🦁 Villa pile pressure on Potter; Arsenal restore PL lead; City enjoy rout | OneFootball

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OneFootball·1 April 2023

🦁 Villa pile pressure on Potter; Arsenal restore PL lead; City enjoy rout

Article image:🦁 Villa pile pressure on Potter; Arsenal restore PL lead; City enjoy rout

It was a lively Saturday in the Premier League with seven action-packed fixtures.

Here’s what went down.

Potter left feeling the heat as Villa win

Scorers: Watkins 18′, McGinn 55′

Graham Potter faced fresh scrutiny after Aston Villa soundly beat Chelsea in Saturday’s late game.

First, Ollie Watkins hit a looping finish over the advancing Kepa Arrizabalaga after careless defending by Marc Cucurella in the 18th minute at Stamford Bridge.

Potter’s side attempted to stage a fightback as Ben Chilwell hit the woodwork before Kai Havertz saw his own attempt saved by Emiliano Martínez.

However the Villains doubled their lead just 10 minutes into the second half when Jacob Ramsay teed up John McGinn for a superb 25-yard strike.

N’Golo Kanté almost capped off a first Chelsea outing since August with a reducer but dragged his shot wide of Martínez’s right-hand post.

The visitors continued to make inroads on Kepa’s goals as Leon Bailey flashed an ambitious long-range effort narrowly off target.

Boos rang out at the final whistle as the west Londoners slipped down to 11th place in the table.

Arsenal restore eight-point cushion

Scorers: Jesus (PEN) 35′, 55′, White 47′, Kristensen 76′, Xhaka 85′

Gabriel Jesus’s first goals since October helped restore Arsenal’s eight-point lead in the Premier League title race in a 4-1 win over Leeds.

Illness forced Bukayo Saka to drop to the substitutes’ bench in favour of the Brazilian, making his first start since the World Cup break.

Rasmus Kristensen tried to catch out Aaron Ramsdale from the kick-off as the England goalkeeper was called into action after just seven seconds.

Despite weathering that early storm, the Gunners struggled to build momentum against their visitors in the opening stages.

Ramsdale was again tested as he had to turn away Jack Harrison’s effort after he was set away by Crysencio Summerville on the overlap.

But Mikel Arteta’s side were handed a lifeline as Luke Ayling conceded a penalty with a flying challenge on Jesus, who duly converted from the spot.

Ayling somewhat redeemed himself later in the first half by producing a goal-line clearance from Gabriel Martinelli’s ambitious attempt after Illan Meslier had come off his line.

Martinelli played an integral role in the champions-elect doubling their advantage as his left-sided cross to the far post was bundled home by defender Ben White.

Jesus doubled his tally from a well-worked team move which culminated in Leandro Trossard teeing him up for a tidy finish with a cutback.

Meslier had to produce a point-blank stop to stop Martinelli from extending Arsenal’s lead after Trossard sent in another delivery.

Leeds notched a late consolation as Kristensen drilled a first-time effort from the edge of the area to leave the Emirates Stadium crowd feeling slightly nervous.

But those doubts were emphatically quashed in the final minutes as Granit Xhaka headed home his side’s fourth of the afternoon from Martin Ødegaard’s cross.

Honours even in Midlands’ survival six-pointer

Scorers: Johnson 37′, Podence 83′

Nottingham Forest and Wolves played out a Midlands derby with a difference as honours ended even in their survival six-pointer.

Steve Cooper’s side began promisingly as Morgan Gibbs-White set Brennan Johnson away for an individual attempt which José Sá tipped behind.

Johnson put Forest ahead with a rolled finish from Danilo’s lofted ball to the far right-hand side of the penalty area to beat Sá comfortably.

But Wolves snatched an equaliser through Daniel Podence, who fired from inside the area after Pedro Neto’s shot was rebounded into his path.

Palace give Hodgson a happy homecoming

Scorers: Pereira 56′, Iversen (OG) 59′, Mateta 90+5′

Roy Hodgson’s second spell as Crystal Palace manager began in fine fashion as they downed Leicester City.

The 75-year-old’s new/old charges started promisingly, playing on the front foot against their relegation battle rivals.

But the Eagles’ best-laid plans unravelled late in the first half as Wilfried Zaha suffered a suspected thigh injury and left the pitch in tears.

