LONDON, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) — Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah scored two second half goals to give his side a 2-0 win over Everton in the Merseyside derby and to end 10-man Everton’s brave rearguard action.
Everton’s task at Anfield was made much harder when defender Ashley Young was sent off for two yellow cards, both for fouls on Liverpool winger Luis Diaz, in the 37th minute.
Everton defended well with 10 men and kept Liverpool at bay until the 75th minute when Salah opened his account from the penalty spot after a clear handball from Everton defender, Michael Keane.
The striker’s second goal came deep into injury time as he finished a counter-attack expertly launched by Darwin Nunez.
Arsenal came back from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw away to Chelsea in what was certainly a ‘game of two halves.’
Cole Palmer put Chelsea ahead from the penalty spot in the 15th minute as Chelsea dominated the first half, and although they only netted one goal in the first 45 minutes, Mykhailo Mudryk doubled their lead two minutes into the second half after some questionable keeping from David Raya.
A bad error from Chelsea keeper, Robert Sanchez in the 77th minute allowed Declan Rice to shoot into an empty net from 30 meters, and Leandro Trossard made it 2-2 when he fired home from a Bukayo Saka pass with six minutes left to play.
Early goals from Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland put Manchester City back to winning ways after consecutive defeats as they beat Brighton 2-1.
Ansu Fati’s 73rd minute strike meant there was a nervous end for the home side, who ended up with 10 men after Manuel Akanji was sent off for two yellow cards in the 95th minute.
Manchester United were able to pay homage to club and England legend, Bobby Charlton, who passed away earlier in the day, with a 2-1 win away to Sheffield United.
Scott McTominay was the first half hero and villain for Manchester United, scoring a 28th-minute goal that put his side ahead, but then committing the handball that allowed Oliver McBurnie to level from the penalty spot.
The game could have gone either way, but Diogo Dalot scored a 25-meter shot to give the visitors the points 13 minutes from time.
Newcastle United kept up their winning run with a comfortable 4-0 win at home to Crystal Palace. Jacob Murphy opened the scoring after just four minutes, but quickfire goals on the stroke of halftime from Anthony Gordon and Sean Longstaff sealed the win before Callum Wilson rounded off the scoring in the 66th minute.
Gary O’Neil had a happy return to Bournemouth as his Wolverhampton side came back from a goal down to win 2-1 away to the club that sacked him in the summer after guiding them to safety.
Dominic Solanke put Bournemouth ahead in the 17th minute, but Matheus Cunha leveled for Wolves two minutes into the second half and things got a lot easier for Wolves in the 54th minute when Bournemouth defender Lewis Cook was sent off for a head butt.
Bournemouth held on with 10 men until the 88th minute when substitute Sasa Kalajdzic slid in to give Wolves a win that leaves home coach Andoni Iraola in clear danger of the sack.
Brentford claimed a much-needed home win with a straightforward 3-0 win at home to struggling Burnley. Yoane Wissa’s close-range finish opened the scoring in the 25th minute before Bryan Mbeumo and Saman Ghoddos assured the points in the second half.
A bad day for Burnley was made worse when Connor Roberts was sent off with 12 minutes left to play.
Luton Town came back from 2-0 down away to Nottingham Forest to claim a point with late goals from Chiedozie Ogbene and Elijah Adebayo, after two goals from striker Chris Wood had looked to give Forest a comfortable win.
Loan duo book Barca’s place in Champions League knockouts
MADRID, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) — FC Barcelona came from behind to ensure their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a 2-1 win at home to FC Porto.
Portuguese loan duo Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo scored Barca’s goals after Pepe Aquino had put Porto ahead.
While Barca can relax for their last group game. Porto have to avoid defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk to ensure they make the knockout stages.
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez restored Ronald Araujo, Raphinha and Jules Kounde to his starting 11, while Inaki Pena continued in goal as Marc-Andre ter Stegen continues to struggle with a back issue.
