Premier League Results: Biggest Surprises from Saturday's Early EPL Matches

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: A dejected  James McCarthy of Everton looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Everton at St Mary's Stadium on April 26, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The Premier League season is close to concluded, but EPL squads are not slowing down near the finish line. 

Week 36 will derive most of its attention for Sunday's showdown between Chelsea and Liverpool. Chelsea can lessen the gap for first place to two points with a victory, while a victory would give the Reds ample breathing room atop of the EPL table.

Saturday's games, however, provided fans with more than enough excitement to pass the time. On top of the table, Everton squandered an opportunity for points in the ugliest way imaginable. 

Much lower in the standings, Fulham teased everyone for the majority of the match before fumbling a 2-0 lead down the stretch. Let's take a look at two bizarre results from Saturday's action.

EPL Week 36 Results - Saturday, April 26
TeamScoreTeam
Southampton2-0Everton
Fulham2-2Hull City
Tottenham1-0Stoke City
Swansea City4-1Aston Villa
West Bromwich1-0West Ham United
Manchester United4-0Norwich City
ESPN FC

 

Everton Gifts Southampton Two Own Goals

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  Adam Lallana of Southampton crosses the ball under pressure from John Stones of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Everton at St Mary's Stadium on April 26, 2014 in Southampton, Engla
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Southampton defeating Everton is hardly the shocker of the century. Nor should it be terribly stunning that a club allowing 1.25 goals per match blanked its opponent.

But, considering Everton ranks among the league's top defenses with exactly one goal surrendered per contest, it's a bit perplexing to see them yield two scores to the Saints.

While they technically scored two goals, Everton did all the work for their opponents. Two own goals, including one in the match's opening minute, caused the Blues a costly loss that dampens their chances of earning a top-four finish.

According to BT Sport Football's Twitter count, Everton owns a dubious EPL record with 43 own goals.

Everton stands one point behind Arsenal for fourth place, but the Gunners can expand the difference by defeating Newcastle on Monday. With only two more weeks remaining, an Arsenal victory would prove deadly to their chances.

Meanwhile, Southampton earned their first victory since March 29, which puts them comfortably in eighth place. They'll conclude their seasons with fixtures against Swansea City and Manchester United.

 

Fulham Falls Apart

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  Sasha Riether and Ashkan Dejagah of Fulham look dejected at the end of the match during the Barclays Premier League match bewteen Fulham and Hull City at Craven Cottage on April 26, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Christop
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

OK, the final result isn't the surprise. A 2-2 draw between Fulham and Hull City isn't too ground-breaking. But the way it happened was heart-breaking for the Lilywhites.  

In a battle of two squads looking to avoid relegation, Fulham jumped to a 2-0 lead with two goals early in the second half. The strikes from Ashkan Dejagah and Fernando Amorebieta, separated by only three minutes, looked to give them three points that would have allowed them to pass Norwich City for 17th place.

Instead, Nikica Jelavic notched a goal in the 75th minute and Shane Long evened the tally at the 87th minute to end the match in a draw. While they did not add to their league-worst 23 losses, relinquishing the two-goal advantage must hurt just as much.

ESPN's Paul Carr provided some numbers to show how much the blown lead hurts Fulham's chances of fending off relegation.

The pressure was on Fulham to escape with three points, but manager Felix Magath wishes there was more. On Friday, he told The Guardian's Jacob Steinberg that his club has less vocal supporters to motivate them.

Here in London you have too many big teams so the pressure does not come from outside. The atmosphere here is more relaxed than Sunderland so I have to do more to make the players sensitive to the situation. I have to do that for the whole week with the players and I'm sure we will have the right attitude for the game.

Fulham's final two matches against Stoke City and Crystal Palace will determine their fate. Norwich City, who holds a one-point edge, can further stunt Fulham's odds if they somehow stun Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.