Aston Villa stays ahead of fellow winner Tottenham in EPL; Chelsea and Man U held

Brentford's Keane Lewis-Potter, avoids a tackle from Manchester United's Diogo Dalot during the English Premier League soccer match between Brentford and Manchester United at the Gtech Community Stadium in London, Saturday, March 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

Brentford’s Keane Lewis-Potter, avoids a tackle from Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot during the English Premier League soccer match between Brentford and Manchester United at the Gtech Community Stadium in London, Saturday, March 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

LONDON (AP) — Aston Villa and Tottenham didn’t give up an inch in their fight for fourth place in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Battling for Champions League soccer next season, both clubs won their respective games as the league resumed following the international break. Villa in fourth and Spurs in fifth remain separated by just three points.

Tottenham, which has a match in hand, kept the pressure on Villa early in the afternoon when a late goal from Son Heung-min sealed a 2-1 win over struggling Luton.

Villa restored its lead barely two hours later by defeating Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0.

Villa did not play particularly well in a scrappy match that lacked intensity. A great first half strike by Frenchman Moussa Diaby for his first league goal this year put the hosts in the lead. Ezri Konsa, assisted by Diaby, capped an excellent buildup to make it 2-0 with 25 minutes remaining.

Third-placed Manchester City and leader Arsenal meet on Sunday with just one point separating them. Second-placed Liverpool hosts Brighton on the same day.

LETHARGIC SPURS

Spurs came close to conceding their first home draw against a Luton side locked in the relegation battle, but captain Son decided otherwise in the 86th after a quick break, concluding the move with a shot that took a deflection.

Tottenham was lethargic in the first half and was made to pay for it when Tahith Chong finished a fine collective move from the visitors. Spurs equalized in the 49th after defender Issa Kabore, under pressure from Timo Werner, put the ball into his own net.

Kabore made up for his mistake with decisive blocks in the second half as Tottenham pressed for a winner that finally came five minutes from time.

MAN UNITED HELD

Eight points behind Tottenham, sixth-placed Manchester United delivered yet another mediocre display and was lucky to escape from Brentford with a 1-1 draw after a dramatic finish.

The Bees kept United goalkeeper Andre Onana busy — he made four saves — and hit the woodwork four times.

Totally against the run of the play, United took the lead in stoppage time through substitute Mason Mount’s effort past Mark Flekken. With victory in sight, United conceded three minutes later when Ivan Toney cut the ball back inside the area for the unmarked Kristoffer Ajer, who bagged his second goal in two matches to level.

PALMER’S PANENKA

Chelsea winger Cole Palmer became the fifth player to reach 20 goal involvements in his first Premier League. Palmer’s brace at Stamford Bridge could help Chelsea only draw 2-2 with 10-man Burnley.

Chelsea was wasteful in the first half and had a goal ruled out after 20 minutes. The Blues took the lead from the spot when Palmer scored with a Panenka kick, chipping the ball down the middle.

The decision after a VAR check to award the penalty to Chelsea for a foul on Mykhailo Mudryk in the box left Burnley coach Vincent Kompany fuming. Kompany was issued a red card for his vehement protest. Lorenz Assignon, who received a second yellow card for dragging down Mudryk, was also sent off.

Burnley pushed back and leveled when Josh Cullen volleyed home from 25 meters.

Palmer restored Chelsea’s lead in the 78th from Raheem Sterling’s backheel pass.

Dara O’Shea snatched the equalizer with a header badly handled by Djordje Petrovic.

FROM 3-1 DOWN TO VICTORY

Newcastle edged a seven-goal thriller against West Ham, coming back from 3-1 down with just 13 minutes remaining to win 4-3 at St. James’ Park.

Substitute Harvey Barnes scored twice for the home side, including a beautiful winner in added time from outside the box into the bottom right corner that left goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski no chance.

“Today’s a day we’ll never forget,” Barnes said. “It’s been a tough season for me. I’ve missed that feeling so much, it’s what you want as a player, it’s amazing.”

Newcastle also got two goals from Alexander Isak from the penalty spot.

Mohammed Kudus, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen scored for West Ham. The London side remained one point above Newcastle, which moved up to eighth in the standings.

In a spectacular game that was goalless at the break, Sheffield United and Fulham drew 3-3 after the host blew a 3-1 lead. Nottingham Forest left the bottom three after drawing with Crystal Palace 1-1.

__

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Sports Headlines

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed AP

Trending on NewsNation