Thursday, April 18, 2024
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City stage comeback against Toffees to move into top 4

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MANCHESTER, Dec 28: Manchester City had to come from behind to beat Everton 3-1 and climb back into the Premier League’s top four.
Just back from winning its first Club World Cup title in Saudi Arabia, City went behind to Jack Harrison’s first-half goal but recovered after the break thanks to a well-taken strike by Phil Foden and a penalty by Julian Alvarez on Wednesday.
Bernardo Silva added the third when he pounced on a poor clearance by Jordan Pickford to curl home into an empty net in the 86th.
It was only City’s second win in seven league matches but lifted the defending champions above Tottenham into fourth place.
Five points behind leader Liverpool with a game in hand. Second-place Arsenal can move six points clear of City by beating West Ham on Thursday.
City was without Erling Haaland again because of a foot injury and Pep Guardiola’s side had a sluggish start as Everton took the lead in the 29th minute.
City midfielder Rodri was pressured into an uncharacteristic loss of possession on the edge of his own area, and Dwight McNeil teed up Harrison to sidefoot home from close range.
The former City winger almost scored a spectacular second with Ederson at full stretch to tip over his swerving outside-of-the-left-foot effort.
City defender John Stones had to come off with an injury in the 43rd, but the visitors needed just 19 minutes after the break to turn things around.
Foden was given too much space on the edge of the area from a corner to beat Pickford with a low shot inside his left-hand post in the 53rd, and Alvarez put his team ahead from the spot after Nathan Ake’s shot hit Amadou Onana’s arm as he slid in to block.
Referee John Brooks awarded a corner before changing his mind and pointing to the spot, with Alvarez’s blast down the middle proving too powerful as it went underneath the diving Pickford’s legs.
Silva’s 20-yard effort into an unguarded net secured the win after he collected Alvarez’s block on the goalkeeper.
RARE HOME WIN FOR CHELSEA
Substitute Noni Madueke bailed out a misfiring Chelsea side with a late penalty to secure a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League for a rare home victory in 2023.
Just as it looked like Chelsea’s inefficiency up front would cost it again, Madueke was tripped by Eberechi Eze inside the area and stepped up to the spot himself to send goalkeeper Dean Henderson the wrong way in the 89th minute.
It secured just a sixth home league win of the calendar year for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which used to be a fortress under Jose Mourinho and several managers after him but has been anything but under Mauricio Pochettino and his three most recent predecessors from last season.
Chelsea has not found any kind of consistency under Pochettino, who was forced to name the club’s youngest-ever starting lineup for a Premier League game following a slew of injuries and suspensions.
Chelsea is provisionally in 10th place after 19 rounds, with Palace now just three points outside the relegation zone in 15th.
WOLVES BEAT
BRENTFORD
South Korea forward Hwang Hee-chan scored twice as Wolverhampton took full advantage of Brentford’s defensive mistakes to secure a 4-1 win in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Wolves followed up its win on Sunday over Chelsea by collecting another festive three points.It was a first victory in London in 15 attempts for Wolves, the last coming in a 2-0 win at Tottenham in February last year.
But it was gifted to the visitors by a depleted Brentford side which could soon be looking nervously over its shoulder at the relegation battle after a fourth straight defeat and a sixth in seven matches.
The first goal came in the 13th minute a totally unmarked Mario Lemina to put Wolves ahead.
What came next was farcical for the hosts as they played the ball back from their own kickoff toward goalkeeper Mark Flekken.
Nathan Collins’ back pass to the Dutchman was under-hit and, barely 10 seconds after the restart, Hwang had rounded him and tapped into an empty net.The Bees quickly pulled one back when Yoane Wissa latched on to Neal Maupay’s clever flick and firing home.But Wolves scored again thanks to Hwang. Jean-Ricner Bellegarde wrapped up the victory with 11 minutes left. (AP)

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