EPL Matchday 36 of 38; West Ham’s Top 4 hopes blow, Alisson goal saves Reds & Jebbison’s record breaking strike

Premier League football match Reports

EPL Matchday 36 of 38

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 West Ham United 1 – Amex stadium – Saturday, 15 May 2021

Danny Welbeck (84m), Said Benrahma (87m)

West Ham’s Top Four hopes dealt a huge blow by lowly Brighton

Hopes of a Top Four entry by David Moyes’ Hammers were extinguished when they played out a 1-1 draw against bottom-half side Brighton & Hove at the Amex stadium on Saturday.

While the Hammers saw Declan Rice start for the first time since 21 March, they just couldn’t capitalize on a Brighton side handicapped by the absence of the suspended Lewis Dunk and Neal Maupay.

Craig Dawson and Tomas Soucek were both wasteful as they headed early chances wide. Graham Potter’s Brighton were content passing out from the back but failed to create anything of substance in the final third.

The Seagulls’ first shot on target came in the 53rd minute off a Steven Alzate effort from an inconvenient position when actually he should have allowed a better-placed Danny Welbeck to score. Welbeck eventually found one when he fired the Seagulls to what seemed like a winner in the 83rd minute as he raced clear and lifted the ball beyond West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh could have broken the deadlock before that when he went dangerously close for the hosts, but the Iranian arrowed his effort to go wide of the left post with Fabianski stranded off his line.

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The Hammers somehow salvaged a point 159 seconds from the Welbeck goal when  Benrahma picked up a loose ball and curled it past Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez. West Ham are now on the seventh spot after Saturday’s drawn game and are 5 points adrift of 4th placed Chelsea with only 2 fixtures in hand.

As for Moyes, who felt his top-four aspirations had already receded before the Brighton game, the Hammers coach is now hoping his side can rouse themselves to earn a place in the Europa League.

Brighton’s position on the table remained unchanged at 17th with 38 points earned.

Other results from Saturday, 15 May 2021

  • Southampton 3, Fulham 1
  • Crystal Palace 3, Aston Villa 2

West Bromwich Albion 1 Liverpool 2 – The Hawthorns – Sunday 16 May 2021.

H Robson-Kanu (15m) / M. Salah (33m), Alisson Becker (90+5m)

Last-gasp Alisson stunner keeps Liverpool Top Four hopes alive

An incredible injury time winner from goalkeeper Alisson kept Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League alive as Jurgen Klopp’s Reds managed to eke out a 2-1 win away at the Hawthorns on Sunday evening.

Things got off terribly for the visitors when West Brom striker Hal Robson-Kanu ran on to a fine midfield pass from Matheus Pereira and finished clinically to give the Baggies the lead in early as the 15th minute.

Liverpool expectedly responded strongly, creating a series of chances. Sadio Mane, starting in place of the injured Diogo Jota, shot wide; Rhys Williams saw his effort blocked and Mohammad Salah fired straight to goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

The Reds’ efforts were finally rewarded when Mane poked the ball from the edge of the area to Salah who unleashed a superb low, left-footed shot into the far corner to draw level on 33 minutes.

The Egyptian took his tally of Premier League goals this season to 22 bringing him on level with Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.

The Reds had the opportunity to make it 2-1 in the 35th minute when Roberto Firmino shot against the bar from a deflected Mane backheel inside the box. Robson-Kanu threatened to double his tally from one of the Baggies’ quick counter-attacks but Trent Alexander-Arnold got back well in time to avert the danger.

Chances continued to come at either end as Nathaniel Phillips tracked back superbly to take the sting out of Pereira’s effort on the break. Alexander-Arnold then drove down the flank at speed and delivered a ball to Salah but the Egyptian shot straight at Johnstone.

Firmino and Thiago Alcantara were narrowly off target while Alisson denied Robson-Kanu from a one-on-one. Thiago and substitute Gini Wijnaldum went close to scoring but the match seemed to be heading to a 1-1 draw.

With three points for Liverpool a must and just seconds left to go, Alisson came up for a corner. The Brazilian rose to glance Trent Alexander-Arnold’s delivery into the far corner of the net to send the away side into raptures.

Alisson’s effort was an example of extraordinary timing and the first occasion in which a goalkeeper has scored a competitive goal for Liverpool in their entire history, dating back to 1892.

Liverpool have fixtures against Burnley and Crystal Palace left, both of which are “must-win” cases if they are to finish in the Top four. Sam Allardyce’s West Brom at 19th with 26 points are destined for relegation.

Everton 0 Sheffield United 1 – Goodison Park – Sunday 16 May 2021.

Daniel Jebbison (7m)

Teenager Jebbison’s strike put Everton’s European hopes in peril

Everton saw their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League hang by a thread after 17-year-old Daniel Jebbison’s early strike sealed a 1-0 win for relegation candidate Sheffield United at Goodison Park on Sunday night.

The Canadian-born forward became the competition’s youngest goalscorer when he ghosted in behind Everton centre-back Ben Godfrey to turn Jack Robinson’s cross into an empty rival net with just 7 minutes of play gone.

The Blades’ early lead was nearly cancelled out when Allan curled a shot through bodies towards the far corner but an unsighted Aaron Ramsdale managed to pull off an excellent reflex save.

The hosts could have been very well two down before the interval when a callous back-pass from Mason Holgate gifted Jebbison a golden opportunity to double his tally, but the teenager’s attempted lob was well met by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford.

Everton stepped up the pressure with half-time approaching as Chris Basham deflected a James Rodriguez effort over the bar and Ramsdale brilliantly kept out a Richarlison header before preventing Dominic Calvert-Lewin from converting the rebound at point-blank range with a stunning double save.

Sheffield started well post the interval when John Fleck had a powerful drive punched away by Pickford.

The Blades were equally adept in defense when John Egan denied a goalbound Calvert-Lewin with a brilliant sliding tackle early in the second period. Sheffield’s David McGoldrick came closest to scoring in the second-half even as the Toffees ran out of ideas and initiatives to find a goal.

For Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton, their miserable home run continued with the ninth Premier League defeat at Goodison Park this season and their task of remaining in the Top eight will be made even harder when they face the Wolves at the venue and follow that up with a trip to Etihad to play champions Manchester City.

Results from other games on Sunday 16 May 2021.

  • Tottenham Hotspur 2, Wolverhampton 0

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