Ross Barkley crept up the Premier League's top scorers standings as he fired home a late brace as Everton dispatched Newcastle United 3-0 at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
The Englishman pulled level with Diego Costa on eight goals, with the Spaniard left frustrated by Chelsea's 0-0 draw away at Watford.
Read on for a closer look at how the two got on. But first, here are all the results from Week 24 of the Premier League, along with the final standings after those results and how the race for the Golden Boot is shaping up:
|Norwich City||0-3||Tottenham Hotspur|
|West Ham United||2-0||Aston Villa|
|Manchester United||3-0||Stoke City|
|West Bromwich Albion||1-1||Swansea City|
|6||West Ham United||24||10||9||5||38||28||10||39|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||24||7||8||9||23||31||-8||29|
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||18|
|Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||15|
|Riyad Mahrez||Leicester City||13|
|Sergio Aguero||Manchester City||13|
|Georginio Wijnaldum||Newcastle United||9|
The midfielder should have had his first—and Everton's second—shortly before half-time when a poor attempted clearance by Rob Elliot fell at his feet, but he couldn't capitalise.
Barkley continued to toil away in the second half, with football journalist Chris Waugh noting the ease through which he was allowed to cut through the hapless Magpies:
The 22-year-old soon came close to scoring, per Scott Wilson of the Northern Echo:
Brilliant save from Elliot. Great shot from Barkley from 25 yards, superbly tipped onto the crossbar. #NUFC 1-0— Scott Wilson (@Scottwilsonecho) February 3, 2016
With two minutes of normal time remaining, Rolando Aarons felled opening goalscorer Aaron Lennon, and Barkley duly stepped up to dispatch the penalty.
In the 94th minute, Jamaal Lascelles saw red for a bad foul on Barkley, and the England international coolly dinked in a panenka from the spot.
Squawka Football highlighted his impressive form:
Ross Barkley has now scored or assisted 15 goals in 24 Premier League games this season - 8 goals and 7 assists. pic.twitter.com/eLz5QgtXTs— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 3, 2016
The Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman believes the youngster will attract plenty of attention in the transfer market this summer:
Third successive game at Goodison I have seen Barkley play exceptionally well. Phones will ring at Everton this summer. #EFC— Ian Ladyman (@Ian_Ladyman_DM) February 3, 2016
Though he's not likely to challenge for the golden boot, Barkley has been outstanding this season. He has an exciting future ahead of him, and a place in Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2016 surely beckons.
It was yet another fruitless night in front of goal for Costa, who had been enjoying a revival of form under interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink.
Per PA Sport's Matt McGeehan, the 27-year-old was perhaps fortunate to escape a booking just 10 minutes into the match:
Diego Costa pushed Craig Cathcart over off the ball. Mike Dean has a quiet word with the Chelsea striker— Matt McGeehan (@mattmcgeehan) February 3, 2016
As McGeehan further revealed, not being sanctioned early on allowed him to remain on the pitch when, shortly before the break, he clashed with Juan Carlos Paredes:
Costa goes down off the ball in close proximity to Paredes and lets out an almighty roar. Goes for retribution— Matt McGeehan (@mattmcgeehan) February 3, 2016
Costa and Paredes still squabbling. Costa booked. Paredes booked too— Matt McGeehan (@mattmcgeehan) February 3, 2016
Perhaps frustrated at the lack of service, Costa found himself drifting out of position to get involved in the play—but as football journalist Dan Levene noted, he did little to help himself in doing so:
Costa playing mostly wide left. Keeps taking the ball down that channel, only to find there's no *him* in the middle.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) February 3, 2016
Costa shepherds out for throw-in. Hastily takes it himself, to start attack: which Chelsea can't use, as their striker is taking a throw in.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) February 3, 2016
The only clear-cut chance to fall to the Spaniard came late on when Willian picked him out with a delightful cross, but Heurelho Gomes—who put in a man-of-the-match-winning performance—made a wonderful save to keep out his powerful header.
As Wednesday's result showed, both Costa and Chelsea still have some way to go in order to return to their best.
Despite a mixed performance, the striker could easily have got on the scoresheet if not for Gomes' excellent save, though, so he was still at least somewhat more effective than he was under Jose Mourinho for much of the season.