Thursday, 5 August, 2021

West Brom wins again as Allardyce launches latest escape act


London, Apr. 14 : Sam Allardyce has spearheaded a number of unlikely, late-season escape acts in the Premier League down the years. Leading West Bromwich Albion to safety this season would be his biggest triumph yet.

It's improbable but certainly not out of the question after the team's second big win in little over a week, 3-0 over Southampton on Monday.

From appearing virtually certain of going down, West Brom suddenly has a fighting chance of staying up given the gap to Newcastle, which occupies the spot above the bottom three, is eight points with seven games remaining.

Matheus Pereira, from the penalty spot, and Matt Phillips scored in a four-minute span from the 32nd and Callum Robinson added a third in the 69th. Brighton is inching closer to safety, with a 0-0 draw against Everton moving the south-coast team seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Everton was toothless without England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who was missing because of a hamstring problem, and its best chance fell in the 90th minute to Alex Iwobi, who blazed a shot over the crossbar when free just inside the area.

Everton's ambitions of qualifying for a European competition next season are fading, with Carlo Ancelotti's team in eighth place — six points off fifth-place Chelsea. Everton has a game in hand over all the teams higher in the standings, however.

Sevilla cement 4th place
Sevilla defeated Celta Vigo 4-3 in a back-and-forth match in the Spanish league on Monday, strengthening its hold on fourth place and moving within range of leader Atlético Madrid.

The away victory gave Sevilla a 14-point gap over both fifth-place Real Sociedad and sixth-place Real Betis, practically securing the team the final qualification spot for the Champions League with eight rounds remaining.

The win also put Sevilla six points away from Atlético, which has stumbled at the top recently.

Julen Lopetegui's team is four points behind third-place Barcelona and five from second-place Real Madrid. Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-1 on Saturday, while Atlético drew 1-1 at Betis on Sunday for its second consecutive setback.

Celta, which was seeking its second win in a row in the league, stayed in 10th place.

Sevilla opened the scoring with a goal by Jules Koundé less than 10 minutes into the match, but the hosts went ahead with a pair of goals by striker Iago Aspas in the 20th and 23rd minutes.

Fernando equalized for Sevilla in the 35th and Brais Méndez put Celta ahead again near halftime. The visitors rallied in the second half with a goal by Ivan Rakitic in the 60th and another by Papu Gómez in the 76th.