Man City moves closer to title; Chelsea held in top-4 bid
(Adam Davy/Pool via AP)LONDON – Manchester City only needs to win five of its remaining eight games to secure the Premier League trophy. Sergio Aguero then fired the ball into the corner of the goal for his first Premier League goal in 14 months. "We want to still fight for the position in Europe.”TUCHEL UNBEATENChelsea extended its unbeaten start under Thomas Tuchel to 10 Premier League games with the draw at Leeds. ZAHA STANCEWilfried Zaha became the first Premier League player not to take a knee before his Crystal Palace team beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0. Zaha had already indicated that he thought taking a knee has lost meaning after being brought in by the Premier League in June as an anti-racism message when football resumed.
More Liverpool misery: 1st home loss to Everton in 22 years
Everton's Richarlison, second left celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, England, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. The worst form for Liverpool at home in the league since 1923 after a fourth straight loss. Even worse for Liverpool was losing yet another center back option as Jordan Henderson was forced off injured in the first half. Pickford dived at the feet of striker Mohamed Salah as Liverpool turned up the pressure without really laying siege to the Everton goal. While Southampton ended a six-game losing run in the league, the point stopped Chelsea recording a sixth straight win in all competitions.
Chelsea beaten by Everton; Manchester derby stalemate
(Tim Keeton/Pool via AP)MANCHESTER – The People's Club welcomed back its fans and Chelsea felt the full force. It means third-place Chelsea can be overtaken — if Leicester beats Brighton on Sunday — and front-runners Tottenham and Liverpool can pull further away at the top of the Premier League. “The impact was really strong — we were really pleased," Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said. There was no atmosphere, no intensity and no goals as Manchester United and Manchester City drew 0-0 in the 183rd derby. The rivals are both unusually low in the Premier League, too.
Fans return to the EPL as Chelsea, Man U enjoy comeback wins
The fans — 2,000 from West Ham, 2,000 from Chelsea — had contrasting experiences on opposite sides of London. Chelsea’s players treated their select group of attending fans to a comeback of their own at Stamford Bridge. The match saw respective managers Frank Lampard, of Chelsea, and Marcelo Bielsa, of Leeds, meet for the first time in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Guardiola didn’t make a single substitution, at a time when he is pushing the Premier League to increase the number of replacements from three to five for player-welfare reasons. It’s now 11 goals in 11 games for the Everton striker after scoring the equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Burnley.
Everton loses last unbeaten record in unpredictable EPL
Everton was the last side to relinquish its undefeated record in this most unpredictable of seasons, though the 2-0 loss at Southampton didn’t knock Carlo Ancelotti’s side off the top of the standings on Sunday. Playmaker James Rodriguez was quiet and striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin failed to score in a league game for the first time this season. Aston Villa was the other unbeaten team coming into this round but was outclassed in a 3-0 defeat by Leeds on Friday. The win over Everton came on the one-year anniversary of Southampton's 9-0 loss to Leicester. By stooping to head home a cross from fellow substitute Cengiz Under following a rapid counter-attack in the 80th minute, Vardy scored his 11th Premier League goal against Arsenal.
Van Dijk injury causes concern for frustrated Liverpool
Early in what proved to be a painful Merseyside derby for Liverpool, Van Dijk was the subject of a reckless lunge by Jordan Pickford that saw the Everton goalkeeper clatter into the extended right leg of the Netherlands defender. Van Dijk roared in agony and, tellingly, stayed down. There was no official word from Liverpool on the potential length of his absence, but Van Dijk reportedly left hospital on crutches in the evening. Van Dijk might have been marking Keane and Calvert-Lewin for both of those Everton chances. For Southampton’s second goal, Kurt Zouma underhit a back pass before goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made two errors in a matter of seconds to allow Che Adams to score.
Man City slips further behind leader Everton with Leeds draw
Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola, left, talks with Leeds United's head coach Marcelo Bielsa at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Leeds United and Manchester City at Elland Road in Leeds, England, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. What to make of seeing his Manchester City side held 1-1 by Bielsa's Leeds on Saturday? While Leeds had seven shots on target, Raheem Sterling's 16th-minute strike low shot inside the far post was one of only two for City. We must do more and better.”Especially with City already eight points behind Everton, which is the early leader after beating Brighton 4-2 to make it four wins out of four. Fifth-place Leeds, which like Everton has played a game more than City, is still three points ahead of Guardiola's side.
Disjointed and overrun, Man Utd slumps to loss on EPL return
(Richard Heathcote/Pool via AP)Manchester United began its Premier League campaign with a performance as disjointed as its offseason. Maybe the 3-1 home loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday shouldn’t really have come as a surprise. After all, United only ended a pandemic-prolonged 2019-20 season 33 days ago with a demoralizing loss to Sevilla in the Europa League semifinals. “We knew Manchester United didn’t play last week and that we had the mental advantage,” Palace winger Andros Townsend said. On a day when 21 goals were scored in four games, there were also wins for Everton, Leeds and Arsenal.
Mourinho woe, Ancelotti joy: Everton opens with win at Spurs
“I didn’t like my team," the Tottenham manager said after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s second-half header gave Everton a 1-0 win in the Premier League on Sunday. For all that Everton was dynamic — with James Rodriguez and Allan controlling the midfield on their debuts — Tottenham was ineffective going forward. “The struggle started in the way we pressed — or the way we didn’t press," Mourinho said. But it was the perfect start for Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, who took charge midseason last year like Mourinho. “He defended well, attacked and ... he will run all day and looks to get in the box," Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said.
Liverpool held by Everton as delayed bid to seal EPL resumes
Everton fans are displayed on a large screen as the watch remotely the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)LIVERPOOL No win for Liverpool on the longest day of the year, and an even longer wait maybe to clinch the title. When you've been waiting 30 years and then had the coronation delayed by three months because of a pandemic patience is expected. The quietest of the 236 Merseyside derbies, with fans denied access to Goodison Park, produced no goals as Everton held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw on Sunday. The only football that fans could see at Goodison Park was a family kickabout against one of the stands before kickoff.