Raphinha was Barca’s main threat in the opening minutes, forcing a decent save from Diogo Costa in the Porto goal, before setting up Pedri, whose cross was collected by the keeper.
Neither side was in control of the game, with Porto also creating chances and Alan Varela had the ball in the Barca net in the 26th minute, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.
Two minutes later Varela drew a flying save from Pena with a powerful shot from outside the area, and Pena had to react quickly to save from the same player just two minutes later, only for Pepe Aquino to latch onto the loose ball and score with an angled shot.
Porto’s lead lasted just 90 seconds before Joao Cancelo made it 1-1 after beating two defenders and scoring with a shot across the face of goal.
Costa nearly gifted Barca another goal when he passed straight to Pedri on the edge of the area, but the midfielder’s shot was deflected wide, before Varela again forced Pena into action with a stinging drive.
Barca started the second half positively with Joao Felix rattling the bar from 25 meters, before putting his side ahead as he side-footed home Cancelo’s low cross.
Raphinha almost added a third with an overhead kick, but Francisco Conceicao had a great chance to level in the 93rd minute only to shoot straight at Pena.
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid ensured their place in the last 16 with a 3-1 win away to Feyenoord thanks to a comical own goal from Lutsharel Geertruida and a spectacular volley from Mario Hermoso.
Mats Wieffer gave the Dutch side hope with a header 15 minutes from time, but Santiago Gimenez headed into his own goal to make it 3-1 for the Spanish side.
Barca coach Xavi: I have full backing of the club despite recent poor displays
MADRID, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez insisted on Monday that he has the support of the club despite a recent run of poor performances and results.
Xavi spoke to the press ahead of Tuesday’s must-win Champions League tie at home to Porto, which follows Barca’s disappointing 1-1 draw away to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.
The Rayo match followed a narrow win at home to Alaves, and a Champions League defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk, which makes Tuesday’s game so important.
Although Barca tops its group, with nine points from four games, the same as Porto, a defeat would leave the team with work to do in its last group match to avoid missing out on the knockout stage for a third consecutive year.
A third failure to reach the last 16 of the Champions League and the subsequent hit to Barca’s fragile economy, would put Xavi under the spotlight, but the former player insisted he maintains the support of club president, Joan Laporta and director of sport, Deco.
“I feel supported in every sense of the word by the club,” he responded when asked if he felt under pressure.
“I don’t feel as if I am on my own. I talk to the president every day and there is full confidence between us, and there is total confidence and friendship with Deco,” insisted Xavi.
Xavi also said he had “the support of my assistants, who are also my friends and my brother is among them. I also have the players behind me and I think things are going to work out.”
Aston Villa spoil Spurs’ homage to Venables, Man United pile pain on Everton
LONDON, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — Tottenham were unable to offer a victory to the memory of former coach Terry Venables, who passed away earlier on Sunday, as they were beaten 2-1 at home to Aston Villa.
Villa produced a good comeback after falling behind to claim a win that allows them to leapfrog Tottenham into fourth place in the table.
Giovani Lo Celso deservedly put Spurs ahead midway through the first half with a first-time shot after a corner, but after Ollie Watkins saw a goal ruled out for offside, Villa drew level in the seventh minute of first-half injury-time though Pau Torres’ back-post header.
Watkins then won the game for Villa with a clinical finish in the 61st minute.
A bad week for Everton got worse, after a 10-point deduction for breaching financial fair play rules was followed by a painful 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester United.
Alejandro Garnacho opened the scoring in the third minute with a candidate for goal of the season. The Argentinian smashed home a spectacular overhead kick from the edge of the area following a Marcus Rashford cross, to leave Everton stunned.
The home fans protested loudly against the 10-point punishment imposed on their club and Everton ended the first half strongly, but the game was beyond them after Rashford scored from the penalty spot after Ashley Young fouled Anthony Martial.
Martial added a third goal with 15 minutes left to play.
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