Chelsea, Leicester drop points to boost Man United’s top four hopes

Andriy Yarmolenko’s last-gasp winner settled an eventful London derby with Chelsea and delivered a huge boost to West Ham United’s hopes of avoiding relegation.

In a topsy-turvy game, which saw West Ham infuriated when Tomas Soucek’s first-half goal was ruled out by VAR, substitute Yarmolenko made the decisive contribution when the finished off a superb counter attack with a classic left-foot finish.

It looked like both sides would have to settle for a point but that late twist not only provides a huge morale lift to David Moyes’ side, putting them three points clear of the relegation places, but also completed a good 24 hours for Manchester United in the race for Champions League places after their win at Brighton and third-placed Leicester City’s loss at Everton.

Moyes was angry when Soucek saw a first-half goal ruled out because Michail Antonio was adjudged to be offside and in Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s line of vision.

Chelsea then took the lead through Willian’s penalty but battling West Ham levelled through Soucek’s header right on the stroke of half-time.

Man-of-the-match Antonio bundled West Ham in front six minutes after the interval but this eventful affair looked to be heading for a draw when Willian’s superb free-kick with 18 minutes left drew Chelsea level.

And yet, with injury-time looming, West Ham broke and the tireless Antonio set up Yarmolenko for a crisp finish that gave Moyes’ men what could be a priceless three points.

Elsewhere Everton kept up their post-restart push for a place in next season’s Europa League with an impressive victory over Leicester at Goodison Park.

The Blues are unbeaten since the Premier League began again two weeks ago, with a second successive win coming courtesy of two goals in quick succession in the game’s first quarter.

Richarlison struck from close range before Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a debatable penalty, awarded following a lengthy VAR review for handball against Wilfred Ndidi.

Leicester rallied at the start of the second half and pulled a somewhat fortuitous goal back when Mason Holgate’s attempted clearance flew into the net off the face of substitute Kelechi Iheanacho.

But they were unable to make the most of the larger share of possession and chances to gain parity.

Meanwhile Mikel Arteta says he is “very positive” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will sign a new contract after he became the fastest Arsenal player to net 50 Premier League goals.

Gabon forward Aubameyang, 31, scored twice as the Gunners climbed to seventh with a 4-0 win over Norwich.

His current contract expires at the end of the 2020-21 season.

“Hopefully he will be here for a long time,” Arsenal boss Arteta told BBC Sport.

“Every time I speak with him he is really happy where he is, he is very settled and his family are happy.”

Aubameyang has scored 51 goals in 79 league games for the Gunners since joining for £56m from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.

Only five players have scored 50 top-flight goals faster than Aubameyang in the Premier League era – Andy Cole (65 games), Alan Shearer (66), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68), Fernando Torres (72) and Mohamed Salah (72).

 

  

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