Villa up to fifth, super sub Vardy saves Leicester

25 Apr 2023
Mings and Vardy

Revival under Unai Emery continues while Jamie Vardy denies Leeds a big win at the bottom

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Aston Villa's revival under Unai Emery continued as they moved up to fifth and five points off third-place Newcastle United with a 1-0 win against Fulham at Villa Park.

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It was a frustrating night for Fulham, who were forced to make a late change before kick-off when Willian was injured in the warm-up, and then Harry Wilson, who had scored in both their past two wins, limped off injured on 17 minutes.

Villa, who had scored in all 19 of their previous Premier League contests since Emery took charge, extended that run to a competition-best 20 matches with Tyrone Mings' flicked header after 21 minutes. It was the defender's first Premier League goal since November 2021.

See: Which teams can qualify for UEFA competitions

Fulham stepped up the pace in the second half, but apart from a late Dan James effort that Emiliano Martinez comfortably claimed never really threatened Villa's well-marshalled defence.

Villa extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches, winning eight, and have won five straight home PL matches without conceding for the first time. 

It takes them on to 54 points, one more than Tottenham Hotspur, while Fulham stay ninth on 45 points.

The race for Europe

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
3 Manchester United MUN 38 +15 75
4 Newcastle United NEW 38 +35 71
5 Liverpool LIV 38 +28 67
6 Brighton & Hove Albion BHA 38 +19 62
7 Aston Villa AVL 38 +5 61
8 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 38 +7 60
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Vardy denies Leeds big win

Jamie Vardy stepped off the bench to score a late equaliser as Leicester City grabbed what could be a vital point in a head-to-head in the relegation fight against Leeds United.

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Youri Tielemans thought he had fired Leicester into a seventh-minute lead with a thunderous strike but a VAR review ruled that Boubakary Soumare was offside in the build-up.

Leeds went in front on 20 minutes when Luis Sinisterra headed in Jack Harrison's inswinging cross at the back post.

Despite trailing, Leicester enjoyed more of the possession, but Leeds continued to frustrate the Foxes, efficiently and consistently breaking up play.

A tactical tweak at half-time saw Harvey Barnes pushed further forward and he curled inches wide of the upright as Leicester pressed for an equaliser.

But it was Vardy, who replaced Barnes with 20 minutes left, who came to the rescue with an 80th-minute leveller, a cool finish after being set up by James Maddison, back in the team following illness.

The drama was not over, however, as Daniel Iversen made two superb saves before Patrick Bamford missed from four yards in a pulsating finish.

Leeds and Leicester stay in 16th and 17th place respectively, with 30 and 29 points. It means 18th-placed Everton can move above them both with a win against Newcastle on Thursday.

Neves stars as Wolves end Hodgson's run

Wolverhampton Wanderers secured a third consecutive home win to move nine points clear of the relegation zone with a 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace.

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Julen Lopetegui's side went ahead on three minutes when Joachim Andersen turned the ball into his own net from Ruben Neves' corner.

Palace, unbeaten in four matches since Roy Hodgson returned to Selhurst Park, were denied an equaliser just before half-time when Jose Sa reacted quickly to keep out Albert Sambi Lokonga's snapshot from close range.

Craig Dawson powered a header wide for Wolves and Sa made a flying save to deny Eberechi Eze as the sides traded scoring chances after the break.

But Neves made the points safe when he fired home a penalty in stoppage time after a foul by goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on substitute Pedro Neto.

Wolves move up to 13th spot, level on 37 points with Palace, who are one place above on goal difference.

The relegation battle

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
12 Chelsea CHE 38 -9 44
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 38 -27 41
14 West Ham United WHU 38 -13 40
15 Bournemouth BOU 38 -34 39
16 Nottingham Forest NFO 38 -30 38
17 Everton EVE 38 -23 36
18 Leicester City LEI 38 -17 34
19 Leeds United LEE 38 -30 31
20 Southampton SOU 38 -37 25
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Mouthwatering action continues on Wednesday

The action continues on Wednesday when Manchester City host Arsenal in a match that has huge implications in the 2022/23 Premier League title race.

See: Guardiola: Beating Arsenal puts title destiny in our hands

Elsewhere, a rejuvenated West Ham United face Liverpool at London Stadium, Nottingham Forest aim to ease their relegation fears at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, while local pride is at stake in the west London derby between Chelsea and Brentford.

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