SATURDAY PL RECAP: BIG WINS FOR VILLA AND NEWCASTLE, SOUCEK SEES RED AND DCL LEVELS LATE
Manchester United 3-3 Everton
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored with the last kick off the game to earn Everton a valuable point at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
United stormed into a two-nil lead in the first half with Edinson Cavani heading home from close-range and Bruno Fernandes scoring exquisitely from the edge of the area.
Carlo Ancelotti was bellowing at his players' terrible first 45 display and the Toffees clearly listened as they flew out of the blocks in the second half.
Four minutes into the second period Abdoulaye Doucoure brought the visitors back into the game when he followed in from Calvert-Lewin’s shot.
And James Rodriguez then equalised with a fierce left-footed effort from just inside the box after some great work from Doucoure.
Scott McTominay then restored the hosts lead with a towering header that arguably should’ve been saved by Robin Olsen.
However, the Everton shot-stoppers blushes were saved when Calvert-Lewin poked the ball beyond David De Gea in the fifth minute of added time to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat.
Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal
Ollie Watkins goal after just 74 seconds gave Aston Villa a hard-fought win over Arsenal, which meant his side completed a league double over the Gunners for the first time since 1993.
After comprehensively beating Arsenal at the Emirates earlier in the season, Watkins early effort was enough to succumb Mikael Arteta’s side to back-to-back League defeats.
Bertrand Traore reacted sharply to some lapse play from Cedric, before crossing for Watkins, who’s effort trickled beyond Mat Ryan via the ankle of Rob Holding.
The Gunners had their chances most notably Granit Xhaka’s long distance free-kick which was saved expertly by Emiliano Martinez against his old club.
However, Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings thwarted multiple attacks from the Gunners and it could’ve been far worse for them but Ryan was able to deny Watkins and Jack Grealish late on in the game.
Dean Smith’s side saw out the victory and moved above Arsenal’s North London rivals Spurs into 8th, while Arsenal remain in 10th with more games played than the majority of the teams around them.
Newcastle 3-2 Southampton
Allan Saint-Maximin’s return to the starting team inspired Newcastle to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Southampton which saw the Magpies reduced to nine men.
In his first League start since the end of November, Newcastle’s French winger set up two goals for his teammates.
Jeff Hendrick was sent off for a second bookable offence after just 50 minutes and Fabian Schar was then also removed from the game because of an injury after the hosts had made all of their subs.
Both Joe Willock and Takumi Minamino scored on their debuts after loan moves from Arsenal and Liverpool respectively, while Miguel Almiron found the back of the net twice.
James Ward-Prowse scored a magnificent free-kick and despite the man advantage, Newcastle held out.
Southampton remain in 12th position after a disappointing week away from the South Coast, Steve Bruce’s team however, are now ten points clear from Fulham in 18th.
Burnley 1-1 Brighton
Johan Berg Gudmundsson’s driven strike cancelled out Lewis Dunk’s accurate header as Brighton and Burnley shared the spoils in Lancashire.
Graham Potter’s side successfully recorded two memorable one goal victories over top four challenging Liverpool and Spurs in their last two games, and they were on their way to a third one when Dunk headed home from a Pascal Gross corner.
Burnley came back firing and eight minutes after the restart Gudmundsson was in the right place at the right time to fire home following Robert Sanchez’s parry from an Erik Pieters shot.
The singular point further distances both teams from the bottom three as attention turns to the FA Cup, with Brighton travelling to Leicester and Burnley welcoming Bournemouth.
Fulham 0-0 West Ham
Tomas Soucek was controversially sent off after a VAR review of violent conduct in a goalless London Derby between Fulham and West Ham.
In the final knockings off the game Soucek was deemed to have raised his arm towards Aleksander Mitrovic and after a lengthy VAR review Mike Dean sent off the midfielder.
The hosts dominated the chances with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ademola Lookman and Mitrovic all going close, but the best chance of the game fell to West Ham’s Vladimir Coufal who cannoned a header off the bar mid-way through the second half.
This was Fulham’s 9th draw of the season and if they want to stay in the Premier League they need to start converting them into wins.
David Moyes may be mildly disappointed with the result but the Hammers are still pushing for a European place.