Everton and Nottingham Forest big winners on day of goal-rich relegation matches
The Premier League saw four relegation candidates in action with Nottingham Forest and Everton the big winners. For Southampton, relegation seems inevitable, the team is eight points behind the safe seventeenth place with three games to go.
A total of 21 goals fell in the three Premier League matches on Monday.
Everton managed a surprising win at Brighton (5-1), while Nottingham Forest won the relegation cracker against Southampton (4-3). Prior to the match, Forest were penultimate with 30 points, Southampton were bottom with 24 points. Leicester City lost 5-3 on a visit to Fulham, leaving them in a relegation spot.
Forest against Southampton
At Nottingham against Southampton, there was a starring role for former NEC striker Taiwo Awoniyi. He was at the end of a fine attack and made it 1-0 after 18 minutes. Less than three minutes later, the Nigerian also made it 2-0. He rammed the ball hard against the ropes after fumbling in the Southampton defense.
Southampton came back quickly, after 25 minutes Carlos Alcaraz was at the end of a quick breakaway: 2-1. On the stroke of half-time referee Michael Oliver gave a penalty to Forest, which was scored by Morgan Gibbs-White: 3-1. He shot the ball in through the middle.
After halftime, Southampton did something back again through Brazilian Lyanco. He headed the ball hard into the ropes. Southampton went hunting for the equalizer, but got the 4-2 around the ears. Danilo rounded off a fine attack 15 minutes before time, Gibbs-White laid the ball ready with a heel.
With that goal, it wasn’t done yet. After a goal by the home team was disallowed by VAR, Southampton got another penalty in the 95th minute.
James Ward-Prowse scored the penalty, providing a glimmer of hope. In the minutes that followed, and there were quite a few, it was blood-curdlingly exciting. But after more than 100 minutes of soccer, Oliver whistled off.
Everton thus won 5-1 at Brighton & Hove Albion, who have lost precious points in the battle for European soccer.
Joël Veltman was missing from Brighton, the Dutchman is injured. Brighton is currently seventh. That position would entitle them to participation in the preliminary rounds of the Conference League at the end of the season.
For Everton, the victory means that the Liverpool team is no longer in a relegation spot for the time being. Prior to the match, that was still the case.
Just last Thursday Brighton had won against Manchester United, but this time Everton cut through Brighton’s defense quite easily in the first half.
Abdoulaye Doucouré was the big man for the Liverpool blues with two goals before halftime. After an own goal by goalkeeper Jason Steele, who unluckily boxed a cross into his own goal, both teams went into halftime with a 3-0 score.
Fine hits from McNeil
In the second half, Brighton, which made four changes midway through, came out better. Yet it was Everton that scored. Fifteen minutes before time, Dwight McNeil, who tricked goalkeeper Steele with a fine foot movement, made the fourth for the guests.
For some of the home crowd, that goal was the reason to return home. The early departures did miss the 1-4 from Argentine Alexis Mac Allister. Well into injury time, McNeil also made it 1-5, this time with a rock-hard poke into the crossbar.
Fulham had already beaten Leicester City in Monday afternoon’s Premier League match. In a goal-rich game at Craven Cottage, base player Kenny Tete’s team won 5-3.
Although the final score suggested Leicester could keep up nicely, the game was already decided five minutes after halftime. The home team then made it 4-0. Tom Cairney and Willian both scored twice for Fulham, former PSV player Carlos Vinicius also scored.
That Leicester scored three more goals after that made the score slightly more bearable for Leicester, but no more than that. Leicester dropped to spot 18 in the league table due to this defeat and Everton’s win. A spot that means relegation at the end.