswell’s pin-point cross.

Antonio is the first Hammers player to score in five consecutive top-flight away matches since Mike Small in 1991.

Jamie Vardy’s long-range chip over Lukasz Fabianski was disallowed after the Leicester striker’s foul on Angelo Ogbonna.

West Ham doubled their lead in the 34th minute, Fornals beating the offside trap as he controlled Cresswell’s long punt and ran clear to fire past Kasper Schmeichel for his first goal since February.

Leicester failed to muster a single shot on target and with seven minutes left, Bowen slotted home from Fornals’ pass.

At St Mary’s, Southampton won their second successive league game against lowly West Brom.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side dominated throughout and Ryan Bertrand’s fierce drive drew a superb early save from Albion keeper Sam Johnstone.

Ings forced an even better save from the over-worked Johnstone with a header that was pushed away by the 27-year-old.

Southampton’s pressure was rewarded in the 41st minute when Moussa Djenepo’s clever drag-back eluded Jake Livermore before the winger stroked his finish into the bottom corner.

Southampton’s Polish defender Jan Bednarek (C back) jumps to head the ball over West Bromwich Albion’s English goalkeeper Sam Johnston (R) during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and West Bromwich Albion at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on October 4, 2020.
Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP

 

Romeu, who hadn’t scored since February 2019, met Stuart Armstrong’s cross with a brilliant volley from the edge of the area to wrap up the points in the 69th minute.

West Brom are the first Premier League side to concede as many as 13 goals after four matches of a season since Southampton in 2012-13.

Albion, who blew a three-goal lead in their 3-3 draw with Chelsea last weekend, are winless in eight league matches dating back to last season.

AFP

Moyes To Take Charge Of West Ham Despite Self-Isolation

West Ham United’s Scottish manager David Moyes gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 19, 2020. (Photo by IAN WALTON / POOL / AFP) /

 

 

West Ham assistant boss Alan Irvine has confirmed David Moyes will still manage the team for Sunday’s game against Wolves even though he is self-isolating at home after testing positive for coronavirus.

The Hammers boss, and players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen, had to leave the London Stadium on Tuesday after they received positive tests for Covid-19.

Irvine took charge of the League Cup tie against Hull and secured a 5-1 win but Moyes will be the man making the decisions this weekend.

“David will be the manager,” Irvine said on Friday. “Everything we do will be run through him first of all and he will make the decisions on everything.

“He would make the decisions anyway but, like for this press conference, I am the messenger.”

Irvine confirmed Moyes, Diop and Cullen remained asymptomatic and were all coping well.

“He is fine. I have spoken to him several times this morning and he is not feeling any symptoms,” he said of the West Ham manager. “Obviously a bit frustrating for him but he is getting on with other things.”

“They (Diop and Cullen) are both fine. Frustrated because they can’t come in, but that is the situation and they understand that.

“None of them are feeling anything, which maybe makes it more frustrating.”