LONDON: Aston Villa’s first victory at Goodison Park since 2008 seriousy damaged Everton’s Champions League qualifying hopes, leaving them nine points off fourth place.
Villa’s 2-1 win moved them one place up to ninth while watching England manager Gareth Southgate must have been impressed by Ollie Watkins and Jordan Pickford.
The Villa striker, who made a goalscoring international debut against San Marino in March, looked a handful throughout and was unlucky not to add to his 15th club goal of the season which opened the scoring.
That he did not build on that was partly down to Pickford, who kept Everton in the game to allow them to reach half-time level thanks to Calvert-Lewin’s 20th of the campaign.
But in terms of style they were outdone by Anwar El Ghazi’s 80th-minute winner which he curled into the top corner after sweeping crossfield move.
Watkins and Calvert-Lewin now have 28 Premier League goals between them and are looking like able deputies to Harry Kane at this summer’s tournament.
Two goals from Kai Havertz tightened Chelsea’s grip on a top-four finish as the Blues deepened Fulham’s relegation worries with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
Germany forward Havertz doubled his Premier League tally for the campaign, in an exemplary exhibition of false nine play.
Fourth-placed Chelsea opened up a six-point gap on West Ham in fifth with their third win in four matches, with the Hammers travelling to Burnley on Monday night.
The Blues’ 18th clean sheet under boss Thomas Tuchel set the bedrock for another vital victory, with Real Madrid now pitching up at Stamford Bridge for the Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday.
Havertz was cast as immediate King’s Road royalty the moment he arrived in west London last summer in a £70million switch from Bayer Leverkusen.
But this was the day the talented 21-year-old finally made his mark.
At times in this maiden Blues campaign, Havertz’s natural languid style had jarred amid his protracted recovery from Covid-19 and staccato search for his Stamford Bridge niche.
German manager Tuchel has elevated Havertz above all those previous tribulations however, and the 13-cap forward carried a regal air throughout this landmark performance.
The Whites inched ever closer to the Premier League trap door thanks to their fifth defeat in six matches, trailing Newcastle – who have a game in hand – by nine points with four games to play.
Danny Welbeck netted a sublime goal as Brighton took a significant step towards Premier League survival by ending Leeds’ six-game unbeaten run with a deserved 2-0 win.
Former England forward Welbeck rifled home 11 minutes from time at the Amex Stadium after executing a perfect Cruyff turn on a dropping ball to secure a precious three points for the Seagulls.
Pascal Gross put Albion on course for only a third top-flight home success of the season by converting an early penalty after Ezgjan Alioski hauled down Welbeck in the box.
Albion’s victory piled further pressure on 18th-placed Fulham in the scrap for safety and would have been far more comfortable had Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay not spurned golden chances.
Mid-table Leeds, who were without influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips, had plenty of possession on the south coast but fell well below their dynamic best and created little.
Defeat for the West Yorkshire club brought to an end their best top-flight run since the days of David O’Leary in November 2001 and dented their outside hopes of European football.
Sergio Aguero provided a reminder of his goalscoring brilliance with the opener in Manchester City’s 2-0 win at Crystal Palace to put the Premier League leaders on the verge of another title.
Pep Guardiola’s side clinched the League Cup last weekend and took a big step towards the Champions League final on Wednesday, but still found the energy and quality to seal a 25th top-flight win of the campaign.
It means defeat for Manchester United on Sunday at home to Liverpool will crown City the best in England once again with stalwart Aguero making the most of a rare starting berth to edge his team towards more silverware.
After a frustrating first 45 minutes in south London, it was City’s record goalscorer who broke the deadlock with a superb finish and Ferran Torres wrapped up the points soon after following a fine curled effort.