Everton move out of drop zone; Leeds in trouble after losing to Arsenal

Arsenal took another step towards securing a top-four finish

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Everton's English defender Mason Holgate (left) celebrates scoring the team's second goal. (AFP)
Everton's English defender Mason Holgate (left) celebrates scoring the team's second goal. (AFP)


Published: Sun 8 May 2022, 8:10 PM

Everton climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Leicester City after defenders Vitalii Mykolenko and Mason Holgate scored at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

Frank Lampard’s side moved up two spots to 16th on 35 points, one point above the drop zone, as Leeds United slipped to 18th after a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal. Watford and Norwich City have already been relegated to the second-tier Championship.

It was Everton’s only second league win on the road this season, having last won an away league game in August against Brighton & Hove Albion.

“It’s about the team performance. To win 2-1 away from home — it feels like forever since we won away from home,” said goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who made stunning saves in the second half.

“It’s about commitment, attitude, team spirit. That’s what gets you over the line.”

Holgate nodded in a rebound to put Everton back in front at the half-hour mark after Leicester striker Patson Daka cancelled out Mykolenko’s early opener.

The unmarked Holgate scored from close range after Richarlison’s header was beaten away by Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel following a corner.

Meanwhile, Leeds United suffered a huge setback in their battle for survival as a 2-1 loss at Arsenal on Sunday plunged them into the relegation zone and the hosts took another step towards securing a top-four finish.

An early quickfire double from former Leeds loanee Eddie Nketiah put Arsenal in firm control before the visitors were reduced to 10 midway through the first half when Luke Ayling was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Gabriel Martinelli.

Leeds did not have an attempt at goal until Diego Llorente’s header beat goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in the 66th minute but Arsenal weathered a nervy finish to close out their fourth successive victory and solidify their hold on fourth place.

Arsenal, on 66 points with three games remaining, opened up a four-point gap on north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in fifth ahead of Thursday’s derby and moved to within a point of third-placed Chelsea.

A second straight defeat for Leeds left them in 18th place with 34 points, behind Burnley on goal difference, after Everton’s 2-1 victory at Leicester City lifted the Merseyside club out of the bottom three.

“We are in the relegation zone but we have to fight for our lives,” Leeds manager Jesse Marsch said. “Our backs are against the wall... We have to regroup and figure out what we can do.

“When I came here two months ago, I knew this was not going to be easy. The group has stayed strong. Our second-half performance highlights the character of the people we have here.”

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