Leicester broke the deadlock after the interval through Richardo Pereira’s powerful effort which Vicente Guaita failed to even touch.

Hodgson’s homecoming soon received a much-needed boost as Eberechi Eze’s free kick cannoned off the woodwork and Foxes goalkeeper Daniel Iversen on its way into the net.

In the fifth minute of second-half added time, Jean-Philippe Mateta snatched victory with a close-range finish.

Bournemouth heading out of relegation zone

Scorers: Pereira 16′, Tavernier 50′, Solanke 79′

Bournemouth’s bid to avoid relegation was given a much-needed boost as they snatched a 2-1 win over Fulham.

The league’s second-bottom team remained unchanged as Aleksandar Mitrović served the first of an initial three-match ban for the visitors.

Andreas Pereira ensured the suspended Serbian was not missed by wrong-footing Neto with a tidy finish from Harrison Reed’s lay-off.

But Marcus Tavernier pulled the Cherries level early in the second half with a stunning curling effort from outside the penalty area.

Gary O’Neil’s side took a surprise lead in the final 11 minutes as Dominic Solanke bundled the ball home from close range after Bernd Leno spilled Ryan Christie’s initial shot.

Brighton and Brentford serve up a classic

Scorers: Jansson 10′, Mitoma 21′, Toney 22′, Welbeck 28, Pinnock 48′, Mac Allister (PEN) 90′

Brighton and Brentford produced a thrilling six-goal contest with four of them arriving in 18 first-half minutes.

Pontus Jansson handed the visitors an upper hand against the run of play on 10 minutes as he powered home a header from Mathias Jensen’s cross.

Roberto De Zerbi’s side levelled through Kaoru Mitoma, who caught out David Raya with a lobbed effort after latching onto Jason Steele’s ball over the top.

Their lead lasted barely 60 seconds as Ivan Toney fired the Bees back in the lead with a right-footed shot on the counterattack.

The Seagulls were soon level when Danny Welbeck met Solly March’s delivery to the far post with a downward header.

Alexis Mac Allister threatened to put the hosts ahead for a first time with an effort which Raya could only parry before March later forced the Bees’ goalkeeper into another stop.

Yet Brentford retook the lead again early in the second half as Ethan Pinnock met Bryan Mbeumo’s well-worked free kick.

Raya proved to be the busier goalkeeper during the closing stages as he denied March, Mac Allister, Pascal Groß and Joël Veltman all in quick succession.

But the pulsating encounter would turn again in controversial circumstances when Brighton were awarded a late penalty for handball against Aaron Hickey.

Mac Allister dinked his effort into the top right-hand corner of Raya’s goal as his opposite number guessed wrongly.

City claim big comeback win over Liverpool

Scorers: Álvarez 27′, De Bruyne 46′, Gündoğan 53′, Grealish 74′; Salah 16′

Despite missing star striker Erling Haaland, Manchester City showed little signs of missing him as they hit four in a rampant come-from-behind win against Liverpool.

The visitors took the lead on 16 minutes against the run of play when Diogo Jota raced clear and flicked back for the onrushing Mo Salah to slam into the corner of the net, with the goal being allowed to stand following a very tight VAR check.

The lead lasted just 10 minutes before City pulled level when Jack Grealish came up big at both ends of the park, first tracking back to put in a superb last-ditch block to prevent Salah squaring for a tap-in before assisting himself at the other to roll across goal for Julián Álvarez to score from close range.

Within 50 second of the second half starting, City turned the game on its head when Álvarez picked out Mahrez with an excellent sweeping crossfield pass and he centred for Kevin De Bruyne to net from close range.

The pass saw Mahrez register his 56th Premier League assist – more than any other African player in the history of the competition.

It didn’t take long for City to add a third which arrived through Ilkay Gündoğan who pounced on a loose ball inside the area to net from close range after Trent Alexander-Arnold had blocked an effort from Álvarez.

Alisson was required on the hour mark to make a sprawling save from Grealish but he did get the goal he deserved on 74 minutes, sweeping into the corner after City again cut Liverpool open on the left.

The result sees City close the gap on Arsenal at the top of the table to five points.

Sunday’s fixtures

  • West Ham v Southampton
  • Newcastle v Manchester United