Arsenal wins derby; Man U, Leicester strengthen top-4 bids
Even after coming from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1, Arsenal is in 10th place and 10 points from the top four. The more significant results on Sunday in the Champions League chase were victories for Manchester United and Leicester, which both pulled further clear. Leicester remains a point behind United after routing Sheffield United 5-0. DERBY JOYAlexandre Lacazette captained Arsenal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of the starting lineup following a breach of pre-match protocols. AdIHEANACHO HAT TRICKIt was a miserable start to life without Chris Wilder for last-place Sheffield United, although Leicester had to wait until six minutes before halftime to find a breakthrough.
Youngsters deliver for Arsenal as scrutiny shifts to Lampard
Arteta had billed the coming week, starting with the visit of Chelsea, as a “crucial” period that would determine which direction Arsenal was heading this season. A first league victory in nearly two months was vital, therefore, to boost Arsenal players' fragile confidence — even if it only lifted them into 14th place. “It's something to build on.”It took 90 minutes for the scrutiny that was hovering over Arteta to drift toward his Chelsea counterpart, Frank Lampard. That's three losses in the last four league games for Chelsea, which has dropped to seventh place and whose identity — and best lineup — is increasingly hard to decipher. The result kept Leicester above United in the standings after they started the day in second and third place.
Man United revels in 6-2 win v Leeds, Vardy sinks Tottenham
Manchester United's Scott McTominay celebrates his side's second goal during an English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Leeds United at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday Dec. 20, 2020. (Michael Regan/Pool via AP)Manchester United waited 16 years to play old rivals Leeds in the English Premier League, and then made them look distinctly second-class. The easy win put United ahead of Tottenham, which swept United aside 6-1 in October but is now mired in problems of its own. HIT FOR SIXScott McTominay looked like one of the Premier League's top scorers as Man United swept into an early lead over Leeds. Up against the all-action style of Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer credited his team with beating Leeds at its own game.
Spurs beat Arsenal to stay top, fans return to Anfield
Liverpool fans applaud during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)LONDON – Fans of Premier League title challengers Liverpool and Tottenham had waited since March to watch their teams win from the stands. Spurs supporters — a maximum of 2,000 under coronavirus restrictions, and no away fans — were treated to a 2-0 win over fierce north London rival Arsenal. It was the first Tottenham home game since fans were allowed back in stadiums in England. Liverpool responded with a 4-0 win over Wolverhampton to stay level with league leader Tottenham on points.
Leicester ends on top after weekend of changing EPL leaders
Leicester's Jamie Vardy scores his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, Pool)MANCHESTER – With a trio of unfamiliar leaders, what lightheartedly became “Stop The Count” weekend in the Premier League ended with Leicester on top. By early Sunday afternoon, Tottenham had dislodged Southampton after Harry Kane's late goal clinched a 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion. Leicester rose into first place with a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton secured by Jamie Vardy's penalty. And the improbable 2016 Premier League title winners retained the lead heading into the two-week international break thanks to champion Liverpool being held 1-1 by Manchester City.
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.
Handball rule draws widespread ire in penalty-dominated EPL
Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho gestures during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham and Newcastle at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Almost inevitably, a penalty was awarded after the referee took the opportunity to view the incident on the pitchside monitor. The Premier League has fallen in line with the rest of European soccer this season and applied the ruling in a stricter way rather simply than judging it on intent. Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said the newly adopted rule was “killing the game” after his team lost 2-1 by conceding a handball penalty for the winning goal. Mourinho chose not to criticize the rule for fear of collecting a fine from the Football Association, but his Newcastle counterpart had his say.
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.
Longest season ends, pandemic issues linger for the EPL
It was a test of resolve for new Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, but Project Restart was accomplished. No team suffered more after the restart in June than the 2016 champion, blowing an eight-point cushion in the Champions League places. The capitulation was completed by Sundays 2-0 loss to Manchester United, which took the last Champions League place off Brendan Rodgers' lineup. Like Chelsea, Arsenal turned to a former midfielder this season to take charge. But there wont be a fifth consecutive season in the Champions League for the 2019 beaten finalist.
United, Chelsea into CL; Bournemouth, Watford down from EPL
(Oli Scarff/Pool via AP)Manchester United and Chelsea qualified for the Champions League at the expense of Leicester on a frantic final day of the Premier League season on Sunday, while Bournemouth and Watford were relegated to end five-year stays in the top flight. United won 2-0 at Leicester through goals by Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team a third-place finish. Captain Jack Grealish scored Villa's goal in what could be his last game for his boyhood club. Bournemouth did what it had to do and beat Everton, 3-1, but ended up one point behind Villa. Also, Southampton beat Sheffield United 3-1, with Danny Ings scoring his 22nd goal of the season.
Premier League reaches climax with plenty still at stake
Manchester United's Paul Pogba runs during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and West Ham at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Intriguingly, two of them face off on the final day, with Leicester hosting United at King Power Stadium. Chelsea is guaranteed a return to the Champions League with a win or a draw. One of Chelsea, Leicester and United is sure to take one of the spots while the other will go to Wolves or Tottenham. FAREWELLSDavid Silva will play his final Premier League game for Man City before he leaves the club after 10 years.
Leicester jeopardizes Champions League hopes with collapse
A 4-1 capitulation at relegation-threatened Bournemouth on Sunday summed up Leicester's form since the Premier League returned from its three-month coronavirus-enforced shutdown. I would say a big apology to the supporters because that was unacceptable for a Leicester team," Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. Fifth could, however, clinch England's fourth and final Champions League place if second-place Manchester City's Champions League ban for next season is confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday. Arsenal and Tottenham, though, are realistically in a scrap for a Europa League place. Palaces run of five straight Premier League defeats is now manager Roy Hodgsons equal worst sequence in the competition.
Youngsters justifying the faith of top Premier League teams
Manchester United's Mason Greenwood celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Bournemouth at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, July 4, 2020. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)Some of the top Premier League teams are putting their faith in youth in the high-stakes finale to the longest-ever soccer season in England. Jamie Vardy passed the 100-goal mark in Premier League goals by netting twice as Leicester beat Crystal Palace 3-0 for its first win since the restart. With five more rounds left, Leicester stayed a point clear of Chelsea and three points ahead of fifth-place Manchester United. Finishing in sixth will earn the team a berth in the Europa League next season, as may seventh.