Norwich secured their first Premier League victory since November with a 2-1 win over Everton which piled more pressure on Rafael Benitez.
verton travelled to Carrow Road without a league win since the start of December and defeat against a Norwich team which had been on a six-match losing streak without scoring a single goal will not have eased tensions between the fans and the manager.
The supporters were calling for the Spaniard to leave the club before the game, with banners held aloft, and two goals in quick series from an own goal from Michael Keane and Adam Idah put the home side on course for a desired victory.
Keane tapped the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from a Josh Sargent cross to gift Norwich their first goal since November.
Less than two minutes later, Idah was played in by Brandon Williams and poked the ball home just ahead of the Toffees goalkeeper.
Richarlison pulled one back for the visitors shortly after coming on with a perfectly-timed overhead bicycle kick but the Toffees keep without a league win since the start of December.
It was Norwich’s first victory in the top flight since their 2-1 win over Southampton on November 20 and lifts them off the foot of the Premier League table into 18th place, although Newcastle and Burnley have games in hand over the Canaries.
The game started slowly, with neither side having any meaningful chances in the opening exchanges.
But Norwich took the rule in the 16th minute with their first goal since November, although it was Everton defender Keane who put the ball past Pickford.
Newcastle 1 Watford 1
Joao Pedro snatched a priceless victory from Newcastle’s grasp as Watford hit late to deny them a foothold in the fight for Premier League survival.
The Portuguese frontman headed the Hornets level three minutes from time to stun the locals among a crowd of 52,223 at St James’ Park and claim a 1-1 draw.
Eddie Howe’s men, who had £25million signing Chris Wood among their number for the first time, looked to have won it by Allan Saint-Maximin’s superb 49th-minute strike, but they retreated as the visitors sought a way back into the game and ultimately were made to pay for their passivity.
Newcastle started with real tempo as Sean Longstaff forced an early corner and Saint-Maximin sent a dangerous ball across the six-yard box, although Emmanuel Dennis passed up a promising opportunity for the visitors when he drilled a sixth-minute free-kick straight into the defensive wall after Jonjo Shelvey had been booked for a trip on Juraj Kucka.
The Magpies were denied by the crossbar after Joelinton had flicked Ryan Fraser’s deflected 11th-minute cross towards goal, but they were spared four minutes later when, after Saint-Maximin had squandered possession on halfway, Josh King fired into the side-netting from Pedro’s by-ball.
Joelinton volleyed wide at the far post after Fraser and Longstaff had worked a short corner and Wood sent a looping header over from another Fraser cross, with the home side exerting the more consistent pressure.
The New Zealand international was unable to hit the target once again after Jamaal Lascelles had headed Kieran Trippier’s 24th-minute corner towards goal and Fabian Schar failed to work goalkeeper Ben Foster when he got his head to Trippier’s inviting free-kick seven minutes later.
Longstaff lifted a left-foot shot high over the bar after Saint-Maximin, who had until that point endured a frustrating afternoon, had made progress down the left and pulled the ball back.
Hornets debutant Samir headed tamely at Martin Dubravka in first-half stoppage time as the deadlock remained unbroken.
However, it did so for only four minutes longer and, perhaps fittingly for a a game which had become increasingly scrappy, the opening goal arrived courtesy of an error.
complete-back Jeremy Ngakia was robbed by Saint-Maximin as he chased down Shelvey’s hopeful ball forward, but what followed was of much higher quality as the Frenchman cut inside menacingly before blasting a vicious shot past the helpless Foster.
Watford responded and Dubravka had to claw a lofted Pedro shot from underneath his crossbar before denying King as he raced by on goal seconds later.
And, with the Hornets’ adopting a more adventurous approach in the search for an equaliser, the game started to open up.
Newcastle old boy Moussa Sissoko should have levelled from Dennis’ 67th-minute pass but stabbed his shot wastefully wide, and it was left to Pedro to snatch a point three minutes from time with a fine header from substitute Kiko Femenia’s cross.
