Sunday’s Premier League games had big implications on the title race and also the fight for the lucrative Champions League spots. Here is what happened on an eventful Sunday afternoon in the English top-flight:
Late penalty rescues Liverpool at Fulham
Liverpool recorded a 2-1 victory at struggling Fulham courtesy of a late James Milner penalty to move back to the top of the Premier League table.
The home side produced a resilient defensive display for the first 25 minutes. However, the Cottagers backline was breached on 26 minutes. In-form Sadio Mane played in Roberto Firmino who cut the ball back to the Senegalese forward, who fired home from around ten yards out.
Andy Robertson played a one-two with Adam Lallana before the full-back saw a powerful effort saved by home goalkeeper Sergio Rico. Liverpool also made a strong start to the second period, as Rico produced a superb save from a Virgil van Dijk after good play Fabinho.
Fulham then had their first effort on goal, as Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa saw a long-range volley saved well by Alisson. Mane came close to doubling his goal tally when his header at the near post hit the bar. The hosts equalised on 74 minutes. Van Dijk attempted to head the ball back to Alisson, only for former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel to latch only the header and fire into an empty net. However, the visitors regained the lead with just nine minutes left on the clock.
Rico spilt a Mohamed Salah shot and the Spanish goalkeeper then fouled Mane to concede a spot-kick. The experienced James Milner kept his cool to fire the resulting penalty kick past Rico. Liverpool had further opportunities, as Salah saw an effort saved by Rico when one-on-one with the Spaniard. Georginio Wijnaldum also flashed wide. However, in the end, the two goals were enough to send the Merseysider’s two points clear at the top of the table.
Everton stun Chelsea with second-half display
Chelsea suffered a 2-0 defeat at Everton in a result that will dent the Blues chances of finishing in the Premier League top-four this season.
It was difficult to see anything other than an away win in a first half dominated by the visitors, against the lacklustre home side. Eden Hazard looked especially lively, as Belgian forced Jordan Pickford into a save low at his near post. He then saw a deflected shot cannon back off the post.
Jorginho put striker Gonzalo Higuain through on goal with a superb through ball. However, a combination of Pickford narrowing the angles and tackle from Yerry Mina stopped the Argentinian getting the connection needed to take the ball into the net with Michael Keane on hand to clear the effort near the goal line.
The home sides first attempt on goal arrived on 37 minutes, as striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed over from inside the area from a free-kick. Pedro then came close at the other end of the pitch dribbling past a number of Everton defenders before firing just wide from the edge of the area. The Spaniard also saw a goal disallowed for offside late in the first half.
Everton came strongly in the second period, with Andre Gomes forcing Kepa into a good save with a drive from the angle of the area. The resulting corner saw the Toffees take the lead though.
Kepa could only parry Calvert-Lewin’s header and Brazilian international Richarlison was on hand to score from close-range to send Goodison crazy. Chelsea searched desperately for an equaliser, as Marcos Alonso hit the side-netting with a low effort, while Higuain drew another fine save from Pickford. The home side doubled their lead with 18 minutes left on the clock. Alonso stuck out a foot and brought Richarlison down in the penalty area. Kepa saved the initial penalty kick from Gylfi Sigurdsson, only for the Icelandic star to tap home from the rebound.
The win moves Everton up to 11th place in the table. Chelsea remain sixth-place, three points behind fourth-place Arsenal in the race for the Champions League spots. The Blues are now underdogs to seal a top-four spot this season.
Who recorded the win of the day in the Premier League on Sunday?