HomeSportsFootballPremier League: Newcastle United maintain top-four push, Frank Lampard's Chelsea return falls...

Premier League: Newcastle United maintain top-four push, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea return falls flat

Newcastle United edged closer to a return to the Champions League and Manchester United maintained their top-four pursuit with Premier League wins on Saturday while at the bottom there were vital victories for Bournemouth and West Ham United. Frank Lampard’s comeback as Chelsea’s caretaker manager fell flat, however, as the Londoners went down 1-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers whose survival hopes also got a huge boost. Leicester City’s plight worsened as the 2015-16 Premier League champions suffered a seventh defeat in eight league games as they lost 1-0 at home to Bournemouth to stay 19th.

Newcastle United’s Alexander Isak celebrates scoring their second goal.(Action Images via Reuters)

Newcastle suffered a big scare in south west London as they were off the pace at Brentford, who were given a thoroughly-deserved halftime lead by Ivan Toney’s penalty after he had missed one earlier in the game. But Eddie Howe’s side hit back after the interval with Joelinton’s attempted cross going in off goalkeeper David Raya’s foot before Swedish striker Alexander Isak, who had conceded the penalty which Tony converted, finished emphatically.

Also Read | Bayern Munich forward Choupo-Moting a doubt for Manchester City game

Newcastle’s fifth consecutive win moved them up to 56 points from 29 games — the same as Manchester United who beat Everton 2-0 in Saturday’s early kickoff. “We suffered in the first half. But second half, what a response from a group of players that have played three games in six days. They were asked to dig really deep for the result but responded really well,” Howe, who is closer to taking Newcastle into the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, said.

Manchester United had gone third after goals by Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial secured the points against Everton earlier in the day. McTominay struck in the 36th minute from Jadon Sancho’s pass and Marcus Rashford, on his 350th appearance for United in all competitions, set up substitute Martial in the 71st minute, although the England striker limped off with a groin injury.

Better news for United was the return of fit-again midfielder Christian Eriksen who came on after 77 minutes for his first appearance since Jan. 28. Everton ended the day fourth from bottom 27 points, ahead of free-falling Nottingham Forest on goal difference. Tottenham’s Son Heung-min scored his 100th Premier League goal with a sublime 10th-minute curler — the first Asian player to reach that milestone. Lewis Dunk levelled for Brighton who also had two goals disallowed and were the better team but Harry Kane’s deflected strike in the 79th minute sealed victory for Tottenham who are fifth with 53 points having played a game more than both Newcastle and Manchester United.

Arguably the game’s biggest talking point was red cards for Tottenham’s stand-in manager Cristian Stellini and Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi after a furious clash in the second half. Aston Villa’s rise continued as they moved above Brighton into sixth place thanks to a 2-0 win over a Nottingham Forest side who are now without a win in nine games. Bertrand Traore and Ollie Watkins earned Villa’s fourth successive victory.

West Ham bounced back from a 5-1 drubbing at home to Newcastle in midweek with a 1-0 victory at Fulham thanks to a 23rd-minute own goal by Harrison Reed. A dreadful error by England midfielder James Maddison condemned Leicester to a crushing defeat against Bournemouth which left them on 25 points and second from-from-bottom before last-placed Southampton took on Manchester City later. Maddison’s careless back pass played in Bournemouth’s Philip Billing and he exacted punishment with a cool finish which proved enough for the south coast club to climb to 15th.

Club record goalscorer Lampard’s return to Stamford Bridge in the wake of Graham Potter’s sacking had given Chelsea’s fans something to smile about in midweek but the same old problems persisted as they again misfired in front of goal. Matheus Nunes scored a 31st minute screamer at Molineux and Wolves held on to ease their relegation worries while Chelsea’s fourth league game without a win left them languishing in 11th place in the table.

“There has been a lot of change and that’s not an excuse but things need to improve and I think that performance summed it up,” Lampard, back for a second stint in charge after being sacked in January 2021, said. Leaders Arsenal travel to Liverpool on Sunday.

Stay Connected
Must Read
You might also like


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here