- Everton 2-1 Leicester
- Arsenal 4-0 Norwich
- Bournemouth 1-4 Newcastle
- West Ham 3-2 Chelsea
West Ham boost survival hopes
West Ham’s forgotten man Andriy Yarmolenko boosted their survival hopes as he climbed off the bench to secure a last-gasp 3-2 win for the Hammers and dent Chelsea’s bid for Champions League qualification.
The Ukrainian, who has spent most of the season missing through injury, stunned Chelsea with a minute remaining to lift West Ham three points clear of the relegation zone.
In a dramatic evening at the London Stadium Willian, who had given Chelsea the lead with a first-half penalty, pegged West Ham back to 2-2 with a spectacular free-kick.
The Hammers, spurred on by a sense of injustice at having a goal harshly disallowed by VAR and conceding the penalty moments later, had hit back to lead through Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio, the two protagonists in the goal which was ruled out.
And Yarmolenko’s dramatic winner meant West Ham completed an unlikely double over the Blues this season, while Frank Lampard’s side missed the chance to climb to third.
The VAR controversy came in the 34th minute, when Czech midfielder Soucek bundled the ball home from a corner.
Stockley Park took almost four minutes to rule the goal out for another of those most marginal offside calls against Antonio, who was lying on the ground as Soucek lifted the ball over him.
The official explanation from the Professional Game Match Officials Board was that “Antonio was in an offside position and directly in the line of vision of Kepa Arrizabalaga”.
Boss David Moyes looked angry and he was ready to explode moments later when Issa Diop tripped Christian Pulisic in the area and Willian tucked away the penalty.
But Soucek, the unlucky scorer of an own goal against Spurs after VAR failed to spot a handball, finally saw things go his way in first-half stoppage time.
Chelsea clearly had not learned their lesson as, from another corner, Soucek met the ball on exactly the same spot, rising above Cesar Azpilicueta at the far post to head his first goal for West Ham.
The home players barely celebrated, probably expecting another VAR check, but West Ham really had scored their first goal of the resumption.
Six minutes after the interval they had their second. Antonio appealed for a penalty when Antonio Rudiger tugged him over, but when that was waved away he simply got up, burst forward and converted Jarrod Bowen’s cross.
Willian’s memorable leveller, a stunning dead-ball strike in off the far post, could have knocked the stuffing out of West Ham.
But the Hammers kept fighting and when Antonio fed Yarmolenko to fire home they had their first win of the restart and some much-needed daylight between them and the bottom three.
Leicester’s faltering form continues
Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson struck early on as Leicester’s grip on a Champions League place was loosened yet further with a 2-1 defeat at Everton.
Kelechi Iheanacho gave the Foxes hope of arresting their damaging recent slump with a bizarre goal at Goodison Park but Everton held on for three Premier League points.
Brendan Rodgers’ side, third going into the game, have now not won in three since the league resumed and a fine season is in danger of fizzling out as the chasing pack close in.
They paid the price for a dreadful start as they were repeatedly caught by Everton breaks. James Maddison, only fit enough to start on the the bench after his recent hip injury, sparked a revival after the break but the visitors could not make all their late pressure count.
Everton took a firm grip on the game after just 10 minutes. Impressive teenager Anthony Gordon raced onto a header from Lucas Digne down the left and squared the ball for the onrushing Richarlison. The Brazilian made no mistake with a fierce shot from six yards that flew past Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester almost found an instant reply when a Dennis Praet pass took an awkward deflection and worried Jordan Pickford but it rolled wide.
Everton doubled their lead with just 16 minutes gone when VAR awarded them a penalty. Digne swung the ball into the box and it appeared to strike the arm of Wilfred Ndidi as he got ahead of Michael Keane.
There was a lengthy stoppage as replays were studied numerous times but the decision finally went in Everton’s favour and Sigurdsson stroked home calmly from the spot.
Things might have got worse for Leicester but Çaglar Soyuncu did well to get back and deny Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Justin also broke up another attack following an Alex Iwobi charge.
It was not until towards the end of the opening half that Leicester began to look comfortable but Pickford reacted quickly to deny Jonny Evans from close range after a Youri Tielemans effort was blocked.
Digne forced Schmeichel into a save with a deflected shot early in the second half but Leicester got themselves back into the game moments later.
Substitute Iheanacho got lucky but was rewarded for his persistence as he chased a ball into the box and Mason Holgate’s attempted clearance struck him on the head and went in.
With Maddison also off the bench and pulling the strings, Leicester turned up the pressure.
They were inches away from an equaliser when Pickford mishandled a cross in the drizzle and it rebounded off Keane towards goal but the defender recovered to clear off the line.
Pickford then had another moment of alarm to let in Iheanacho but the Nigerian fired over before forcing a save with another chance and Ben Chilwell volleyed over.
Leicester continued to push but Everton resisted further damage.
Arsenal hammer struggling Norwich
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to goalscoring form as he was gifted a brace by a Norwich side seemingly certain for Premier League relegation.
The Gunners seem to have found their flow following a slow restart and ran out 4-0 winners on their first Emirates Stadium appearance in almost four months.
