Premier League Results: Analysis for Everton vs. Arsenal and All the Matches
The race for the Champions League was the focal point of the Premier League weekend.
Arsenal travel to Everton on Sunday with the Gunners four points ahead of the Merseysiders. However, Roberto Martinez's team have a game in hand on the north London club as they chase down a top-four berth.
Manchester City played host to Southampton on Saturday, while Chelsea were at home to Stoke City in the late kick-off on the same day.
Liverpool takes on West Ham United at Upton Park on Sunday in the race for the title.
Manchester United were at Newcastle United on Saturday, and Tottenham Hotspur rounds off the EPL weekend with the visit of Sunderland on Monday night.
*All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com.
Everton 3-0 Arsenal
Arsenal’s title challenge was blown out of the water as Everton claimed a resounding 3-0 win at Goodison Park.
Goals from Steven Naismith, Romelu Lukaku and a Mikel Arteta own goal put the Toffees within one point of Arsenal in the battle for fourth, and Everton have a game in hand.
Everton had the greater zip from the off, and it came as no surprise when they took the lead on 14 minutes.
Slack defending allowed Lukaku a sight of goal. His shot was saved by Wojciech Szczesny, but Naismith was on hand to turn home the rebound.
The lead was doubled on 34 minutes, wit Lukaku cutting in from the right and flashing a shot beyond Szczesny.
Any hopes of an Everton revival were snuffed out on 62 minutes, as Kevin Mirallas won the ball in his own half, powered forward and fed a pass to Naismith.
Szczesny saved, but Mirallas pressured Arteta into turning the ball into his own net.
Shots on Target: 8-5
Passing Accuracy: 83%-89%
West Ham United 1-2 Liverpool
Steven Gerrard scored twice from the penalty spot as Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at West Ham United on Sunday at Upton Park.
Liverpool were not at their breathtaking best but went ahead in the 44th minute through Gerrard's first penalty. The Hammers equalised moments later via Guy Demel's controversial tap-in, but the Reds won it with a contentious penalty of their own in the 71st minute.
Gerrard now has 173 career goals for Liverpool, passing Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool's sixth-leading goalscorer all-time perLFCHistory.net.
The victory took Liverpool onto 74 points with five matches remaining, two points above Chelsea, who had briefly taken over top spot with a victory over Stoke on Saturday. Third-placed Manchester City are four points behind Liverpool with two matches in hand.
Liverpool won a penalty shortly before half-time when James Tomkins conceded the spot-kick for a handball in the 43rd minute. Gerrard slotted in the penalty one minute later to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead, but it didn't last long as West Ham equalised moments later under controversial circumstances.
The controversy arose in the second minute of stoppage time, when Demel tapped into Liverpool's net from close range after Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet spilled a corner. The goal pulled West Ham level at 1-1, and Liverpool were incensed, appealing for a foul by Andy Carroll on Mignolet on the play.
Replays showed that Carroll had made contact with Mignolet's head and arm while the former briefly held the ball, but after consulting with his assistant—who had waved his flag for a foul—referee Anthony Taylor awarded the goal.
More controversy arose in the 70th minute as Liverpool won a second penalty. With Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan running onto the ball on the left side of the box, West Ham goalkeeper Adrian raced off his line before making contact with both the ball and Flanagan.
Taylor awarded a penalty despite arguments from Adrian, who was booked. Gerrard took the spot-kick again, this time driving a high shot past Adrian for a 2-1 for what turned out to be the winner.
On Target: 1-8
Manchester City 4-1 Southampton
Manchester City maintained the pressure on Chelsea and Liverpool with goals from Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic. Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez, meanwhile, suffered a potentially serious injury during the contest, putting his World Cup spot with England in doubt.
Toure opened the scoring from the spot in the second minute after Jose Fonte tripped Dzeko. Things only got worse for the Saints in the 23rd minute, as Rodriguez landed awkwardly and had to be carried from the field.
Rickie Lambert equalised with a penalty in the 36th minute after Pablo Zabaleta clipped Jack Cork, but two goals in first-half injury-time put an end to Southampton's hopes of a comeback.
In the 46th minute, Nasri finished a fine City move from the edge of the six-yard area, but David Silva was clearly offside from a Dzeko flick before his cross assisted the France international.
Dzeko got himself on the score sheet three minutes later when he headed home from an Aleksandar Kolarov cross.
Substitute Jovetic, who replaced Silva in the second period, was on hand to wrap up the win nine minutes from the end when he connected with an excellent Jesus Navas cross.
Speaking about the title race, City manager Manuel Pellegrini said every challenger is under pressure.
"Everyone knows that they must win — whether they know our result or not," Pellegrini told reporters after the match. "We just depend on ourselves until the end of the season — it’s important to continue playing the way we did in the second half because I thought it was a great performance."
On target: 8-1
Newcastle United 0-4 Manchester United
Juan Mata scored twice as Manchester United warmed up for their crucial Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich with a 4-0 win at Newcastle. Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januzaj added further goals in the second period to ensure the Red Devils' recent improvement continued.
Papiss Cisse went close for Newcastle in the 24th minute with an attempted bicycle kick, but Anders Lindegaard held easily.
At the other end, Magpies goalkeeper Rob Elliot charged off his line and almost misjudged the flight of the ball to allow Javier Hernandez in on goal. But Tim Krul's deputy recovered to eventually clear.
However, the Red Devils broke the deadlock six minutes before the break. Dan Gosling brought down Darren Fletcher on the edge of the area, and Mata stepped up to send the set piece beyond Elliot and into the top corner.
