FOOTBALL Premier League

Premier League round-up: Liverpool lose, Manchester City continue winning and West Ham keep their top-four dreams alive

Another weekend of Premier League action comes to an end, and as always there were some surprising results in what has been a crazy season in the top division.

The relegation battle intensified, whilst the battle for the European spots took another big twist. Here is a round-up of all the action from game week 25.

Check out the Park Life Sport live blog to keep up to date with all the sports news.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Leeds United

Wolves extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to four games on Friday night as they scraped a 1-0 victory over Leeds at Molineux.

The hosts took the lead just after the hour mark when Adama Traore’s long-range effort ricocheted off the bar and bounced into the net off the back of Illan Meslier.

Patrick Bamford thought he had equalised late on after he surged forward and finished expertly, however VAR overturned the goal for an offside decision, guaranteeing Wolves all three points.

The win for Wolves took them above Leeds in the league table.

Man of the Match: Rui Patricio

Seven saves from the Portuguese international guaranteed three points and a clean sheet for his side for the first time since October 30, when the West Midlands side beat Crystal Palace 2-0. The 33-year-old commanded his box and made some vital saves to claim Wolves’ second win in as many games.

Southampton 1-1 Chelsea

Takumi Minamino’s opener was cancelled out by a Mason Mount penalty in Saturday’s early kick-off as Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s.

Minamino showed brilliant composure to put the home side ahead in the first half when he latched onto Nathan Redmond’s through ball, teased Edouard Mendy with a dummy and calmly swept the ball into the net.

Danny Ings’ reckless tackle on Mount in the second-half rewarded Chelsea with a penalty, and the Blues’ midfielder took the resulting spot-kick as he tucked away from 12-yards-out.

The best chance for either side came when Jannick Yestergaard hit the Chelsea bar with a header, however the points were shared in the South-Coast as Chelsea missed the chance to extend their stay in the top four.

Man of the Match: Moussa Djenepo

The 22-year-old has been hit-and-miss for Southampton since his arrival in 2019, but Djenepo impressed for the Saints from his new position of right wing-back with his high-energy play causing problems for Thomas Tuchel’s side all afternoon.

Burnley 0-0 West Bromwich Albion

10-man West Brom were unlucky not to leave Turf Moor with three points as they were held 0-0 by Burnley.

Baggies defender Semi Ajayi saw red halfway through the first-half after a VAR check deemed the defender to have used his hand to deny a goal-scoring opportunity.

The hosts struggled to create any chances against a blunt West Brom side who came close a couple of times themselves, however Sam Allardyce’s side could’t find a goal as it finished a stalemate.

It was Albion’s first clean sheet since November 28,  however they still remain 11 points adrift of safety.

Man of the Match:  Ainsley Maitland-Niles

The Arsenal loanee has played in his preferred central midfield role since his arrival in the Midlands, and he was the pivot in the midfield for Albion as they looked to find the opening goal. Despite the Claret’s best efforts to stop him and limit his space in the middle, he always found a pocket as he troubled Burnley all afternoon.

Liverpool 0-2 Everton

Everton won their first Merseyside Derby in 11 years and moved level on points with Liverpool as they beat their local rivals 2-0 at Anfield.

The Toffees opened the scoring just three minutes in when James Rodriguez’s acute through ball was drilled in by Richarlison.

Liverpool’s injury woes continued as Captain Jordan Henderson was pulled off in the first half, and a great day for Everton was topped off late on when Gylfi Sigurðsson doubled the lead from the penalty spot.

The Everton win was their first at Anfield since 1999, a result which rubs salt into the wounds of Liverpool fans as the Reds’ dreadful season continues.

Man of the Match: Jordan Pickford

When you think of Jordan Pickford and Merseyside Derby, you usually would end up thinking about his error that gifted Divock Origi the winner a couple of years ago. The England International produced quite the opposite of a display this time around, with the ‘keeper making a number of brilliant saves to maintain his sides lead.

Fulham 1-0 Sheffield United

Fulham received another big boost in their survival hopes as they beat bottom of the league Sheffield United 1-0 at Craven Cottage.

Ademola Lookman gave Fulham a deserved lead In the second half when he latched onto a long ball, breezed past Ethan Ampadu, and drilled through Aaron Ramsdales legs.