Norwich threatened at times, especially in the second half, but a porous defence remains their Achilles heel as Aubameyang was twice teed up by opposing players, either side of laying on Granit Xhaka’s first goal of the campaign.
There was even time for Cedric Soares, signed on loan from Southampton in January in a move made permanent last week, to mark his return from injury with a debut goal.
Aubameyang’s first goal, handed on a platter by Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul, saw him reach 50 Premier League strikes in just 79 appearances, the fastest Arsenal player to reach a half-century.
He had not scored in his last four league games, his worst barren spell for over five years, but his goals here mean Arsenal move up to seventh and ahead of north London rivals Tottenham.
After an even start it was unsurprisingly the hosts who had the first decent chance, Aubameyang seeing his low effort pushed clear by Krul.
Norwich’s first effort came from an unexpected source as centre-back Ben Godfrey, without a goal at this level, had Emiliano Martinez sprawling across his goal as a 30-yard strike fizzed wide.
Alexandre Lacazette then headed straight into the hands of Krul – but the Norwich stopper would soon be left red-faced.
Arsenal had opened the scoring at Southampton last weekend following a goalkeeping error and Krul mimicked Alex McCarthy here, dawdling in possession and striking his clearance straight at Aubameyang, who tucked home into an empty net.
Four minutes later and the game was taken away from Norwich, Kieran Tierney and Aubameyang combining before the latter fed Xhaka, who hit his first league goal in almost 14 months.
Norwich boss Daniel Farke reacted by making a trio of half-time changes and it was one of those, Adam Idah, who drew another smart stop out of Martinez soon after the restart.
Still chasing the game, the Norwich bench were left incensed as referee Peter Bankes and the video assistant referee decided that Sead Kolasinac had not fouled Todd Cantwell inside the box.
Farke’s men had looked sharper for most of the second half, until their defensive frailties were once again laid bare for all to see.
A Norwich throw-in inside their own half was sent towards substitute Josip Drmic, who opted to send the ball back into the Canaries’ penalty area and straight to Aubameyang – the Gabon striker more than happy to oblige in finishing for his second of the night.
The gloss was applied to this Arsenal display by debutant Soares, who needed just four minutes to mark his long-awaited bow with a goal as he struck from the edge of the box.
Struggling Bournemouth remain languishing in the Premier League relegation zone after a humiliating 4-1 home defeat to Newcastle extended their winless run to seven games.
First-half strikes from Dwight Gayle and Sean Longstaff put the mid-table Magpies on course for resounding success at the Vitality Stadium.
Substitutes Miguel Almiron and Valentino Lazaro completed the job as the Cherries capitulated to a club-record 19th defeat in a top-flight season.
Dan Gosling claimed an added-time consolation with the hosts’ first goal since football resumed following the coronavirus pandemic but, on this evidence, there is little to suggest they can extend their Premier League stay to a sixth season.
The south-coast club are running out of games in the battle to beat the drop and their next four fixtures are against Manchester United, Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester City.
Victory for Newcastle moves them on to 42 points, banishing any lingering concerns about their own top-flight survival as they returned to winning ways following Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester City.
Not even a shocking second-half miss from Isaac Hayden could dampen the delight of Magpies manager Steve Bruce, who has seen in his position become mired in uncertainty due to proposed takeover talks.
Eddie Howe’s hosts, without suspended top scorer Callum Wilson, struggled to create all evening.
They endured a nightmare start and contributed to their own downfall as they fell behind inside five minutes.
Cherries midfielder Jefferson Lerma was carelessly dispossessed on the edge of his own box by Longstaff and Gayle – who scored his first top-flight goal since May 2018 in last week’s draw with Aston Villa – was sent clear by Allan Saint-Maximin to clinically find the bottom left corner.
The early goal extended the Cherries’ wait for a clean sheet to 15 Premier League games, a club-record run which began after December’s 1-0 win at Chelsea.
Their porous defence was exposed for a second time with half an hour played.
Saint-Maximin was once again the provider, easily tricking his way past Adam Smith on the left and pulling the ball back for Longstaff to rifle his first league goal of the season into the roof of the net from 10 yards out.
Bournemouth failed to produce an attempt on target in the first half and were denied a flying start to the second half by an offside flag.
Joshua King, back from an ankle problem to soften the blow of Wilson’s absence, headed in after Dominic Solanke’s deflected strike came back off the left post but the effort was correctly ruled out.
The incident offered hope for the hosts, however the wind was swiftly taken out of their sails.
Substitute Almiron, who came on when Longstaff limped off injured shortly after scoring, collected Saint-Maximin’s pass and worked space on the edge of the box before stylishly finding the top left corner with a delightful curling effort.
Bournemouth almost reduced the deficit with an hour played but David Brooks, on the two-year anniversary of his arrival from Sheffield United, was denied by the crossbar.
Lazaro coolly converted in the 77th minute after being played through by Shelvey, before Hayden blazed over a gaping goal after Lazaro’s initial effort rebounded off the bar.
Newcastle’s trip to Dorset was marred slightly deep into added time when former Magpies midfielder Gosling bundled home from close range but the positives far outweighed the negatives as they recorded consecutive away league games for the first time since January 2018.