EPL

Premier League data dive: Relegation battlers claim big results

By Sports Desk March 18, 2023

Leeds United, Everton, Southampton and Leicester City all earned big results on Saturday in their efforts to beat the drop.

The Premier League's struggling sides were the big winners from the five matches to take place.

Leeds beat fellow relegation candidates Wolves 4-2, while Everton pegged back Chelsea twice at Stamford Bridge and Southampton came from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Tottenham.

Leicester, meanwhile, snatched a draw at Brentford, though 19th-placed Bournemouth lost 3-0 at Aston Villa.

Wolves 2-4 Leeds United: Six-goal thriller and two reds at Molineux

Leeds came out on top in an enthralling encounter at Molineux, with Javi Gracia's side claiming what could be a vital three points in their bid to survive this season.

Jack Harrison put them ahead early on, and he has now been directly involved in four goals (two goals, two assists) in his four Premier League games under Gracia, just one fewer than in his previous 21 matches under Jesse Marsch and Michael Skubala this season (five).

Luke Ayling netted his first league goal since doing so against Wolves exactly a year ago (March 18, 2022) to make it 2-0, with Rasmus Kristensen putting Leeds three ahead.

Their hopes of a comfortable win were dashed when Illan Meslier, on the day he became the youngest goalkeeper in Premier League history to reach 100 appearances, made a mistake that Jonny pounced on, volleying in from 41 yards. That is the furthest distance a player has scored from in the top flight since Wayne Rooney's 58-yard strike for Everton against West Ham in November 2017.

A deflected Matheus Cunha strike gave Wolves hope, but Jonny became the first Wolves player to both score and be sent off in any league game since September 2008. 

Julen Lopetegui was fuming that Wolves were not awarded a first-half penalty and that a foul was not given in the build-up to Rodrigo's late effort for Leeds, with Matheus Nunes then sent off even though he was on the substitutes' bench.

"I'm not waiting for [further apologies]. I just want them [the officials] to do their job," Lopetegui said.

Southampton 3-3 Tottenham: Conte left seething after Ward-Prowse seals comeback

Southampton came from two goals down to avoid defeat for a second time in the Premier League this season, with only Manchester City (P3 W2 D1) avoiding defeat having fallen two goals behind on more occasions this term.

Tottenham, who took the lead through Pedro Porro but saw it cancelled out by Che Adams, restored their advantage through Harry Kane – he has now scored nine headers in the league this season, equalling Duncan Ferguson's single-season record in the competition from 1997-98.

Ivan Perisic took Spurs' tally of Premier League scorers to 162, with only West Ham (164) having more different scorers in the competition's history, yet Theo Walcott pulled one back for Saints. The former Arsenal winger has more top-flight goal involvements (12) and goals (seven) against Tottenham than he does against any other opponent.

Yet Spurs conceded a 14th goal since the season restarted when Pape Sarr was deemed to have fouled Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and James Ward-Prowse converted the penalty. He has been involved in more Premier League goals against Tottenham than he has any other opponent (nine – five goals, four assists).

Brentford 1-1 Leicester City: Barnes holds the Bees

Brentford remain without a win against Leicester in the Premier League (P4 D2 L2). The Bees have not beaten the Foxes in the league since March 1953 (P8 D3 L5 since).

Leicester ended a run of four consecutive defeats in the Premier League but this was just the eighth point they have picked up in 2023 (P10 W2 D2 L6). Only Crystal Palace (five) have picked up fewer points since the turn of the year, while only Everton and Bournemouth (20 and 18 respectively) have conceded more goals in the competition this calendar year than Leicester's 17.

Only Ivan Toney (eight) has scored more home goals for Brentford in the Premier League this season than Mathias Jensen (five), whose goal was the Bees' 19th from a set-piece this term – more than any other side in the division.

Leicester scored from their only shot on target of the game. Harvey Barnes' goal was his ninth of the season – his joint-most in a single Premier League campaign (also nine in 2020-21).

Chelsea 2-2 Everton: Simms snatches huge point

Substitute Ellis Simms scored his first goal for Everton as Sean Dyche's team drew 2-2 at Stamford Bridge, twice coming from behind.

 

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 28 Premier League home games against Everton (W15 D13), but the Toffees can take plenty of confidence from this result.

Joao Felix put Chelsea ahead with his first home goal for the Blues, but Abdoulaye Doucoure equalised from a corner; four of Everton's seven goals under Dyche have come from set-pieces.

Kai Havertz converted a spot-kick to restore Chelsea's lead. He has scored in three consecutive games for the Blues for the second time, previously doing so in March 2022.

However, Simms came on from the bench to earn a point for Everton. The Toffees have now had 13 different goalscorers in the competition this season, with only Arsenal, Chelsea and Leeds (14 each) having more.

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