English Premier League: Review of mid-week games – Matchday 32
EPL: Review of mid-week games – Matchday 32.
English Premier League Review Matchday 32
Brighton & Hove Albion 0, Manchester United 3
Manchester United continued their unbeaten run of 15 games when they swept aside bottom-half side Brighton & Hove 0-3 at the Amex stadium on Tuesday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men moved to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea's 54.
It was a dominant display by the Red Devils with Mason Greenwood opening the scoring in the 16th minute of play. Teenager Greenwood outfoxed rival defender Lewis Dunk with some deft footwork before drilling in a fine finish to the near post to take his season's tally to 13 goals.
But it was Sporting Lisbon signing Sporting Bruno Fernandes who turned the final screws into the Blades with goals in either half.
The 25-year old Portuguese got his first of the match when he combined beautifully with Paul Pogba to smash in through a deflection in the 29th minute and followed it up in the 50th by thrashing in Greenwood's chipped cross to take the game beyond the hosts' reach.
Brighton who celebrated their return from the pandemic break with a 2-1 win over Arsenal did try to turn things around in the second half but United goalie David de Gea's flying save thwarted Aaron Connolly's attempt.
Graham Potter's side remain in 15th place as the result of Tuesday's loss, 6 points above the relegation zone.
Everton 2, Leicester City 1
Things are going from bad to worse for Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City as the Foxes limped through their 3rd winless game after returning from the pandemic break.
Following draws with minions Watford and Brighton, a defeat awaited them at Goodison Park.
Everton who are unbeaten since the Premier League began again two weeks ago, made the break through Richarlison in as early as the 10th minute of play.
The Brazilian made a late run into the box and smashed in a perfectly lobbed Lucas Digne header beating Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel all ends up.
The Toffees didn't have to wait long for the second. Leicester defender Wilfred Ndidi challenged Michael Keane from a Digne free-kick and seemed to have touched the ball in the process.
VAR took some time to decide whether the ball struck Keane’s head or hand before finding its way on to Ndidi.
A tight call went against Ndidi and Gylfi Sigurdsson converted the resulting spot-kick to make it 2-0 for the hosts in the 16th minute.
The introduction of Kelechi Iheanacho and James Maddison in the second-half injected life into Leicester's performance and it paid off when the visitors got their only goal of the match.
It was a fortuitous one as Mason Holgate's attempted clearance flew into the net off the face of substitute Kelechi Iheanacho.
Leicester dominated play after that but were unable to translate their possession into goals.With only two points from three games post-break, Leicester's defeat at Goodison Park has opened the doors for Manchester United and Wolves (who are just three points behind them) to break into the Top Four.
Everton though in the 11th place are yet to lose a game after their return and are only a couple of points behind 7th placed Arsenal's 46 – a position that holds hope for Carlo Ancelotti's side as far as a European spot for next season goes.
West Ham 2, Chelsea 3
West Ham moved three points away from relegation when they stunned an in-form Chelsea side 2-3 at the London stadium.
It was Frank Lampard's men who took the lead through Willian's spot-kick after Christian Pulisic forced Issa Diop into a foul to win a penalty.
The Hammers could have gone one up earlier when Tomas Soucek saw his effort ruled out because Michail Antonio was adjudged to be offside by VAR. But Soucek was rewarded with a goal when he headed one right on the stroke of half-time to draw level with the visitors.
Antonio was a potent mix of skill and power as he bundled one in to give the Hammers the lead 5 minutes after interval. Midway into the second-half, the game saw West Ham captain Declan Rice try to bring down the nifty Christian Pulisic as he motored towards the Hammers’ box resulting in a free-kick being awarded to the Blues.
Dead-ball specialist Willian stepped up and curled a wonderful shot over the wall that crashed into the net past the left post to give his second goal of the night.
It was 2-2 in the 72nd minute of play. Just when it seemed that the match could be petering towards a draw, there was drama in the dying minutes of the match.
Andriy Yarmolenko coming in as substitute in the 78th minute latched onto to a ball from Antonio, cut past Antonio Rudiger to fire home West Ham's winner with just a minute to go for the final whistle.
With the London stadium defeat, Chelsea lost a chance to leapfrog over a badly faltering Leicester City and maintain the gap between themselves and the in-form Manchester United who are just a couple points away on the 5th.
As for the Hammers, credit must be given to them for keeping their heads high even without the experienced Mark Noble around and taking the fight to a powerful Chelsea side.
Arsenal 4, Norwich City 0
Arsenal leapt into the top eight when they thrashed a hapless Norwich City 4-0 at the Emirates stadium on Wednesday night.
A error by Norwich goalie Tim Krul helped set up the Gunners first goal of the evening in the 18th minute.
Krul lost possession to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the edge of his own penalty area enabling the Gabonese to whip the ball from his feet and smash it in.
Granit Xhaka doubled the lead in the 37th after Krul was dispossessed once again. One more error, this time by Swiss forward Josip Drmic, allowed Aubameyang to pounce in for his third with Cedric Soares laying the finishing touch to an emphatic win with a goal from outside the penalty area.
Norwich, languishing at the bottom of the table and still six points away from saving relegation had their best moments in the game when Ben Godfrey hit the woodwork early on and Gunners custodian Emiliano Martinez was forced into a fine save to keep out Kenny McLean's free-kick.
This was a highly satisfactory return to the Emirates Stadium for Mikel Arteta's side as they marked their first competitive home match since 7 March with an easy win.
Having lost their first two matches after the restart, the Gunners have now won their past three, have an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to and find themselves in a somewhat comforting 7th spot with 46 points.
Crystal Palace 0, Burnley 1
Sean Dyche's Burnley got a Europa League entry booster when his team broke into the Top 8 after a 0-1 win over Crystal Palace away at Selhurst Park.
The Clarets scored the solitary goal against the run of play when Ben Mee lunged forward to meet an Ashley Westwood free-kick and steer his effort past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita in the 58th minute.
Burnley have recovered well after their 0-5 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City in their first game post-break to come back and register wins over Watord and Crystal Palace.
Palace, who have won one and lost there last two outings since their return from the break are quickly out of the top half and are now 12th on the Premier League table with 42 points.
Bournemouth 1, Newcastle 4
Steve Bruce's Newcastle have a spring in their step after having collected 7 points from their three Premier League outings since the return and they now sit on equal points with Crystal Palace and just two points off Sheffield United in 10th place with six games remaining.
Their most recent conquest was a 1-4 thrashing of a beleaguered Bournemouth side away at the Vitality stadium on Wednesday.
Goals from Dwight Gayle, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almiron and Valentino Lazaro completed the rout of the Cherries.
The result leaves 19th placed Bournemouth fighting for their safety with six games remaining and with fixtures against the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Manchester City lined up, relegation is just round the corner for the Cherries.
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