The 31st round of fixtures in the English Premier League was played over the weekend, although due to FA Cup matches, not all teams took part and some sides had a break altogether. It was the final set of games before the two-week international break.
Bournemouth and Newcastle United played out an exciting draw at the Liberty Stadium. Newcastle took the lead through the online striker Salomón Rondon, the Venezuelan curling in a free-kick on the stroke of half-time. However, the home side equalised from the penalty spot after half-time from Josh King, and the Norwegian gave them the lead with a right-foot shot with 10 minutes to go. Then, in the last minute of injury time, Newcastle snatched an equaliser through a powerful shot from Matt Richie.
Leicester City beat Burnley 2 -1 at Turf Moor, despite playing for nearly all the match with ten men. Leicester were reduced in numbers when Harry McGuire was sent off for a professional foul after just 4 minutes, but, despite being short-handed, they were the better side, and took a deserved lead when James Maddison curled home a free kick. A fine move saw Dwight McNeil equalise for the home side, but Leicester won it late on through Wes Morgan’s header.
West Ham United came from behind to beat Huddersfield Town 4- 3 in a thriller at the London Stadium. It was West Ham who took the lead from the penalty spot early, Mark Noble converting the spot kick, only for Huddersfield to equalise almost immediately through Juninho Bacuna’s header. Bottom-side Huddersfield then took the lead through Karlam Grant, and it was he who further extended their advantage with a fine long-range shot. However, poor marking allowed Angelo Ogbonna to pull a goal back, and then, Javier Hernandez, on as a substitute for the Hammers, produced two late headed goals to win it for the home side.
With Manchester City involved in cup action, Liverpool took the chance to move back to the top of the Premier League which they did by beating relegation candidates Fulham 2 – 1 at Craven Cottage. Liverpool took the lead through Sadio Mané, his ninth goal in as many Premier League games, and were in almost total control until a defensive mix-up allowed ex-Liverpool player Ryan Babel to equalise. However, Mané was dragged back in the box, and James Milner converted from the spot for the Reds.
In the final game of the weekend, Everton dented Chelsea’s chances of a top-four finish by beating them 2 – 0 at Goodison Park. Everton took the lead mid-way through the second half when Richarlison was quickest to react to a rebound off the goalkeeper and headed home. They then added a second when the same player was clipped in the box and a penalty awarded. Gylfi Sigurdsson did not hit his effort that well, the goalkeeper Kepa saving it, but the ball fell back to Sigurdsson to stroke home.