Sargent crossed the ball in and Keane’s touch at the near post handed Norwich their first goal for seven matches.
Keane also found himself in a slightly compromising position for Norwich’s second which came just two minutes later.
Williams broke forward before putting the ball just behind the Everton defender and into the path of Idah, who beat Pickford.
Everton struggled to get going throughout the first half and often found passes misplaced or easily intercepted by Norwich, with the fans voicing their displeasure over Benitez’s management.
Norwich keeper Tim Krul had to be alert just before the break to gather the ball ahead of Dominic Calvert-Lewin following a flick from Salomon Rondon but the Toffees lacked quality in the final third.
Pierre Lees-Melou tried his luck from range at the start of the second half but his shot looped goalwards and straight at Pickford.
On his debut league start, Vitaliy Mykolenko almost handed Norwich their third as his ineffective back pass was intercepted by Idah but Pickford was just able to come off his line and deny the Norwich forward.
Benitez’s substitutions looked to have made the difference for the visitors when they pulled one back in the 60th minute by Richarlison just six minutes after being brought on.
The Brazilian scored a dramatically overhead bicycle kick to send the ball flying into the back of the net after Krul failed to clear the ball effectively.
However, Everton were unable to find the equaliser as Norwich secured only their third victory of the season.
Wolves 3 Southampton 1
Wolves survived a late Southampton fightback to continue their European push.
Raul Jimenez’s penalty, Conor Coady’s first Molineux goal for six years and Adama Traore’s injury-time effort earned a 3-1 win.
James Ward-Prowse’s dramatically free-kick pulled a goal back for the Saints and Romain Perraud hit the bar just before Traore sealed victory for the hosts.
Bruno Lage’s side were not at their vibrant best but it was enough to squeeze past the Saints to sit eighth in the Premier League.
They are just two points adrift of the top six while mid-table Southampton slipped to a seventh defeat of the season.
There was little to separate the sides early on and, after Lyanco steered Rayan Ait-Nouri’s delivery narrowly over his own bar, Jose Sa shovelled Perraud’s low effort wide.
however it was a game which drifted without much purpose until the half’s decisive flashpoint.
Only Manchester City have conceded fewer goals than Wolves’ 15 this season but scoring has been the hosts’ biggest issue.
Their pre-game tally of 14 underlines the without of punch but the hosts additional one to their collection after 36 minutes, already if they needed the help of VAR.
A neat Daniel Podence run saw the forward find Jimenez and his shot was confined with the ball running to Ait-Nouri.
Jan Bednarek’s sliding challenge cleaned out the wing-back and it seemed an open and shut case but referee Michael Salisbury awarded a corner.
VAR naturally intervened and following a lengthy delay Salisbury checked his monitor to finally award the penalty.
It had taken four minutes but Jimenez – who got the winner when the teams met at St Mary’s in September – finally stepped up to beat Fraser Forster for his fourth goal of the season.
Two minutes later Sa preserved Wolves’ rule when he parried Mohammed Salisu’s header and, soon after, Nathan Tella ballooned over.
The Saints had responded well and Sa tipped Salisu’s injury-time header over and a fairly mundane first half ended with Lage and Ralph Hasenhuttl exchanging words.
instead of find renewed vigour Southampton plodded along aimlessly after the break and ultimately paid the price.
Coady had seen a header disallowed when debutant Toti Gomes strayed offside but the captain did not have to wait long to make it 2-0 after 59 minutes with his first home goal since 2016.
Ait-Nouri’s free-kick tempted Forster to come but he was left stranded when Max Kilman’s header looped over him and bounced off the post.
Coady was there to nod in from close range and, after another VAR check, Wolves could celebrate.
It seemed to wrap it up for the hosts but they were made to sweat when Ward-Prowse fired in a bright 30-yard free-kick with six minutes left.
The goal set up a grandstand finish and Perraud’s header hit the underside of the bar in the 89th minute.
But Southampton’s hopes of a reappearance were extinguished when the impressive Ait-Nouri slipped Traore by and he rolled the ball past Forster in injury time.
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