Super Eagles stars hoping to escape relegation from the Premier League enjoyed mixed fortunes in the games played on Saturday.
In the day’s early kickoff, Alex Iwobi put up a splendid display as Everton secured a crucial 1-0 win over Manchester United to boost their chances of beating the drop.
Iwobi was in action for all 90 minutes in the keenly contested encounter; causing the United defenders headaches with his lively off-the-ball runs and deft touches.
The 25-year-old who has been enjoying a new lease of life under Frank Lampard as manager has made 20 league appearances for the Toffees this season with two goals to his name.
Though Iwobi was highly commended for his ‘beast mode’ display, it was Anthony Gordon who scored the decisive goal for Everton in the 27th minute. Gordon’s shot took a deflection off Harry Maguire’s back to wrong-foot David de Gea.
With Saturday’s win, Frank Lampard’s side re-established a four-point gap on Burnley in the final relegation position ahead of the weekend’s remaining games. United on the other hand suffered another blow to their hopes of a top-four finish.
But while Iwobi is pushing away from the relegation zone, it is beginning to look like a lost cause for the Nigeria contingent at Watford.
Despite playing at their Vicarage Road home ground on Saturday, the Hornets were hammered 3-0 by Leeds United who themselves are battling to ensure their Premier League status remains beyond this season. This was Watford’s ninth consecutive home loss in the Premier League.
Emmanuel Dennis came on as a 39th-minute substitute while Watford was trailing just by the goal scored by Raphinha in the 21st minute.
The Nigerian who has scored just once in the last five Premier League before this weekend fired blanks again as Watford ended up conceding two more goals in the second half to lose 3-0.
With this latest result, Watford have lost 21 out of their 31 league games this season.
While the battle for survival is intense at the bottom of the table, the jostle for a top-four finish is equally intriguing.
One of the top four hopeful Arsenal handed the initiative in the race for Champions League qualification to rivals Tottenham as Brighton ended their own dire run of form with a deserved 2-1 win at Emirates Stadium.
Leandro Trossard’s curling first-half finish – after a fine assist by the impressive Enock Mwepu gave Graham Potter’s side something to build on.
Only four teams have beaten Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this season:
◎ Liverpool x2
◎ Man City
You're a wizard, Graham. pic.twitter.com/AVbXXpTtk4
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 9, 2022
While Gabriel Martinelli appeared to have headed Arsenal level moments before the break; a lengthy VAR check adjudged him to be in an offside position. Brighton remained solid before doubling their lead with a superb Mwepu finish.
Though Martin Odegaard pulled a goal back for Arsenal, it was not enough to earn them a share of the spoils let alone get them the maximum points they were gunning for.
Arsenal stay fifth but are three points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham who dismantled Aston Villa 4-0 with a hattrick from Heung-Min Son. Harry Kane provided three assists in the game.
Potter’s Brighton on their part moved up to 11th after just a fourth win in 26 league games. Elsewhere, Timo Werner and Mason Mount netted braces as Chelsea dismantled Southampton and claimed an outstanding 6-0 victory at St Mary’s Stadium to go five points clear in third place.