The Blades could’ve had a penalty at the death when Alphonse Areola’s caught Omar Bogle in the box when rushing out of his goal, however after a lengthy VAR check, nothing was given.

The win extends Fulham’s unbeaten run in the league to four games and leaves them just three points off safety, however the survival task looks even tougher for Sheffield United now, with Chris Wilder’s men now 14 points adrift of safety at rock bottom.

Man of the Match: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Arguably Fulham’s player of the season so far, Anguissa has been a consistent star in the Lillywhites midfield, and he proved that again against the Blades with a brilliant display. His ball-carrying ability is some of the best in the league, with the Cameroon International completing a staggering 12 dribbles at Craven Cottage.

West Ham 2-1 Tottenham

An impressive display from West Ham United saw them emerge victorious at the London Stadium as they overcame Tottenham Hotspur to win 2-1 as they moved back into the top four.

Michail Antonio opened the scoring after five minutes as he pounced on Hugo Lloris’ save to tap home from close range, and loanee Jesse Lingard doubled the scoring early in the second half when he burst into the box and fired across Lloris into the far corner.

Spurs got a goal back with just over 25 minutes remaining when Lucas Moura met Gareth Bale’s corner at the near post to head past Lukas Fabianski, but the visitors couldn’t muster a comeback as the Hammers claimed all three points.

The loss for Jose Mourinho’s side was their sixth in their last eight in all competitions as they dropped to ninth in the league.

Man of the Match: Jesse Lingard

Lingard scored the last goal in Mourinho’s reign at Man United, and he was the man who scored the vital goal to sink his side on Sunday Afternoon. The Manchester United loanee caused problems for Spurs all afternoon and got a well-deserved goal to guarantee his side the victory.

Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester City

Leicester City kept their name in the hat for the title challenge as the Foxes beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park.

A quickfire double from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes in the first-half put the vistors 2-0 up against a weakened Villa who were missing both Jack Grealish and Matty Cash through injury.

Bertrand Traore pulled a goal back for the hosts just after the break when he tapped John McGinn’s flick on past the onrushing Kasper Schmeichel, however Leicester held on for all three points as they stay on the tail of Man United.

European-chasing Villa will be disappointed they couldn’t take a point from their Midland rivals, however they still have two games in hand on fifth place Chelsea, who sit seven points ahead.

Man of the Match: Harvey Barnes

 A goal and assist for Barnes added to his impressive season tally, putting him at nine goals and four assists in the league this season. The 23-year-old is quickly establishing himself as one of the best wingers in the league, and surely has put himself in contention for England’s upcoming Euro 2021 squad.

Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City

League leaders Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the league to 10 points as they defeated Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

The Citizens were quick out of the blocks and wasted no time taking the lead. Riyad Mahrez’s brilliant cross was met by an unmarked Raheem Sterling inside the six-yard box, and the winger glanced past Bernd Leno to put City ahead after just 76 seconds.

Pep Guardiola’s side controlled the game from minute one to 90 and saw out the 1-0 lead in a professional manner as they rarely allowed Arsenal a sight on goal.

The victory for Man City increased their winning run to an impressive 13 on the bounce as they stretched their lead at the top, whilst the Gunners remained in 10th.

Man of the Match: Ruben Dias

The Portuguese defender has been a revelation since his arrival in Manchester, and he once again proved that he is currently the best defender in the league with another solid display.

Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United

Impressive displays from Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes helped Manchester United to a 3-1 win over struggling Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

Rashford opened the scoring when he drilled past Karl Darlow at his near post, but the lead lasted a mere six minutes when Allan Saint-Maximin smashed a loose ball in the United box into the roof of the net to draw his side level.

Rewarded with a start after an impressive display in the Europa League, Daniel James regained the lead for the hosts when the unmarked Welshman received the ball at the back post and smashed past Darlow.

Fernandes confirmed all three points for United when he converted from the penalty spot to make it 3-1. The Red Devils moved back to second whilst the Magpies now sit just three points clear of the relegation zone.

Man of the Match: Marcus Rashford

Out on his preferred left-hand side, Rashford had a field day against the Newcastle defence as the England International bagged his 18th goal in all competitions. He also won the penalty, which was eventually scored to seal all three points.

The Premier League action continues on Monday night as Brighton and Hove Albion host Crystal Palace, and Southampton travel to Leeds on Tuesday night in their rearranged fixture.

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