Fulham won their first English Premier League match since November 30 and it was courtesy of a brace from deadline-day signing, Josh Maja.
The 22-year-old Nigerian made his first start of the relegation-threatened London side on Sunday, away to Everton and his inclusion was a master stroke from Fulham manager, Scott Parker.
It was a totally Nigerian combination that gave the Cottagers their first goal. A move down the Fulham left was instigated by Ola Aina, who got a return from Ademola Lookman and his drilled cross was turned in by Maja.
Maja got his second when he reacted first to a rebound in the 65th minute. The former Sunderland striker was substituted on 73 minutes. For Everton, Alex Iwobi was an unused substitute as the Toffees fell to a depressing loss in their chase for a top-four EPL finish. Fulham are 18th on the league table with 18 points, and a game in hand but still seven points adrift of 17th-placed Newcastle.
In other weekend matches, Manchester United faltered in their chase of neighbours, Manchester City, as they were held to a 1-1 result away to relegation threatened West Brom.
The Baggies scored through new striker, Mbaye Diagne, 73 seconds into the match but they fought back for the equaliser through Bruno Fernandes’ impudent volley just before the interval. The Senegalese striker then had a chance in the 83rd minute to steal all the points when he wrestled the ball off Harry Maguire but David de Gea made a brilliant save to help United keep a share of the points. United have 46 points, seven points off City, who have a game in hand.
Winning ways for Arsenal
After slumping two consecutive defeats, Arsenal returned to winning ways on Sunday as they romped to a 4-2 win over Leeds United. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the Gunners’ standout performer as he notched up another major career milestone in the win.
The Arsenal captain who has endured weeks of goal drought returned to his best; scoring his first EPL hat-trick in the North London side’s game against Leeds United. The Gabon international set the tone for the day; when he scored inside the first quarter, cutting in from the left flank to rifle home the opener.
He then scored his second goal; converting from the penalty spot just before the break after Bukayo Saka was fouled by Illan Meslier. Hector Bellerin slotted home a third on the stroke of half-time before Aubameyang continued form where he stopped in the first half when he made it 4-0 for Arsenal two minutes into the second half.
With Sunday’s hat-trick, Aubameyang has joined the exclusive list of players that have scored up to 200 goals across Europe’s top five leagues.
Manchester City made light work of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham with three goals-two of them scored by the in-form Ilkay Gundogan. Rodri gave the leaders the lead from the penalty spot after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was adjudged to have fouled Gundogan in the box. Video replays were inconclusive and actually showed the Tottenham midfielder was fouled first by Gundogan.
City goalkeeper Ederson provided the assist for Gundogan’s second in the 68th minute. Spurs are ninth on the table with 36 points from 23 matches.
At Saint Mary’s, Southampton’s bad run of form continued as they slumped to 2-1 defeat against Wolverhampton. Sunday’s loss is the fifth straight defeat for the Saints in the league. Matchday 24 concludes on Monday with two matches: West Ham host Sheffield United while Chelsea travel to Newcastle. If both West Ham and Chelsea win, Liverpool will end the day in sixth place.
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