Sports

EPL: Villa beat Arsenal to move out of relegation zone, Man City thump Watford

 

Aston Villa moved out of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time since 28 February, with one game to go, after Trezeguet’s priceless winner against Arsenal.
Trezeguet beat Emiliano Martinez with a powerful first-time finish after Tyrone Mings had diverted a corner into the Egypt international’s path to lift his side above managerless Watford, who had started the day 17th before a heavy 4-0 home defeat by Manchester City, on goal difference.
Villa’s second win in three games sets up a dramatic final day at the bottom of the table on Sunday, which Villa will begin level on points with Watford and three points ahead of Bournemouth – with two of those three teams likely to go down, reports the BBC.
Meanwhile, 16th-placed West Ham, who also play on Wednesday, still require one point to secure safety, although their goal difference ought to keep them up.
Arsenal, playing in their first match since reaching the FA Cup final, can now finish no higher than eighth after a disappointing performance by Mikel Arteta’s side, Eddie Nketiah going closest to equalising with a header which hit the post.
However, the Gunners will still have a big say in the relegation battle when they host Watford on Sunday.
During the match, a banner reading “Back Arteta Kroenke Out’ was towed by an aeroplane over Villa Park in reference to Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke.
And in the first game, Watford were plunged into the relegation zone in the wake of Nigel Pearson’s surprise sacking as they were hammered by a Raheem Sterling-inspired Manchester City.
The defeat, coupled with Aston Villa’s win over Arsenal on Tuesday, means the Hornets’ battle to stay up will go to the final day of the season on Sunday, when they visit Arsenal.
Pearson became the Hornets’ third managerial casualty of the campaign on Monday, leaving Under-23 coach Hayden Mullins and his assistant Graham Stack in charge for their final two games.
And they could hardly have had a tougher first assignment than against City, who completed the double over them with this win, at an aggregate score of 12-0 – a joint top-flight record for one team against another in a single season.
Sterling took the game away from the home side before half-time, firing in a rising shot to open the scoring before doubling the advantage by following up his own saved penalty – awarded for a foul on him by Will Hughes.
Phil Foden added a third after Ben Foster had parried a Sterling shot before Aymeric Laporte nodded in from Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick.
City’s fourth straight league win could have been even more emphatic but Gabriel Jesus had an injury-time header ruled out for offside.
This could well be important to Watford, with goal difference potentially a crucial deciding factor going into the weekend.
The defeat leaves the Hornets 18th, level on points but a goal worse off than Villa, with both three points ahead of 19th-placed Bournemouth.
Villa’s last-day opponents West Ham, on 37 points, are not yet safe from the drop, although a point from their game in hand at Manchester United on Wednesday will secure survival.
RESULTS
Villa 1 – 0 Arsenal
Watford 0 – 4 Man City

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