Timo Werner ended his goal drought in timely fashion to earn Chelsea a crucial 1-0 victory over West Ham United in the battle for a top-four finish in the Premier League on Saturday.
The German had gone 14 games without scoring for club and country but produced a clinical finish shortly before halftime as Chelsea took the points at the London Stadium.
Victory enabled Thomas Tuchel’s fourth-placed side to open up a three-point gap over West Ham for which two successive defeats have dented its hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski was the busier of the two goalkeepers and West Ham struggled to open up its visitor as Chelsea kept a 16th clean sheet in 21 matches under Tuchel.
The host showed plenty of endeavour but its cause was not helped when Fabian Balbuena was harshly sent off late on.
Late Willock strike earns Newcastle 1-1 draw against wasteful Liverpool
Newcastle United substitute Joe Willock equalised in the dying seconds of stoppage time to earn his side a precious point in a 1-1 draw away at Liverpool on Saturday that dented the home side’s Champions League qualification hopes.
Liverpool had opened the scoring at Anfield inside three minutes when Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark failed to clear a cross, allowing forward Mohamed Salah to control the ball and fire a left-footed half-volley into the roof of the net.
Joe Willock’s form for @NUFC:
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 24, 2021
But despite dominating the ball possession and making 22 attempts on goal, Liverpool failed to extend their advantage.
Newcastle forward Callum Wilson had a strike ruled out for offside in the 90th minute but Steve Bruce’s side continued to pile on the pressure.
They were rewarded in the 95th minute when Willock found the net for the third league match in a row with virtually the last kick of the match.
“We pushed hard in the second half. Apart from the sloppy goal we gave away, I thought the boys did really well,” Willock, who is on loan from Arsenal, told BT Sport.
“Hopefully, it is more the performance we need to keep up. I don’t feel like we were showing what we can earlier. What we are showing now is brilliant, and if we continue like that we will be safe for sure.”
The result left Liverpool in sixth place, one point behind both top-four rivals West Ham United and Chelsea who meet at the London Stadium later in the day.
Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara said the team must show hunger to deserve a place in next season’s Champions League.
“We have no words to explain the disappointment we have,” he said. “We had a lot of chances to win in the first half.
“It doesn’t change that we want to win and want to be in the Champions League but for that we have to deserve to be there.”
Newcastle stay 15th in the table but they are now nine points clear of the relegation zone.