The battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League is seriously hotting up heading into the final week of the season.
Everton, currently sat in 16th after 36 games played, are just two points ahead of Burnley in 18th who also have two games remaining. Leeds are sandwiched in between on 35 points having played one more game than both sides.
The Toffees could have secured their Premier League safety with a win over Brentford on Sunday evening and looked on course to do just that, after Dominic Calvert Lewin’s scruffy finish fired Everton ahead in the 10th minute.
The game was drastically altered in the 18th minute however, as Jarrad Branthwaite was sent off for a last-man challenge on Ivan Toney, immediately after Everton had a penalty claim waved away for a shirt pull on Richarlison.
After the 10-men of Everton were pegged back, Everton’s Brazilian international Richarlison fired the Toffees ahead from the penalty spot before the break. Ultimately, the Bees numerical advantage proved too big an obstacle to overcome, with Thomas Frank’s side eventually running out 3-2 winners at Goodison Park.
Earlier in the day, Jesse Marsch’s Leeds left it extremely late to earn a vital point against a Brighton side enjoying their finest season in Premier League history. Pascal Struijk’s back-post header following fine work in the buildup from Joe Gelhardt snatched a point in the dying seconds to move the Whites out of the relegation zone.
With just one game left compared to their rivals two, Leeds will be somewhat relying on others to boost their survival prospects.
Meanwhile, Burnley opened Sunday’s Premier League action with a trip to Champions League chasing Tottenham. While it was always going to be an uphill task facing an ecstatic Spurs side following their emphatic North London derby triumph, the Clarets displayed some fine defending throughout the clash, their ultimate undoing a controversial penalty decision.
The returning Davinson Sanchez attempted to flick a ball on in the box, brushing Ashley Barnes’ arm before Harry Kane fired an attempt wide. While the referee had a clear view of the incident, VAR suggested a second look on the pitchside monitor – a suggestion that often renders an inevitable conclusion.
Harry Kane made no mistake from the penalty spot and Spurs held out for an important 1-0 win in the context of their pursuit of a top four finish. While Burnley can take pride from their performance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it is points Mike Jackson’s side requires in this decisive final run-in.
Everton: Crystal Palace (H), Arsenal (A)
Leeds: Brentford (A)
Burnley: Aston Villa (A), Newcastle (H)