Mata added his second five minutes into the second period. Good play from Shinji Kagawa allowed Hernandez to find space behind the Newcastle defence before sliding the ball to the Spaniard, who slotted home.
Hernandez got on the score sheet in the 64th minute to seal the points for United when he latched on to Kagawa's cutback from the byline.
The Old Trafford side were in control of the game now, but Lindegaard still had to make an excellent point-blank save from Cisse in the 84th minute to maintain a clean sheet.
In the third minute of injury time, Januzaj finished off a one-two with Mata by slotting the ball under Elliot for United's fourth.
On the same day that Bayern saw their long-running unbeaten Bundesliga sequence ended by Augsburg, the win gave United additional hope for the trip to the Allianz Arena.
On target: 4-4
Aston Villa 1-2 Fulham
Hugo Rodallega’s late goal was the difference, as Fulham gave themselves a fighting chance of Premier League survival with a vital 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.
The game had been reduced to a number of long-range potshots at goal before sparking into life in the final half-hour, after Kieran Richardson gave bottom-of-the-table Fulham a crucial lead with a clinical finish from the edge of the box.
The Cottagers were only briefly within four points of safety, however, as nine minutes later, Grant Holt rose highest to power home Marc Albrighton’s cross.
That was not the end of the drama, though, as both sides had glorious chances to win the match. Matt Lowton made a remarkable goal-line clearance to deny Lewis Holtby, moments before David Stockdale parried away Aleksandar Tonev’s blistering strike.
It looked very much like the game was going to finish as a draw, hardly helping Fulham’s survival hopes, but that was before Rodallega intervened, heading home from the centre of the box after being picked out by Holtby’s cross.
With the win, Fulham move up to 18th, five points from safety, with Villa just two points better off.
On target: 6-8
Cardiff City 0-3 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace look to be on the verge of ensuring their Premier League survival following a 3-0 victory over Cardiff, whose plight now looks worse than ever.
Two goals either side of half-time from Jason Puncheon and one in between from former Cardiff academy product Joe Ledley were more than enough for the Eagles to claim all three points in the Welsh capital, as Tony Pulis’s side soaked up the pressure and hit their opponents on the counter.
Cardiff had enjoyed more of the pressure prior to Puncheon’s opener, the winger receiving the ball from Ledley and jinking into the box before beating David Marshall with a low drive.
Ex-Palace boy Wilfried Zaha and Kenwyne Jones then both had half-chances, as Cardiff fought for a way back into the match, but their hopes of a vitally important turnaround were dashed when Ledley turned home after Marouane Chamakh’s header had been knocked away.
Then, in the closing stages, Puncheon took the ball 25 yards out and curled a beautiful left-footed effort into the top corner, rubbing salt in the wounds for the departing home fans.
Palace are now seven points clear of the relegation zone after the win. Cardiff, in contrast, are six points adrift of safety with just five games remaining.
According to Opta, this was the first time Palace have scored three goals in a Premier League away game since 1997, against Sheffield Wednesday.
On target: 4-8
Hull City 1-0 Swansea City
George Boyd’s 39th-minute strike was the difference, as Hull City practically guaranteed their Premier League status for a second season following a 1-0 victory over Swansea City at the KC Stadium.
Boyd was in the right place at the right time to turn home Liam Rosenior’s cross, leaving Swansea still sweating about their league status with five games remaining.
Garry Monk’s side desperately tried to get back into the game but were generally restricted to shots from range, as Steve Harper was able to stand and watch as strikes from the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Wilfried Bony veered wide of goal.
Hull are now nine points clear of Fulham in 18th, with the Swans three points closer to the relegation zone.
On target: 4-2
Norwich City 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
Morgan Amalfitano scored the only goal of the game to ease the relegation fears for the Hawthorns club.
The win at Carrow Road moved Pepe Mel's team level on points with the Canaries and five clear of the drop zone, but Albion needed some great saves by goalkeeper Ben Foster to seal the three points.
Amalfitano was on hand to open the scoring in the 16th minute for the Baggies. Youssouf Mulumbu found his team-mate inside the Norwich area, and he struck the ball across John Ruddy to give Albion the lead.
Matej Vydra almost added a second on the half-hour mark, but fired straight at Ruddy.
At the other end, Foster produced a fine save to tip away Johan Elmander's diving header from a Gary Hooper flick.
Foster was again called on in the 59th minute when he tipped a tremendous Robert Snodgrass free-kick over the bar before Hooper struck the post with a rifled drive.
The Albion goalkeeper was having a busy period and was again required to deny Snodgrass from a free-kick on the hour mark.
On target: 4-5
Chelsea 3-0 Stoke City
Chelsea provisionally moved to the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 victory at home to Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.
Mohamed Salah put Chelsea ahead in the 32nd minute after the Blues created a number of early chances. Frank Lampard doubled the lead midway through the second half, converting the rebound after seeing his penalty saved. Willian sealed the points with a fine curling strike 18 minutes from time.
The victory took Chelsea onto 72 points, one ahead of Liverpool, who play at West Ham United on Sunday. Manchester City, one point further behind, have two matches in hand on Chelsea.
The breakthrough came in the 32nd minute after Nemanja Matic collected a throw-in on the left, drove to the byline and pulled back into the middle for Salah. With his first touch, Salah blasted the ball into the net off Asmir Begovic's outstretched leg to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead.
It was 2-0 in the 61st minute, as Lampard converted the rebound after seeing his initial penalty saved by Begovic. Salah won the penalty, drawing a foul from Andy Wilkinson.
Willian wrapped up the points 11 minutes later, curling in a fine shot from the edge of the box after Ryan Shawcross gave the Brazilian too much time and space with the ball at his feet.
On Target: 8-2