Southampton take a slice out of Everton's Champions League cake
by Nick D
Apr 26, 2014 11:56 AM EDT
Everton suffer a two nil defeat after two own goals sealed the win for Southampton. Martinez now needs to win the rest of his games and hope for Arsenal and Tottenham to slip up to secure a Champions League spot.
Southampton got the perfect start to the match as they took the lead after only 53 seconds had passed on the clock. Lambert made a good run down the left wing and played in a dangerous ball into the 6 yard box towards Gallagher. Alcaraz tried to get in the way and attempted to head the ball clear but unfortunately for him and the travelling Everton supporters the ball would fly in at the near post past Howard and into the back of his own net. 1-0 and Southampton in the lead and Everton seeing their top four place slipping away.
Alcaraz opened the scoring after only 53 seconds with a diving header into his own goal
The match continued on and Southampton were the stronger of the two in the early stages. Some nervous defending by Everton as the Toffees struggled to clear the ball from their own half. The Saints continued to press on and apply pressure on the Everton goal. It took about 10 minutes before Everton settled down and started to string some passes together and push forward. Lukaku was lurking on the end of Southampton's defensive line and looking to break early, but the Saints had him well covered and limited the space in front of the Belgian striker. Southampton had a chance then to double their lead in the 19th minute as once again Lambert broke well down the left side. This time instead of playing in a high cross he cut the ball back towards the top of the box, where Davies met it first time. Though his side footed effort would go agonisingly wide of the post when he should have doubled the Saints advantage. Then in the 31st minute things got worse for Everton as they would find themselves 2 goals down after yet another own goal. This time it would come from the right side as XX crossed in a ball towards the 6 yard box. There were three Everton defenders lined up to clear it, it would float over the first two and Coleman who was under no pressure would head the ball back across the goal and watch it bounce into the back of his own net. 2-0 and Everton players were left stunned as the halftime approached.
Coleman doubled the Saints lead with yet another Everton own goal
The second half kicked off and Martinez knew he needed to find a way to get his players back into this game. Osman was brought on for Barkley to add to Everton's strength in the midfield. Though this didn't have an immediate impact as Lallana cut in from the left side but blasted his shot over the crossbar. Everton then settled down and started to take over the midfield play and enjoy some better possession. Though if the two own goals weren't bad enough, they would also fail to have any luck or the ref's decisions go their way. A bad offside call then 2 penalty appeals would go unanswered as Everton suffered a two nil loss and their Champions League aspirations would go just further out of reach.
The other matches saw West Bromwich Albion defeat West Ham United 1-0 with a first half strike by Berahino. Swansea City would also defeat Aston Villa 4-1. Bony gave them the lead after only 10 minutes, then Jonjo Shelvey would score a spectacular goal from about 45 yards out to give the home side a 2-1 advantage after Agonlahor equalised only minutes later. Then Hernandez sealed the deal in the second half and gave Swansea a two goal buffer. Then Bony would convert an injury time penalty to give Swansea the win and a much needed three points. While a first half header by Danny Rose was enough for Tottenham to keep their top four finish dreams alive, defeating Stoke City 1-0 away from home. Fulham would keep their EPL dreams just barely alive after playing out a 2-2 draw against Hull City. Two second half strikes from Dejagah and Amorebieta saw the Cottagers getting all three points. But Jelavic would get one back for the visiting side and then Shane Long got a late equailser to shatter the Fulham fans and their celebrations. Fulham though are still fighting to stay up and have given their fans hope that the London side can pull out the great escape and play in the Premier League next season.
Ciao for now Readers